Friday, 20 November 2009

I passed!!!!

Well I'm pleased to say that I handed in my assignment last night as part of the assessment of the Web Page Design course, and was told by my lecturer that I have passed with 100%, a Distinction mark!


So, just nine weeks after beginning the course, which was 3.5 hours on one night a week, I've managed to obtain the City & Guilds Level 2 Qualification, so that will be going on my Curriculum Vitae as from this point onwards!

You never know it may open doors to something else in my life in the future.

What does it do right now?

Other than telling me I am competent enough to set up a website of my own, probably not much, but it's something I'm going to try and build on now, there is a Level 3 course, which includes a lot more to do with Dreamweaver, now I knew nothing about DW prior to the course, as I'd always looked at those ready made templates.

The reason for doing the course in the first place was to get to know more about the codes behind these websites, and what the hell it all means!!

At least I now know a bit about this, and will be studying a bit more through books in the next few months, as I want to develop my knowledge, if I can afford to do the Level 3 in the City & Guilds then I will, but right now, times are hard, and money is difficult to find to pay for this!

So, I can at least say that I now have a City & Guilds Qualification, and that I passed my exam with 100% marks - that's a first for me - and obtained a "Distinction" grade.

I'll keep this blog going during any further studies, or if I go back to college again to potentially do the Level 3 course.

Thanks for following up to this point!

I almost forgot, here's the link to the website we had to create:

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Nearly there!

After my disappointment last week thinking that I'd messed things up, as I was finding it quite tough, I had planned a real crack at the studies this Wednesday just gone.

However, what I hadn't bargained for was my laptop deciding it wasn't going to play ball with me on what I wanted to do - and when I opened up my files, it left me unable to edit the html code on the relevant pages - I still haven't found out what the issue was, but it left me feeling gutted that the time had been wasted.

So, off to work I went on Thursday thinking that my hopes were about to be dashed, but after work, I went straight to college, and delved in, and thankfully it allowed me to edit the codes that I was playing around with.

Although, my head was still banging against the brick wall, when things weren't going the way I wanted to, so with about an hour left on the night, I took myself for a quick break, got some air, had a drink (the non alcoholic kind, although I wanted some at the time believe me!), and had a brainwave.

So, I returned, and played around with the code a little more, and what do you know it all fell into place, the problem I was having earlier was that the links were just not working from the site we have had to create, which will shortly be uploaded to the internet.

Once this is completed, I'll add the address on here, just so you can see what the site is all about, but basically, it's a cattery website - I know, a strange one hey?

Anyway, I think I'm nearly there now, I just have to copy the codes to a few differnt pages, although I now know why I was finding it rather difficult on one aspect - I'd missed the part out about Cascading Style Sheets - which just goes to show, you need to ensure you have attention to detail!!!

So, I'll put another update up after Thursday night this week, which will be hopefully after I've handed the assignment in, and had it marked by the Lecturer.

Fingers crossed for me please!!!

Friday, 6 November 2009

The assessment starts!

After a week off from College last week, it was time to head back last night, only this week, I'd booked half a day off work, so that I could study in the afternoon before going.

I buried my head in the work I'd done previously, and really got in to it.

So, I went to college, and started the assignment that is part of the exam, but found it quite tough, but as we have a few weeks left, I was able to take my time with it, rather than rush the thing.

I think one of the problems I faced last night was thinking the exam was harder than it actually was, or more to the point, was looking for more than I thought. I was under the impression that I needed to include everything I had learned about in the previous 5 weeks, but this now seems not to have been the case.

It's a shame really, as I spent 2 hours last night getting a bit frustrated with things not working, so I have another afternoon off next week to study before heading back to college again.

That's it for this week then, quite stressed last night, but okay this morning!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

A week off from College this week!

Well at college this week it was a bit of a rushed affair, as I could only stay for a couple of hours due to another engagement.

For the first part of the evening though, I eventually registered for the City & Guilds assessment so I can gain the qualification at the end of the course, as I’d previously not added that in, as I just wanted to gain an understanding of how web pages worked.

Now though, I have the Qualification to go with the course – if I pass the assessment that is – and that comes up shortly, as right now I’m doing the final piece of the course before the exam, and then it’s full swing into it!

Still working on an exercise right now, which is to compile a web page which contains links, and also frames, images, and general content – it all seems to be going okay, but it does get a little confusing with lots of these:
and lots of these
to contend with!

No college this week, as it’s half term, which for any US readers, is like recess for a week, so it’s a Thursday night in this week, but I’m planning to use it as a Study at home night again, so I can try to go through all the exercises I’ve previously done again, and get a bit quicker, but also try to get those attributes stuck in to my head!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Almost there!

Yes, believe it or not, I'm not far off going for the final assessment now in the course that I'm doing, which is the Web Page Design City & Guilds.

At last week's course on the Thursday night, it was full concentration, as I finished off the Animated Gifs exercise that I was stopped in my tracks doing whilst on the catch up night.

