I Took FutureLearn’s “Learn to Code for the Web” Course But Is It Any Good?

Learn to Code for the Web
A hands-on introduction to the HTML and CSS code that powers the web. This course takes absolute beginners and spends a week teaching them the basic concepts of HTML and CSS before moving onto the second week, which is hands on code editing in a fun and safe environment.
4.6Overall Score

Learn to Code for the Web

I recently earned a free certificate from FutureLearn by taking . This entry level HTML & CSS courses is presented by the University of Leeds . If you already have basic HTML and CSS ...

  • Quality of Presentation
    4.9
  • How Effectively the Course Teaches the Subject
    4.5
  • Value Proposition (Was This Course Worth It?)
    5.0
  • Our Review of the Website Overall
    4.1

I recently earned a free certificate from FutureLearn by taking Learn to Code for the Web [ futurelearn.com]. This entry level HTML & CSS courses is presented by the University of Leeds [ leeds.ac.uk].

If you already have basic HTML and CSS experience, there is no need for this course. For everyone else, stick around for my full review.

  • After completing this course, I feel like anyone can follow along these instructions and in two weeks time have a firm grasp on the fundamentals of HTML [ mozilla.org]and CSS [ w3.org].
  • Anyone who is already familiar with the basics of CSS and HTML should skip this course though.
  • Even if you’ve never coded or are not technologically inclined, this course will have you coding in under 2 weeks.

My Video Review of Learn to Code for the Web

If you want to see what the course looks like or the table of contents, I recorded myself before, during and after registering and completing the course myself. The video is a bit rough, but it does show what you can expect from the course:

Who Should Take This Course?

While I believe almost anyone could take this course, there were a couple of times I felt like you needed to have some previous knowledge.

In particular, you should already have the following skills before taking this course:

  • Basic familiarity with a keyboard and mouse
  • Some experience with using Windows and a web browser
  • An understanding of basic computing such as files, folders, and data

So many jobs today revolve around the web, which is why having a basic understanding of HTML and CSS is essential. Using email, creating eBay or Craigslist listings, or writing blog posts all benefit from having at least a basic understanding of HTML/CSS.

FutureLearn’s “Learn to Code for the Web” [ futurelearn.com] is the perfect entry point to anyone who is new to the basic coding that powers the web.

This is an entry level two week course that is designed for those who want to get up-to-speed rather quickly on how and why the web works the way it does. The course has several short videos, a handful of non-graded practice quizzes, and some interactive coding exercises that you’re able to do directly in your web browser. At the end, there is an exam.

Completing the Course, Passing the Exam & Getting a Free Certificate

At the time of writing, this course comes with a free digital upgrade which grants you full access to premium features like certificate or completion, interactive exams and more.

If you click on my certificate it will verify that I do hold this certificate:

When you complete this course you will also be issued a PDF certificate as well as a verification link like this one, which will allow you to put your verifiable certificates on your LinkedIn or other online resumes or resources.

What Is Actually Covered In The Course?

The course is divided into two sections: week 1 and week 2. Week 1 is all about introducing concepts while week 2 is about letting you play with those concepts in action.

Here is my breakdown of the course. Week 1 is about theory and is roughly organized like this:

  • Orientation and introduction
  • A real basic overview of how the internet works
  • A look into what code is and how it is used to make computers do tasks for us
  • A sneak-peak behind the hood of a webpage by looking at a site’s source code
  • An introduction to CSS styling and how it is different than HTML
  • A recap of the first week

As I said, week 1 is largely about theory. Week 2 is about practice and can be summed up as:

  • Getting introduced to “Codepen” an online tool that lets you code in your browser and see the results
  • Using Codepen to edit HTML for the first time
  • Editing and applying CSS styles to target specific HTML elements
  • Bringing it all together to understand how websites are built and the role that HTML/CSS have in the business world
  • Final Exam

To be awarded your Certificate of Completion, you need to complete at least 90% of the steps on the course and pass the final exam with a score of 70% or higher. After completion, you still have access to the course materials. You are also emailed a PDF certificate and are issued a URL that you can give out or link to prove the authenticity of your award.

Quality of Presentation

4.9 out of 5. I liked that when one lesson would be a video, the next lesson would be a different format like an interactive coding experience, a short written explanation of a key concept or a quick quiz. The FutureLearn platform is nice and intuitive and this course in particular had a nice presentation and flow.

