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100 Awesome Open Courses and Lectures for Digital Artists

by Staff Writers

By Caitlin Smith

Digital arts is a growing field, with lots of educational resources available. You can get a university-level education in digital art by taking advantage of open courseware, which we’ve highlighted here. Read on, and you’ll find 100 excellent courses that will help you develop your skills and knowledge in digital art.

Art

These courses cover the study of art in general.

  1. Studying the Arts and Humanities: In this course, you’ll learn more about both arts and humanities. [Open University]
     
  2. Philosophy of Art & Aesthetics: Take this course if you’re interested in learning about the thought that goes into artistic creation. [Minnesota State University]
     
  3. Introduction to Art History: Introduction to Art History offers students a look at art throughout history. [University of Utah]
     
  4. Feeling and Imagination in Art, Science, and Technology: In this course, you’ll get an education in creativity and development. [MIT]
     
  5. Art and Technology: This course will help you understand the relationship between art and technology. [Capilano]
     
  6. Art and Understanding: Take this course if you’d like to get a better understanding of the major concepts in art. [Columbia]
     
  7. Visualizing Cultures: In this course, you’ll create visual representations of various cultures. [MIT]
     
  8. Introduction to the Visual Arts: Check out this course to get an education in visual language. [MIT]
     
  9. Art History and its Publications in the Electronic Age: Follow this course to learn how art is created in the electronic age. [Rice University]
     
  10. Historical Foundations of Visual Technology: Through this course, you’ll be able to get the history of visual technology. [DePaul]
     

Web Design

Follow these courses to learn how to program web sites, Internet multimedia, and more.

  1. Introduction to Web Design: Learn the basics of multimedia web design from this course. [Indiana University]
     
  2. Web Based Information Systems: You will learn about cookies, protocols, forms, and more from this course. [University of Alberta]
     
  3. Web Design: Check out this interactive course to learn more about designing on the web. [Miami Dade College]
     
  4. Introduction to Computers: In order to create digital art, you will most likely need to understand how to use a computer. Check out this course to get the basics of programming, the Internet, and more. [Berkeley]
     
  5. The Future of the Internet: In this course, you can learn more about important issues in the Internet’s future. [Stanford]
     
  6. XML Foundations: Get the essentials of creating with XML through this course. [Berkeley]
     
  7. Introduction to Multimedia Programming: You’ll learn about programming for navigation, information design, and more in this course. [Monash University]
     
  8. Interactive Multimedia Production: You’ll learn the basics of Flash 9 through this course. [Utah State University]
     
  9. Foundations of American Cyber-Culture: This course is all about culture online, including new media and the open source movement. [Berkeley]
     
  10. Beginning Web Design Course: You can pick up the basics of web design from this course. [About]
     
  11. Software Engineering for Web Applications: Follow this course, and you’ll learn the essentials of creating a web application. [ArsDigita University]
     
  12. Learn and Apply HTML: Give yourself a solid foundation in HTML through this course. [Utah State University]
     
  13. Web Programming: Create web pages and interactive content through the skills and knowledge you’ll gain from this course. [University of Washington]
     
  14. Multimedia & World Wide Web: You will be able to use multimedia technology like Flash, CSS, and JavaScript with the help of this course. [DePaul]
     
  15. Web 2.0: In this course, you’ll learn more about creating and using Web 2.0. [Weber State University]
     
  16. Java: Follow this course if you want to learn about programming in Java. [University of Minnesota]
     
  17. Introduction to Macromedia Flash: This course is all about the basics of Flash. [Sofia]
     
  18. Basic HTML: Basic HTML will teach you all of the essentials you need to know about creating in HTML. [University of Washington]
     
  19. Ethics and the Law on the Electronic Frontier: Follow this course, and you’ll learn about important ethical and legal issues online. [MIT]
     

Film, Video and Animation

These courses are for students interested in the creation of moving images.

