Programming for Web Communications Syllabus

INTM 3100.01 Programming for Web Communications

Webster University
School of Communications
Dept. of Electronic & Photographic Media

Fall 2015
Wednesdays 9:00–11:50 a.m.
26 August–16 December 2015
Sverdrup 106

On this page…

    Instructor: Scott Granneman

    You can also read my full CV.

    Course Description

    Students learn the application of interactive media to the Internet. The course addresses concepts and strategies for integrating interactive function and design in the World Wide Web context. Students learn how to organize information and design the interactive function of a Web-based delivery system. The projects in this class are publications of Web sites that have interpreted and applied interactive design and function in their Web site. Prerequisites: INTM 1600 AND INTM 2200 OR permission of the instructor.

    What You're Going to Learn

    Basically, HTML & CSS & how to put them together correctly to create a website.

    Learning Outcomes


    During each class I will take a few minutes & discuss a mini-topic for 15 minutes or so. Some of these mini-topics include:

    • Snippets
    • Regular Expressions (RegEx)
    • Simplenote
    • OpenDNS
    • Backing up
    • Password safes
    • RSS
    • The best help sites
    • Ebooks
    • Markdown
    • Wolfram Alpha
    • Cookies
    • LAMP (& WAMP & MAMP)
    • Git & GitHub
    • Portable Apps
    • Encoding email addresses
    • SEO
    • Finding multimedia
    • AJAX
    • Minimizing code
    • WYSIWYG Web tools
    • Automating my Mac



    There are no required books. Readings will consist of articles, analyses, & ephemera from the Internet. Virtually everything you need can be accessed via my website; however, when it's appropriate I will recommend books useful for further study & reference.

    OK, if you just have to kill a tree, I highly recommend Jon Duckett's HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites. But it's not required.

    Jon Duckett’s JavaScript and JQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development is also very good if you want to learn JavaScript.


    In order to participate fully in this class, you need to sign up with GranneClass, an email discussion group hosted by Yahoo Groups.

    To subscribe, send an email with a short sentence explaining who you are to To send and receive email, you do NOT need to be a Yahoo member.

    To view archived messages, go to; note, though, that you must be a Yahoo member (which is free and relatively painless) to use the group on the Web.

    Please note that my web development course at Washington University also uses GranneClass. Cross-pollination is a good thing in nature; I think it will be a good thing in this case as well. If a message is meant for students at a particular university, I will preface the subject with either "WASH U" or "WEBSTER" to indicate to whom it is directed.


    Your grade will be based on the following factors:

    Grades will be based on an average of the above as follows:

    100 A+
    94-99 A
    89-93 A-
    86-88 B+
    83-85 B
    79-82 B-
    76-78 C+
    73-75 C
    69-72 C-
    66-68 D+
    63-65 D
    59-62 D-
    0-58 F

    At any time you can ask me how you’re doing in the course & I will show you.

    How the Class Works

    This course is based around the idea of flipped teaching. Instead of coming to class to hear a lecture & then going home to do work, we’re going to flip that.

    I’ve made videos for most of the lectures in this course, & you will watch those at home. Some videos are 2 minutes long, while the longest is around 40 minutes; most are around 10 minutes or so. When we’re in class, I’ll review important or tricky stuff, answer questions, & walk around to help or grade your work.

    Note that all grading will be done by the two of us sitting together. I will never accept homework turned in via email or any other way that is not collaborative.

    If you want to show me some code that you’re confused about or need help with, please go to Pastebin, do the following, & then send me the URL:


    Accommodation of disabilities

    Webster University is committed to providing accommodations and/or services to students with documented disabilities. If you have registered as a student with a documented disability and are entitled to classroom or testing accommodations, please inform me at the beginning of the course.

    Drops and Withdrawals

    The Drop/Add & Withdrawal dates are listed each semester on the University website, in the University catalog, & in the Course Description book. If the course is dropped within the Drop/Add period, no notation of the course will appear on the student’s transcript. Withdrawals that take place after the published Drop date will result in the dreaded “W” appearing on the student’s transcript.


    Some random student assignments or projects may be retained by the School of Communications for the purpose of academic assessment as it relates to student learning outcomes. In addition, I may keep some assignments to show future students. In those cases, the student’s name and all identifying information about the student will be removed from the assignment or project.

    Academic Integrity

    This course will follow Webster University’s policies concerning academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty will result in failure for the assignment in question & referral to the appropriate individuals, who have discretion to impose a stricter penalty.

    While academic dishonesty includes cheating on exams and quizzes, it also includes plagiarism in written assignments. Plagiarism is not only passing off someone else’s work as your own, but also giving your work to someone else to pass off as their own. It also includes submitting work from another course. While I strongly encourage you to discuss your work with each other in and out of class, and while you may research issues together, your work should be your own.

    Any papers you submit must be your work alone, and must include citations to all references in your work. Please include the URL, or Web address, for articles and resources found on the Internet.

    If you have any questions about academic integrity, please bring them to me before you do anything that may jeopardize your grades, your education, & your future!


    I have no problem with students using a laptop, tablet, or smartphone during class for academic purposes; in fact, I would do the same thing. However, please do not use your personal device (or the computer on your desk) during class to conduct personal business such as Facebook, email, or IMing. This reduces your concentration & participation and distracts others around you. Repeated distractions will reduce your grade for the course. Please do what you need to do to keep cell phone distractions at a minimum.


