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Syllabus

Course Objectives

This course is designed to instruct students in Web site construction and design. Students will learn HTML coding and then be introduced to popular Web design and graphics programs including Photoshop, and jQuery, as well as the multimedia programs such as iMovie. 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 using a popular content management system, WordPress. 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 divide, cyberlaw, 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 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 Web sites that are functional and well designed
  • the ability to produce engaging multimedia to accompany sites

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. Assistance is available at designated times. Be prepared to spend extra time every day to work on projects. OM212 is available as an open lab for project work when it is not being used for a class. 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

There are no required textbooks this semester. Woo Hoo! We will sign up for a paid Web hosting service and you will be asked to watch online tutorials and online/offline readings.

Grading

  • Projects (3) 30%
  • Troubleshooting Quiz (1) 10%
  • Exercises (2) 10%
  • Final multimedia reporting project 40% (proposal 10%, final 30%) – groups of two
  • Participation & 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.

See Assignment Page for details.

Late Assignments and 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 receive a grade of F (equals to zero). A student may turn in one (1) assignment late during the semester, only if with prior arrangement with the instructor. Arranged late assignments must be turned in within a week after the original deadline. Any other late assignments will receive a grade of F.

“Email did not go through” is not an acceptable reason for handing in assignments late. As a student, it is your responsibility to keep a copy of “sent e-mail” as a record if we run into any technical difficulties.

Attendance is required in this course. You may have one absence without penalty throughout the semester if your class meets once a week. For the second and third absence, your final course grade will be reduced by 10% each. After the fourth absence, you will be encouraged to drop the course or you will receive an F.

There are no excused absences. Sickness and work-related absences must be covered within the two/one. 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.

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.

Tech Supplies and Equipment

You will need a USB storage device (Flash 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 BlueHost (http://www.bluehost.com/) to obtain your own domain for only $80 per year. There are other hosting options, but many students prefer to get their own domain so that they can use it for resume/portfolio later on.

If you are taking a online version of this class, you may need to use a trial version of Adobe Photoshop or subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud for the period that you are taking the class. You need to have a computer at home, either a Mac of a PC. Mac is preferred.

Equipment Checkout

If you take an online version of this class, either contact the teaching assistant for equipment checkout or use your smartphone for video shooting.

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

Negative attitude is not allowed in this classroom.

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. Browsing the Web, checking email, IMing, 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.

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 drop this or any course by March 26 and receive an automatic W. After that date you cannot drop a single course. You must withdraw from all courses. The final withdraw deadline is April 23. As a student, it is your responsibility to understand the university’s policy on drop classes: http://www.registrar.txstate.edu/registration/drop-a-class.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.mrp.txstate.edu/studenthandbook/rules.html#academic.

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.

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