Video and 3d animation production values were high. Clearly a lot of time and efforts went into the development of this course and it shows. While the course is simple, it’s presented in a logically unfolding way which feels good. The progress indicators meant that I always had a measure of where I was at and how much of the course I had left to do.

All in all, I can’t really suggest any improvements to their course presentation. It is extremely high quality, polished, minimalist and effortless.


How Effectively the Course Teaches the Subject

4.5 out of 5. My biggest compliant is that before enrolling “Javascript” is thrown out there next to HTML and CSS, but once I enrolled and looked at the table of contents, I realized this course isn’t actually going to cover Javascript coding. I admit, it’s a bit of nit-pick from my end, but I found it slightly misleading.

This course focuses heavily on the fundamentals of HTML & CSS such as the most common elements, attributes and selectors. If you don’t know what any of that means, then this is the course for you.

Circling back to the Javascript complaint… well, I actually think they were wise to not include Javascript in this beginners course. That is because HTML and CSS are very simple when compared to a language like Javascript. In addition to that, HTML and CSS are different enough from each other, let alone introducing a 3rd language to learn from scratch.

So yeah, I actually think this course benefits from it’s narrow focus on coding with HTML and CSS. For the people who need to learn about the fundamentals of the web, this is a great place to start. You can learn about Javascript later, because it is almost (but not quite) worthless without HTML to interact with.


Value Proposition (Was This Course Worth It?)

5 out of 5. At the time of writing this course is currently available for free, which offers an incredible value for anyone who wants to learn how to code HTML and CSS.

It also came with a free digital upgrade, which meant I received a verifiable free certificate for completing the course as well.

At some point, this course may cost money, but it would still be worth it if you’re a complete beginner to HTML?CSS. This is a great course for free and will still be a great course if it costs a little bit.


Our Review of the Website Overall

4.1 out of 5. I love FutureLearn and recommend it for a lot of learners. Here is my condensed review of the website itself:

Feature
FutureLearn
Number of Courses 700+
Available Ways to PurchasePer Course, Subscription
Ability to Purchase Courses Individually YES!
Lowest Priced Courses $0.00
Ability to Purchase a Subscription to Multiple Courses as an Individual YES!
Subscription Details$249.99 per year (600+ courses included)
Business Plans that can be Purchased Online (Without Contacting a Sales Rep)
Starting Prices for Business Plans*Must discuss w/ sales rep
Free Trial Offer Most courses are FREE, pay for the certificate
Moneyback GuaranteeNone
Only Allows Accredited Teachers to Create Courses
Learning Using Videos YES!
Interactive Tasks YES!
Testing & Exams YES!
Earn Certificates YES!
Earn Accredited Degrees YES!
Information Technology Courses YES!
Programming & Coding Courses YES!
Creativity & Design Courses YES!
Business Courses YES!
Marketing Courses YES!
Media Courses YES!
Music & Audio Courses YES!
Data Science Courses YES!
Personal Development Courses YES!
Course Quality Review 9.0
Course Selection Review 8.0
MOOC Platform Review 9.0
MOOC User Experience Review 9.0
Value Proposition Review 7.0
Overall Review 8.2
Visit the Website

Concluding Thoughts on the “Learn to Code for the Web” Course

The web has become such a common part of modern life, that it can be easy to ignore the underlying tech that powers it. However, once you dig into HTML and CSS code a bit, you will come to see that it is easy to read and write and has all kinds of practical use in the real-world.

This course is polished and complete. I find everything in this course to be aesthetically pleasing, functional and informative.

I have no problem recommending this course to anyone, of virtually any age, just as long as they’ve used the internet a fair bit.

Well, that about concludes my thoughts on this course. It wasn’t anything new or challenging to me, but it was a fun little refresher course on the fundamentals.

Thanks for reading this review. This is both the perfect course for those completely new to HTML/CSS and also a complete waste of time if you’re already happily coding in both these languages. If you’ve taken the course and would like to share your experience, please leave your review below. Keep learning and growing!

Take This Free Course Now

If this free course matches your needs then we definitely recommend taking it while it remains free:

Learn to Code for the Web by FutureLearn

FREE
4.6

Quality of Presentation

4.9/5

How Effectively the Course Teaches The Subject

4.5/5

Value Proposition

5.0/5

Our Review of the Website Overall

4.1/5

Pros

  • Starts small and stays focused on the fundamentals
  • Serves as a really good introduction to HTML & CSS
  • Good lesson structure with a variety of teaching methods and excercises

Cons

  • The course seems to advertise Javascript but doesn't cover it much
  • The final exam felt a little brief but was adequate




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