CIS89A - 1. Getting Started

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Tim Berners-Lee talking at the World Wide Web Foundation press conference

Getting started - Welcome!

All web pages are built using a few essential elements. Through coding practice assignments, reading and discussions, you will learn to develop entire web sites and control the appearance, formatting and contents of your site using these elements.

The key skills of web development are teamwork, attention to detail, debugging, project management, distributed version control, the agile process, accessibility and usability, user needs analysis, user testing, and much more. You will have an opportunity to practice all of these as well.

Learning outcomes

  • explore the HTML language and the associated CSS formatting and element structures
  • use the basic HTML elements for a simple web page


  • HTML, CSS, web, internet, element, tag, formatting, hypertext, markup language

Reading guide

  • What is the origin of the HTML structure?
  • Who is Tim Berners-Lee?
  • What is the World Wide Web Foundation?
  • Who controls the HTML and CSS standardization?
  • Why is standardization important?
  • Why do the HTML and CSS standards change? What is the process for making changes?

Webmaking - More than just coding, webmaking is the act of creating, understanding, and promoting content on the Web

This a 4.5 unit course, so you should expect to spend 12-18 hours on course work each week. The activities can be completed throughout the week. Don't try to do all the work at one time. Spread the work out through the week.


For each topic, there are a number of activities listed. These are all related to web development - coding practice, examples of design, user interface, accessibility, development tools and industry knowledge.

NOTE: All activities - discussions, quizzes, assignments, for a module are due on the due date for the module.

  • Your responses to this and all other assignments will be graded for college-level writing. Spelling and grammar errors will result in deductions. Late submissions may be accepted for partial credit. An extension may be granted if requested prior to the due date. For full credit, complete and thoughtful replies must demonstrate original thinking and personal experience.

Here are the assignment activities for this module.

  1. Read the CIS89A: Web Page Development - Syllabus. There is a lot of important information in the syllabus including participation expectations and due dates for assignments. Please confirm that you have read the entire Syllabus and agree with everything in the I Read the Syllabus assignment. If you have questions, please ask.
    Important: This counts as having attended the first day of class.

  2. Learn about the Canvas course management system and online education. Read Canvas Student Guide. Submit Online Orientation assignment.

  3. Introduce yourself to your classmates. Write a brief introduction in 140 characters or less.
    For example, here is my introduction.
      Valerie Taylor - always learning something new, sharing important and interesting ideas
    Add 2-3 sentences telling us about you. What are your strengths? Are you interested in art, music, computer games, travel, cooking? What can we learn from you? Why you are taking this course and what do you hope to learn in the class? Post your introduction as a Reply to the Introductions and expectations discussion.
    This is also an opportunity to meet classmates with similar interests. Ask others about their introductions using the "Reply" link to follow-up.

  4. Add a picture to your Canvas profile. Go to My profile setting, select Edit profile, and add a picture. This will show up as the little picture next to your discussion posts.

  5. Digital literacies - With technology becoming ever more prevalent in today's world and Apps being designed to meet specific needs, it is becoming increasingly important to identify these technologies and recognize how they may be of benefit to you now and when you graduate. Complete this quick 30 question quiz to reveal a personalized profile spanning six different genres, which suggests ways you can improve how you use technology within your studies. These could have further reaching applications for when you graduate and apply for jobs. Digital Literacies Quiz. Did you learn something? Include a sentence about the results in your Introductions and expectations discussion post.

  6. Review the Keywords and Reading guide at the top of this page. These will help you look for important ideas in the rest of assignments for this module. Review the Media section (below - scroll down) for links to resources for this module.

  7. Textbook - Read HTML and CSS Visual Quickstart Guide, Eighth Edition. Castro, Hyslop.
      1. Web Page Building Blocks and 2. Working with Webpage Files

  8. View Page Source - 16 amazing HTML examples links to a collection of simple websites. These are examples of pages that use only basic HTML and are similar to what you can expect to make in the next couple of weeks. View the source code for several.
    For example, using Firefox to view the "source" - the HTML for the page - From the top menu Tools > Web Developer > Page Source. Or right-click and select View Page Source. When you activate the Page source option, all the behind-the-scenes HTML is displayed.
    Look through the HTML coding and see if you can determine how the HTML tags are being used.
    Cascading Style Sheet .css file - also look for links to the external stylesheet file. link rel="stylesheet" href="style.css" This statement should be in the head section of the HTML source. Follow the link and look at the source code for this file too. This is a shared description for the display of any pages that link to this .css file. Complete the View HTML and CSS source code quiz.

