Bad school of design
I attended the Shillington School in NY in April 2011 for the 3 month full time course.
My experience was a terrible one, so bad I quit part way through to concentrate on self-led study.
The key things that were so bad:
* Tutors that didn’t care/lack of professionalism
* Poor teaching techniques
* Rude and unprofessional attitudes by the teachers towards students
* Grotty working environment
Lack of professionalism
-Tutors would provide a 15 minute lesson, miss out really important parts on how to perform the task requested, get annoyed when we asked questions, and then use language like “pretty sh*t”, “its a guy on a f**king horse” and “its not rocket science” when describing the work students produced.
-Tutors where often late, up to 25 mins late, without giving any kind of explanation or apology. Yet the tutors gave written warnings to many of us for returning from breaks 5 minutes late.
-The repetitive playing of extremely loud music, despite a number of requests from a number of students to turn down or change the music, was extremely distracting and frustrating. This was particularly annoying considering the fact that tutors claimed the class should stop streaming material over the Internet for bandwidth cost reasons but then they insisted on streaming their music through Pandora on a daily basis to an audience that didn’t wish to hear it.
- The sarcasm, arrogance and lack of patience with students, created an environment where tutors were not approachable. You just had to figure it out yourself.
Poor teaching practices
Teaching was below the standard I expected.
-The way the tutors spoke to us, their poor attitude and phrases used left many students reluctant to ask for help.
- In a course of over 20 adults there was a constant lack of assistance from the three tutors whilst I was working on the briefs (especially if the tutor(s) helping are not sufficient in the program they are helping others with). The tutors seemed very eager to return to the back room, leaving class members to assist each other and deal with members of the public that would enter the classroom.
Poor working environment
In addition to the above, there were numerous problems faced with sewage and faulty air conditioning units in the classroom, the effects of both were distracting. For the first two weeks in May 2011, there were incidences of what appeared to be an overflowing sewage pipe into the classroom, requiring the use of buckets and other containers that filled up pretty quickly. The remedy to this issue was at one point so bad that the whole back row of the class had to move away from their desk and the class eventually had to be dismissed for lunch early.
There were even more incidences of the faulty air conditioning unit which would leak quite profusely onto our desks and the carpet immediately beside us, again requiring containers. The numerous leaks and workmen continuously attempting to repair the unit during class time and tutorials was extremely distracting.
Some useful material was taught within the first four weeks, however the course went stale thereafter. Briefs became overly lengthy considering the fact that the practical skills needed to build something great were not taught to us. For example obvious effects and Photoshop abilities where not taught in the course by week eight. Also, the basic ability to create a neon effect, how to create a letterpress effect, an understanding of what the FX settings could do were neglected and discouraged by some tutors even after half of the course was completed.
Both the teaching and the delivery of supporting briefs (after week four) failed to push students to expand on what was taught nor were we provided with the more obvious graphic design skills.
My experience on this course was bad and speaking to other students this was a common experience shared by others.
Some of the younger students (under 22, I was 28 at the time) seemed to enjoy this course and their expectations of the course and the teaching was perhaps shaped by the fact they recently came out of high school. For anyone else, I would strongly recommend considering other schools, online courses like http://Lynda.com, or reading graphic design books.