LIBR 240-11
Information Technology Tools and Applications
Spring 2009 Greensheet

Heather Ebey
Office Location
Office Hours: Virtually by e-mail; online using Elluminate as needed; via Skype or telephone by appointment.

Course Links
ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

Textbooks and Software | Course Requirements

The access code for the ANGEL site will be sent via the MySJSU messaging system to those enrolled in the course as of the evening of January 18th. The ANGEL site will be open for self-enrollment on January 19th. Class begins on January 22nd on ANGEL.

The required Elluminate session on Thursday, January 22, 2009, 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. is an overview of this course (tips for doing well), how material is organized on BB and a Unix server, and Q&A.

Course Description

This course examines the different ways in which we can structure, store, process, access, and present information on a Web site. It emphasizes the tools of information technology.

We will focus on best practices in modular Web design: standards-compliant XHTML for structure, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) for presentation, and a little JavaScript (client-side scripting language) for interactivity. You will learn how to develop web-based forms and a little bit about how to use the PHP (server-side) scripting language. We will use SSI (server side includes) for modular design. We’ll work with photographic images and graphics and learn how to prepare photographic images for the Web and to create graphics.

During the Spring 2009 semester, there is a strong emphasis on implementing various Web 2.0 technologies, such as blogs, wikis, Flickr, social bookmarking, and syndicating and subscribing to content with RSS. The course includes a brief introduction to XML and optionally its style sheet language XSLT. Throughout the semester, there will be a strong emphasis on making a web site both accessible (U.S. Section 508) and usable, including developing an awareness of cultural issues.

Course Prerequisite: LIBR 202

Course Objectives

Student Learning Outcomes

At the completion of the course, a student should be able to:

  • Demonstrate and explain modular web design techniques using standards-based XHTML and CSS.
  • Know how to use CSS to support different devices (screen, printers, and handheld devices) and to quickly change the look of an entire web site through the use of external style sheets.
  • Develop conceptual and practical strategies for presenting information on the web.
  • Understand the client-server relationship as it applies to the World Wide Web.
  • Demonstrate use of Web 2.0 technologies such as RSS, blogs, wikis, Flickr, and optionally podcasting and video blogging (e.g. YouTube).
  • Understand how to make Web pages more usable and accessible and demonstrate awareness of accessibility and cultural issues.
  • Be able to incorporate tables, interactive forms, images (optimized for web presentation), and image maps into web pages.
  • Understand the difference between client-side (JavaScript) and server-side (PHP) web programming and incorporate some prewritten  JavaScript and PHP in web pages.
  • Demonstrate accessible form design for aural browsers and perform client-side error checking on forms with JavaScript.
  • Work with files on a Unix server, execute basic Unix commands, and use a Unix text editor (pico or vi) for simple editing.
  • Build an XML file and modify the display with CSS; optionally access it via an XSLT style sheet.

LIBR 240 supports the following SLIS Core Competencies:

  • (E) Design, query and evaluate information retrieval systems;
  • (G) Understand the system of standards and methods used to control and create information structures and apply basic principles involved in the organization and representation of knowledge;
  • (H) Demonstrate proficiency in the use of current information and communication technologies, and other related technologies, as they affect the resources and uses of libraries and other types of information providing entities.

Course Requirements

Technology Requirements
You should not take this class unless your computer and Internet access meets the minimum requirements described on the SLIS Home Computing requirements page (see

You will need a high-speed connection (DSL, cable, etc.) to successfully take this class.

Tasks to do Before the Class Begins
Please do the following prior to the start of class on January 22, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. PT.