  9. Professional web pages - Find a web page with a nice layout and good functionality. In the Learn from the Pros discussion, post a link to a web page that you like and give a brief description of the elements of the page. Make a note of this page as you will be learning some best practices of professional web development by analyzing the source code and evaluating the design of the site you selected throughout the course.
    Review the pages suggested by 3 other students. What did you think about the pages they selected? Do you have any questions about their selection and summary? Think critically about site design and how these sites are constructed.

    NOTE: Review means just that - read the description, follow the link and look around - that is a "review" for the purposes of this course. If you have a question or something to add to the discussion, you can reply to the post. Otherwise a reply is NOT necessary. The discussion is a handy way to share links to interesting sites. The objective is to visit many different examples of web sites, web-based applications, online tools and current technologies.

  10. CSS Demonstration - CSS Zen Garden {Verde Moderna} shows the power of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). CSS provides complete and total control over the style of a hypertext document. The only way this can be illustrated in a way that gets people excited is by demonstrating what it can truly be. See for yourself. The content on all these "sites" is the same. Only the CSS file is different. Check it out! View some of the existing designs - Mid Century Modern, A Robot Named Jimmy or select from the list on the page. Clicking the link loads the style sheet into this page. The HTML remains the same, the only thing that has changed is the external CSS file. Drag the corner of your browser window to make the window narrower and wider - watch for changes based on screen window width. Which 2-3 views did you access? What are some of the changes between views? Do you get it? Are you impressed? Post a brief comment about your experience in the CSS Experience discussion.

    CSS and HTML - CSS defines presentation. HTML is for content. Web Developers need to use both. So we will be learning HTML and CSS together starting NOW. Starting with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a big change from how HTML has been taught in the past, when CSS was just an add-on. With all the new and improved access to information on the internet, it is essential to develop websites using the powerful features of both HTML and CSS. For ALL coding project, there will be a .html file for content and all styling must be placed in the linked .css file.

  11. Glitch Web App Editor - Coding projects can be completed using Glitch - a free online Web Development Editor, so you don't have to have a separate application installed on your computer.
    Learn the basics with this introduction. Watch the About Glitch video to learn more about the tools. Explore the site. Create a Glitch account.
    To submit coding projects, provide the "Show" link to your Glitch coding assignment project.
    If you have some programming experience, CodePen can be used rather than Glitch. All coding projects are submitted as the web address of the view of your project.

  12. Remix - Glitch will automatically create your own copy of an existing project that you can modify and rearrange as you wish. View the Glitch Six-Word Summer sample project. Find the Remix your own button - lower right of the project display. Click this button to get your own copy. Glitch starts you off with the main .html file named index.html which is the content - usually text, images, media. Change the text on the index.html page. Keep this simple for now. The tutorial.html file has examples of the html code to help you. Add a description in the description box under options under the project name - upper left. You have done it. You have created a web page!
  13. Style - style.css - Glitch automatically sets up an external Cascading Stylesheet style.css file for you in your project - listed in project files list on left. This is where the style descriptions go. Although there are other places to define styling, using this external styleheet is an important part of the CIS89A Web Development course.
    Select the style.css file and try out different values for the #banner properties - background-color, font-family, width, padding, margin-top. Glitch provides help as you start to change the options.
    Look at the code in your project index.html for the link to this style.css file. This is the connection that browsers will use to determine how to display your coding projects.
    Here is my "remix" of My Six-Word Summer which I changed to My 140 Character Introduction
  14. Share your Glitch - Click the Share link - upper left, and select Live App. Copy the web address provided. Paste the web address and post it along with a short summary (2-3 sentences) about your "test drive" experience to the Glitch project discussion.

    If you have questions about Glitch, please ask. This is intended as an easy, fun activity so you can "create" a web page in the first week of class. There is a lot more to web development, so keep this simple. Make a few small changes and make sure it continues to display ok. Share the "Show live" web address.
  15. ALSO Submit the web address link for your Glitch coding project to the 1. Glitch project assignment. There is a rubric describing how points for the coding assignment.

