It should be easy for a webdesigner taking rudementary webdesign classes, right?

When I decided to go back to school to get my Associates for Web Design and Administration, I though that it would be a lovely piece of cake. I’m not being cocky in regards to knowing the material, but I figured that it would be easy to do the assignments, tests, and projects in class with no need to ask questions, or really have to rely on someone to get me through it.

The problem I am dealing with for my webdesign class is that the material is outdated, partially deprecated, and is compromising to the values and accessibility rules I stick with. I’ve tried to stay focused on the [online] class but I keep drifting away from the assignments. One of my first assignments was creating bookmark links (<a href="#about">About</a>, <a name="about" id="about">About</a>), fixing up some unordered lists, and deleting text (I shit you not, this “teacher” had created a comment in the HTML saying “Delete this section.”)

My biggest wafoo came when I had to make an image map. Uhm, I had to question why I was even in class. I don’t want an easy ‘A.’ I want to earn it, and work hard for it. I want to learn something, because I don’t want to pay $300 for a class where I’m regressing my talent and knowledge just to get some piddly Associates.

I’ve dealt with the bullshit from the class, and I’ve done the tests. My problem right now is this god awful midterm project he created for us. Not only does he hinder my creative side by setting the topic to health, but his list of requirements make me want to punch him in the face. Then again I wanted to punch him in the face when I saw his JJC staff website page. You’ll want to punch him in the face when you see it too. Then you’ll ask yourself how the FUCK did this asshole get the role of being a webdesign teacher with that atrocious garbage.

Moving on, here are the requirements for my webdesign midterm:

Required Elements

  • A minimum of 1 picture on each web page
  • Proper navigation to all 4 pages, available at the TOP or LEFT side of each page. This should be consistent.
  • All of the navigation links should be placed within a table, whether it is horizontal or vertical.
  • Use the following tags: cite or q, dfn, em, strong
  • Alt tags must be used on EVERY image tag
  • Go into the paint program (or any drawing program that you are familiar with) and draw a body, face, ventricles of the heart, bones in a hand & arm, etc… whatever is most appropriate for your site. Create an image map out of it and have a minimum of 2 links, each linking to a web page within your site. [This is where you may need to create 6 pages in your web site, rather than 4, in order for these links to link to content appropriate web pages.]
  • Every page must have a title in the browser window title bar.
  • The ONLY file you are submitting to blackboard is a ZIP file, with all HTM and image files needed for your web site.
  • Vary the use of your content tags, H1-H6, p, br, hr…
  • You must properly indent all lines of code
  • Make sure that you test each web page for XHTML validation

Optional Elements

  • Frames
  • I recommend that you put all content in a table first. Even if it is a 1×1 table.
  • Design your web pages for a screen size of 800×60.

Criteria

  • XHTML pages can be transitional
  • All writing on the web pages must be ORIGINAL writing by YOU, unless otherwise cited.
  • All cited material must be appropriately cited and quoted.
  • All pictures on the web site should be created by YOU. Don’t worry, I am not looking for Picasso level images…

The asshole in me really wants to create an iframe based site that breaks in all browsers, but is still fully XHTML validated coding. I want to use neon non-safe webcolors, and glittery animated images. But I’m not. I’m going to actually just code up the new design I was making for atourworst.org and also apply it to my midterm. Why go out of my way to design something I won’t use again, when I can just kill two birds with one stone?

It’s shit like this class that is really making me rethink registering for next semester. I really want to get my Associates, and then my Bachelors, but the mere thought of paying some fucking asshole like my professor, for bullshit that I already know (and don’t use) is what really gets under my skin.

26 Comments

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  • That sucks big time.. At least he knows what he’s talking about! I once did a webdesign course at school, and the teacher didn’t know a thing about the subject!

  • That sounds like the web design class in high school, which I didn’t take because I wasn’t qualified enough (this was their assertion because I hadn’t had some prerequisite class, nevermind that I’d been doing web design for about 4 years by this point). It’s a bunch of B.S. if you’re more skilled in a subject than the teacher.

  • I’ve never studied webdesigning and I know if I do, I’ll automatically unlearn all of it, so I’m not even going to try! But, I did got for classes on how to use Photoshop and that killed my knowledge of the programme! Brilliant, huh? And I don’t think you need to do the course, you web skills are far superior to that of your teacher and sounds like he’s doing just the basics and stuff right now. Boo to him! But, good luck with everything anyway. 😀

  • Oh. My. God. That is awful – AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL.

    You must be thoroughly traumatized by a) having to look at that site b) being expected to LEARN from him.

    V xx

  • I remember during my junior year of high school when I took a web design class. We had to use dreamweaver and create these crappy looking framed websites. The teacher didn’t even hardly know anything at all about web design, nor did she ever even make a site herself. The school just paid her for it because they needed someone to teach that class. It was horrible. At least I didn’t have to pay for it though. I definitely understand you not wanting to pay your money for a class being taught like that.

