This is part two of a four-part series on my experience enrolled in the UBC Award of Achievement in Digital Analytics Program.
Check out part one: Introduction to Web Analytics
The second course in the program: Web Analytics for Site Optimization for me, was very exciting! Out of the introductory ranks and into something i could really dig my teeth into. With real case by case lesson plans what you cover in this course is very applicable to everyday practice, whether you’re an Information Architect (IA) or a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert, there is something for everyone to take away here.
The course does an excellent job of combining solid user-centric design theory, common SEO practices and the recommended web analysis to measure these approaches. Some of the design theory is a bit hard to follow, but well worth it in the end as you do also need to apply that knowledge to at least one of the three assignments.
Regarding the assignments, there are three in total just like the introductory course. Beginning to think that’s more of the norm now for the program – only this time none were discussion based, a LOT more challenging and way more formal academia-like – which is a good thing; what better way to understand the lessons than to make you think creatively about your assignments and commit it to paper. One funny thing i should mention about this course is that people should be aware that the major or third/last assignment wasn’t introduced until nearly the final required reading. Looking back, if i hadn’t have been aware of it earlier – scanning over the entire syllabus – the course could have taken a turn for the worst, for the assignment is not something you can just whip up on a whim! Take it from me and keep that in mind going in.
The cool and highly unexpected thing about this course is the surprise free giveaway that you receive. It helps immensely in completing the last paper and IMO is something that every web analyst should not be without. I’ll give you a hint; it’s a “big book of …”. Any takers?!
Our online tutor was James Ollunga, McCann World Group. I think since we never had any discursive assignments we never really opened any real discussions so the only interaction i ever had with James was a short email Q and A. He seemed very nice and helpful although again i never really had the opportunity to get to know him better – i do, however, have him again for the third course in the program.