A few months ago I was desperately trying to find a part-time/evening course web design course in CSS and HTML. I hunted through course listings from local colleges, but there was very little out there locally for me apart from a few 2 day Dreamweaver courses, which were still teaching tables rather than CSS. I found a couple of downloadable courses in HTML and CSS and learned some of the basics but what I was really looking for was something which included support when needed.

I finally found an online web design course with the Open University and though I wasn’t interested in following it as a exam course I decided I would take the course and just skip the end written dissertation. The 12 week part time learn from home course promised that students would become confident users of HTML and CSS. I searched the web for reviews of the course and even asked in a couple of forums but could find no impartial information about the course.

It is now week six of the web design course and I have all but abandoned it. I had high expectations of this course but I am deeply disappointed. The majority of the course seems to be on a theoretical basis, in my opinion far too much. Take for example one lesson which teaches you that the size of images should be kept to a minimum for fast loading, now I agree this is something everyone should know but it then proceeds to tell you how to calculate loading time with a formula. To me some of these theoretical lessons would be fine if it was a one or two year course but not for a twelve week course. Another lesson asks you to work out how you would manage your team (who does what, programmers designers etc) to create your website – now if I had that team would I really be taking this course? The book that is provided is also not very easy to follow, I have far superior books from www.sitepoint.com

If you are a print based designer like myself looking to learn more CSS, HTML and web design I would give this course a miss. The people who might find this course useful are people who have a good understanding of CSS and HTML but want to fill in some theoretical gaps they may have missed. I am still trying to teach myself more about designing websites so will pass on any useful links I find.

Have you tried any online or local evening classes in web design, what did you think to them?