Announcing a Free Curriculum: Web Development for Beginners

This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: New blog articles in Microsoft Tech Community.

 

Everyone's a beginner at some time in their career, whether it's when you are in school, in a boot camp, a postdoctoral program, or as an experienced developer learning a new technology.

Learn with us!

Over the past summer, Azure Advocates and Project Managers have been hard at work creating lessons and tutorials for beginners around the world who want to become professional web developers. We launched several beginner video series, and now, in the same vein, we have created a curriculum that you can access completely free of charge to take your first steps with JavaScript, CSS, and HTML, the building blocks of the web.

Here on the Academic Team in Azure Advocacy, we have partnered with colleagues across our large department of educators, advocates, managers and content creators to create for you 24 lessons spanning 12 weeks that you can take either in full or in part, at your leisure from the safety of your own home. They are freely open to be used as you like, via GitHub. Teachers, you can use this content within GitHub Classroom!

Meet the team!

 

 

Pedagogy

What's pedagogy? It's the way you teach, what underlying values inform your teaching style and choices.

We have chosen two pedagogical tenets while building this curriculum: ensuring that it is project-based and that it includes frequent quizzes. By the end of this series, students will have built a typing game, a virtual terrarium, a 'green' browser extension, a 'space invaders' type game, and a business-type banking app, and will have learned the basics of JavaScript, HTML, and CSS along with the modern toolchain of today's web developer.

 

What about non-English speaking learners? We are working to translate this curriculum to several languages, so please stay tuned!

Curriculum Structure

Each of the 24 lessons includes:

 

  • optional sketchnote
  • optional supplemental video
  • pre-lesson warmup quiz
  • written lesson
  • for project-based lessons, step-by-step guides on how to build the project
  • knowledge checks
  • a challenge
  • supplemental reading
  • assignment
  • post-lesson quiz

By ensuring that the content aligns with projects, the process is made more engaging for students and retention of concepts will be augmented. We also wrote several starter lessons in JavaScript basics to introduce concepts, paired with video from the "Beginners Series to: JavaScript" collection of video tutorials, some of whose authors contributed to this curriculum.

 

In addition, a low-stakes quiz before a class sets the intention of the student towards learning a topic, while a second quiz after class ensures further retention. This curriculum was designed to be flexible and fun and can be taken in whole or in part. The projects start small and become increasingly complex by the end of the 12 week cycle.

 

While we have purposefully avoided introducing JavaScript frameworks so as to focus on the basic skills needed as a web developer before adopting a framework, a good next step to completing this curriculum would be learning about Node.js via another collection of videos: "Beginner Series to: Node.js".

 

Whether you're a student or a teacher, we welcome your feedback! The issues are open on the repos for you!

Special thanks to Floor Drees, Christopher Harrison, Chris Noring, Yohan Lasorsa, Jasmine Greenaway, and Tomomi Imura for their work on this curriculum!

Without further ado, please meet Web Development For Beginners: A Curriculum!

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