The folks at CushyCMS have kindly agreed to us using CushyCMS for our second final year assignment next academic year. In this assignment students learn about CMS (often from guest speakers who are able to show CMS implementations for recent clients) and in a practical exercise using Dreamweaver templates when designing a small tutorial to create editable and locked regions.
The tutorial works nice as they have to think about the content (text/media), navigation and editable areas.
Ideally of course, students would be skinning a WP themes but besides the complexities of getting them each a WP setup on our server, I am sure that for many this would be a step too far technically. This is where I think CushyCMS will be a great solution. They will experience the whole CMS thing in a step up from DW templates. They’ll be introduced to this nifty tool (that they can use on their own projects), and they still have the dilemmas to face when designing this type of site.
As for WP skinning, the more technical students seem to get to grips with this on their own as we would expect. Using CushyCMS has already encouraged some to now tread the WP path.