Schedule - Lab at DCA
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Month 1: Core Competencies


Week 1: Webmaking



  • Introductions to the Lab: civic engagement and public service in the digital information era
  • Web 2.0 & beyond: from HTML to CMS
  • Mozilla’s Hackasaurus
  • Handcoding in HTML
  • WordPress 101
  • Tools: HTML, WordPress, Tumblr
  • Concepts: content management system, user interface, user experience, site architecture, metadata, sitemap, wireframe, content-form relationship, web analytics, open source
  • References:
  • Elements of User Experience by Jesse James Garrett
  • Articulating Civic Communication Literacies by Andrew Schrock
  • Assignment:
    Build a microsite using content from your current work (RFQ/P, proposal, memo, guide, brochure, PDF/Word Doc). Organize your work content into the structure of a site. Think about who your primary users are. Organize the information into content areas and menu items most sensible to your user group(s). This microsite should contain between 3-5 pages. Integrate at least one non-textual media object and links (internal and external).



    Week 2: Social Media




    • Tools: Twitter, Instagram, IFTTT
    • Workflow Tips: Google Apps
    • Concepts: web 2.0, user-generated content, short-form publishing, crowd-source, social data analytics, API, touchpoints

    Design a social media campaign to activate public participation or bridge communication gaps in your current work at DCA. Sketch your campaign design. State your campaign goals and indicate your potential user groups.Identify platforms and engagement strategies most appropriate to forward your mission. If you have time, think about how you would measure the successes of your campaign.


    Week 3: GIS and Mapping



    • Basic data mapping
    • Web maps as information products


    • Data Mapping 101
    • Tools: ArcGIS Online
    • Demographics
    • Mobile & web apps
    • Workflow Tips: data uploads, storage
    • Concepts: baselayer, map extent, map symbology, spatial analytics, data enrichment, audience / end-user, versioning, documentation


    Create a web map using data from your division. Think about how you represent spatial information, who your audience(s) is, and when appropriate, how you contextualize your data with other related datasets. Additionally, come up with a plan of release and permission settings of this map



    Week 4: Data Visualizations & Open Sharing



    • Fundamentals of data visualizations & literacy
    • Open Data: Theoretical & Practical Fundamentals


    • Tools: Excel, RAW, Tableau Public, Socrata
    • Workflow Tips: data management, cleaning
    • Concepts: static vs. interactive data (visualizations), infographics, open data, open government, metrics

    Come up with a data model that is related to your current work. Think about the purpose of your new data workflow. What will you do with this dataset to make it meaningful — visualize, analyze, publish, share, etc? To document your thinking, create a workflow chart. In your chart, state who could be your potential stakeholders to collaborate on or share this data set with. Identify data sources that you need and evaluate the usability of your existing data resources. If necessary, make plans to gather data and make your data usable. Bring a sample dataset to workshop in next week’s session.



    Month 2.5: Project Challenge 1*


    *Actual ideas for monthly challenges will be sourced by the senior staff. These are challenge samples that be modified or replaced after a discussion with the senior staff.


    Grants Challenge: Grantee Instagram campaign

    We will generate a live photo archive system to document grantee projects on Instagram. This social media campaign will support the crowdsourcing, collecting, and archiving photos of grantee’s projects. Administering this system, Grants staff can vet, curate, and reuse photo media from grantees. This system will also create the opportunity to retrieve social media engagement analytics. Both photographic and analytics data will serve as evidence for grants programming impact.


    Week 5: Ideation & Discovery

    • Introductions to Digital Project Management & Agile Development
    • Research & discovery: scope the project
    • User experience & potential user groups
    • Investigate a web aggregator to extend and store data from Instagram




    Week 6: Workflow & Wireframe Design

    • Design a workflow & wireframes
    • Create a mockup
    • Outreach to a user test group (grantee collaborators)
    • Investigate the analytics & API


    Week 7: Prototyping & Data

    • Test the mockup
    • Continue the development
    • Make a data assessment/analytic plan


    Week 8: Prototyping & Data

    • Test the mockup
    • Continue the development
    • Manage analytics
    • User testing / QA


    Week 9: Prototyping & Data

    • Test the mockup
    • Continue the development
    • Manage analytics
    • User testing / QA


    Week 10: Presentation

    • QA & release
    • Program reflections
    • Grand finale presentation — all DCA staff is invited