Grade your project using the following criteria:
Functionality (20/20): My project is very functional. It will be used in the IP&T 334 & 444 classes as outlined in my learning contract and on the website’s welcome page. There is a natural and obvious progression from 1 page to another. The user can choose what pages to visit based on the tabs at the top. Data is input through the submit page and is uploaded to the specific subject page. When the data is submitted there is a personalized welcome message and a return Home button. It would be nice to someday make it so that the submitted projects are organized alphabetically on the subject pages. Just to enhance the organization. I like that the project is viewed through a URL so that users can explore each other’s websites and hopefully find more useful information. The HBLL suggested that we link their databases to our website too so that there are more resources available to users.
Screencast (8/8): See the attachment in Canvas
Usability (8/8): The flow of the product makes sense and is easy to use. The buttons at the top, change color when the mouse hovers over them. This makes it clear what is being selected. There is a return to home button after projects are submitted.
Aesthetics (4/4): I think it looks attractive and professional.
I learned a ton doing this project. I went from knowing absolutely nothing to being able to apply many HTML, CSS and PHP projects. I still have a lot to learn but I’d say this project is a 40/40 based on the above mentioned criteria.
A Critique of the instructional materials I used to learn my coding skills this semester:
Before this class I had zero experience with coding. I was extremely apprehensive and clueless. I knew I was going to need some basic, thorough explanations of processes and terms. I learned HTML, CSS and PHP.
To begin, I used Little Web Hut HTML & CSS Youtube Tutorials:.” and “Element:
I am a visual person and process things better if I can see it and see how it is applied. These tutorials were great! I would highly recommend them. It is a screen share video of someone narrating as they use a text editor like notebook++.
HTML: Video 1-Getting Started, Video 2-Text, Video 3-Images & Hyperlinks, Video 4-Audio & Video, Video 5-New Semantic Elements, Video 6-CSS Page Layout
CSS: Video 1-Applying Styles, Video 2-Selectors, Video 3-Box Model, Video 4-Positioning
Pros: There were 6 HTML and 4 CSS videos that broke down HTML & CSS into digestible parts.
In the videos, they show you and talk with you about terms like “Tag:
” and then they show you how to use/apply them in your code.
Their website has reference and stylesheets for future reference and resource needs. After watching the videos I would go back and review. It was easy to navigate and find what I was looking for.
Cons: I’m sure for people who have some experience the videos are too simple, but for beginners it’s perfect.
I also used this website as well as this Youtube video for CSS frameworks and tips on creating a responsive website. They were extremely helpful. I have learned that most coders don’t create their own CSS styling. They’ll often use already created codes and tweak it to their liking.
I used 1 online book to learn PHP. It is called: Zend PHP 5 Certification Study Guide. I accessed it through BYU Library’s Safari Books online. I did not find this book to be as helpful as the video tutorials. I would not suggest this book for a brand-new beginner but I think it would be more helpful now that I have some knowledge of PHP. It seems more like a reference or as the title suggests study guide. Thus it is geared towards readers who have some PHP knowledge or experience.
Pros: It starts out with some basics, like syntax, to help the reader get started.
The content was well organized and the book was easy to navigate.
The chapters were broken down by topic and each section was labeled well.
They show the code and explain what it is
Cons: I think the book assumes the reader has some context/scheme for PHP. For someone who had none it was hard to follow and understand.
They do not show you how it all works together. Often I struggled to know how the PHP I was learning applied to my project.
It was not explained in simple terms. I often did not understand what it was trying to show me. Here is an example of one of the sections from the book:
Standard tags are the de-facto opening and closing tags; they are the best solution for portability and backwards compatibility, because they are guaranteed to be available and cannot be disabled by changing PHP’s configuration file.”
I liked these PHP for beginners Youtube videos by TeachMeComputer better than the Zend PHP 5 online book. It is more geared for beginners.
Pros: They start with the basics and show you how to get started by using a text editor and setting up MAMP, etc. That was nice because I would not have figured that out on my own.
There are about 25 tutorials available that are about 5-10 minutes long. It’s just the right amount of time to get what you need and be able to quickly apply it. It is also easy to go back and review because each video is so specific.
The videos teach you the principles and show you how to apply them. I liked to practice while I watched.
Cons: Some people are bothered by the accent of the narrator.
There are a lot of videos. This is a good thing but it can also be a lot if someone wants a broad overview.
I would not recommend them for someone with a lot of experience. They may be too simple.
Overall, I enjoyed the resources I used. There were times were I also referred to a PHP Manual or W3 Schools. Those are helpful for beginners but are more for reference materials not tutorials.
I totally forgot to turn in this week’s step on Saturday night. I did not do the reading outlined on my contract. I should have adjusted my learning contract step 10. Instead, I watched some more video tutorials regarding my project and worked on finishing my project. I finished my project and am ready to present it at seminar.