  • Have you spoken personally to the coordinator to see if you can have some of the requirements adjusted to take into account the experience you already have?

    He may be personally incapable of creating a semantic web page, but does that mean that you have to hide your knowledge? Let him know what you can do, and suggest that you keep some elements of his criteria: images on each page, consistent navigation, etc., but then do it in your own style.

    It’s worth a shot. 🙂

  • Wow. Tables. Well, I really can’t trust teachers teaching web design. The darned ‘web designer’ of this section of our school website was seeking student help so I volunteered. It wasn’t much better than that staff page you linked and he only wanted students to get content but not help with the design. Life was terrible because I was part of the ugly webbie team.

    But hey, good luck with your assignment.

  • @Amanda, if you want to proficiency test out of a class, you have to do it before you take it. Since I knew the class wouldn’t *just* be designing classes, I hesitated because I wasn’t too keen that I’d be able to answer a lot of the technical material (especially if it’s not widely used like say <address>2245 Street</address>, which believe it or not was in one of my assignments for the class.

    I’ve already expressed my distaste for the class in an email I sent him and told him that I can’t even focus on it because I find it quite dumbing especially in the way he gives us assignments.

    As far as the design goes, I have no doubt that I’m going to go above and beyond with it. Obviously there are some elements I refuse to use like the image map. If he really wants an image map, I’ll do a CSS based one. Everything else is going to be just like any other regular design I do.

    Which, believe it or not, this is the one thing I *don’t* mind doing. But the other work I’ve had to do, is laughable and a huge disgrace.

  • At least your teacher knows what XHTML and CSS are — my computers teacher last year had to give us an obligatory unit on HTML, and gave us these handouts that instructed us to use the “font” tag…

  • Jesus christ, his homepage D:
    I skimmed your requirements, read “frames” and almost fell off my chair. I’d feel frustrated as well, especially since this is a class you’re paying for and he’s giving you bullshit projects/lessons. At least you have a design on the back burner.

  • I remember helping my boyfriend on a web design assignment a few months ago and as I was reading through the instructions, I felt the overwhelming urge to write ‘L2 ACCESSIBILITY, FUNCTIONALITY AND USABILITY’ on the assignment sheet and get Sam to give it back to his lecturer.

    I’m so glad I decided against taking any web design papers at university or I’d be shitting myself at all the crap they make you do when you know it’s detrimental to the world of web design.

    You’re handling it much better than I would.

  • *grins* You mean you didn’t know? They’re all royal fucking idiots. I briefly considered taking a web design class, but refrained. Jem’s tutorials are much more helpful than whatever these PhD flaunting idiots would ever be able to teach me.

    My friend who graduated from the Economy university had the option to take a webdesign class. She didn’t, but a classmate of hers did. It was such a great class and the prof was so good, that said classmate had to hysterically call my friend (who then called me) to ask for help two days before the final.

    They learned Dreamweaver (which should already give you an idea how much knowledge the teacher had of HTML and CSS), and the requirements were so so stupid.

    The poor girl thought she was too stupid, and yet I managed to teach her all she needed to know in 3 hours (and I’m really not good as a teacher – have a tendency to show off too much).

    But the requirements there were table layouts, “CSS styles”, frame sets, create some graphic in photoshop to make an image map out of … Oh and the nice part of it, was that you can’t make Ids in DW by drag and dropping. Only by code.

    As a side note, your professor is a computer scientist, as such he doesn’t think HTML is actually code.
    One of my co-workers just randomly pasted some HTML code into a table (tr, td, or outside… what doe it matter) and started accusing me of having a faulty javascript (we need one so that the layout is always occupying every square inch of the browser). I nearly strangled him… to my boss’ amusement.

    If there’s a way to kill your teacher, I will fully support you in doing it. Ugh!

  • The web design course in college that I took was very much like this as well.

    Their behind-ness is disturbing. It makes you wonder/worry if that’s true of other fields (*cough*medicine*cough*) as well 😛

  • It’s sad that my brother could probably use frontpage (aka the devil) and make something better than his page.

    I was also doing a web design & development degree and 98% of it I already knew and I actually taught my instructor a few things. I had a good teacher however the course material was severely outdated, which might not have been her fault. That was one of the reasons why I dropped out. Why waste my money on courses that taught me nothing?

    What I’m doing now is just going for a general computer degree and if I want to get back into the web design aspect I’ll go online and teach myself new tricks.

  • My eyes! That website is really not good. I am as surprised as you why he is a web design teacher but there you go. I took a web design course in college and it was very similar to this except we were aloud to do the project on whatever we wanted… As long as we followed the required elements.

  • Well, you gotta remember you prolly know things he doesn’t but the fact that this is what they demand of you is SO not worth your money, but I guess it’s a price for having that piece of paper in your hand when you go for a job in the field you want.

