Teaching Web Design in 2019

I’ve been teaching a Web Design course at LCC International University for a few years now; about 10 semesters in total at this point. It’s a 300-level course, designed for Juniors (and Sophomores) who are Communication majors, and gives them an introduction to building websites.

It’s an interesting problem – in a world with WordPress and a myriad of site building tools, why do we need a web design course? Can’t people just figure it out on their own?

My hope, in teaching the course, is that students learn enough to communicate with technology professionals – they may not really understand the nuances of CSS grid, or why WordPress has different post types, or whatever; but they can talk intelligently with the professionals using and creating these tools. Some will become developers, or work in technology, but that requires them to continue beyond this course – and they can continue this education on their own using free resources online!

Anyways, the real reason for this post – I wanted to introduce the course website for Web Design – com302webdesign.wordpress.com. This site contains many of the resources we look at in the course, organized by topic, week of the semester, and project. It does not contain the syllabus or some other resources (i.e. textbooks).

Primarily, I built the site on WordPress instead of Moodle (the learning management system used by LCC) because I wanted it to be accessible by students after they completed the Web Design course. I’ve get an email or two each semester from past students, asking about a resource or tool we discussed in the course; now they exist at com302webdesign.wordpress.com and they can refer back to it at any time!