Free Books for Learning Javascript

Before you can start to use javascript in e-learning projects you need to understand the basics of the javascript language itself.  Here is a list of resources that will help you to learn the parts of javascript most useful when developing e-learning.

Note that not all of the content in these books can be used in e-learning.  For example manipulating the DOM (don't worry the books explain this) isn't as useful when using javascript in Captivate or Articulate as it is when using something like the Adapt Framework.‚Äč

Javascript for Cats

A playful and easily approachable introduction to javascript and programming. If you love cats and are unsure about learning javascript this is the place to start.

The most useful parts of this tutorial are variables, functions, loops, arrays, and objects. All are explained in simple terms with good hands on examples.

Learn Javascript

Another gentle introduction to javascript programming with short readable sections that include hands on exercises right on the page.

The best part is every bit of this introduction can be used in e-learning development with javascript.

Eloquent Javascript

A great general introduction to javascript which expands on the lessons of the books above. Part one will be the most useful for an e-learning developer just getting started.  The rest of the book introduces javascript in the browser and javascript on the server.

In the browser the most useful parts are handling events, form fields, and drawing on a canvas. 

Part 3 introduces javascript on the server using Node.js.  This is more advanced but is very useful in understanding how to install and use the Adapt Framework.

jQuery Fundamentals

Many e-learning development tools (such as Captivate) use the jQuery library to simplify programming in javascript.  This book was written in 2012 but that is ok as the versions of jQuery used by e-learning development tools can be older.

Because jQuery is based on javascript there is a good introduction to javascript here as well.