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The Pittsburgh Web Design Meetup Group Message Board › Art Institute of Pittsburgh -- Anyone have experience with it?

Art Institute of Pittsburgh -- Anyone have experience with it?

A former member
Post #: 1
One of the guys at the meetup last night mentioned he's taking classes through AIP. He even did some of the courses online. Has anyone done this before? Was it online or in person?

I've considered taking a couple of classes (HTML, Javascript, CSS, etc.) just so I can intelligently communicate with web designers/develpers. And I'd most likely do the courses online because I have a day job.

Comments? Thoughts?

Jason
Robin D.
RMDavidson
Pittsburgh, PA
Post #: 3
My husband hasn't taken those classes, but he is working on a photography degree through AIP online. I don't think you necessarily need to go to a school to learn HTML or CSS. It may depend on your learning style and you don't need to pay more for a specialized school for it if you just want to communicate with people not make it your career. You can learn HTML or CSS anywhere. I would learn XHTML not HTML, which is very very similar, but the syntax is a little different and a bit less forgiving of broken tags and the like.

Although, what do you do that you feel you need to learn to code in order to communicate more intelligently with web designers/developers?

Robin
A former member
Post #: 1
Hi Jason,

I got my first degree from AIP, at their physical campus. The experience was good.

I got my thrid degree from AIP's Online Division. I have a Bachelor's in Web Design and Interactive Media and graduated with a 3.95 GPA, High Honors. My thoughts? I don't recommend the school to anyone. During the course of my degree I had only three classes in Javascript, two of which were identical repeats of each other. I had two HTML and CSS classes, both of which were almost identical. Many of these classes were called "advanced" but there was nothing advanced about them.

You are self taught in these online classes and the teachers contribute very VERY little to your learning experience. Obviously, some teachers are more involved and better than others, but overall my experience was that the teachers mostly offer critiques but no real help to the students. For example, they will tell you what doesn't work but won't offer suggestions or tips on how to fix it.

Also, I had a few PHP and Actionscript classes. The Actionscript classes didn't even get into writing packages for Flash, which is the accepted method for today's Flash applications; they basically only covered creating simple animations. I had one instructor who told me he couldn't help me with Actionscript questions because he did not know Flash!

All of the scripting classes I took were very basic and did not delve into the more complicated processes. All the classes are 5 1/2 week classes so they are very fast paced and don't offer much time for anything other than the basics covered in the course syllabus.

In my opinion, you would be better off buying some good books, reading them and working through the exercises without paying the extremely high tuition that AIP charges. You will learn more from the books than you will from most of the instructors and classes at the school.

Best of luck to you!
A former member
Post #: 2
Although, what do you do that you feel you need to learn to code in order to communicate more intelligently with web designers/developers?

Robin

First, thanks for the great response. Second, learning to do some development myself will help me understand what my team must do when accomplishing a task. It helps me set expectations and allocate resources.

:)
A former member
Post #: 3
Hi Jason,

I got my first degree from AIP, at their physical campus. The experience was good.

I got my thrid degree from AIP's Online Division. I have a Bachelor's in Web Design and Interactive Media and graduated with a 3.95 GPA, High Honors. My thoughts? I don't recommend the school to anyone. During the course of my degree I had only three classes in Javascript, two of which were identical repeats of each other. I had two HTML and CSS classes, both of which were almost identical. Many of these classes were called "advanced" but there was nothing advanced about them.

You are self taught in these online classes and the teachers contribute very VERY little to your learning experience. Obviously, some teachers are more involved and better than others, but overall my experience was that the teachers mostly offer critiques but no real help to the students. For example, they will tell you what doesn't work but won't offer suggestions or tips on how to fix it.

Also, I had a few PHP and Actionscript classes. The Actionscript classes didn't even get into writing packages for Flash, which is the accepted method for today's Flash applications; they basically only covered creating simple animations. I had one instructor who told me he couldn't help me with Actionscript questions because he did not know Flash!

All of the scripting classes I took were very basic and did not delve into the more complicated processes. All the classes are 5 1/2 week classes so they are very fast paced and don't offer much time for anything other than the basics covered in the course syllabus.

In my opinion, you would be better off buying some good books, reading them and working through the exercises without paying the extremely high tuition that AIP charges. You will learn more from the books than you will from most of the instructors and classes at the school.

Best of luck to you!

This was exactly what I was looking for -- thanks! As for texts I could use for self-learning, what do you recommend? For front end I was thinking HTML, CSS and Javascript. For the backend I was only going to focus on PHP and MySQL, though I thought about doing some Java or .Net.

Thoughts?
Robin D.
RMDavidson
Pittsburgh, PA
Post #: 5
Since I don't know your background...

So far as books go, if you're not highly technical (or don't like being buried in jargon) you might look at some of the Teach Yourself Visually books (http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-10406.html­) which Barnes & Noble usually has some of in-stock you could look through even if they aren't the languages/scripts you want to learn just to see what the books are like. Amazon might have a Look Inside too though. There's also the Visual Quick Start books with the rabbit on the cover: http://www.peachpit.com/imprint/series_detail.aspx?ser=335245­.

O'Reilly is more a technical reference than a tutorial in my experience.

You can also play with XHTML and CSS and many other scripts online at http://www.w3schools.com/­ to start with.

There are others I can't think of right now...
Bob
user 10802774
Pittsburgh, PA
Post #: 142
I just joined this group so my response is very late. None the less I figured I would share.

I went to AIP for a one year Digital Design course. I had a good experience but I was learning from books and any other sources I could find at the same time. So I wasn't entirely dependent upon the teachers for help. Some of my classmates needed more step by step learning. These people had a harder time. (Nothing wrong with any learning process by the way) The teachers are decent but it depends a lot on what type of learner that you are.

I used this course mainly for getting my feet wet in the industry and building a portfolio so it worked well for that.

You may also want to consider some video training. www.Lynda.com has been around forever and I almost always like the training there. There is another site that I found recently called www.creativeedge.com. The training there seems a bit less constant than Lynda but there is still a wealth of information there.

Good luck in your search for creative education.
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