10 Days

I may have mentioned that my teaching schedule at Full Sail is a bit weird. I have 10 days to saturate the students with as much knowledge as I think they can absorb.

Except, of course, it’s trickier than that.

Each of those 10 days is 8 hours long, split into a pair of 3½-hour blocks with lunch in between. Effectively, I have 70 hours.

Except, of course, it’s trickier than that.

One of those 3½-hour blocks is a lecture, and the other is a lab. It’s frowned upon to use lab time for lecturing. I agree with this wholeheartedly, as learning should be all about the doing of things to burn them into your brain. Effectively, I have 35 hours of lecture and 35 hours of lab.

Except, of course, it’s trickier than that.

Half of the first lecture is lost going over the mandatory rules of the school. Because, somehow, these people that have been in the same program for 14 months before they see me could possibly have forgotten what the first 14 instructors said about how to behave. The last entire day is taken up with the final exam. Realistically, at least half of the class before that is taken up with final exam review.

Effectively, I’m down to 8 lectures at 3½ hours each. Just 28 hours. Barely more than a day.

If you didn’t know thing one about ColdFusion, could you read and absorb all of CFWACK in 28-hour period? Read it, sure, but absorb it? Maybe. If you’ve been doing the coding thing for years and have a dozen other languages under your belt: no problem. If you’re fresh out of high school and have just the HTML, CSS, JavaScript, ActionScript, Flash, and PHP that you’ve been able to absorb over the previous 14 months? Maybe. Hopefully.

Numbers fetishism: I go through PowerPoint slides at ~40/hour. For those 28 hours, I’ll go through 1120 slides. That sounds like a boatload … until you realize that 1120 is also approximately the number of pages in CFWACK vol. 1 and 2 combined. Thus, I get a slide, and 90 seconds, per page.

It sounds bleak, and yet …

I can’t help but think: if this program had been around 15 years ago when I was just starting out …. I’d have jumped on it, of course. I don’t regret being self-taught all these years. But, the fact is that these students are learning in 22 months what took me years to get exposed to and pick up. Sure, not all of that stuff was even around in any kind of solid form when I started, but still.

I’m finalizing my curriculum this week. I’ll post details as I work them out, and you can decide for yourself whether I’m torturing my students or going too easy on them.

ColdFusion curriculum: What will we cover?