Review: Textbooks from Thomson Learning

Some time back I commented that high school teachers coming through my technology certification classes were using books referred to as Cashman Series and that they thought the books were pretty good. I got some Thomson Learning textbooks in the mail the other day. I received Web Design: Introductory Concepts and Techniques by Shelly, Cashman and Kosteba, Web Design Basics by Stubbs and Barksdale and Principles of Web Design by Sklar.

Web Design: Introductory Concepts and Techniques is very attractive, large-page format, with full color illustrations, screen shots, and charts. The lessons are intended to help students understand basic design roles, design principles, site development steps, basics of typography and graphics, basics of multimedia and the basics of testing and publishing. There are all the pedagogical requirement such as objectives, assessments, and hands-on activities. The hands-on activities are not involved with making Web sites, but focus on using the Internet to elaborate on the topics being studied. Students would leave the class with a grasp of the theoretical underpinnings of Web site design and creation, but not able to produce a Web site. This book is part of Thomson’s Shelly Cashman Series.

Web Design Basics is another full color text with an attractive design aimed at high school students. The first part tackles some of the same basic principles as Web Design: Introductory Concepts and Techniques. About half way though Web Design Basics students start writing simple HTML. The HTML taught is not up to current HTML versions, that is, students are taught deprecated tags and no CSS.

Principles of Web Design is a more complete treatment of Web Design. The book is less workbook and more textbook than the first two. It has screen shots and illustrations, but is not in full color. Students get a good background in HTML from this book, which includes tables, forms and frames. And there is a chapter on CSS! The hands-on projects involve students in real Web page construction and design. This book also has much more complete and detailed reference sections for HTML and CSS. This book is part of Thomson’s Web Warrior Series.

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