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What makes a great web design course?

September 25, 2016


I’ve been creating courses since 2003, and in that time I’ve learned the key elements of a great web design course:

  1. A teacher who knows how to teach! Unfortunately, many courses out there don’t have that.
  2. Instant feedback for the student.
  3. A teacher who has a lot of real world web design experience.

1. A teacher who knows how to teach!

Teaching is a skill. People go to school for years to learn how to teach. And of course, there is always natural talent and ability. The problem today is that the Web is filled with the casual nerd trying to make a buck, by creating a course on some coding language or another.

Many cannot teach very well.

I can’t tell you how many times people have to come to me frustrated, because they took some online course and they came away confused, and unable to build a website. Many times they just assumed web design is hard to learn, but the reality was that they were simply taking a course from someone who didn’t know how to teach.

There is a lot to teaching, you have to understand basic teaching techniques, psychology learning and more. Very few nerds have any training in this.

2. Instant feedback for the student.

As you are learning web design and coding, getting instant feedback and being able to ask questions (get hints) as you go, really speeds up the learning process. Despite all the advantages, the problem with online video is that you typically don’t have that interaction.

We’ve spent years working with schools and over 50 000 students, to develop our interactive training app that does just that. It’s pretty much like having a private tutor working with you, as you learn web design and coding.

3. A teacher who has a lot of real world web design experience.

Another thing you see out there in the land of web design courses, are young nerd ‘teachers’ who are barely out of their web design diapers! They have just a few years experience under their belts, and now claim to be people who can teach you.

In Malcolm Gladwell book ‘Outliers’, he talks about how it takes 10 000 hrs or about 10yrs to master any subject. This is pretty proven in studies. In fact, in my old Kungfu days, I remember that the tradition was that it took 10yrs to become a Kungfu master.

… So why are nerds with 4-5 years experience thinking they can teach web design? In Kungfu, the master will allow the senior students (with 5-6yrs experience) to teach the new students, but only under the watchful eye of the master. In Japanese styles, if a student tries to teach another student, the Sensei (teacher) will smack him or her down, because student teachers can do much more damage than good when trying to ‘teach’ someone.

…. I see this all the time with web design and programming courses.

Just in case you don’t know, we released our interactive web design training courses to the public this year. There is no easier way to learn real-world web design.

Stefan Mischook