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715 B.Y.O.L.: Using Less.js for More Manageable Style Sheets

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM Friday, October 31


Raphael 2

Complex online learning platforms usually mean complex visual styles. Maybe your platform has different skins for different groups of learners. Or maybe the styles change depending on the learning context, e.g., in a practice exercise versus a learning evaluation. All that visual complexity transfers to complex, often messy, stylesheet code.

In this session you will explore Less.js, a CSS preprocessor, which extends the CSS language to allow for variables, functions, and reusable sets of style declarations called mixins. You will learn how these features can help you create stylesheets that are more themable, reusable, and better organized. You will gain an overview of the concepts and advantages of Less, and walk through the process of creating your own Less stylesheets.

In this session, you will learn:

  • What a CSS preprocessor is, and why you would use one
  • The features of Less.js that make it easier to manage and use stylesheets
  • How to write stylesheets in Less
  • How to compile Less for deployment

Intermediate and advanced designers, developers, and project managers with a good practical understanding of CSS and how it is used to style HTML pages.

Technology discussed in this session:
CSS, Less.js, HTML.

Participant technology requirements:
Participants will need to install Crunch (Less editor and compiler), available free from Participants are invited to bring their own CSS stylesheet files to rework during the session and show as examples.

Amy Som

Manager, Instructional and Front-End Design

University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine

Amy Som is a manager of instructional and front-end design at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. She works with faculty contributors on the content sequencing, instructional strategies, and information design of online courses. She also creates instructional graphics and works on user interface design and front-end programming for the Center’s websites. Amy has a BA in studio art from the University of Arizona and an MS Ed in instructional systems technology from Indiana University Bloomington.

Molly Burke

Director of Online Education

Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Arizona

Molly Burke is the director of online education for the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. Molly started out, in 2000, as part of their web team, creating an online integrative medicine fellowship for training physicians and nurse practitioners across the country and internationally. She has worn many hats, including instructional designer and project manager. Molly, who holds a bachelor’s degree in media arts/photography and an MFA in creative writing, dabbled in local television news as a videographer and editor before coming to the center. Now she focuses on educational strategies to support the success of the wide variety of students participating in the center’s educational offerings.

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