Rob Huddleston

Educator

The Final Project

Specifications

The final project for the class is to build a five page web site. The topic: a fictional company from a TV show, movie, or video game. Students are given pretty free reign to choose the company. They need to find a logo and other imagery for the company online, but beyond that, everything in the site needs to be created by the student.

Absolutely all of the code on the site must also be written by the student. Templates or tools that write code for them are not allowed.

Students begin work in the second class of the term by selecting their company. Then, they slowly build their pages as the class progresses, adding code and content to the page as they learn the skills needed in class.

Challenges

Without a doubt, the biggest hurdle in teaching the class is overcoming students' lack of confidence. They very quickly figure out that HTML is not programming, nor is it hard, but it does take work.

However, students struggle early in the class because they want their pages to look great right from the start, but it takes almost half of the term to teach them enough that they can really start designing. And even when they learn the code, designing for the web remains a significant challenge, meaning that students are often frustrated that their sites do not look as good as they think they should.

Design is only a small portion of the grade on the project, as the focus of the class is on developing coding skills, not design. A greater focus on the grading is on the code side, where students need to not only include examples of the tags covered during the course, they must use them correctly in context every time.