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#1 gsulliv4

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 09:45 AM

Hi. I'm a web manager for a mid-size company in Raleigh, NC. I have a good bit of background building and maintaining sites, but I want to keep my skills sharp. I'm kind of old-school in that I've been using BBEdit and tables for most of my career. I'm only now jumping into Dreamweaver, CSS and scripting.

My company has offered to pay for an online class for me. Somewhere in the $300 range is what I told them. My problem is that I have never taken a class online before, and don't even know reputable schools.

I'm looking for classes along the lines of the ones I've listed below that would start in the next month or so:

Introduction to JavaScript
Intermediate CSS Workshop
Introduction to Dreamweaver

Can anyone point me to a good school that might fit my need.

Thanks in advance.

gsulliv4

#2 Tom Anthony

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 12:32 PM

Hi gsulliv4,

Welcome to the forums!

Let me start with a caveat; I've never taken an online class and cannot speak for their quality or anything.

What I can offer you is a bit of advice about the alternative for using your $300 budget to learn this stuff. If I was asked to use this budget to get you up to speed on Javascript, CSS and building pages, this is what I would do...

1) I'd forget about using Dreamweaver; some people like it, but for making really good pages, I think you are always going to be better off handcoding. You've got BBEdit, which is what I used for years for exactly that. If you are going to learn the CSS and Javascript, why not the (X)HTML also?

2) I'd recommend 2 books to you:

Designing with Web Standards (2nd Edition) by Jeffrey Zeldman:

http://www.amazon.co...n/dp/0321385551

DOM Scripting: Web Design with JavaScript and the Document Object Model by Jeremy Keith:

http://www.amazon.co...t/dp/1590595335

The first will help you understand moving away from tables, and give you a foundation in (X)HTML and CSS; but you may want an accompanying HTML/CSS reference text. The second I think is a brilliant book on learning Javascript, and I found it helped me a lot.

Between them, after shipping, they'll set you back about $60; then you can pick a good HTML reference book if needs be, and you will probably still be below $100.

Work your way through them, and make a few dummy projects to test your skills. Keep visiting these forums to ask when you get stuck; the other forums that may be of use are the Webmaster World, which are free also. You'll find these forums are filled with very helpful and knowledgable people, who can answer the specific questions you have.

I think this sort of approach would allow you to cater to teaching yourself more specifically to your current skill level, and to would also be a method of learning you could sustain over years as you improve your skills.

I hope this is of some help. :D

#3 gsulliv4

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 12:56 PM

Hi Tom.

Thanks for the advice. I will check those books out.

I think the reason I want to do a class at this point has more to do with self-discipline than anything else. I write code and look at books all day long at work. I know I can do more reading when I finally get home at night, I just never do.

I'm the type of person who needs a class structure to really sit down and bang this stuff out. Plus, I would be motivated by employer's expectations after shelling out the $$$. Hope that makes sense.

I'm self-taught in 95% of the stuff I know. Books and forums have given me a lot. But it would be great at this point to learn from an actual person.

#4 tinkerbellchime

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 09:27 PM

Greetings! I'm in my 8th online computer class. I recommend http://www.ed2go.com. The classes are 6 weeks long with two lessons released each week. There is a five-question quiz at the end of each lesson. The final is about 35 questions long.

The cost is a very reasonable $82 - $119 per class. I plan on taking another 20 or so of their classes. The Intro to JavaScript was great. I start CSS in two weeks.

Christina Niven

Edited by tinkerbellchime, 08 March 2007 - 09:32 PM.


#5 gsulliv4

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 06:52 AM

Thanks so much for the info, Christina.

That sounds like exactly what I was looking for. I'm gonna check it out, and hopefully sign up for a few.

Good luck with your own classes, and thanks again.

gsulliv4

#6 TCSM

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 12:02 PM

Personally, I'd always advise to just go out and buy some great books, and then sit and tinker and play. There's no better way, in my opinion, to learn than by doing. Just play around with things.

Books and mucking around. It's the way forward!

#7 Tom Anthony

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 04:57 PM

TCSM, I'm exactly the same as you. However, it is the same as all things; different people learn differently.

tinkerbellchime -

What sort of contact do you have with the tutor during your courses? What format do the classes take (all text instruction, photos, video?)? I'm tempted to take one to see what they are like. :D

#8 tinkerbellchime

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 01:06 AM

I spent a year teaching myself web design and SEO. It was a wonderful experience, but it was also frustrating and at some point I figured that Iíd learn faster in an online class than by myself.

I think ed2go.com is great, but some of the material is dated. When I took HTML 1 and 2, for example, there was very little CSS.

Tom, the only time you interact with the instructor is if you post a question in the class forum. To be honest, Iíve only posted one question. I got a reply within a day or two. I seldom even look at the forums anymore.

The lessons are all text with a few screen shots. No videos.

I find that the male instructors are better because they have a more direct writing style than the women. One instructor spent a page and half explaining how she got into her field.

I take online classes so I donít have to be put in a group to teach the slow students how to do things that they would rather not learn. Iím not there to do the teacherís work! Besides, if you pay for your theater ticket you shouldnít have to run the projector. (Iím a teacher, so I can say this!)

Their classes are fast, so this allows you to really make progress.

Edited by tinkerbellchime, 15 March 2007 - 01:17 AM.


#9 Tom Anthony

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 07:51 AM

Thanks so much for the overview, Christina.

In some ways I think 'text + screenshots, with a forum' sounds a lot like buying a book and using this forum (for a lot cheaper). But I guess a lot of it is about the structure of having a class and a timetable to work from.

For most technical things I like to get a book and dive in and play about with it. However, with a design course (like their Illustrator course), I would just be all over the place, so that sort of structure might work in my favour.

Thanks again -- I'll let you know if I do try them out. :D



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