About this course
4004-737 Website Design and Technology
This course builds on the basic aspects of HTML, web design, and multimedia programming that are presented in 741 (the prerequisite to this course). It provides an overview of web design concepts, including usability, accessibility, information design, and graphic design in the context of the web. It also provides an introduction to important and emerging web site technologies.
Important note regarding prerequisite knowledge: I will expect that you have a solid base of prior knowledge about basic HTML and CSS coding and the use of UNIX in a command-line environment. You should be familiar with basic HTML and CSS coding (using text editors), use of Photoshop (or other graphic editor), and basic design principles for the web, as well as UNIX commands for creating, deleting, renaming, and changing permissions for files and directories. I recommend the Visual Quickstart books on HTML and UNIX as a good reference for these topics, along with the Non-Designer's Web Book. In addition, in this course I assume that you have basic programming skills -- the particular language is not important, but an understanding of programming concepts is important.
Students are expected to use valid and well-formed XHTML 1.0 (Strict) and CSS (Level 2) for all work in this course. Some work with HTML5 APIs, tags, attributes, and ideas and some work with CSS3 will be encountered by students taking this course. All coding must be done "by hand" within a text or programmers' editor. Do not use Dreamweaver® or other such drag-and-drop editors, as they conceal too much of the code for our purposes.
Primary Topics Covered
- Information design & architecture
- Graphic design & web gestalt
- XHTML & the Document Object Model (DOM)
- Cascading style sheets (CSS)
- Frames, menus & other navigational control approaches
- Web-based forms & validation
- Introduction to basic server-side technologies
This section is reserved for the Syllabus of the class.
Textbooks, Readings, & Materials
The latest editions as well as used copies of the following texts should be available at the bookstore:
These texts are recommended as probably being useful for you long after you take the course:
- Webmaster in a Nutshell
- Information Architecture
In addition to the texts, online readings will be assigned and linked from this course Website. Other reading assignments may be provided or assigned as appropriate.
You should purchase and use blank CDs or DVDs or other robust media to save your work.
|Components||% of grade|
|Projects (20% each):||80%|
A final letter grade will be assigned from points that you have accumulated (e.g. A = 90-100%, B = 80-90%, etc.). I do not grade on a curve, so if every student does "A" work, then every student gets an "A" (or a "D", as the case may be...).
It is important to understand that if you complete all the requirements for an assignment, that is only sufficient for a grade of "C" (i.e. "satisfactory work"). To receive an "A" for an assignment, you must go beyond the basic requirements, and show creativity, initiative, and excellence. The grade of "A" is intended for work that is clearly superior, rather than average.
Assignments submitted after the due date/time, without prior approval from me, will lose 50% for each day that they are late. If you know that a situation will prevent you from turning something in, contact me in advance of the deadline to make alternate arrangements.
The Practical Exam
If you wish to dispute your final course grade, you must do so before the end of the quarter following this one; after that, documentation of your work may be discarded.
Attribution & Academic Honesty
Each student must write their own code, or include clear attribution statements in the source file(s) and in writeup(s) if they use or modify code created by someone else. Failure to give proper attribution will result in a grade of "F" on that assignment, and may be treated as a case of academic dishonesty.
Attendance & Participation
You are expected to attend every class. Missing just one class means you've missed a half week of material, which is 5% of the material for the entire quarter. If you absolutely must miss a class, it is your responsibility to find out what materials you've missed and to do the readings & exercises associated with that class.
Participation is more than simply showing up, however. I expect you to be an active participant in the learning process. That means asking questions when you don't understand a concept, helping others if you finish your work quickly, and being actively engaged in the class.
Each class meeting will include one or more exercises and/or lab time. These may be any of a variety of activities from group discussion & planning to step-by-step problem solving exercises. From time to time your in-class work will be checked, and this will figure into your participation grade for the quarter.
When I assign additional out-of-class materials, these materials may include study guides, tutorials, and questions and answers or small tests. They will always be due at the beginning of the next class. Your completion of this material will also figure into your grade for the quarter.
Your DCE ID and password actually gives you access to multiple systems here at RIT. In this class, you'll need a DCE account in order to access "Gibson," RIT's UNIX system that will store your WWW pages. You'll also need it to access RIT's webmail service. You probably already have this account, but if you don't (of if you have problems with it), bring your student ID to the ITS Help Desk to get your DCE account set up.
You should get an NT account if you ever wish to work on any Mac or PC in any IT lab. The NT accounts are set up by the staff in the main IT lab. You will need your student ID and your printed schedule (to prove that you are enrolled in an IT class). Check ahead to find out when you can have your account(s) set up; not all lab assistants have the authority to make the accounts.
Enrollment and Grading Issues
Last day to drop
For this quarter, you can add/drop a class on or before INSERT DATE HERE. After that date, you must withdraw from the course, which will show on your transcript as a "W".
Last day to withdraw
The deadline for withdrawing from a course with a "W" grade is INSERT DATE HERE. Forms may be obtained from the IT office, and must be signed by your instructor. Completed forms should be returned to the IT office no later than INSERT DATE HERE. After that date, a grade will be assigned based on the work that you have submitted.
You may request an incomplete (a grade of "I") only in cases where exceptional conditions beyond your control, such as accidents, severe illness, family problems, etc., have kept you from completing the course. You must alert us to these circumstances as soon as possible. Telling your instructor in February that you were sick in December is not acceptable.
Incomplete grades are not given to students who have simply fallen behind in their work.
If your request is granted, then you must complete the work for the course within the time limits set by the instructor. The maximum time to complete a grade of "I" is two (2) academic quarters. After that time, grades of "I" automatically become grades of "F".
Academic Honesty Policies
RIT has a specific policy dealing with academic dishonesty., which is available online at:
The Information Technology Department also has a specific policy dealing with academic dishonesty, which is also available online at:
It is extremely important that you understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. Please read the RIT & IT Department Academic Honesty Policies.
Some students are not familiar with the requirements of documentation in writing, and with the difference between appropriate use of sources and plagiarism. The following sites provide excellent examples of how and when to document your sources. Please review these sites before turning in your first assignment: