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University of Michigan

Introduction to CSS3

University of Michigan via Coursera


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The web today is almost unrecognizable from the early days of white pages with lists of blue links. Now, sites are designed with complex layouts, unique fonts, and customized color schemes. This course will show you the basics of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS3). The emphasis will be on learning how to write CSS rules, how to test code, and how to establish good programming habits. When done correctly, the styling of a webpage can enhance your page. When done incorrectly the result can be worse than no styling at all. To ensure that your sites do not put up barriers for people with cognitive and/or physical disabilities, you will learn how to evaluate pages using the standardized POUR accessibility guidelines. Upon completion of the course, learners will be able to sketch a design for a given HTML page. Using that design they will use CSS to implement the design by adding fonts, colors, and layouts. Here is a sample final CSS page: This is the second course in the Web Design For Everybody specialization. Subsequent courses focus on adding interaction with JavaScript and enhancing the styling with Responsive Design. It will be difficult to complete this course if you do not have access to a laptop or desktop computer for the homework.


  • Week One: Getting Started with Simple Styling
    • Welcome to Introduction to CSS3! In this course you will learn how to style your pages by taking advantage of the power of CSS3. We will focus on both proper syntax (how to write your styling rules) and the importance of accessibility design (making sure that your style enhances your site, not make it harder to navigate). It is so important that you jump in ready to make mistakes and typos in this course. The only way you will really understand the material is to practice typing it in on your own as often as possible.
  • Week Two: Advanced Selectors, Display, and Designing for Accessibility
    • Colors and fonts are just the start to styling your page. The nice thing about starting with these properties is that they are usually very straightforward to implement. You pick a color and boom - instant, expected results. This week you will learn more about something called the display property. If you took the HTML course with us you know that some elements (like images) can be displayed side-by-side on the screen while others (like paragraphs) are placed underneath each other. I really like showing people the grid and flex properties to give you a little more power about where things can go on the screen. After learning how to style links and lists we will talk about more advanced selectors . Have you ever noticed on a web page that some links are blue and others are purple, depending upon if you have clicked on the links? How is it possible to style some anchor tags and not others?
  • Week Three: The Box Model and Positioning
    • This week has my favorite styling -- the box model. Learning how to add borders, padding, and margin can really make your page attractive. We end this week with the subject of positioning -- how to get elements to stick to a certain part of your page. Think about annoying pop-up ads. How do the programmers get them to stay RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SCREEN despite the fact that you keep trying to scroll them away.
  • Week Four: Pseudo-classes, Pseudo-elements, and a Final Project
    • This week will be heavy on demos. You will learn how to style pseudo-classes (e.g. a link that has been visiting, an element that has the mouse hovering over it) and pseudo-elements (e.g. the first-letter of a heading, the first line of a paragraph). These elements are not difficult to style, but do require careful coding. The final step to completing this course is the completion of the peer-graded project. You will have the chance to demonstrate the ability to follow styling guidelines while still putting your own personal touch on the project. Just remember, you need to validate your work for proper syntax and accessibility.
  • Week Five: Where To Go From Here?
    • If you would like to do more now that you have finished this course, I have a few recommendations. The most important thing is that you continue to practice your skills and always have "something" that you are working on.

Taught by

Colleen Van Lent


4.6 rating, based on 14 Class Central reviews

4.8 rating at Coursera based on 9370 ratings

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  • As a follow up to introduction to HTML, this course teaches you what you need to know to get started with CSS. It's interesting that they chose not to cover Grid or Flexbox (which are covered in FreeCodeCamp). There is some confusion regarding how alignment is described, and I'm still not quite clear on it, but overall I feel this is the most thorough online course I have taken on CSS.
  • Profile image for Linda Watson
    Linda Watson
    If you are looking to do web design this is a great course on using CSS3! It is explained and you are given examples along with practice exercises. Two techniques I will be able to use in my website immediately!
  • Jose Luis F F C Borges
    Good introductory level course on CSS. Clear explanations by instructor. Three assignments that although not difficult are important to consolidate knowledge.
  • Anonymous
    This is a very good course for beginners. The instructor explains concepts clearly and provides good coding examples. The instructor also provides a list of other resources student can use.
  • Profile image for James Springle
    James Springle
  • Charles Starbuck
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