Online courses: are they useful?


#1

I keep coming across a lot of information about online courses offered on the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) platform. What is your take on these courses? Will they become the medium of instruction in the years to come?


#2

Of course they are useful but always it’s depend on who give you the lesson and how is the flow and content of the same.

Normally, under my experience, online course teach you the base for (in this case) UX/UI discipline. Maybe son good teacher show you some practical or real example from where you can get too much feedback.

Maybe other option could be make a bootcam where you need solve exercises simulating a real case. Then you work with a team, maybe mixing some disciplines. That’s so useful but at the same time, they usually being expensive. But they give you jobs opportunities after that bootcamp.

Other stuff could be go for a intership in a company. Always always always, have a good theoric basic is good but where you learn the most is when you have to fight in the real world. Here is where your skills will be improve the most.

So, you have several good options. Look yourself and choose. And of course if you need more opinions or feedback, just let us know.

Peace!


#3

There are tons of online courses for UX, not just on MOOCs. There are different types on online classes, such as video libraries, text based, with or without a mentor, some have assignments and some don’t.

I wouldn’t say they are going to replace traditional instruction, but they offer knowledge to a broader range of people all over the world. They can be good for some things, but will never replace real-world experience.


#4

As others have said, the selection of online classes is really varied. I think your background/knowledge is also important, but you probably get really different results depending on what you already know. So while I don’t think they replace traditional education at all, I think it can be a great choice for those who want to improve in specific areas. I have a BA in Architecture so I have some design experience, but I have used two types of online courses to improve my UX Design skills.

First I tried a MOOC but I finished the first two courses in Coursera’s Interaction Design specialization. I found the information solid but these courses explained some of the fundamental theory really nicely. I also did all the homework which really helped solidify what you learn, even though the peer-review system has some room for improvement.

I then enrolled in Springboard’s UX Design bootcamp/workshop where you get a mentor. I can definitely recommend the program but I don’t think it’s good for complete beginners, I had e.g. already learnt to use all the relevant programs (Sketch, Figma, InVision etc) before starting, as I didn’t want to waste valuable time (and therefore money!) doing so. The mentor feedback is definitely the best part and I was really lucky with a mentor but I believe I also mainly gained from having a clear framework of the UX process.

Admittedly, would I have the time and resources to enroll in a university course, I would definitely do that, but that’s not available to me now. So I’m really thankful to have access to these online courses, but I obviously understand they can only provide the fundamentals. I still have to learn/experience how to be a part of a larger team or to solve a real-life problem for real clients, to name a few.


#5

From my experience I’ve found online courses to be too basic and only touch the surface of UX.


#6

Online courses are good if you are just starting into UX and want to learn the basics. UX in general requires practice so its better to attend physical classes and workshops to get your hands on and trust me its really fun learning in a classroom environment rather then sitting at your desk and reading.


#7

I think this really depends on the type of learner you are. If you’re self directed then this isn’t necessary. I’ve never taken an in-person course or workshop. For others it is crucial.


#8

100% and also whether you can learn via books vs video etc. This is where I find sites like Lynda.com very useful as Im a video learner, i hate reading fiction let alone non fiction.

If its just text based online courses, then no, for me personally they are of no help.

The only text books I read are for DIY certification but 9/10 I will pay to attend an in person course and claim 50% back in tax.


#9

I’ve been taking a lot of online classes just to fill in some gaps. My two cents:

I tried the MOOC through Coursera in Interaction Design. The instructor was great and the content interesting, but I did not like relying upon peer assessment to progress in the course. Often I found myself ready to progress to the next lesson, only to discover that there was no one around to grade my assignments. Gave me flashbacks to being an undergraduate in college. Not a fan.

The LinkedIn courses offered through their premium membership are useful. Most of them are only an hour long, so I can usually knock out a couple each day.

Right now I’m mainly using Udemy and the Interaction Design Foundation. The IDF in particular is great and gets some really interesting classes, e.g. augmented reality and designing in a virtual environment.

I think online courses are good for people who want a little bit of structure, are operating on a budget, and/or don’t have the money and time to commit to a brick and mortar setting. I spent the majority of my youth attending and teaching at university, so I don’t really want to put my life on hold to get another degree. And $15,000 for a General Assembly bootcamp is too rich for my blood haha.


#11

And I think thats their real purpose.

For example, for some weird reason, there are UX designers who dont know what an SDLC is and what happens and different stages of different methodologies. You can learn that in 2 hours on Lynda.com

So when somebody passes on their lovely wireframe, they understand this role does the requirements, this role does the system requirements, this role writes scripts for the DB form request etc.It still blows my mind people are UX designers and have no IT skills, but hey. Im trying to be positive.