MC4315 Web Publishing and Design Syllabus

Instructor: Dale Blasingame, M.A.
Temporary Office: Old Main 230Z
Office Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays 1:30-3:30 p.m. and Thursdays 9:30-10:30 a.m. or by appointment. If my door is open, feel free to stop in.
E: | T: @daleblasingame | W:

Catalog Description

Students will develop skills in web page construction including Web editing, image and graphic manipulation, animation, and audio and video editing. The course will cover the topics of design, content, and accessibility, as well as important social and ethical issues associated with online publishing. Prerequisite: Full-major status.

Course Objectives

This course is designed to instruct students in website construction and design. Students will learn HTML and CSS coding and be introduced to popular Web design and graphics programs including Adobe Photoshop, JavaScript, development platforms (Twitter Bootstrap), content management systems (WordPress) and video editing programs like iMovie. The course will cover the usage of graphics, sound and video and discuss the appropriateness of multimedia on websites for journalism, advertising, public relations and e-commerce. Students will work on several small Web projects that will lead to a final multimedia project. 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 websites.

In addition, the class will address social and theoretical implications of technology, such as the digital divide, cyber law, 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, CSS, JavaScript 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 websites that are functional and well designed
  • The ability to produce engaging multimedia to accompany sites


You MUST have a Texas State email account. The grading program I use and the TRACS system utilize the Texas State email system. Check your Texas State email account regularly because I often send notices concerning class.

Teaching Methods

While this class is normally taught as a lecture/lab combination, some of it will be held in a hybrid format where students may be required to complete work online (in lieu of class.) Online tutorials, social media discussions and self-help will be required to accomplish some of the assignments and exercises. Students are expected to participate in news and current event discussions during class and provide topics that are of interest to them. The instructor will cover skills session in class as a group, and students will practice skills both in and out of class in order to complete projects. Assistance is available at designated times. OM212 is also 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.


There is not a required textbook for this class. However, it is highly recommended you purchase the following book as a reference:

Duckett, John (2011). HTML & CSS: Design and build websites. Indianapolis, Indiana: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

You will also be asked to read from online sources or handouts from time to time.


Class Project Assignments: 30%

  • Student Bio Website
  • Student Bio Redesign
  • Hobby or Organization Site

Exercises: 25%

  • Photo Slideshow Exercise
  • iMovie Exercise
  • Troubleshooting Quiz
  • Responsive Design
  • Final Project Proposal

Class Conduct: 15%

  • News presentation
  • Attendance
  • Attitude

Final Project: 30%

There is no extra credit in this class. Please contact the instructor early in the semester if you are having problems with any of the course requirements.

Student Conduct

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 needs to contribute and learn. If you must take a phone call, please leave the room. Do not use your phone for text messaging during class. Browsing the Web, checking email, messaging, Twitter, Facebook or other non-related activities during class are not acceptable. Please do not have private conversations with your neighbors during class time.

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 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.

Attendance Policy

Assignments for this course are challenging and fun, but the class moves very quickly. You will not want to fall behind. Missed assignments will result in a zero. Late work is not accepted.

Attendance is required in this course. You may have up to two absences without penalty throughout the semester. There are no excused absences, so illness and/or work-related absences must be covered within the two. Your third absence will result in a 5% grade deduction, and your fourth absence will result in a 10% grade deduction. If there is a fifth absence, you will be encouraged to drop the course or you will receive an F. Because we cover so much ground in this class, it is no coincidence 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 five minutes after the designated time, you will be marked as late. This can affect your participation grade and perhaps your course grade.

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 Reclaim Hosting to obtain your own domain. There are other hosting options, but I may not be able to assist with hosting problems from other providers.

Use of School-Owned Camera Equipment

This class may utilize the School of Journalism and Mass Communication Equipment Checkout Room. Use of equipment is a privilege earned through your respect of and cooperation with the checkout rules. If you are late returning a camera to the Equipment Checkout Room, you lose all checkout privileges. In addition, a return that is two days late may result in up to a letter deduction on your grade. If equipment is kept five days past the due date, it is considered stolen.

Academic Dishonesty

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication commits itself to the preparation of ethical mass media professionals and scholars. Such a mission demands the highest standard 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 are outlined in the Texas State Academic Honesty Statement, printed each year in the Texas State Student Handbook.

The policy is also available here: or

Falsifying sources or other information and copying material without proper attribution are acts of academic dishonesty that will not be tolerated in this class. They will result in a failing grade on an assignment and potentially a failing grade in the course.

Students with Special Needs

If you are a student with a disability certified by ODS and you require accommodation in my class, it is your responsibility to tell me at the beginning of the semester so accommodations can be provided promptly. You must notify me by the second week of class if you need accommodation. If your status is pending with ODS, notify me as soon as possible. Contact the ODS office if you have questions 245.3451. It is my desire to accommodate students to the best of my ability. ODS certifications assist in this endeavor.

Drop Policy

You can drop this or any course by October 30, 2016, and receive an automatic W. After that date, you cannot drop a single course. Instead, you must withdraw from all courses. Please review PPS 4.09 at this Web site: