The Max Concept
The Max Labs are a radical departure from the traditional "today-you-will-learn-how-to-add-data-to-a-table" style of labs. Instead, they're designed to be experiential, to engage today's iGeneration students with a compelling story, delivered the way they like getting their information best–social media.
The Max Labs are named for Max Flanagan, a fictional character, an imaginary student in a real Business Systems course at SJSU. Max is definitely NOT a geek. She's Business/Marketing major and she's not especially interested in technology–not until she stumbles her way into a startup, applying the Salesforce tools she's learning in class to build an app for their venture capital campaign. Along the way, Max blogs her experience, detailing her trials and errors and includes step-by-step instructions for her "followers" to share the experience vicariously as she adds features and value to the startup effort.
The Max Labs are written in the first-person form. They use the students' vernacular so they read like a peer's blog. Students find them fun and entertaining.
They're composed to have the "look and feel" of a real blog though they're provided as PDFs. That way students can work with a printed copy by their side and/or the digital form with live hyperlinks that provide "deeper dives" for students who want to learn more.