dap6000 (dap6000) wrote in wwwstandards,
dap6000
dap6000
wwwstandards

share your educational experiences

i'm planning on writing an article on the state of education in the field of web design. i'd like for anyone who has gone through any sort of training at a post-secondary level (any college, university, or vocational/tech school) and who has 5-10 minutes to spare to share your experiences. i'd like to particular focus on how these institutions teach (or fail to teach) web standards, accessability, usability, etc.

my personal experience so far has been with a 2 year program at a community college. the program would have produced great web designers in 1997, but in 2005 it's seriously lacking. we were taught to do everything the quick and dirty way, letting software do our work for us, hardly ever looking at the actual source code. the only time css came up is in sections dealing with 4.0 era "DHTML", none of it using even remotely valid code. accessability and usability were given lip service in some of the text books, but never given any real in depth discussion and rarely even defined for the students. (ok, there was one class where "don't make me think" was listed as a reccomended read but not required for the class.) so i've got a CIW Master Site Designer certification and an associates of applied science in web design, but i honestly feel like i could have taught myself much more if i'd spent less time doing school work and more time taking advantage of the wealth of free resources online (which is what i've always done before).j

now i'm enrolled in a university that offers a BA (or maybe it's a BS, i'm not sure) in web design. the dept head is a major accessability and usability proponent. from talking to him, i'm very ecited about the possabilities, but at the same time i'm so disappointed with my previous experienes that i'm hesitant to get my hopes up.

so i'd like to write an article that can hopefully help future web design students find a program that will actually prepare them for the real world and this millenium. i'd also like to exercise some of my own deamons by hopefully findout out i'm not alone in feeling disinfranchised with the quality of education in this field that i've been able to find. i'd also love to find out that there ARE some people out there who have had great experiences in great programs that teach web design the "right" way.

so let me know what it's been like for you. even if you dropped out after one semester. even if you've only had one class, or if your degree doesn't or won't have the word "web" anywhere on it; like you're in a graphic design program or a digital media program and adapting the broader education you're getting to the web through supplimental material.

good stories, horror stories, mediocre stories, name names or don't (i really hope those of you with good experiences will name names so i can follow up with these institutions). you can post your experiences as a reply to this post or email me at dap6000 at hotmail dot com.

cross posted to _css, css_forum, and wwwstandards.
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unfortunately I'm still in high school, but I had a *horrible* "internet publishing" class i'd love to complain about if you're interested
rant away, i'll listen. i'm planning to write about post seccondary education, but that doesn't mean there's nothing to learn from the mistakes made by high school teachers. from what i've seen, college teachers aren't really any better than high school teachers. i'm willing to learn from the mistakes you've had to endure, no matter what grade level we're talking about.
And I'd like to add one thought.

Lawyers have the bar.

Doctors get certified.

Lifeguards get certified.

Master craftsmen get their... master of craftsmanship.

Webdesigners get... what?

I don't believe that the "Golden Web Awards" count. (grins) Yup, I have only ever seen that logo on the world's worst websites.

So what am I implying here? That the web-design community needs for our own benefit something to certify webmasters in various areas of proficiency, and an overall certification. So you can be certified in PHP, CSS, JavaScript, and XHTML, and people will be able to see that, but if you haven't passed Basic Usability then you won't get the Basic Proficiency stamp that people will look for when wanting someone to build their whole website. If they justed needed someone who did PHP and XHTML, they could be confident that they would know what they were doing from those specific area certifications.

What do you think?


(If you use something to that effect or quote me in your article, give me credit for saying that, k? thx)
yep, i agree. a lot of those certifications are legal matters, and until the laws pertaining to the web, such as section 508 accessability guidlines, start to be enforced and until someone looses enough money in a lawsuit over such things, there's not gonna be enough legal weight behind an idea like this.

so in the mean time we need to focus on making sure those of us who are learning this stuff have ample oppertunity to learn it properly and hope that once we do so we will be able to make a proper reputation for ourselves because until such a certifying board exists, our training, our portfolios, and our self marketing are all we've got.
what school is it that offers bachelor's degree in web design?
several claim to, but my research has turned up just a handful that seem to be worth a damn.

champlain college in burlington VT

franklin uni in OH

westwood college which has campuses in CA, CO, GA, and IL as well as, i think, offering the entire program online.

and tennessee technological university here in cookeville tennessee.

i'm sure there are more, but those are the ones i have uncovered so far.
Wow, there's a Westwood in Houston and I've never even heard of it. Thanks for the info.
I don't think that one has to major in web design to pursue it as a career. I would recommend that they instead either major in computer science, where they can learn how to write computer code and thus easily learn all of the different languages associated with web development, or they major in publishing or something like that where they learn about layout and typography.

There is a reason that the schools that offer web design as a major offer 'on-line classes'...because it's kind of bullshit. just pick up a book and learn it yourself, dude, and let your portfolio do the talking, not some certificate.
of course you don't have to major in it to be effective at it. in fact, in any field of work, many of the best people will have degrees in something else and some won't have degrees at all.

but your argument could just as easily be applied to graphic design for instance. why not just take marketing or fine art and apply what you learn there to that field? you can of course, but should you have to if you choose to seek a degree?

and just because a degree isn't an absolute necisity does that mean it shouldn't be taught properly if/when it is taught at all?

what you're saying is perfectly valid but it in no way undermines what i'm trying to do.