So, that done, I thought I'd actually finished, but was relieved to see another exercise to do, which is quite solid, and involves a lot of the attributes that I've been learning about throughout the course, but it's not quite in there just yet, and I did struggle trying this.

In fact it took me a large part of the night to get through, and still didn't get it completed, so it came home with me for some further research which I'm planning to do right after this blog is typed up!

Back on Thursday for Week 6 and this is the last one for 2 weeks, thanks to a break in term, so maybe, just maybe I can get to the end of the exercises, and plan for the final assessment1

Here's hoping hey!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Catch Up Night!

Last night I made myself have a "College at Home" night, as I caught up with where I'd left off at last week's session, which I had to leave early due to sickness.

I had quite a frustrating night creating Buttons with Microsoft Paint, for some reason my PC didn't quite like what I was trying to do, but I got there in the end, which is just as well, as the exercise features in the end assessment where you have to build a website, so I had to get this right.

It was one of those though, you know where you keep on getting frustrated, and it doesn't seem to be working no matter what I tried, but in the end it clicked.

Following that lengthy exercise, I then moved on to Animated Gifs, and had spent a long time creating what appeared to be a wheel animation, but when it actually came down to the final part, I need to use the network at the College, as it has Microsoft Animator, so I'll need to try my workings there.

So, that's as far as I got last night, with about 3 hours spent on it, which is about right after last week, and it's back to College I go tonight for another 3 and a half hours to hopefully get to the next stage.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Sickness forces pull out of course!

Despite the headline, it's not all over, but for one week only, I had to leave the course after only 1 hour sitting in the room.

The course is three and a half hours each Thursday night, but last week, with the way I was feeling, and you know what I mean if you read my "man flu" blog the other day, it was npt good, sitting there about 200 degrees, eyes looking like a road map, and my head pounding like a drum, there was no way it was going to let me concentrate on the week's work in the course.

With about 45 minutes of being there, I went into a sneezing fit, and that was the final straw, I couldn't be there any longer, but I did manage to complete a few things, which were:

  • Frames
  • Linking Between Frames
  • Inserting Java Applets

The Frames piece was a tad confusing, as it included terms like Framesets, and Frames within Framesets, so it did get a bit difficult to understand at one stage, and then linking between frames was just as challenging to follow!

Finally, learning how to insert the Java Applets, this was good to see, as Blogger obviously uses a few of these, and it was good to relate things back to this, which can only help on the course.

That was that though, and I pulled out of the evening's session due to sickness, but the good thing is you can take work home with you, and so I picked up the next three workbooks which cover:

  • Creating a Button Using Microsoft Paint
  • Animated Gifs
  • Signing up for Free Web Space
  • Royalty-free Images
  • Jpeg file compression

The plan is to have my extra session "at home" on Wednesday night, so I'll update once I have that before returning to college on Thursday evening.

It still all feels worthwhile, and when the lecturer said that I was ahead of where I should be last week, then that was a comforting thought with me feeling ill!

That's it for today then!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Three Down, Seven to Go!

Well I've just realised that I hadn't updated this blog, having completed the third week of my course in Web Page Design, so here goes!

Week Three was a bit of a challenge, not least as I was tired going into the college that night, after what seemed a long working day, it wasn't particularly a long day, but so much crammed into the day, and I didn't have a great night's sleep the night before, so that didn't help either!

So, into college I went, and into the class, I tried to get there early, so I could get cracking, which I did, and this week, I kicked off learning about Lists and how to build an ordered list & unordered list to start off with, so I could find out how to have lists with numbers, and also roman numerals, then moving onto nested lists which combined both.

Having completed the exercise in that workbook, it was time to move on to using Tables in web pages, and this was certainly a bulky part of the workbook, with different subjects covering:

  • Size of the tables,
  • Borders,
  • Positioning data within a cell,
  • Multiple cells & rows,
  • How to centre a table on a page,
  • Controlling space in and around cells,

Then completing an exercise on that, which also included adding colour to the table.

Having completed that, and it did take me a while to complete it, it was time to move on to Spanning a cell across columns & rows, this included two or three exercises, which again took up most of my time, and unfortunately by the end of this part, my eyes had just had it!

So, I upped and left half an hour prior to the end of the scheduled finishing time, something you are obviously free to do as an adult doing night school, it feels weird, as you still feel like asking the teacher if you can leave early, like you would of had to do had you been at school, only at school, the teacher would have refused your request point blank, so it's nice to have the freedom at this stage in life!!

So, on my way out, and perhaps as I was feeling sort of guilty at leaving early, I picked up the next couple of workbooks, which I'm going to work on tonight, before heading back to college tomorrow.

The next two sections being Frames & Linking Frames, so hopefully I'll know a bit more about those by the time the morning comes round!!!

That's it for tonight, I'll post another update for Week 4 in a couple of days time.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Second week completed, eight left!

