What You Should Look For In a Web Design Course

Laptop with icons
Laptop computer with icons.

If you are looking to learn to design websites, you have a few options that you can consider. You can try to learn it all on your own through web design books and tutorials, or you can take a course, likely at a local University or business center. If you decide to follow this second route and take a formal course or some kind, you will have to do some research and compare different offerings to decide which one is best for you.

 Let’s take a look at what you should be considering when you are searching for a website design course.

Instructors With Relevant Experience

An important component of a web design course is quality of the instructor, or instructors, who will be leading those classes. Oftentimes, the teachers who lead web design classes are adjuncts who are also working professionals handling their own clients and projects in addition to their part-time teaching duties. This can be incredibly valuable because it allows those instructors to present real world scenarios to students who are new to the industry, including the changes that they are seeing in the industry as a whole and the overall experiences that they have accumulated from their years as a working web professional.

Don’t be afraid to ask to speak to an instructor for a class you are considering enrolling in. Ask them what will be covered in their classroom lessons and also ask to see some of their work so you can get a sense of what they’ve done outside of the classroom.

The more you know about the background and experience of the person teaching a course, the more informed you will be as to whether or not you want to sign up for that class.

A Teaching Style You Will Respond To

An excellent web designer does not automatically make a great instructor. If you’ve reviewed the professional qualifications of an instructor and are satisfied with what you have found, you may next want to ensure that their teaching style is one that you will respond to.

For this, you must see that instructor’s classroom delivery first hand.

Asking to audit a class is a pretty common practice and most courses should have a policy to handle these requests to sit in on a class. If you are going to do this, you should arrive a few minutes early to greet the instructor and let them know why you are there. Remember, you want to observe and get a feel for the class, but you should not participate in the discussion or ask any questions while the class is in session (unless the instructor specifically asks you to do so). Once the class hits a break or ends for the evening, thank the instructor and ask any questions you may have at that time. If you have more than one or two questions, you should ask the instructor when a better time to talk would be so that you do not keep them from any other obligations that they may have.

A Mix of Theory and Hands-On Activities

As you visit the classroom or speak to an instructor, one thing you should be looking for is a mix of the theory of why certain things are done in web design as well as the actual technical means to do that work.

The technical aspects of web design – HTML code, CSS styling, responsive web design etc,.

are obviously important if you hope to one day design and develop websites professionally, but the reasoning behind many web design practices and decisions is just as important to a successful career in this industry. This is where those real world examples that working professionals can offer become an important part of the class.

Online or In-Person

Some students prefer a traditional classroom setting with an in-person instructor that holds class on a pre-arranged schedule. Other students may do better with online courses that they can take at their own pace. Each of these approaches have their own benefits and drawbacks, so it is important for you to determine which course style will work best for you.

If you do decide to take an online course, the aforementioned suggestions of speaking with a teacher and auditing a class may not seem appropriate, but you can still preview a course even if it is online.

Most sites that offer video training allow for samples to be viewed prior to purchasing that course. This will allow you to review the teaching style of the instructor in the video prior to committing to that course.

Feedback From Past Students

One way you can assess a class is to speak to students that have taken the course previously. If you can find students with a similar background to your own and with similar goals, that is best, but it is not essential. Speaking to any past students or reading reviews of an online course will be a valuable exercise as you assess a program.

Additional Considerations

Other factors that will certainly be important in your web design course selection are the price of the course, the schedule it runs on, and the distance you would need to travel to take those classes (if it is, indeed, and in-person course).  By taking all of these factors into account and considering them against your ultimate goals for your educational hopes, you will be well on you way to selecting the best web design course for you.

Edited by Jeremy Girard on 1/11/17

Format
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Girard, Jeremy. "What You Should Look For In a Web Design Course." ThoughtCo, Jan. 11, 2017, thoughtco.com/what-you-should-look-for-in-a-web-design-course-3468895. Girard, Jeremy. (2017, January 11). What You Should Look For In a Web Design Course. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/what-you-should-look-for-in-a-web-design-course-3468895 Girard, Jeremy. "What You Should Look For In a Web Design Course." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/what-you-should-look-for-in-a-web-design-course-3468895 (accessed December 14, 2017).