Wednesday 12 January 2011

P2PU : HTML & CSS from the beginning.

HTML & CSS from the beginning

A perceptive person may have noticed that I’ve slipped in the “working towards being a creative educator” into the footer in my new design. This is intentional because that’s exactly what I’m doing at this point in my life. I’m still going to be designing and developing sites, but I’m really (and I mean really, really, really) enjoying the teaching of the creative process and web design & development.

I became aware of the school of webcraft back in December 2010 via post on mashable. I incorrectly assumed what it was and thought that it was going to be taught by the folks from Mozilla, which obviously would have been awesome.

Fast forward to early January. I then re-read understood how the delivery was going to take place. Anyone can start a course, pick the topic, do the course admin, write the syllabus, get it approved and you’re off.

The Course

However, I could have swore blind that there was a beginner level HTML & CSS course. Once again I was wrong so I decided to fix my error by starting a course entitled “HTML & CSS from the beginning”. This will be the 3rd time I’ve taught this specific subject and I’ve learned a lot from the two times I’ve ran it so far. I’m super excited to run it again and especially so because P2PU is pretty unique concept.

P2PU is billed as university level education so the class is going to be demanding, but only in the regard that the students will be expected to take the basic concepts and apply higher levels of thinking to these concepts & ideas. My feedback and experience of teaching this subject has shown that getting the basic concepts nailed properly makes the progression into the subject infinitely less confusing later on. ( Though I’m sure this is true of any subject)

Starting in May, not January

Unfortunately though it’s a little too short notice to open the course up for January 26th . I’ve started my Design Professional Practice MA degree today and that’s full time, I’ve got my final year of PGCE, I’ve got my business to run and to cap it all off, I’ve undertaken a 6 month training schedule that should see me emerge in the best physical shape of my life. Theere isn’t enough to time to properly prepare for this semester, so I’m left with no option other than to defer it to next semester.

So for those people who’ve shown a big interest in registering for HTML & CSS from the beginning, I’m sorry, but it’ll be worth the wait.

What’s it going to cover

The fundamentals of authoring documents.

  1. Workflow - Using TextEditors to create documents and web browsers to view them.
  2. What HTML is - HTML defines a documents structure, but what does that mean.
  3. What CSS is - CSS is for controlling the how a document appears, but how?
  4. Browsers - Why do things look different and does it matter?

What it’s not going to cover

In a word, publishing. I’ve found this only adds to confusion at first because there are so many things that can go wrong with publishing - URLS, usernames, passwords, protocols, ports, web server configurations, network connections, wifi, ip addresses to name a few. By separating the two I’m preventing the pain of publishing being bared by the joy of authoring.

Isn’t this stuff already covered

Not that I can tell. The WaSP InterAct Curriculum does have a Web Design 1 module, but I don’t think that it goes far enough to explain the basic concepts. I hope to fix this and possibly even contribute back into the InterAct Curriculum.


Academia is slow. Developments in the wilds of technology are not. This causing some tension between industry and education. It’s been more than adequately blogged about so I’m not going do that here. Also I want the experience of facilitating learning in this environment. The P2PU has a nice video that explains more about why there is a need for P2PU to exist.


I hope the course gets the green light, obviously this will not happen until I’ve completed the syllabus - hence the May start. But I’m aware of the guidelines for SoW courses and I do think that there is a gap here. This doesn’t have to just be a solo venture either, I’d be quite open to collaboration. After all, this is one of the principals of the P2PU.

Drop me a line on twitter if you’d like to make this happen.