Attitude and Approach

Let’s talk about a few key attitudes and behaviors that’ll boost your chances of success in this course.

No learned helplessness

When faced with adversity – such as lines upon lines of code

or an assignment which entails developing a website that can talk, sing, and dance the Charleston –

it’s easy to slip into a state of helplessness…because things will not always go as you expected. Like this…


See the Pen Flat minion by Amin Poursaied ( @arasdesign) on CodePen
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Learned helplessness is a condition in which a person feels stranded because they believe they have no control over their situation. As a result, they fail to look around for solutions to their problems, and the helplessness becomes a spiraling trap of despair.

However…that needn’t be the case.

Welcome to the NMI, where everyone has widely different majors, concentrations, interests, and skillsets. Students learn differently – some faster than others – and a different approach or a peer’s inspiration could mean the difference between failure and success. If that sounds cliché, it’s because it’s true.

Here’s another cliché: your class is your team. NMIX 4110 is not a competition (we’ll save that for later courses 🤠). No one wants to see you fail. When you get stuck, don’t learn helplessness. Learn from the opportunities around you.

Knowledge here builds over time

Like compound interest, knowledge builds on itself. Warren Buffet, investor and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway:

“Read 500 pages every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest.”

While not all of us are able to read 500 pages a day – of anything – all of us are capable of learning a skillset. The structure of a good curriculum allows you to absorb information one step at a time. Even with a topic as daunting as web production, learning begins most effectively in the same way: approach it with an open mind.

Harness a desire to learn.

It sounds cheesy, but when you want to pursue something, choose learning to love the process and not merely focus on the result. When you’re intentional about your work, you surround yourself with good people, and you use time and skills to your advantage – such as asking questions and honing productive habits – the final goal simply becomes a product of that process.

Trust us, there are worse ways to learn about web development. 🤓

It’s play time

a.k.a. It’s time to experiment!

Part of the learning process in this class involves a good deal of trial-and-error. Following instructions and completing coursework will yield results…but what if there’s another way to complete a lesson?

What if you really know this stuff and you can show someone else a more efficient way to get where they’re going?

What if you can take it a step further?

As you complete lessons in this workbook, you may notice some of these are dedicated to past students who found a new approach to finishing their work or came up with an entirely new lesson from their expertise.

You could be that student.

There’s nothing wrong with trying a different way to complete a lesson (an ethically-sound way, of course 🎡). No experiment should work the same way more than once. To that end…

You’re going to fail!

Repeatedly! And get frustrated! And that’s okay and normal and expected!

That’s part of what makes New Media Production a learning experience. Mistakes are okay – and inevitable – but keep in mind that mistakes are opportunities.

Bring it back to the process. Get in the mindset of open-minded learning, and work to retain what you need. When you fail, it’s not regressive: you’re still compounding knowledge.

See the Pen Student by Domany (@Domany) on CodePen.0

Comprehension, not completion, is the goal

Naturally, you want to complete assignments. (College, right?) But the main goal of this course is to understand beyond day one. A shiny new portfolio is fabulous and professional, but the truly valuable experience from a course is the realized capability to make something from what you learned.

Want to know how good you already are at coding?

Take this fun Buzzfeed Quiz to find out!