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Introduction to Web Design
Spring 2011


Assignments: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7

Required texts

Grading policy

Office Hours: I am in every day most of the time from 8 to 11:30 and from 1:30 until 4:00. Just call – 863 6391 – or email me – – and set a time. My office is 306 Patterson. – Jerry Maddox

January 10-14

The first week is an introduction to the course and the online tools. Be sure your access account is working. Sign up for Web space and be sure you know how post to your PASS space. (Here are directions for using PASS Explorer.) If you don't have a personal home page up, make a simple one which can be revised later and have it available from your PSU address - mine is, yours will be the same using your userid where I have mine, jxm22. If you already have site at that address, link your course page to that page. This is your first assignment.

If you haven't already used Dreamweaver, Photoshop and Illustrator, go to one of the labs and familiarize yourself with their basic features - create a basic web page, edit a photograph and create a simple graphic.

There are many Web editors, both free and commercial. You can also do all your Web markup in a text editor, like NotePad (PC) or TextEdit (Mac) or free editors like TextWrangler (Mac), NoteTab (PC), HTML-Kit (PC) and jEdit (Linux, Mac, Windows). All are free downloads. And there are many others, especially for Windows, just search for them.

Please don't use a word processing program like MS Word or WordPerfect, saving your files as HTML, nor the web editor Front Page. They introduce a lot of unnecessary markup which makes the files hard to edit in a text editor.

Here is link to hotspots in State College. If you know of any others, let me know so I can add them.

Reading assignment: HTML, XHTML & CSS, Chs. 1, 2, 3, 4, pp 24–79

January 17 - Martin Luther King Day

January 18-21

The second assignment is to present a dynamic extended text document, in this case a blog, using cascading style sheets to format it. Be sure to give careful attention to your choice of font, font size, line length and line height. This example I have prepared can be a starting off place for you - just save the source and edit it fit your needs. You can open the source in an editor and make regular additions to it (one addition a week is required).

If your native language is not English, or you are very fluent in another one, the text can be in that language. You will need to include a brief summary in English. If you work in another language than English, be sure your language setting is to UTF-8: content="text/html; charset=utf-8"

Your blog is your second assignment.

Assignment 1 is due January 24th.

It should be posted to the www directory in our PASS space.

January 31 - February 4

While you are working on your blog. Look at examples on line - there are thousands available, just pick a topic that interests you and do a search to find one written about that subject. Look, for instance, Nicholas Kristof's blog, it is widely read and draws many interesting and informed comments as well as guest bloggers and Scripting News, one of the oldest blogs. It is about, among other things, the effect of the internet on society.

Assignment 2 is due February 2.

It should be linked to your 1st Assignment.

Reading assignment: HTML, XHTML & CSS, Chs. 5, 6, pp 81 – 118

February 7 - 11

The third assignment will working on a site that deals with a dense collection of information - here is one model based on a table and a second based on a list. Both are just the beginnings of information packed pages that can provide models for markup - look at Google News, Arts & Letters Daily or this discography for very rich, complete examples. For this assignment pick a topic that is of interest to you (it can be anything from the economy to comic books to skydiving to Mayan hieroglyphics) and build a site with links to information about it.

Reading assignment: HTML, XHTML & CSS, Lists, Ch 15, Tables, Ch 16, pp 215—252

February 14 - 18

To help in your research for your collection, in addition to Google, use Wikipedia, Britannica, and to find the material you want to link to your site.

Assignment 3 is due February 25th.

Reading assignment: HTML, XHTML & CSS, Chs.7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, pp 119–197

February 21 - 25

Assignment 4 will be creating three visual sites. Here are is an example using a background image and another just using text and color.

Reading assignment: HTML, XHTML & CSS, Ch.14, 15 and 16 pp 209–252

Assignment 4 is due March 14th.

March 7-11 - Spring Break

March 14-18

Assignment 5 is a return to extended text - in this case a research essay. It should be written by you, at least 750 words and can be about a topic of your choice. Format it in way similar to a Wikipedia entry with list of contents and references (note the use of a table for Discography). Try to make is as easy to read as possible - compare these two examples: 1 & 2 - to see how much careful formatting can help. Don't include images for this assignment, they will be added in Assignment 6.

Reading assignment: HTML, XHTML & CSS, Ch. 18, 19 and 20 pp 281–326

March 21-25

Complete Assignment 5 this week, if you haven't already.

Reading assignment: HTML, XHTML & CSS, Ch. 21, pp 327–338, - (X)HTML Symbols and Non-English Characters pp 419–421

Assignment 5 is due March 25th.

March 28 -April 1

Assignment 6 is to add at least five images to your research essay, Assignment 5. As in this site, they can be graphics, maps and photographs.

April 4-8

Complete you work on Assignment 6 this week, if you haven't already.

Assignment 6 is due April 8th.

April 11-15

Assignment 7 is to return to your blog and make non-text entries to it. These can be videos, sound clips, animations or simply photographs or other still graphics. There should be at least three entries - they can be of the same kind or different kinds of non-text material. Try to show how you can communicate in different ways using different media

April 18-22

Complete the work on Assignment 7 this week and revisions or corrections you need to make to earlier assignments.

Assignment 7 is due April 18th.

April 25-29

Completion of outstanding projects and revisions of them.

Classes end April 29 - there is no Final Exam.

Grading policy

Your grade for the course will be primarily based on the quality of your individual work on your personal sites and contributions to class discussion. You will have a one week grace period after the work is due to turn it in with no reduction in grade, every week after that will mean a reduction of one grade.

Each individual assignment receive a grade within a week after it is submitted, if it posted before the end of the grace period.

Academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception and is an educational objective of this institution. Academic dishonesty, includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarizing, fabricating of information or citations, facilitating acts of academic dishonestly by others, having unauthorized possession of examinations, submitting work of another person or work previously used without informing the instructor, or tampering with the academic work of other students.