Exercises and your portfolio

Exercises are important!

Exercises are tasks for you to do. They’re given throughout the lessons.

It’s very important to do the exercises. You won’t learn enough just by reading.

Most exercises ask you to create a Web page. They come with solutions, Web pages I have created. You can look at the solutions and try them out, but do not look at the source code until you have attempted the exercise yourself.

This is important. There’s a big difference between looking at someone else’s code, and writing your own.

Doing an exercise

Here’s a sample exercise from the page on making lists:

Sample exercise

Figure 1. Sample exercise

The exercise has a title, a task, a sample solution, a place for you to enter your solution, and a discussion.

You can click on the link to look at the sample solution. This one looks like:

Sample solution

Figure 2. Sample solution

Do not look at the solution’s source code until you have tried it yourself!

The task asks you to create a page. It’s a good idea to keep each solution in a separate directory. This keeps similar files from getting mixed up. For this task, you might create a directory in Documents on your PC (or My documents, or whatever), and call it CoreDogs. In that, you might create a directory called solutions, and another inside that called dog-breeds. You would create the file dog-breeds.html there.

The task says to upload your solution to your server. So, under the Web root, you might create a directory called coredogs. Inside that, a directory called solutions, and another inside that called dog-breeds. You would upload the file dog-breeds.html there.

Servers and uploading and such are explained on the static Web pages page.

You would use your browser to check that the file upload successfully. Then you’d click the Your solution link in the exercise, getting this:

Empty solution

Figure 3. Empty solution

If you click the check box, the solution will be shown in your public portfolio. More about this below.

To store the solution, you’d click the Edit button, and put in the URL, probably by cutting and pasting:

Your solution

Figure 4. Your solution

Click the Save button to save your solution

Discussing an exercise

Here’s the sample exercise again:

Sample exercise

Figure 1 (again). Sample exercise

The Exercise discussion lets you talk about the exercise with other CoreDogs members. Talk about problems you had, different ways to do the exercise, resources that helped you, or whatever you like.

For example, notice that this exercise is about dog breeds. Maybe you found a good list of breeds on the Web, and want to share it. You open the solution area, and see:

Empty discussion

Figure 5. Empty discussion

You might add the following:

Discussion item

Figure 6. Discussion item

Don’t forget to use the Save button.

Portfolio

All of your solutions are added to your portfolio. See it by looking at your account.

Your account link

Figure 7. Your account link

Then click the portfolio tab:

Your account tabs

Figure 8. Your account tabs

Here’s part of a portfolio report:

Portfolio

Figure 9. Portfolio

Click on the link in the Exercise column to see the exercise on a page by itself, not embedded in a lesson. Click on the link in the Location column to go to the lesson the exercise is in.

There a Help link on the portfolio page that gives more detail.

Public portfolio

You can make exercise solutions public, so that other people can see your work. This gives employers, teachers, and others a chance to look at what you have done. You can show off your best work.

To make a solution public, use the check box in the solution area:

Empty solution

Figure 3 (again). Empty solution

You mark each solution separately. This lets you choose exactly what to show.

How do others look at your public portfolio? By using a URL you give them. You can send them the URL in email, put it in a resumé, put it on your personal Web site, send it over the barking chain, whatever.

The URL is on your portfolio page. Just copy and paste.


Lessons

How to...


Dogs