HTML5 / CSS Feedback after 250+ 7th & 8th Grade Students

Thanks for the website and lessons they are amazing and a great introduction for people of all ages. After using the website for a school year in my 7th and 8th grade classes I thought I could offer a little feedback to hopefully make a few small improvements.

For the most part my students are able to complete the vast majority of the lessons by reading the directions or with the help of the videos (kudos for those too by the way), but there are three lesson that most of my students get stuck on and need to ask for help. Some of the kids get pretty frustrated and think that the content is too hard when they hit these barriers. I’m assuming adults with zero experience in html and css may also get stuck on these same lessons too but not have a teacher in the room to help them immediately.

#1 (HTML) Link to Internal Sections of a Page with Anchor Elements
Most of my students get stuck on this lesson. From a new student’s perspective it’s confusing because this is the first lesson that teaches about using ID’s in html, so there’s not very much explanation on what an ID is or why it’s used. To compound the confusion, they don’t understand the new tag called <footer> and then the fact that they need to create an ID with the same “id=footer” inside the tag <footer>.

#2 (HTML) Create a Set of Radio Buttons
I have no idea why kids repeatedly struggle with this lesson, but they just don’t get it. My thinking is that they may still be confused about using ID’s again. The lesson could also be simplified by introducing how to create an <input> in one lesson, and then wrapping the <input> with a <label> in a subsequent lesson. Generally speaking the kids do so much better when introduced to one new concept per lesson rather than combining multiple ideas regardless of how simple these ideas seem to most of us.

#3 (CSS) Improve Compatibility with Browser Fallbacks
Okay, this lesson is perfectly clear and shouldn’t cause problems…but for some odd reason kids just don’t get it. I have a few theories: they don’t really understand CSS variables at this point, they need a bit more background on what browser compatibility means exactly, they think a fallback should come after instead of before the initial declaration, and in the end they don’t get why nothing changes and the box stays red (meaning they missed the whole point of the lesson).

All of these lessons are beyond simple and seem perfectly explained to me, but when I see a bunch of students coming to them with zero html / css background and repeatedly struggling or giving up on the same lessons I thought they’re probably not alone and maybe the lessons could be slightly improved a little for other complete newbies.

Thanks again to those who created these lessons, you’re helping inspire the next generation of developers and are doing an amazing job.


you may be interested to know that the curriculum is going through a major overhaul:

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