Evidence of Analytical and Integrative Thinking

Fall Semester, 2004

EDIT 797e - HTML and Java Scripting 

HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language, is the hidden command text that web browsers user to render the pages as the designers want them to on the computer screen. Modern web page editors generate HTML code as the designer points and clicks in a graphical user interface. This type of web design tool gives the designer on their final product  what they see on the screen as the editing process is underway, hence the term "what-you-see-is-what-you-get," or WYSIWYG (pronounced "wis-see-wig"). These editors have virtually eliminated the need to know or manipulate HTML code. 

Front Page in Design View (WYSIWYG)
(Click on image for close up)

Teachers who develop web sites for any form of instruction will encounter HTML in their efforts, even if they use non-HTML web editors. There are many variables that web page editors do not account for, so the designer-teacher will eventually have to manipulate the HTML code, either in "code view" or by bringing the HTML text up in a simple text editor such as notepad. It is incumbent, then, for teachers to know the basics of HTML code so they can be more effective webmasters, rather than remaining at the mercy of the all-powerful web page editor.


Dreamweaver in Code View
Macromedia Dreamweaver in code view

In order to increase interactivity between the student and the web page itself, another text-based programming language can e put to work. Teachers can use JavaScript to enhance their websites in order to provide feedback and allow for on-line quizzes, tests, and public opinion polls. JavaScript is somewhat more complex than HTML, but any self-respecting bookstore will carry reference books on how to code web pages with JavaScript.

Teachers can also download copyright free JavaScript applets, which are made up of sheer text, if they promise to use the resulting code for non-professional purposes. Usually all that is required is a link to the source page. Again, buttons, forms, self-correcting quizzes can be developed with only a rudimentary knowledge of JavaScript, leading to a high level of improvement in the interactivity level of a given web page.