Johnston Heights Web Design Challenge

STAFHow many of us would trust the design of your business’s website to a 15 year old? This past month, I met some JH students who could do exactly that.

Mr. Post invited me to his class for a most interesting challenge. Rather than be an observer to see the wonderful things that his students were doing, I was to be a participant in the class. For the past three months his students have been learning to build web pages from the code level on up. This project was to be judged by myself, Ms. Lambe and Brian Yan Muk (a former JH grad now working in the web design field).

Web Design is a new course at JH this year, and Mr. Post and his students have taken on the challenge of the new with relish.  No simple “drag and drop” editing for them – they headed straight to using HTML code and the powerful Adobe Dreamweaver editing software. By the time they presented to us it was clear that they had a strong understanding of what is “under the hood” of a quality website.

BCAAP.pngA key part of The Learning Project this year is sharing our learning, both as adults and students. Mr. Post has been exemplary in this regard, discussing what he is learning with others, and demonstrating to his students that they don’t need to know everything, but that if they are curious and take risks, it will pay off with deep learning.

In order to take sharing the learning of himself and his students to a new level, Mr. Post organized a competition set up in the same way that a company might take proposals for a web design contract (or any contract). It ran a bit like an episode of Dragon’s Den, in that the student’s were given a brief for a fictional animal support company and given time to put the product together.  They were to plan a presentation to the executives (in this case myself, Ms. Lambe and Brian Yan Muk). For the students this is a solid piece of “real world” experience. If you are a business seeking to sell your services to client, you are often in competition with other agencies. In the classroom, students get the best of the both the education and business worlds. They experience the process of a business competition, but they also get feedback on how to improve their next proposal, which you rarely get in a traditional tender process or RFP.

We reviewed the proposals based on how closely they adhered to the brief, the quality of the Web Elements (images, mailto, rollover, and several other key feature) and design elements (well organized main menu, clear purpose, ease of navigation, and so forth).

In the end there were three that stood out in a field of high quality proposals.

The winners of our competition were the Siberian Tiger Awareness Foundation, or STAF, and the group was composed of  Alvin, Teresa, DevaanshPFAC, Zeshan. Jacob and Donny.   Their site was clearly laid out with an organised color scheme, single page navigation and great use of current web tools, including embedded video.

The second place group was the BC Animal Adoption Program, presented by Jules, Angelo, Bridget, Jed and Taranjit.  Their bright header, clear navigation and engaging information catches the attention of the view and draws them into the website.

In third place came the Paws for a Cause team, with an innovative header and background.

For me it was thoroughly enjoyable experience, and a chance to be part of the essential feedback process that students need to experience in order to improve in their work.  Well done to all the teams, and to Mr. Post’s innovative approach to learning.


I am an educational leader, a photographer, a thinker, and a parent. We live in a world of abundance on the West Coast of Canada. I learn together with wonderful people in my home, community, work, and church. My goal for my students is that they leave school with confidence based on demonstrated excellence in at least one domain of learning, and with the life, employment and thinking skills to open the many doors of their future.

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Posted in Education, Social Media, Technology
8 comments on “Johnston Heights Web Design Challenge
  1. Thanks for coming and helping us on the projects, Mr. Killawee! We really appreciate your feedbacks.

  2. gabriel04266 says:

    Thanks for coming to our class.
    We will try harder of learning to be come a better webdesigners 🙂

  3. raisamshre says:

    Thank you fo coming to our class and juding this contest.

  4. jedpalad says:

    I want to thank you Mr. Killawee for the honest feedback you gave us. Mr. Post told the class that you’re the reason Web couses exist here in JH in the first place. I’m really interested in this field. Thank you!

  5. Jasonbuii says:

    Hello Mr.Killawee. My name is Jason Bui and I’m from Mr.Post’s class, I would like to thank you for the feedback that you’ve given us and also for taking your time to come here and judge our websites. I enjoyed reading this blog post, and as well looking at some of the project pictures. We are continuing on making our websites more in-depth and much better, so look forward to next time, if there will be a next time.

  6. jwwolff1998 says:

    Thank you for spending the time to judge our projects and mentioning us in your blog.

    Alvin: We appreciate you helping us on making the presentations informative.

  7. zeshan98 says:

    Thank You Mr.Killawee for the awesome comments. We all really appreciate it. And also spending your time to write about us. Next year why don’t you come to the classroom and comment on the projects. We are happy enough to have you in the classroom anytime. Thank you and have a nice day.

    Tyler want to say “Thank you for your time and taking the opportunity to come to the class”

  8. Rob Killawee says:

    Thank you to all of you for your comments, and thanks for the invitation to visit again. I’ll definitely be back to next year’s class. It was a real pleasure to see the quality work done by all the students. Every single group added creative elements to their website, which is an awesome combination together with the coding skill you are developing!

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