Syllabus

Syllabus

MC 4315 – Web Design and Publishing

Course Information

Instructor: Sara Shields
Email: sms213@txstate.edu
Course Site: www.webdesign.saramshields.com
Office Location: Old Main 106-C
Office Hours: T/Th 4:00pm – 5:00pm, W 1:00pm – 2:00pm and 5:30pm – 6:30pm, or appointment

TA: Edward Malek
Email: eam141@txstate.edu
Lab Location: 106A
Lab Hours: M and T 1:30pm – 4:30pm

Section 09 Class Location: Old Main 212
Section 09 Class Hours: Wed 6:30pm – 9:20pm
Section 10 Class Location: Old Main 238
Section 10 Class Hours: T/Th 5:00pm – 6:20pm

Course Description

This course is designed to instruct students in website construction and design. Students will learn HTML and CSS coding and be introduced to popular Web design and graphics programs including Adobe Photoshop, JavaScript, Slack, development platforms (Twitter Bootstrap), content management systems (WordPress) and video editing programs like iMovie. The course will cover the usage of graphics, sound and video and discuss the appropriateness of multimedia on websites 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 websites. In addition, the class will address social and theoretical implications of technology, such as the digital divide, cyber law, e-commerce, and Web content credibility and accessibility. The course requires attendance at weekly 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:

An understanding of HTML, CSS, JavaScript and other Web design technologies

A broad perspective on the interactive, multimedia, Web 2.0 and communication environments, including issues of diversity and inclusiveness

The ability to create websites that are functional and well designed

The ability to produce engaging multimedia to accompany sites

Learning Outcomes

Students will learn basic web and digital skills, as demonstrated by:

1. Coding

Coding several projects / websites using HTML and CSS with a plain text editor

2. Design

Designing logos and other graphics using Adobe Photoshop

3. Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting coding errors and solving technical problems as they arise

4. Using a CMS

The installation of WordPress and using it as a content manager for a final web project

5. Editing

Shooting, editing and publishing web video using iMovie and YouTube

6. Brainstorm / Ideation

The application of ideas and concepts within each project

Teaching Methods

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 and students will practice skills both in and out of class in order to complete projects. TA assistance is available at designated times. Be prepared to spend extra time to work on projects. The course website 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.

Email

You must use an active Texas State email account. Communication via TRACS uses your Texas State email. 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, at least once a day, as schedule changes will be communicated mostly via email.

Textbooks and Supplies

You will need a USB storage device (flash drive or external hard drive) to save a backup of your files. We will discuss Web hosting options in class. For most of you, I am going to recommend going through Reclaim Hosting to obtain your own domain. There are other hosting options, but I may not be able to assist with hosting problems from other providers.

There are no required textbooks this semester. However, we will be reading some excerpts from Taylor Swift and Eminem (just kidding, just seeing if you’re paying attention). Occasionally you will also be asked to do online or handout readings from time to time. An optional book that is a very helpful resource is HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites.

Instead of purchasing a textbook, you are required to purchase a self-hosted domain through Reclaim Hosting. We will discuss more in class, but here is the preliminary rate: $30 / year

Grading

Projects

Student Bio Site 10%
Student Bio Responsive 15%
Bootstrap Website 20%

Final Project

WordPress 25%

Exercises

Video Exercise 5%
Troubleshooting 5%

Participation / Attendance

Participation and Attendance 10%

Discussion

Slack Posts 5%
Tech News 5%

Attendance

Assignments for this course are challenging and fun, but the class moves very quickly. You will not want to fall behind. Missed assignments will result in a zero. Late work is not accepted. Attendance is required in this course. Because we cover so much ground in this class, it is no coincidence the best projects historically have been turned in by the students with the best attendance. Students (and teachers, too) often learn best from one another, so an open environment is encouraged. Ask questions and help each other. If you do miss a class, you are required to catch up on your own and be prepared for any material that you missed on the next class day you attend.

Section 09 – Wednesday 6:30pm – 9:20pm
You may have up to one absence without penalty throughout the semester. There are no excused absences, so illness and/or work-related absences must be covered within the one. Your second absence will result in a 10% overall grade deduction, and your third absence will result in another 10% overall grade deduction. If there is a fourth absence, you will be encouraged to drop the course or you will receive an F. 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 five minutes after the designated time, you will be marked as late. This can affect your participation grade and perhaps your course grade.

Section 10 – Tuesday / Thursday 5:00pm – 6:20pm
You may have up to two absences without penalty throughout the semester. There are no excused absences, so illness and/or work-related absences must be covered within the two. Your third absence will result in a 5% overall grade deduction, and your fourth absence will result in a 10% overall grade deduction. If there is a fifth absence, you will be encouraged to drop the course or you will receive an F. 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 five minutes after the designated time, you will be marked as late. This can affect your participation grade and perhaps your course grade.

Equipment Checkout

We have several digital still cameras and several DV camcorders assigned to this class and nowadays, lots of students use their smartphones for video production. If you need to check out equipment, please contact me in advance if you want to check one out. You will be allowed to keep it from one class period to the next (i.e. checkout on Mon, return on Wed), so plan your shoots accordingly. On the day you return a camera, you must download your photos/videos and delete them from the memory card. To reserve a camera for a specific date, email me.

You MUST return the camera(s) in full working order on the following class period. It is important to respect other classmates’ needs to use the equipment. No Excuses will be accepted. Failure to return the equipment on the next class period will result in an automatic reduction of 10% from your final course grade, and your equipment checkout privilege will be revoked for the remainder of the semester.

You are responsible for the equipment that you checkout. Failure to return any equipment due to loss, damage, theft or any other reason will result in the replacement value of that equipment being charged to your TX State account.

Student Conduct

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. If you must take a phone call, please leave the room. Do not use your phone for text messaging during class. Browsing the Web, checking email, messaging, Twitter, Facebook or other non-related activities during class are not acceptable. 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. Students (and teachers, too) often learn best from one another, so an open environment is encouraged. Ask questions and help each other.

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.

Drop Policy

You can drop this or any course by October 28, 2019, and receive an automatic W. After that date, you cannot drop a single course. Instead, you must withdraw from all courses. Please review PPS 4.09 at this website: http://www.txstate.edu/academicaffairs/pps/pps4/4-09.html

Academic Honesty

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 art from “free” sites with appropriate credit and identification, but are encouraged to design their own artwork (grades will be higher for using original work as opposed to another’s artwork).

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.txstate.edu/effective/upps/upps-07-10-01.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.