Using Joomla Explained in Higher Education

Many colleges and universities have adopted Joomla Explained as a course textbook.

Here are suggested details for a course based around Joomla and the book "Joomla! Explained".

1. Course Names

  • Introduction to Joomla
  • Introduction to Content Management Systems.

2. Course Description

Covers basic content management system concepts. Students learn how to build, design and manage Joomla and how to implement it for personal and business websites.

3. Student Learning Outcomes 

Students will:

  1. Understand what a Content Management System is and how it differs from traditional, flat websites
  2. Select the appropriate server environment and be able to install Joomla's files and database
  3. Successfully organize and present content in Joomla
  4. Select and integrate extra Joomla features from various sources, understanding the difference between different types of extension 
  5. Modify the appearance and layout of Joomla websites
  6. Understand potential threats to CMS websites and understand how to protect and backup such websites

4. Outline of Subject Matter

Course subject matter is directly aligned with Student Learning Outcomes. The number of the corresponding SLO appears in parentheses after relevant content:

Here are how the units and chapters line up:

  • Unit / Chapter  1: Joomla and CMSs (1) 
  • Unit / Chapter  2: Installations (2)
  • Unit / Chapter  3: SIte Admin (3)
  • Unit / Chapter  4: Content (3)
  • Unit / Chapter  5: Content Editing and WYSIWYG (3)
  • Unit / Chapter  6: Menus (3)
  • Unit / Chapter  7: Components (4)
  • Unit / Chapter  8: Modules (4)
  • Unit / Chapter  9: Plug-ins (4)
  • Unit / Chapter  10: Templates (5)
  • Unit / Chapter  11: Extra Extensions (4)
  • Unit / Chapter  12: Personal Site Building
  • Unit / Chapter  13: Business Site Building
  • Unit / Chapter  14: Users
  • Unit / Chapter  15: Multi-language
  • Unit / Chapter  16: Site Management (6)

5. Assessments and Grading System

  • The following units end with practice assignments: 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11
  • Unit 12 would make an ideal class project.
  • Consider using unit 13 for the final class project
  • If units 12 and 13 are used in class, consider asking students to build a real-world website using Joomla for their final assessment.

6. Suggested Plan for Course Units

The core of the curriculum is from unit 1 to unit 11. 

  • For a 10 week course: Use units 1 to 11 by combining two units. The best units to combine would be units 1 and 2 or units 4 and 5
  • For a 12 week course: Use units 1 to 12 and then consider using unit 13 for the final class project.
  • For a 14 week course: Use units 1 to 12, then 14 and 16. Consider using unit 13 for the final class project.