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Open Online Courses in Web Design

What is Web Design?

Web design is the study and practice of creating engaging, user-friendly websites to market goods, services, and people. College web design programs tackle common aspects of web design, including search engine optimization, user interface design, typography, and graphic design. Web design courses focus on creating intuitive digital interfaces that new visitors can easily understand and engage in. In order to do so, students enrolled in online web design courses will create and revise computer coding, generate page layouts, and adjust font sizes and spacing to create more unique, legible sites.

What Can Online Courses in Web Design Actually Teach Me?

There is no accrediting agency specifically for on-campus or online courses in web design, which means there is no standardized collegiate curriculum for this field. However, brick-and-mortar and online courses commonly teach user interface design, source coding, and creative graphical design since these are the skills digital media firms look for in applicants. An online web design course is more professionally viable than other areas of study since a majority of your work is done on a computer. Additionally, some schools offer videoconferencing with professors and fellow students so you do not miss out on the collaborative element of web design. However, earning your degree from a regionally or nationally accredited institution is key because university-based and online web design degrees are not individually accredited. Graduating from an accredited college will show hiring managers how rigorous and comprehensive your postsecondary training was.

An online web design class is a very useful tool for learning about flash design, mobile device development, web application scripting, and advanced computer graphics. During online courses in web design, you will learn how to answer questions such as:

  • How can I import the user experience of my website into a new mobile application?
  • How do I optimize the visibility of my websites and apps in search engines?
  • How do I strengthen the networking capabilities of large digital firms as well as entrepreneurial web development start-ups?
  • Which devices do consumers use to play and store their digital media?
  • How do I preserve server and network strength for popular sites that receive a great deal of web traffic?

Since there is no accrediting agency for web design degrees, you will have to do your due diligence and research aspects of your intended program to see if it is professionally viable. For example, you should make sure most professors in your department have a Ph.D. in web design since this is often a benchmark for other accrediting bodies because it ensures instruction from experienced professionals. You should also consult student reviews for online courses and open courseware to get a sense of their quality and relevance to your career goals.

Free Online Courses in Web Design From Around the Web

We have compiled relevant open courseware in web design and organized it in the directory below. Open courseware is simply a collection of online tests, video lectures, and related course materials from universities from around the world. These materials are free to access, but do not provide the same student resources as a regular course would, such as classmate discussion and professor interaction. However, open courseware learning is optimal if you want to introduce yourself to web design and gauge your prospective workload if you are looking to pursue your degree.


Web Design (9)

Blender 3D Design, Spring 2008Tufts University

Open Courseware

3-D Modeling, Animation, Computer Graphics
Taught by: Neal Hirsig

Course Description:

This free open courseware is intended for undergraduate level students who seek an introduction to Blender 3D Design. In this online course, you will be exposed to three-dimensional modeling and animation techniques using computers, specifically with the Blender 3D Design program. Areas of focus will include basic Blender program functions such as object modeling and camera, animation and editing tools. To take this course, you must have a personal computer which meets the operating system and hardware requirements. In addition, you must also purchase a version 2.45 or newer Blender 3D Design program and a three-button mouse.

Creating Interactive MultimediaUniversity of South Queensland

Open Courseware

Digital Arts, Multimedia
Taught by: Michael Milburn

Course Description:

The content in this digital arts online course can help you build a familiarity with the technologies and tools used to create interactive multimedia projects, as well as the needs and demands of new, ambitious multimedia content. This 2007 course is taught at an undergraduate level, though students should be familiar with basic Web design and publishing before using the resources this course presents. The course also requires you to have access to Flash and Fireworks, which are used in some of the presented assignments.

Drawings & Numbers: Five Centuries of Digital DesignMassachusetts Institute of Technology

Open Courseware

Digital Design, Architecture
Taught by: Leonardo Diaz Borioli, Prof. Mario Carpo

Course Description:

Primarily composed of lecture notes, this digital design online course focuses on technical aspects of architecture and how architecture theory has progressed alongside data processing technology. This is an advanced course for graduate students, so you should have a solid understanding of both data processing and architecture before using the content. As the lectures from this 2002 course are presented in PDF format, you should check if your computer has a PDF reader before getting started.

Advanced Computer Graphics and AnimationUniversity of Virginia

Open Courseware

Computer Graphics, Animation, Modeling
Taught by: David Brogan

Big Data in Computer GraphicsUniversity of Virginia

Open Courseware

Computer Graphics, Virtual Graphics, Rendering
Taught by: Greg Humphreys

Computer GraphicsKent State University

Open Courseware

Computer Graphics, Image Formation, Modeling
Taught by: Paul A. Farrell

Computer Graphics: Visualization University of Washington

Open Courseware

Computer Graphics, User Interface Design

CSE 457 Introduction to Computer GraphicsUniversity of Washington

Open Courseware

Computer Graphics, Modeling
Taught by: Ian Li

CS-184: Computer GraphicsUniversity of California, Berkeley

Open Courseware

Computer Graphics, Animation, Modeling, Rendering
Taught by: Prof. James O’Brien