    It is paramount that we respect each other in class & online. Follow this simple rule: disagree with the idea, but not the person. In other words, it’s OK to say “That’s a bad idea, because …”, and it’s not OK to say “You’re a bad/stupid/inconsiderate person, because …”.

    If you have an issue with a classmate’s behavior online, please bring it to me privately by emailing me at

    If you’d like to find out more, please feel free to read The Core Rules of Netiquette, by Virginia Shea.

    Tech Support

    Need my help diagnosing a problem you’re having remotely? Something won’t install, or won’t work?

    1. Download & install the free Jing, which works on both Mac OS X & Windows.
    2. Record what you’re seeing on your computer screen, up to a maximum of 5 minutes.
    3. Upload the resulting video to (also free).
    4. Send me a link to the video.

    In the email you send me, include the following information:

    1. What you did.
    2. What you thought should happen.
    3. What actually happened.
    4. Why that’s a problem.

    If you’re talking about a public webpage, don’t forget to include the URL!

    Tentative Schedule

    Introductions / HTML

    Wednesday, 2015-08-26

    Scott: An Introduction

    Topics: Scott. Jans. Lovecraft. An outline. Mobility eating the world.

    Web Development: The Absolute Basics

    Topics: History. Browsers. Rendering engines. Simple webpages. Elements, attributes, & values. DTDs. Character encoding. Simple webpages, corrected. Comments. Editing tools. Templates.



    Wednesday, 2015-09-02


    HTML Overview: Elements, Attributes, Entities

    Topics: Categorizing HTML elements. Basic document structure. Metadata. Global attributes. Lines & paragraphs. Outlines & sections. Grouping. CSS hooks. Lists.




    Wednesday, 2015-09-09


    HTML Overview: Elements, Attributes, Entities

    Topics: Quotations. Text semantics. Text formatting. Multimedia. Tables. Forms. Frames. Scripting. Foreign characters. Obnoxious & obsolete. Character entities. IE, bringing up the rear. Tools.


    • Brackets
      An open source, free, innovative HTML, CSS, & JavaScript editor
    • Additional Right Click Menu extension for Brackets
      An extension by Deddy Lasmono Putro, for the Windows users who cannot re-train their muscle memory
    • Indent Guides (install via Extension Manager)
      Show lines for each level of indentation
    • Brackets Icons
      Display icons next to all files in your project that identify each kind of file


    HTML: linking with a

    Wednesday, 2015-09-16


    • HTML Overview
      • Links ← no video (yet), so read the “Links” section in the slides, especially the part about <a>

    HTML Overview: Elements, Attributes, Entities




    Wednesday, 2015-09-23


    CSS Overview

    Wednesday, 2015-09-30


    CSS Overview: Selectors, Integration, Inheritance, Cascading

    Basic Selectors. Universal. Type. Class. ID. Grouping. Descendant Combinator. Formatting. <span> & <div>. Integrating CSS.


    Lagniappe [Webster Works]

    Wednesday, 2015-10-07

    Password managers

    Backing up

    CSS Overview

    Wednesday, 2015-10-14

    Videos to watch for today

    CSS Overview: Selectors, Integration, Inheritance, Cascading

    Inheritance. Importance. Specificity. Order. The Cascade. Tools.


    NO CLASS: Fall Break!

    Wednesday, 2015-10-21

    Have fun!

    CSS Typography

    Wednesday, 2015-10-28


    CSS Data Types: One of Those Things You Have To Know

    CSS Typography: Typefaces, Fonts, & Formatting


    CSS Typography

    Wednesday, 2015-11-04

    CSS Typography: Typefaces, Fonts, & Formatting


    Videos to watch for today


    Layout Methods

    Wednesday, 2015-11-11

    Webpage Layouts: 4 Methods


    Bonus Materials

    Tables & Lists: Organized Data


    Wednesday, 2015-11-18

    Forms: Collecting Information in a Usable Way

    Videos to watch for today


    • Facebook Forms
      A simple form that you’ve probably seen at least once.

    Media-Specific Styles

    Wednesday, 2015-11-25

    Media-Specific Styles: Same HTML, Different CSS

    Videos to watch for today


    Responsive Web Design with Bootstrap

    Wednesday, 2015-12-02

    Fixed to Fluid to Responsive: Grids in Design

    Bootstrap: A Quick Introduction



    Responsive Web Design with Bootstrap

    Wednesday, 2015-12-09


    Goodbyes, Finals, & Evaluations

    Wednesday, 2015-12-16

    Final Assignment: CSS Zen Garden

    • Go to & you'll find an awesome collection: a series of designs that all use the same HTML, but use wildly different CSS to change the look of the site. Download the sample HTML & CSS from the site and then go nuts changing the CSS to match a theme you come up with … but do not change the HTML! Your CSS Zen Garden design is due the last day of class, & we will take turns showcasing them to everyone.
    • The Zen of CSS Design: Visual Enlightenment for the Web
      Written by the designers of CSS Zen Garden. Some students find this helpful, & some do not.
    • The CSS Zen Garden Assignment
      Details about your final project.


    WebSanity Top Secret