CSDI 1200 – Web Expressions Course Syllabus

Class: Web Expressions (CSDI 1200)
Instructor: Matthew Batchelder
Office: Hyde 3rd Floor, ITS Offices
Phone: 535-2086
Office Hours: I am in my office most of the time between 8AM and 5PM. However, I will make sure I’m there if you call or email me ahead of time.
Email: mtbatchelder (AT) plymouth (DOT) edu
Required Text Book: The Web Wizard’s Guide to Multimedia, James Lengel (publisher: Addison-Wesley, ISBN: 0-201-74561-5)

Meeting Times and Places:
Monday and Friday: Rounds 206, 12:20-1:10.
Wednesday: Memorial 213, 12:20-1:10 Lab.

We will not be having class on September 26.

Course Description:
Web Expressions teaches students how to have a voice on the Internet. Our philosophy is founded in the principle that the message is the medium. As a result of this course, students will have the skills necessary to effectively express themselves over the Internet. The class will cover five basic modes of expression, static text, interactive text, sounds, images, and animation. Students will select the content for each mode of expression by researching a selected topic. Students will explore the notion of effective communication by reacting to other similar expressions and peer review. After having explored each mode of expression, students will select subject matter for a larger integrated web project that draws from each mode of expression. Students will be expected to review the web expressions of their classmates and provide constructive feedback. In addition to learning about expressing themselves over the Internet, students will be informed of the potential danger of revealing personal information over the Internet, and informed how to make their expressions anonymous. Other issues such as intellectual property, violating the privacy of others, spyware, cookies, netiquette and other topics concerning creating appropriate web expressions will be discussed.

Course Goals and Objectives:
1. Learn about how the web works.
2. Learn how to create web expressions and receive peer feedback to improve the effect your web expression has on others.
3. Learn to effectively critique creative expressions.
4. Learn about the nature of text, image, audio, video, graphic and animation files.
5. Learn about and create a blog.
6. Learn to effectively create blog content through research and other information gathering techniques.
7. Learn to think critically about blog content.
8. Learn about creating and editing the various media.
9. Learn about various types of files used for web pages.
10. Learn about web-based multimedia and the special problems involved in delivering media over the WWW.
11. Learn about designing effective and accessible web pages.
12. Learn to use a variety of common software packages to complete the above objectives.
13. Learn about ethical/privacy considerations of creating web pages.

30% – Final Project
20% – Assignments
20% – Weblog
20% – Quizzes
10% – Peer Evaluation/Participation

Grade Scale:
Grades will be assigned according to the following scale:
93-100 – A
90-92 – A-
88-89 – B+
83-87 – B
80-82 – B-
78-79 – C+
73-77 – C
70-72 – C-
68-69 – D+
63-67 – D
60-62 – D-
below 60 – F

There will be quizzes on Mondays throughout the semester. These will be used by the instructor to provide frequent feedback to ensure that students are making adequate progress in understanding the material. No makeup quizzes will be given. The lowest quiz score will be dropped.

Creative Thought Direction
People need to be creative in order to thrive in our complex and changing world.

People need to understand the creative processes that lead to the generation of ideas and to engage in new interpretations of existing ideas. Creative thought courses encourage students to recognize beauty in its many manifestations and to become aware of formal elements of creative expression.

These courses also encourage students to view themselves as creative beings, to appreciate creativity in others, and to regard creativity as an essential component in all areas of human endeavor. In these courses, students develop and value perseverance and a tolerance for ambiguity. Students are challenged to appreciate aesthetic forms, to use their imaginations, and to develop the skills and attitudes that allow creativity to flourish: independence and non-conformity, the ability to organize and reorganize information, and the confidence to think in new ways.

Creative Thought courses emphasize the skills of critical thinking, reading, writing, listening and speaking, and working with information technology.

Peer Review and Creative Expression:
Students will be challenged to provide constructive feedback in response to creative expressions produced by students in class. The feed back will follow guidelines provided in class geared to creating a productive dialog around developing creative works. Students will read several essays by artists addressing their creative process to better understand the creative processes that lead to the generation of ideas and to engage in new interpretations of existing ideas.

Class Philosophy:
This course is driven by your interests and passions. The nature of this course is to teach you how to most effectively express your ideas, interests, and creations on the World Wide Web. . In addition there are a number of concepts that you will be held accountable for. These concepts are important to your effective use of the Internet, such as ethical and social aspects of using and creating expressions on the web. You are expected to participate in all modes of expression covered in class, but you should not have to memorize large quantities of information. In order to avoid the need to memorize you should keep a good set of notes. All quizzes will be open notes, so it is important that you take notes from your readings as well as keeping notes on how to do a number of technical tasks. You should find your notes useful in the future when you develop other web expressions.

Attendance Policy:
Attendance will not be taken in class or lab. However, every student is responsible for everything covered, even if it is not in the text.

Academic Honesty:
Issues of copyright and attributing original sources are particularly important in this course. These topics will be covered in this course, but it is important to realize from the first day of this course that you must accurately represent work that you have created originally versus work that consists of elements from other authors/creators. A safe guideline is to very clearly attribute the work of others, and use content from other people sparingly in your own work. I reserve the right to individually question students about their homework assignments and labs to have the student explain his or her answers to me. If you are unable to explain your answers when I ask, you will not be given credit for the assignment or lab. Such a situation constitutes plagiarism and you are referred to the Student Handbook for a description of the possible consequences of such academic dishonesty.

(Syllabus format is loosely based off of Evelyn Stiller‘s Web Expression syllabus)