Completed my second week of a ten week course then last Thursday, as the Level 2 course of Web Page Design continued.

A tougher week this week, following all the initial learning last week, this week was a lot more challenging, although the same does apply as before in that you are just making your way through a workbook, the challenge is trying to learn what you are actually doing, other than just reading a book and telling you what to do.

This week, from the off none of the awkwardness about starting a new class and meeting new people, that was all in the past after week 1, no it was a case of just getting on with as soon as you were in.

Anyway, what did I learn this week?

Well, this week it was all about Linking Pages, Linking exercises, and Image Maps, may not seem a lot but the exercises were fairly lengthy, and that's exactly what I want, as the more exercises there are, the better I'll remember how to do them without looking at a piece of paper.

Next week, it looks as though we're learning about Lists, Tables, and possibly Frames depending on how things progress during the night.

So, the second week is over, and already I'm finding it more than useful taking this course, which for anyone reading is for a City & Guilds Qualification.

Friday, 18 September 2009

First night done & dusted!

Well the first night has been completed!

The early nerves I had quickly drained away, although when pulling up in the motor outside the college, I did think, "here we go, back to the good old days", but then rather cautiously walked over to the entrance.

As soon as I was inside, the memories came flooding back, noticing cracks in the wall thinking "ah yes, this is where the government funding isn't happening" - it was like walking through an old hospital, with the blue-ish coloured walls crying out "education, education, education" to me!

In fact I'm sure I heard a Pink Floyd track playing in the distance somewhere!

But then I thought hold on, I'm not back in school, it's college, and from that point I was directed up the stairs to the long corridor where my room was situated, and outside it, a gathering of people who were all waiting for the door to be opened by the tutor who hadn't arrived at that stage.

What followed was the typical 'looks at the watch' whilst looking around, trying not to look someone straight in the face knowing that as soon as they'd look at you, your head and in particular eyes would shift somewhere else rather quickly, but also rather obviously!

Anyway, bang on time the tutor came along, and let us all in, the first problem....not enough computers for everyone - oh dear, was this the sign of things to come!

Thankfully I was okay, I'd got a computer, but then what followed was an hour of listening to what experience everyone had of websites, and PC work in general, plus how they had found the course to enrol on, errr, I phoned up - simples.

Then during the same hour, which quickly turned into 90 minutes, we had to go down and get our photos taken for the much wanted student card - you know, the one that gives you discounts in shops & restaurants - here we go, this is what we're waiting for!

Even then there was a problem, as there was a delay in getting that done, so back up to the room we went, and eventually logged in, and from that point, I started to enjoy what I was learning.

For the record, the subjects covered in the first week in this ten week course were:

Intro to HTML & background colour
Text formatting
Headings, paragraphs, breaks & horizontal rules
Background images
Inserting images
Positioning images, transparent Gif
Linking Pages

That's where I got up to as the first session came to a close, which was three and a half hours, but two hours of learning basically.

There are plenty of subjects still to be covered, but I felt confident that I'd learned something on my first evening, so went home happy.

A bit of homework to take back also, maybe I am back at school after all!!!

Anyway, I'll update my blog when I've done that, but for now, well, that's it!

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Yep, I'm going back, wish me luck!

As a 36 year old male, going back to College for night school represents some challenges to me...

Have I made the right decision?

I am about to go back into Education for the first time in 18 years, is this a big mistake, or will it prove to be just what I need?

I am in a full time job right now, but wanted to do something extra that floats my boat, and that is website design - I really like the idea of setting up my own websites, which I have done via another easy to set up site, which you can see here -, this is based on my favourite football (soccer) club.

I'm looking though to be able to produce better quality sites in the future, but don't really know where to start if I was to be honest, it's just these ready made sites are quite handy to start on, and get off the mark with.

It will present a challenge not least because my current job can be challenging at times, and I'm pretty tired come the end of the day when I get home from work, but feel that I must try and get through the tiredness, and succeed in this.

It will also be weird as I went to this very college 18 years ago as well, so it will be quite familiar, but I'm sure all those teaching faces will have changed.

I also want to do this just in case the unemployment situation worsens in the UK, and I end up being made redundant at some point, then at least I'll have some knowledge in this field, and try to make something of it.

I'm also hoping that at some stage, I'll be able to get into affiliate marketing - although my head is telling me that I should have done this about 10 years ago to make a real impact here.

I just want to be able to turn round and say, see that site, I did that, yep, me!

Hopefully the course will go well for me, and I'll be able to pick it up as I go along, I have been a little brave as I've decided to enter at level 2, following a discussion with a college tutor, so I'm trusting his word that I won't need to complete Level 1 first, as it really is for beginners.

Hmmm, every time I think of that conversation now, I think, maybe I should have gone for Level 1 first - see there comes the doubt, which hopefully will be dispelled after my first session tonight.

Wish me luck everyone, I think I'm gonna need it!

Banksy (Chester)