  1. Film as Visual and Literary Mythmaking: Understand the concept of myths in filmmaking through this course. [MIT]
     
  2. Digital Animation: This course will teach you the essentials of digital animation. [Technology License]
     
  3. Philosophy of Film: Check out this course to learn about the philosophy of film. [MIT]
     
  4. Advanced Projects in the Visual Arts: Personal Narratives: This course will show you how to create a movie and explore cinema narrative. [MIT]
     
  5. Survey of 3-D Animation: In this course, you will get a good understanding of creating animations using Maya. [DePaul]
     
  6. Using Video and Audio to Establish Tone: With this course, you’ll learn about setting tone through both video and audio. [Connexions]
     
  7. Special Topics in Cinematic Storytelling: Follow this course, and you’ll learn more about the creation of stories in cinema. [MIT]
     
  8. 2D Motion: In this course, you’ll get the essentials of creating motion in 2D. [University of Colorado]
     
  9. Comedy: Get a better understanding of the use of comedy through this course. [MIT]
     
  10. DHTML Animation: Follow this course to learn how to animate for the web. [About]
     
  11. Algorithms for Computer Animation: Check out this course to find out more about the algorithms that make up computer animations. [MIT]
     
  12. Digital Video: An Introduction: In this e-seminar, you’ll follow a filmmaker and create your own digital video project. [Columbia]
     
  13. Documenting Culture: In this course, you’ll get a better understanding of capturing culture on film. [MIT]
     

Gaming

If you’re interested in creating games, be sure to check out these courses.

  1. Living on the Grid-Playing and Deconstructing Logic Games: Follow this course in order to learn more about strategy in logic games. [OER Commons]
     
  2. Instructional Games: This course will help you learn more about creating instructional games. [Utah State University]
     
  3. Videogame Theory and Analysis: This course will help you learn about video games in culture and education. [MIT]
     
  4. Game Design: Learn all of the essentials of game design from this course. [Technology License]
     
  5. Creating a Science of Games: This course takes game design beyond entertainment. [Rice University]
     
  6. Game-Based Learning: This course will help you see how games can be used for learning. [OER Commons]
     
  7. Man + Machine: Understanding the Development of Real-Time Interactive Computing: In this course, you’ll learn more about interactive computing and gaming. [Connexions]
     
  8. International Politics in the New Century-via Simulation, Interactive Gaming, and ‘Edutainment’: Check out this workshop in order to learn more about gaming and politics. [MIT]
     
  9. Game Design Project: In this course, you’ll learn how to design a game of your own. [Utah State University]
     
  10. Thinking Strategically: Follow this course in order to think more strategically when designing games. [Rasmussen]
     
  11. Games and Information: In this course, you’ll get an understanding of strategy games. [UC San Diego]
     
  12. Build a Video Game: This straightforward course offers instruction on building an educational video game. [TeacherTube]
     
  13. Videogame Theory and Analysis: Learn more about video game theory through this course. [MIT]
     
  14. Game Programming: You’ll learn all about programming games through this course. [Eastern Michigan University]
     

Digital Imaging

These courses offer an education in photography and beyond.

  1. Language of the Image: This course will help you learn how to communicate with an image. [News University]
     
  2. Introduction to Photography and Related Media: Follow this course in order to learn the essentials of photography and other digital media. [MIT]
     
  3. Adobe Sample Courses: Here you’ll find training in Photoshop and beyond. [Adobe]
     
  4. Picturing the Family: This course will help you find new meaning in family photographs. [Open University]
     
  5. Introduction to Photography: Get a broad introduction to creating photographic images from this course. [MIT]
     
  6. Holographic Imaging: You can learn more about the creation and practice of holography from this course. [MIT]
     
  7. Photography and Truth: You’ll be able to learn how photography offers communication as an art form from this course. [MIT]
     
  8. Reading Visual Images: You can better understand how to interpret visual images from this course. [Open University]
     
  9. Adobe Photoshop Basics: Check out this course to get the basics of Photoshop. [About]
     

Interaction and Usability

Better understand how people use digital art through these courses.

