How to learn design through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

Posted on May 5, 2014 in Create | No Comments
How to learn design through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, are quietly changing the face of education. Here’s a look at how to learn design through some of the best education resources available online today.

Image: online students

online students

Students learning online

[Photo credit: www.atelier.net]

MOOCs are scoring on several levels today. Most of these courses are free and easy to gain admission to. And of course, there is the ease of learning from the comfort of your own home. Leading MOOCs like Coursera, Udacity, Udemy, Iversity etc., offer a selection of courses from the best universities or featuring top experts.

As higher education is getting prohibitively expensive, it makes sense to turn to MOOCs. Also, these education providers are known for their fresh approach, providing up-to-date content.

We’ve picked a selection of the best design courses from MOOCs.

1.      Course name: Design – Creation of Artefacts in Society

Where: Coursera

University: University of Pennsylvania

Who: This is a broad design course that allows students interested in various branches of design understand more about the design process and apply it to their particular area of interest. No prior designing experience is required, though of course, students with a natural ability towards sketching and modelling will flourish.

Why it’s good:You’ll be part of weekly design challenges, get to review peer work and view hundreds of concepts and informative videos. The broad nature of the course gives you an overview of adapting design to your particular domain. Also you’ll learn practical skills such as concept testing, supply chain and costing. You’ll also be given a textbook titled Design – Creation of Artefacts in Society.

Here’s the course instructor, Professor Karl T Ulrich speaking about the course:


Karl T Ulrich is from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania,and an MIT alumni. Read his seriously impressive bio here.

[Image: nexride]

One of Karl T Ulrich’s inventions is a noseless bicycle saddle, Nexride. Research has shown that conventional saddles destroy nerve endings to the groin.

One of Karl T Ulrich’s inventions is a noseless bicycle saddle, Nexride. Research has shown that conventional saddles destroy nerve endings to the groin.

[Photocredit: www.nexride.com]

At the end of the eight-week course, you will receive a Statement of Accomplishment.

Read more about the course here

2.      Course name: The Design of Everyday Things

Where: Udacity

Who: Like Design –  The Creation of Artefacts, this course is also aimed at a general audience. It aims to give “the knowledge needed to start recognizing the role of design in today’s world, and to start making better design decisions in your own life.”

Why it’s good:The course instructors! An impressive line-up including Don Norman, the author of The Design of Everyday Things. Norman was VP at Apple and has taught at Harvard amongst other places.

[Image: Book Cover]

The course touches on concepts outlined in Don Norman’s book, The Design of Everyday Things.

The course touches on concepts outlined in Don Norman’s book, The Design of Everyday Things.

[Photo credit: www.amazon.com]

Also on board is Kristian Simsarian, co-founder of the Software Experiences practice at IDEO and Chelsea Glasson, Lead User Experience Researcher at Udacity. The two-week design course covers videos, exercises and projects.

[Image: ovi suite]

While at IDEO, Kristian Simsarian helped redesign the Nokia Ovi Suite 2.0 experience

While at IDEO, Kristian Simsarian helped redesign the Nokia Ovi Suite 2.0 experience

[Photo credit www.techiezlounge.com]

Read more about the course here

3.      Course name: Design Thinking

Where: iversity

Who: Students, aspiring designers, or just anyone with an interest in human centered design. No prior knowledge necessary.

Why it’s good: Design is no longer about abtract art, but about creating usable and aesthetic experiences for real people. There has been a huge shift towards human centered design, and this course helps you understand just how to go about creating it. The course instructor, Professor Oliver Szasz teaches at MHMK Macromedia University at Munich, and has worked in design forward cities such as London, Cape Town and Barcelona.

A few snapshots of workshops and lectures from Oliver Szasz’s blog:

Slideshow

  • david_kelley_oliver_szasz
  • szasz_course
  • workshop_design_thinking (1)
  • workshop_design_thinking
  • workshop_design_thinking_2

[Photo credits: http://www.design-thinking.com]

During the course, you will interact with leading academics, professionals and students who use design thinking.

Read more about it here

At the time of writing, these were the three of the leading design courses being offered through MOOCs. Do track Coursera, Udacity and iversity especially for updates on forthcoming design courses.

 

Leave a Reply