I've been asked to take part in setting up a Ruby Certification course for a large univesity (no names until they announce it, sorry). I'm participating, but I have two questions that are lingering in my mind. I'd like to ask for your feedback on one of them here. (I've also recently agreed to do some blogging over at InfoQ and I'll discuss the results one there.)
Certification is kind of a hairy deal. A lot of people love them, and others think they're evil incarnate (or something close). I've never been a big fan of them, butI see this as being a bit different than the typical 'take a test and earn a cert' plan. The university is planning a series of three (non-credit) classes that will focus on Ruby and Ruby on Rails, with a pass-fail grading system. Anyone passing the three classes (which will have a significant hands-on, practical portion) will be recieve the certificate.
So, here's my question — What topics need to be covered to make a certificate work like this work? (For extra credit, what kinds of hands-on exercises do you think would help cement a student's understanding of those topics?)
Update: I'll dicuss the feedback on both questions at InfoQ later on ... for now, all the discussion will happen here