Most web content, including eLearning content, is built using three basic layers:
- HTML, a markup language that gives structure to web content
- CSS, a catalog of style rules that determine how the content looks
Without HTML, text on a web page or in an eLearning course just sits on the page. All the text looks the same; there’s no way to know what is a section title, what is body text, or what should be in a table. HTML tags identify a structure: headings, new paragraphs, tables; they also let web designers embed images and videos in a web page.
Adding a CSS layer makes that text look nicer and gives it some structure—possibly creating a hierarchy, with headings and subheadings, or a table. With CSS, it’s possible to make big, bold headings, add background colors and borders, or create columns. But it all still just sits there.
Any eLearning developer who uses an authoring tool like Articulate Storyline or Adobe Captivate already uses some elements of programming, according to Jeff Batt in “5 Benefits of Learning to Code for an eLearning Developer.” Understanding the use of variables and triggers in programming can help developers create richer eLearning, Batt wrote.