This course is designed to instruct students in Web site construction and design. Students will learn HTML/CSS coding and be introduced to popular graphics and multimedia programs including Photoshop and iMovie, the Bootstrap framework, as well as the content management system WordPress. The course will cover the usage of graphics, sound and video and discuss the appropriateness of multimedia on Web sites for journalism, advertising, public relations, and e-commerce. Students will work on several small Web projects that will lead to a final multimedia project. The goal is to emphasize more than just the skills associated with individual programs, but the integration of several programs into designing effective and attractive Web sites.
In addition, the class will address social and theoretical implications of technology, such as the digital history, cyberlaw, e-commerce, and Web content accessibility.
The course requires attendance at lab sessions and lectures as topics tend to build upon one another. In past semesters, students who attended class regularly turned in the more creative, impressive projects.
Upon completion of this course, students will possess the ability to:
- Demonstrate the use of HTML, CSS and other Web design technologies
- Develop sites using frameworks and content management systems
- Write effective content for the Web
- Explain the role of interactive, multimedia, Web 2.0, and communication environments, including issues of diversity and inclusiveness
- Develop sites that demonstrate the principles of design
- Develop sites that demonstrate user experience and engagement design
This class uses a variety of teaching methods to accommodate various learning styles. Lecture is but one method in which students will be introduced to course concepts. Students are expected to participate in news and current event discussions, providing topics that are of interest to them. The instructor will cover skills session in class as a group, and students will practice skills both in and out of class in order to complete projects. Assistance is available at designated times in the MILab. The new MILab is also available as an open lab for project work. The course Web site provides a variety of resources for reinforcement of learning, including downloadable handouts and video tutorials. Students will also participate in online discussions and a blogging activity that will further provide an opportunity to communicate and contribute.
You must use an active Texas State email account. Communication via TRACS uses your Texas State email, and the university is required to send grade information out only through the Texas State email system. Make sure you check your email on a regular basis, as schedule changes will be communicated there as well as on TRACS.
There are no required textbooks this semester. Woo Hoo! You will be asked to do online or handout readings from time to time.
These books are optional and might be a good resource for the future:
You will be required to get a Reclaim Hosting account, which is $25. Details to follow.
Basic assignments (3) 30%
Exercises – CSS (5%), Troubleshooting (5%) and iMovie (10%)
Short News participation (1) 5% Facebook group; you’ll be assigned a day to post a news item, and the class will comment
Final multimedia reporting project 25% (draft 5%, final 20%)
Slack Posts and Other Assignments 10%
Participation and Attendance 10%
There is no extra credit available for this class. Please contact the instructor early in the semester if you are having problems with any of the course requirements.
Late Assignments and Attendance
Assignments for this course are challenging and fun, but the class moves very quickly, so you will not want to fall behind. Missed assignments will receive a grade of F. A student may turn in one (1) assignment late during the semester, if there is an excused reason with PRIOR arrangement with professor. Any other late assignments will receive a grade of F.
Attendance is required in this course. Graduate students are expected to attend every class. But if you absolutely must miss, you are allowed one absence. Any more than that and your overall participation grade will suffer, because you can’t participate if you are not in class. There are no excused absences, sickness and work-related absences must be covered within the policy above. Because we cover so much ground in this class, it is no coincidence that the best projects historically have been turned in by the students with the best attendance.
For ANY absence, students will be expected to catch up on their own (with online materials, tutorials and by asking fellow students) and ask only specific questions to either the instructor or TA about what they missed (don’t ask “What did I miss?” or “Did I miss anything?” or “I’m lost” – which is not a question at all).
You MUST be prepared for any material that you missed on the next class day you attend.
Students (and teachers, too) often learn best from one another, so an open environment is encouraged. Ask questions and help each other.
We will start class at the designated time. It is important that you show up on time, as announcements tend to be made early, and you could miss valuable information. If you arrive later than 5 minutes after the designated time, you will be marked as late. This can effect your participation grade, as well as your ultimate course grade.
Supplies and Equipment
You will need a USB storage device (Flash drive) to save a backup of your files. You will also receive access to a shared folder on the department server, but it is best to have a backup on disk.
We will discuss Web hosting options in class.
Students should also have a TX State email account that they check frequently. This will be the main method of course communication.
Use of School-Owned Camera Equipment
This class may utilize the School of Journalism and Mass Communication Equipment Checkout Room. Use of equipment is a privilege earned through your respect of and cooperation with the checkout rules. These rules are put in place to ensure all students have a chance to use the equipment. If you are late returning a camera to the Equipment Checkout Room, you lose all checkout privileges. In addition, a return that is two days late may result in up to a letter deduction on your grade. If equipment is kept five days past the due date, it is considered stolen, and UPD will be notified. For any equipment borrowed from instructor, you are expected to return in a timely manner in full working condition under the same policy.
In this class, you should feel comfortable to participate and express opinions and ideas. Please respect the opinions of others and be considerate of their need to contribute and learn. Turn off cell phones before entering class, and do not take calls during class. Do not use your phone for text messaging during class. Web browsing, checking email, messaging, Twitter, Snapchat, Pokemon Go, Facebook or other non-related activities during class are not acceptable. You may do these things on breaks or during work times, but use your time in class wisely for project work. Please do not have private conversations with your neighbors during class time, whether the instructor or other students are talking.
Any student who does not adhere to these conduct policies will be asked to leave the classroom. In general, please be respectful of others desire to learn and help to create a fun and beneficial classroom environment.
Student work will be displayed on the web, which means that it will be available to anyone with Internet access and a browser. Please see the instructor if you have any concerns about posting your projects to the web.
Dropping a Course
Texas State has a new course drop policy. You can withdraw this or any course by Oct. 30 (Fall 2016) and receive an automatic W. After that date you cannot drop a single course. You must withdraw from all courses. This drop date is much earlier than in the past.
Students are required to submit original work in this course unless otherwise specified in the assignments. This includes text, content, graphics and photography. Students may use clip art from “free” clip art sites with appropriate credit and identification, but are encouraged to design their own artwork and shoot their own photos and video.
The School of Journalism and Mass Communication commits itself to the preparation of mass media professionals and scholars. Such a mission demands the highest standards of academic honesty and integrity. Violations of academic honesty, including but not limited to plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, collusion, deception, conflict of interest and theft, are not tolerated and can lead to severe penalties. Disciplinary actions for violations of the standards for academic honesty are outlined in the Texas State Academic Honesty Statement, printed each year in the Student Handbook. The policy is also available at http://www.dos.txstate.edu/handbook/rules/honorcode.html.
Note to Students with Disabilities
Texas State University seeks to provide reasonable accommodations for all qualified individuals with disabilities. This university will adhere to all applicable federal, state, and local laws. Students with disabilities who need special accommodations should contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) at (512) 245-3451, and register with that office. ODS is located in Suite 5-5.1 at the LBJ Student Center. If you are a student with a disability certified by ODS and you require accommodations in this class, it is your responsibility to notify the professor no later than the fifth class day of this semester so that accommodations can be discussed and promptly provided.
Instructor may notify you of changes or updates to policies in this syllabus throughout the semester.