Welcome to Introduction to HTML5. This course is an introduction to how web pages are created, sent across the Internet, and viewed on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. This course is meant for the absolute beginner, but also touches on information that may be new to someone who has been using HTML for some years. In particular, the new options available in HTML5 and some recommended policies for making sure that your page is accessible.

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language, a way of marking up files so that browsers (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, etc) know how to display your content as a webpage. HTML uses tags to distinguish between content (what the user should see) and the instructions for displaying them (make this a list, make this a link to a different page, show this picture, etc...) There are so many things you can do with HTML. While it is possible to make a long list of HTML tags, this approach won't help you as much as practice with a smaller subset. Therefore we focus on the following:

  • What HTML is and how we got from the original version to HTML5
  • The "magic" behind the Internet and how your web page isn't just one file, but many pieced put together by your browser using something called the Response/Request Cycle
  • The syntax behind the tags -- how to write good syntactic HTML.
  • The semantics behind the tags - some tags have special meaning and are extremely useful if you want to make your pages accessible. Accessible pages are ones that can be accessed by the widest range of people and that includes those who have physical or cognitive disabilities.
  • Getting your page on the web - This class will not require you to post your site on the Internet. However, you will learn how to publish your site if you choose. (And we hope you do and share your work with me and others in the class.)

  • Throughout the entire course there will be an emphasis on the importance of good habits and examples of potential pitfalls. This course about learning the proper syntax of HTML5 and styling is not covered. You can see an example site at http://intro-webdesign.com/html5-plain.html. However, upon completion of this course you will be ready to take the next course in the Web Design Specialization, Introduction to CSS3.

    How this course works

    This course assumes absolutely no previous knowledge. In each module you will be asked to do the following:

    Watch video lectures.

    The information has been broken down into pieces to help you learn the material in the smallest chunks that still give you enough information to do something with it. The goal is to give you the ability to listen to these during any time you have. You will find that some of the videos have material that makes sense to you at once. Sometimes you may want to replay other videos to clarify the material. Some of the videos are not traditional lectures, instead they are videos where I demonstrate the concepts from an earlier lecture. I highly recommend that you code along with me while you watch these videos. The key to success in this course is in writing code. I put these videos in so that you have something specific to practice. It is also a great way for you to see how often I mess up when I am coding!!

    Change the video speed to one that works best for you.

    You may find that you can speed the videos up and still retain the information. On the other hand, my mom is always telling me I talk too quickly so you may want to slow the videos down. The important thing is to find something that works well for you. Use the in-­video quizzes to help you gauge how your learning is going.

    Read extra materials

    Each module will include reading material. It is impossible to learn everything you need to learn just by listening to the lectures. Some of the material will come from a (free) online textbook. Other material will be other online readings.


    Each module will include graded quiz. These quizzes are intended to reinforce your confidence in the material, not "trick" you. As often as possible each question will be linked to a specific lecture or reading. You can take the quizzes as many times as you like, but there is a limit on how many times you can take each quiz in a certain time period.

    Final project

    This course will culminate the creation of an html document. You will be provided with an example document and asked to style it. This will not be a creative project, rather one that show you can write syntactically correct code. An example site can be found at http://intro-webdesign.com/html5-plain.html. Because this assignment is autograded, only a perfect submission will validate. But don't worry, I included a practice quiz that lets you test each part independently before you put it all together for the final project.

    Optional materials

    There will also be optional material provided in many of the modules. These may range from links to recent articles to videos on pioneers in the fields of design and accessibility. None of these materials will be required for the quizzes, but rather provide additional ways for you to branch out and learn more about the history of the field or the emerging ideas.

    "Passing" the course

    Learners must pass every graded assessment to pass the course, regardless of their final grade. A passing grade for each of the quizzes is 70%. The final project requires a perfect score.