Syllabus for Web Design I at Frederick Community College
We will meet on Wednesdays from 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., but I usually plan on staying until 9 for anyone who wants to take advantage.
What is this class all about?
We are going to focus on learning HTML and CSS. HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is a markup language for content and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a markup language for styling HTML. These technically are not “programing” languages but they are the first step to learning web programing languages.
Please note that this class involves a lot of self teaching and has a very loose structure. If that is not your style, you may want to consider dropping or talk to me after class for clarification. Typically, I will assign a chapter to read, then we will discuss, go over demos and answer questions. Expect the first half of semester to be mostly HTML and CSS bootcamp in an effort to develop your coding skills, speed, experience and natural memorization. The second half will use your newly developed HTML and CSS skills to build a basic, static website.
A laid back class.
No tests, no quizzes, and tentative deadlines. We learn art and software through doing and through practice, not pointless memorization and tedious writing. And you’ll have enough deadlines to worry about when you are out earning money. It’s pretty difficult to learn a new subject when you are stressed out anyway, so let’s not even go there. It’s okay to have fun with your assignments in this class. The schedule is never set in stone, and I will steer the class in the direction I think we need to go based on the needs, goals and progress of the students.
Projects and assignments.
We will mostly follow along in the textbook and I’ll throw in some supplemental assignments. I like to see progress every class. When I feel we are ready to move on, we will will. If you guys are working on something and it looks awesome, we can always extend the due date.
The textbook is Build Your Own Website the Right Way Using HTML & CSS, 3rd edition. You can buy it from SitePoint, Amazon or wherever you’d like. Be sure to get the 3rd edition. Web development changes fast, so if you choose to use books, make sure they are up to date. They WILL go out of date quick.
This is why I strongly recommend learning from websites since they will be updated more frequently than books will. I recommend the following sites:
- Smashing Magazine
- W3 Schools
- Site Point
- Six Revisions
- And last but not least – google. When you have a question, get into the habit of looking up the answer immediately. A good rule of thumb is that if you can’t figure it out in an hour or two, then move on or work around your problem.
NEW: I am still looking through this book, but since it is free, go ahead and download it and begin to read through it. It’s a collection of articles to give you exposure to discussions happening in the web industry. You can use it as a supplement to this course: Thinking Web: Voices of the Community.
If you follow along with the book, complete the assignments, and show some basic understanding of HTML and CSS by the end of the semester, you get a B or C. Easy. If you really blow me away with well-structured and error-free code, bring your problems and challenges to my attention, take on additional projects outside of what is required, and really grasp the concepts in this class, you could get an A. Slackers get D’s and below. We typically meet during the last class to discuss your grade one-on-one, so we can take care of any disputes.
Just show up. There is a huge benefit to coming to class so that you can learn from the successes and mistakes of other students, and so that I can help you in person. Between you and me, I don’t enforce consequences for missed classes, but you need to get in touch with me for anything you missed. If you know you will be absent in advance, let me know so we can try and make arrangements in case anything is due.
When the going gets tough.
Feel free to let me know what’s going on in your lives. There is more to life than work and school, so if you need to chat, are about to have a nervous breakdown, or need some sort of grace, just talk to me, and we will work something out. Promise.