  • Like Jenny said, the only thing worth it is the degree. Wow, his website is pure nasty ;_; And.. why tables? Do people even use tables anymore ;_;

  • You seem to think that getting a degree means you are properly trained in a specific field. However, some of your classmates and almost all employers realize something that you have yet to realize. A degree only means that you are teachable. It doesn’t guarantee that you have any skills. So, either suck it up and get your degree, or switch to another department where you will find the same things happening and learn to suck it up there. The fact is, college education is what you want to make of it. Take independent study courses. Get to know your professors (take them to lunch, they love it). I highly recommend getting an internship. Do research. Publish papers. Go to conferences. It’s your choice if you want to do the bare minimum or really make something out of your education.

  • Kimmie,

    What you fail to realize since I don’t explicitly mention this, is that I already work for a webdesign firm. My employers (and myself) realize that a degree isn’t always everything. I got the job there because of my will to learn on my own over the years, and because of the extensive knowledge I had compared to someone learning in a college major/minor.

    What’s up your ass anyway? I pay for this class, so like Jem said, I’m free to bitch about whatever the fuck I want to. If I think the teacher is a fucking moron, I’ll rant on that. If I think the class is a fucking joke, I’m going to rant on that. I’m paying for a class I can’t get out of (or take any other way) so of course I’m going to suck it up (which if you read in my post, I said essentially said I’m sucking it up–not in the same words) regardless. However, it doesn’t mean that I’m going to sit back and not complain about it.

    And about your “advice” to take him out to lunch. You’re kidding, right? I don’t want to know my webdesign professor at all. I could care less about him. It’s a measly online course I’m taking, and once it’s over, it’s over. I’ve already emailed him and bitched to him about the course needing to be updated, and the fact that our assignments aren’t teaching anything at all for the fact that they’re nearly completed by him, aside from adding a few characters or removing something.

    Now, if he was anything like my graphic design teacher, perhaps I’d agree with that. It’d be worth it because unlike *some* teachers, he is a freelancer web designer/programmer. He knows the latest and greatest and understands my rants in class about the webdesign class. This other teacher is some old fart who would rather play around with QBASIC.

    My reasoning for getting a degree, is simply because for some of the jobs I want to have, it’s required. I have the experience, but trust me when I say that it doesn’t mean shit to some companies. They still want that degree no matter what. Now THAT is why I’m going back to school. It’s not because I want a degree. I don’t want to spend $30,000+ on an education where I know almost 75% of the material being taught.

    BTW, why would I switch to another department? It seems a bit odd to tell someone who wants that webdesign assocaites to switch. I mean, would it make sense for me to get an associates or bachelors in a field I don’t want to work in? Now, if you must know, I AM going for an associates in webdesign and a bachelors in programming. So essentially that would work out, but the programmer degree is a lot more updated, sans the few early courses.

    Either way, your advice doesn’t really apply to me.

  • At least image maps are now doable with CSS and therefore accessible. Although I suspect if you do that combined with the image replacement technique that I’ve forgotten the acronym for then he may downgrade you because he won’t understand the code.

    When I started my Events Management course at university, I was supposed to be doing Joint Honours Events with Media Applications. I took one look at the course content for the web design modules and changed to Single Honours. Whilst they’d got some idea of accessibility (text resizing and not using tables with some attempt at semantic coding), it was at least 3 years out of date (now 4 and it’s yet to be updated), and they were absolutely obsessed with using Flash including for navigation, headers and every single image.

    On the plus side, I’ll may be doing a one-off lecture (with the possibility of more for interested people) for my fellow Events students on basic web design. Although since this is aimed at people who think this is a high quality website, I’m not very hopeful.

  • At least image maps are now doable with CSS and therefore accessible. Although I suspect if you do that combined with the image replacement technique that I’ve forgotten the acronym for then he may downgrade you because he won’t understand the code.

    When I started my Events Management course at university, I was supposed to be doing Joint Honours Events with Media Applications. I took one look at the course content for the web design modules and changed to Single Honours. Whilst they’d got some idea of accessibility (text resizing and not using tables with some attempt at semantic coding), it was at least 3 years out of date (now 4 and it’s yet to be updated), and they were absolutely obsessed with using Flash including for navigation, headers and every single image.

    On the plus side, I may be doing a one-off lecture (with the possibility of more for interested people) for my fellow Events students on basic web design. Although since this is aimed at people who think this is a high quality website, I’m not very hopeful.

  • Hayley, your comments ended up being sent to Akismet, but I went ahead and approved both of them and deleted the extra.

    I’d also have other people who use Akismet to double check for your comments too, because chances are you’re going straight into the spam box :'(

  • […] to promising myself to not act like a spoiled know-it-all like I did in 2007 when I wrote this: It should be easy for a webdesigner taking rudementary webdesign classes, right?. I'm here to take the class no matter what my skill level is or isn't so I can get a good grade, […]