UX At Home: How Remote Learning Works for a UX Design Bootcamp
When preparing to launch Burlington Code Academy’s inaugural UX Design Bootcamp, no one could have imagined how different it would look from the initial concept. After making the tough but necessary decision to move all in-person courses online for the remainder of 2020, BCA’s commitment to communication and student success did not waiver. In fact, the staff noted the many benefits to remote learning, especially in the field of UX.
Learning Remotely to Work Remotely
As the world has moved inside, so have employers and employees. Learning remotely challenges those in fields that require hands-on-learning, but when it comes to User Experience, the hands-on-learning happens with hands on the keyboard. UX Instructor Rick Machanic says,
By teaching the course online, our students gain valuable experience using the tools and techniques of a UX practitioner in an increasingly distributed world.
UX Design is oftentimes remote by nature. CEO Benny Boas noted that:
UX practitioners often do remote work; generally there are 1-2 UX designers on a 50+ person team. They act as consultants, so for that reason, learning how to be a practitioner remotely is setting students up for success as remote employees.
Similarly, the instruction is able to happen seamlessly in a remote environment. By generating discussions, labs and lessons online, the communication between students and teachers flows more effectively. Between Slack channels and Zoom discussions, the line of communication is continuous.
A Student Wears Many Hats
Another benefit of learning online comes from the demographics within the student body. We know the difficulties that busy students face when it comes to taking a full-time course. The upside to having more downtime is that prospective students who would have previously had difficulty scheduling-in a full time course can now join us while maintaining previous roles & parenting duties. During our last Software Development Bootcamp, student Rob Mitchell of Cohort-3 showed us a day in the life of a full-time dad & BCA student. Watch his take on our Instagram here! Online learning broadens horizons, allowing students the opportunity to (virtually) sit next to people from all backgrounds that they would not have known otherwise.
What the Students have to Say
UX Design Student Teal Wiegand offered her thoughts on the course:
Though it is only the second week, my experience with the UX Design Bootcamp with Burlington Code Academy has been amazing! The full-time 12 week course is challenging and insightful. As you immerse yourself in the information and support offered to you through the BCA you quickly realize the great resources and expert instructors that build the exceptional team!
I like the balance of lecture to lab teaching and the diversity of information this course has offered so far. Online learning is an element that I am not familiar with. BCA has done a nice job transitioning information from an in class setting to a distance learning platform. UX Design is a software motivated field, looking closely at mobile applications and websites online. This does work in our favor as a course working remotely as this is content we can continue to absorb from a far.
Though the social aspects of distance learning are different compared to in the classroom, we are lucky to have a small class size of 6 people. We have found our own way to connect, engage, and enjoy the learning experience together. I look forward to what the next 10 weeks of class bring!
Student Alex Holder remarks on the difference between his two learning experiences:
At first when I learned the UX Bootcamp would be remote, I was crestfallen. I had just completed a coding bootcamp in-person and the highlight was the relationships and interactions of new friends in the class. We went through a truly difficult 9-week experience while learning more than our brains could handle, so we came out of that with solid friendships that will last.
I decided to give remote a shot and I am so glad that I did. I get to roll out of bed later, get a workout in, eat breakfast, and then commute to the comfort of my living room (sometimes in pajamas). For lunch, I’m not stressing about prepping food the night before. The 10-second walk to my kitchen allows me to prepare a fresh lunch and relax before resuming my studies in the afternoon.
I was also initially skeptical of remote teaching but my experience so far with Zoom and Slack has been perfect. I find I can get answers to my questions in just the same way as if I was in person.
It’s only my second week but I’m confident I’ll leave this experience with the skills necessary to land an awesome UX job!
One thing has not changed: Burlington Code Academy’s commitment to putting students first. We are grateful to our rockstar students and all the opportunities learning-from-home have provided. Stay tuned to see what these future UX Design experts will do!