  • Order and receive the required text.
  • Make sure you have MS office compatible software [Word is used weekly], 2 Internet browsers and a text or HTML editor installed on your computer. (See software requirements on the instructions page.)
  • Self-enroll in the ANGEL course by January 22nd. The access code will be mailed via the MySJSU messaging system on the evening of January 18th.
  • We have a lot to cover, so start looking at the first assignment before the required Elluminate session on January 22nd or as soon as you enroll on ANGEL.
  • Take an Elluminate class. See Student Guide to Elluminate (

Course Demands
This class requires a considerable amount of time each week. Depending on background and comfort with the technologies covered, students spend 10 to 20 hours per week studying and completing assignments. You must have sufficient time to devote to the class if you want to be successful. The final project may take you 25 or more hours to complete.

Measuring Student Learning Outcomes

Assignment Points
Fourteen Weekly Assignments 80 points
Final Project 20 points

Extra Credit
Opportunities to earn credit points will be available for select assignments throughout the semester. The total typically varies between 4 and 5 points over the semester.

Late Assignments and Incompletes
I will accept late assignments up to 2 days late, but the late assignment will get an automatic reduction of 10% of the available points. I will not accept any assignment more than two (2) days after the due date with one exception: You are permitted one no-penalty, no reason needed, extension of one week on one assignment during the semester, but you must request it prior to the due date for the assignment. Unless otherwise stated on the assignment posted, an assignment is due by 8:00 a.m. PT each Tuesday and late assignments are due by 8:00 a.m. PT each Thursday.

Many assignments build on previous assignments, so you cannot skip an assignment without getting lost.

Final projects may be turned in between May 9 and May 16 (9:00 p.m. PT). No final project will be accepted after Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 9:00 p.m. PT. If you have an illness (medical certificate supplied) or a family tragedy, please contact the instructor.

No incompletes will be awarded.

Textbooks and Software

In addition to the textbook, other required and recommended material will be assigned from online resources, Word documents, PDFs, and audio and video resources.

See instructions for details on software.


Required Textbooks:

  • Castro, E. (2006). HTML, XHTML, and CSS (6th ed.). Peachpit Press. Available through Amazon: 0321430840. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Recommended Textbooks:

  • Krug, S. (2005). Don't make me think: A common sense approach to web usability (2nd ed.). New Riders Press. Available through Amazon: 0321344758. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • McFarland, D. (2009). CSS: The missing manual (2nd ed.). Pogue Press. Available through Amazon: 0596802447. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation.  You must repeat the class the following semester. If -on the second attempt- you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

General Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities of the Student

As members of the academic community, students accept both the rights and responsibilities incumbent upon all members of the institution. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with SJSU's policies and practices pertaining to the procedures to follow if and when questions or concerns about a class arises. See University Policy S90-5 at More detailed information on a variety of related topics is available in the SJSU catalog at In general, it is recommended that students begin by seeking clarification or discussing concerns with their instructor. If such conversation is not possible, or if it does not serve to address the issue, it is recommended that the student contact the Department Chair as a next step.

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drop, grade forgiveness, etc. Refer to the current semester's Catalog Policies section at Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at The Late Drop Policy is available at Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for dropping classes.

Information about the latest changes and news is available at the Advising Hub at

Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material

University Policy S12-7,, requires students to obtain instructor's permission to record the course and the following items to be included in the syllabus:

  • "Common courtesy and professional behavior dictate that you notify someone when you are recording him/her. You must obtain the instructor's permission to make audio or video recordings in this class. Such permission allows the recordings to be used for your private, study purposes only. The recordings are the intellectual property of the instructor; you have not been given any rights to reproduce or distribute the material."
    • It is suggested that the syllabus include the instructor's process for granting permission, whether in writing or orally and whether for the whole semester or on a class by class basis.
    • In classes where active participation of students or guests may be on the recording, permission of those students or guests should be obtained as well.
  • "Course material developed by the instructor is the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be shared publicly without his/her approval. You may not publicly share or upload instructor generated material for this course such as exam questions, lecture notes, or homework solutions without instructor consent."

Academic integrity

Your commitment, as a student, to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University. The University Academic Integrity Policy F15-7 at requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 at requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at to establish a record of their disability.

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More accessibility resources.