  16. Browser check - Everything for CIS89A happens on the web. Not only do we publish on the web, but many of the tools we use exist as web applications rather than installed programs on our computers. Because of this, it is critical that you run up-to-date web browsers when working with Glitch tools. These resources are designed to support the latest versions of modern browsers like Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. Also, the Canvas software is designed to run with Firefox.
    Check out your browser with the Computer Readiness Test. The Computer Readiness Test will test your current browser for plugins and versions to help you better navigate our Canvas site. To begin, click the "Start" button below, once complete, the test will output the results.
    If necessary, download and install a browser that works well with Glitch and Canvas.
  17. Complete the Getting Started survey. This will help determine how quickly we move through the course and how many related topics to explore along the way. This is an introductory course, so we will start at the very beginning and work up to more complex web page development. There are more challenging projects for students who already know how to build basic web pages and want to learn more advanced techniques and technologies.

  18. Module 1 in review - The first week of any class is pretty chaotic, so this a chance for you to stop for a few minutes and think about the CIS89A Web Page Development course. What was one pleasant surprise? What is one question that didn't get answered? In 1-2 sentences, answer these 2 questions about your CIS89A 1. Getting Started experience. Submit your comments and questions as the Module 1 in review assignment. Be sure to click the "Submit" link as well - this puts your answer in the "ready for grading" status.

Icon multimedia.gif


The course follows the textbook. In each module, there is a reference to the relevant textbook chapters as well as to online tutorials and reference guides listed in the Media section.

Textbook : HTML and CSS Visual Quickstart Guide, Eighth Edition. Castro and Hyslop

  • 1. Web Page Building Blocks
  • 2. Working with Webpage Files


online web app and HTML Editor - Learn the basics with Glitch Help - learn more about the tools.

Guide to Web Browsers

Web browsers directly impact our user experience on the web, and often we’ll blame a web site for problems without realizing the issues may actually be caused by our browser. Browser add-ons and extensions can cause problems even if the browser is working fine.


Webopedia: Online Tech Dictionary for IT Professionals
IT help desk technician Android 10 (Android Q) project management software data sanitization social distancing project management knowledge worker Secure Access Service Edge (...
Cultural factors in web design | Creative Bloq
People need to feel at home with the cultural references in our designs. By using the variables above, we can create culturally responsive sites that are accepted and used by people across the glob...
Webmaker/WebLiteracyMap/Building - MozillaWiki
"Composing for the WebCreating and curating content for the Web Inserting hyperlinks into a web page Identifying and using HTML tags Embedding multimedia content into a web page Cr...

HTML / CSS TUTORIAL, reference

How to Create a Simple Web Page With HTML (with Examples)
how to write a simple web page with HTML (hypertext markup language). HTML is one of the core components of the World Wide Web, making up the structure of web pages. Once you've created your we...


Search Engine for Source Code -
Ultimate solution for digital marketing and affiliate marketing research, PublicWWW allow you to perform searches this way, something that is not possible with other regular search engines: "<...
What Beautiful HTML Code Looks Like | CSS-Tricks
view source on every nice looking website I see. It's like if you had x-ray glasses . what makes beautiful code? In HTML, it comes down to craftsmanship. Let's take a look at some markup wr...
begin from square one, learning how the web and web pages work, then steadily build from there. Along the way, there are hands-on exercises and short quizzes to make sure you understand key concept...
4 Easy Ways to View Source Code (with Pictures) - wikiHow
This wikiHow teaches you how to view the source code of a website, which is the programming language behind any website, on most common browsers. Excluding a Safari trick, you cannot view a website...

Web Design Evaluation
Something to think about ... Many of the activities include research and accessing existing web sites. Every site you visit for any course activity is an opportunity for you to practice your web site review and evaluation skills. In addition to the explicit activity requirements, take a few minutes to critically examine the site you are viewing. What is the overall effectiveness of the site? What were the important elements of the user experience? Navigation? Content information presentation? Design - fonts, color, use of white space? If there are features that you like but don't know how to produce, spend some time reviewing the page source as well. If you were the site developer's critical friend, what would be your feedback?

Conventional HTML and CSS development
If you have web development experience and are familiar with the DeAnza CIS Voyager development environment, you are welcome to complete all the coding assignment projects as HTML and CSS files uploaded to your Voyager public html directory. To submit your coding assignments, provide the link to the main html page for that coding assignment, which should include a link to your associated css file.

Do the first Glitch assignments. Your feedback as someone familiar with "real" web development will be helpful. Many of the students in this course have no prior web development or programming experience. Glitch is a great way for everyone to be producing web-viewable resources immediately. Besides, Glitch is pretty fun. Thanks for your understanding.

Ready for more challenge?
If you already have experience using HTML and want to work ahead, please do. All the assignments are open throughout the course. If you have questions about more advanced topics and assignments, please ask.

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