  1. User Interface Design and Implementation: If you want to learn about designing for the user, be sure to check out this course. [MIT]
     
  2. Communicating in Cyberspace: This course will offer you a better understanding of communication online. [MIT]
     
  3. Experiences in Interactive Art: In this course, you’ll be able to get an understanding of how to create digital interactive art. [MIT]
     
  4. Signals, Systems, and Information for Media Technology: Get an education in audio and visual signals from this course. [MIT]
     
  5. Ambient Intelligence: This course will help you learn more about human-computer interaction. [MIT]
     
  6. Designing the User Interface: This course will help you better understand the visual art of user interface design. [Open University]
     
  7. Creating Interactive Multimedia: Through this course, you’ll get an understanding of the creation of multimedia elements online. [Queensland University]
     
  8. Human Computer Interaction: Follow this course in order to learn about usability and interaction. [University of Washington]
     
  9. People-Centered Design: You will learn how to design with people in mind through this course. [Open University]
     
  10. Common Sense Reasoning for Interactive Application: This course will help you learn how to better use common sense in your design. [MIT]
     
  11. Accessibility in Interaction Design: You will learn the essentials of designing for disabled persons through this course. [Open University]
     
  12. Human-Computer Interaction Seminar: Want to learn more about designing for human-computer interaction? Don’t miss this seminar. [Stanford]
     

Media

Learn all about media studies from these courses.

  1. Introduction to Media Studies: You can better understand how the culture of media works through this course. [MIT]
     
  2. History of New Media: This course will offer you an introduction to new media and the way it is used. [LeMill]
     
  3. Designing Sociable Media: In this course, you’ll learn more about creating design for a social use. [MIT]
     
  4. Media Industries and Systems: Find out what is shaping the media industries and systems today. [MIT]
     
  5. Fundamentals of Computational Media Design: Get hands on design, digital art, and more through this course. [MIT]
     
  6. Electronic Media: Get a great understanding on new electronic media through this course. [Abilene Christian University]
     
  7. Media in Cultural Context: You will learn more about the cultural context of media by studying this course. [MIT]
     
  8. Five Steps to Multimedia Storytelling: Follow this course to learn about creating multimedia stories. [News University]
     
  9. Multimedia Arts: This course offers a better understanding of the art in multimedia. [Technology License]
     
  10. New Media Literacies: This course will help you explore new media, including video games and social networking. [MIT]
     
  11. Media Art: You can learn art practices, production techniques, and more in this course. [Capilano]
     
  12. Media Art II: Get even more media art education through this second course from Capilano. [Capilano]
     

Graphic Design

Check out these courses to learn the essentials of graphic design.

  1. Blender 3D Design: You will learn how to use Blender in order to create animation, objects, and other art from this course. [Tufts]
     
  2. Graphic Design Basics: Pick up the basic concepts in graphic design from this course. [About]
     
  3. Graphic Design: This graphic design course offers a variety of theories and skills relating to visual communication. [Miami Dade College]
     
  4. Computer Graphics: Learn more about visual computer design through this graphics course. [MIT]
     
  5. Illustration: This course is full of excellent instruction for using Adobe Illustrator. [Miami Dade College]
     
  6. Art of Color: This course will help you better understand the use of color. [MIT]
     
  7. Introduction to Design Inquiry: Find out how computation is used in design from this course. [MIT]
     
  8. Digital Typography: You’ll learn more about the use, manipulation, and history of typography through this course. [MIT]
     
  9. Symmetry: You will learn the details and concepts of symmetry by following this course. [Open University]
     
  10. Interrogative Design Workshop: Check out this workshop in order to learn more about interrogative design. [MIT]
     
  11. Interrogative Design Workshop: Follow this course in order to learn how to find your voice in design. [MIT]