Are you looking to level up your skills? Or just trying to figure out where to start? We built Open Lab for you. This website is full of resources and tutorials about all kinds of things.

Help us build this resource: if you try things here, let us know if you like or hate them. If you find other things you think should be here, let us know!

Open Lab has sometimes been an in-person drop-in time at Knight Lab where people can get one-on-one coding help, meet other students with similar interests, or just have a place to work on projects. Right now, in-person Open Lab is on hold, but let us know if it’s something you’d be interested in seeing happen. In the meantime, Knight Lab Chief Nerd Joe Germuska is also available for office hours.

I want to…

Learn about building websites

Learn how to analyze data

Learn about telling stories with data

Learn to code

Learn about maps

Understand how the Internet works

Learn about AI and Journalism

Learn about graphic design

Learn about design thinking

Learn about news product development

Learn the lingo (concepts and buzzwords)

Get inspired by examples

Play around

Getting Started

While many links in this guide are to things on the open web, a few are to resources Northwestern subscribes to. We recommend that you set up your access to these right away, both to be ready if we link to things in them, and also because there will be a lot more in them that could be great but we just haven’t found yet!


Guided tutorials are great, but there’s some kinds of learning that only come from trying to solve real problems and getting into and out of the inevitable jams that happen. We encourage students to pay attention to things they see on the web that they admire: sometimes you can make a good project out of trying to understand how those were made, even if you ultimately “break off” just a small part and work to understand that better. Or, here are some ideas:

General resources

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