When it comes to design education, it feels like its methods and techniques haven’t seen any update for several decades. Oftentimes, the courses on web-design have a remarkable similarity with the ones that were made in 2010. And while stability is a good thing in many industries, it is not the case with web-design.
The industry has experienced great changes since ten years ago, and it should be taken into account when building a new web-design course. Not only can an obsolete content bore learners to tears, but also stuff their mind with outdated concepts that have no practical use anymore.
With that said, design education requires an innovative approach that would incorporate the most relevant methods and tasks, inspire learners for creative solutions, and most importantly, be truly impactful and engaging for web-designers to be.
With the following five methods this can be brought to life.
1. Build Learner-Friendly Course for Designers
In the current circumstances, there is still a huge abyss between those who teach design and those who will be using this knowledge. The first ones usually focus only on the educational materials and syllabus and often disregard its impact and practical value. Instead, they should develop a designer mindset and strive to make the whole experience learner-friendly.
A designer’s thinking pushes course creators to see the product from the learners’ perspective. By keeping in mind the broad diversity of learners that differ in their goals, needs, receiving channels, technical equipment, and environments, design educators can make a course efficient for a wider audience and allow learners to have better control over their studies.
2. Apply Games to Achieve Your Goals
As a design educator, it is your responsibility to make the course fun and engaging. Overwhelmed by tones of information students can hardly make benefit from another text-overloaded course.
Game elements, on the other hand, bring more joy and focus into studies. There is science behind it, students fully engaged in the process memorize the material better and easier recall it afterward.
Another good idea is to combine a game with cognitive science methods. Thrown in a virtual environment that recreates real-life challenges, design students receive skills applicable to modern situations in a relaxed and effective way.
3. Make Your Course Design Responsive
It has become a norm when students navigate their courses via various devices. Therefore, in addition to quality content, it is crucial to make sure that the course works equally well on smartphones, tablets, and in various browsers on the computer. Otherwise, teachers won’t be able to provide adequate support while learners will constantly bump into hindrances in their self-paced studies. Say nothing that a poorly-designed course on web-design can hardly gain the trust of the learners.
4. Add More Video Content
The increased popularity of you-tube proves that video-content is a more powerful tool than text or pictures when it comes to learning. Videos create an effect of physical presence that allows students to feel their contribution to the design process or student-teacher communication.
However, making useless video content is a piece of cake. A learner’s feedback for one of such design courses proves that: “I enrolled in this course cause I wanted to design my website myself. But it appeared to be just a bunch of theoretic notions, a complete waste of time and money. I had to pay someone to do my assignment for me. Don’t recommend this course to anyone!”
Giving a long lecture on complicated design concepts will be doomed to fail. A future web-designer needs practical skills, not a design story to tell. Therefore, real-life examples with design expert’s commentaries will bring more value and give learners the skills they will use in their work.
The idea can hardly be called innovative. However, few educators can wisely use it. A good strategy and clear understanding of students’ goals and learning styles can be a successful solution to a good video-guide though.
5. Don’t Disregard the Power of Emotions
When it comes to making an educational course, there is always said a lot about efficiency, consistency, and convenience. However, emotions are no less important for learning than everything mentioned above.
A well-built learner-targeted course can cause a powerful emotional response that would result in better student engagement and rapid advancement. An innovative approach is to stop focusing on what you have to say; instead, put yourself in your learner’s shoes and feel what they feel. Put stakes on your students’ needs, and build the whole course around it. Once you do, the rest will fall right into place.
At the same time, never neglect constructive feedback. Be attentive to what your learners, so as your colleagues, say about the design learning experience. This will give you enough mental food and a lot of room for improvement.