2013 Online Course Wrap-up

Happy 2014! Want to learn something new? Try a free online course!

I've participated in several during the past year. What I've noticed is that online courses have different goals and different audiences depending on the source. Thus you'll get different things out of each one. Here's an overview of the courses I took. See what works for you.

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The Skeleton

Every design needs a first draft. Three is even better! Brainstorming different ideas gives you several advantages over just charging down the first path you think of:

  1. The first idea is probably not going to be the best idea.
  2. By having several ideas, your ego is not wrapped up in one specific idea. You'll feel free to critique any particular design more, thus improving it.
  3. You can compare and contrast the different designs. And you can mix and match parts from each.
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Not Just Telling Stories

Lately, it seems like my life has been filled with stories, tellers of stories, promoters of stories, and promoting with stories.

First, and most obvious, having a child in the house leads to lots and lots and lots of stories. And as I tell these stories, whether from a book or my head, I find myself asking whether the story I'm telling sends the right message. Does it teach my child a life lesson that is important? Does it teach good coping mechanisms?

Does the story show how to be an adaptable, compassionate and thoughtful person by example? 

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Interaction Design Foundation

Calling all current and aspiring Interaction Designers! I just found a spiffy resource for you:

Interaction Design Foundation

Open educational materials - made by the world's design elite

That tagline is certainly calling my name!

They boast quite a collection of open access textbooks to further your design knowledge. There are also videos, research, courses, conferences, a design library, curated toolbox and an educational initiative.

Most of the content is free outright and a few things are free if you join the organization.

It looks promising! I'm heading that way now...