Creating a website for the ITGS internal assessment (IA) project is a very common choice. Many students find clients in small businesses, local charities, clubs, or church groups who wish to promote their organisations effectively, and a simple online presence is often the way to do this. It is expected that students will learn the necessary skills to produce their project, so they should not be worried if they do not have a great deal of experience using HTML, CSS, or other web technologies.
I have found the books below very helpful in encouraging students to learn independently and develop project web sites to suit their clients needs.
Creating a Website: The Missing Manual
by Matthew MacDonald introduces students to both HTML and CSS. Organised by tasks, the book’s layout makes it very easy for students to find the help they need. From creating a simple page and laying out text, to advanced formatting and menus – these are all tasks ITGS project students often need to perform. The book also notes common mistakes or areas web designers should be aware of (such as the need for testing in multiple browsers). Overall, it is a very useful reference for any ITGS student building a web site for their client. (Read a longer review here)
HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites by John Duckett takes a slightly different approach. This book is packed full of annotated code examples demonstrating various HTML and CSS functionality, with screenshots of the resultant web page and notes about any common mistakes that are made. It’s an effective approach to helping students understand the effects of the code they create, and is another very useful reference for the ITGS classroom.
Access 2010: The Missing Manual is an excellent reference manual for Microsoft’s popular database software. The book is divided into clear sections which are further sub-divided to make finding the required information very easy. I often find, for example, that students are able to quite easily create forms but struggle to fully customise them and create switchboards to establish a menu system – this book has a clear section dedicated specifically to this task. The style of the book is very much reference manual though – if you are looking for a tutorial-based step-by-step book for novice users, this will probably not be as useful.
Of course, if students use these resources to help them in their ITGS projects – either in Criterion D (Design) as references of best practices, or in Criterion E (Product Development) as help to perform their complex tasks, they should make sure they cite the books using a recognised standard citation format.
Read about these books, more resources for the IA, and other ITGS wider reading on the ITGS Textbook website.