LIBR 240-03
Information Technology Tools and Applications
Spring 2009 Greensheet

Kenley Neufeld
Instant Message (Yahoo!; MSN; gTalk; AOL) or Skype: kenleyneufeld
Office Hours:I live in Ojai, CA and have virtual office hours by email or telephone by appointment. I will reply to email questions within 48 hours and usually within 8 hours.

Course Links
Course Calendar
Course Requirements
Textbooks and Software
ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

ANGEL information: Students must self-enroll for the course Angel site between August 20 and January 22. 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 19. Class begins on January 22 on Angel.

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 using the three building blocks of DHTML (Dynamic HTML): standards-compliant XHTML for structure, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) for presentation, and JavaScript for interactivity. We will develop Web-based forms. We will work a little with PHP (server-side) and JavaScript (client-side) scripting languages. Through use of SSI (server side includes), we’ll learn modular design. We’ll work with photographic images and graphics and learn how to prepare photographic images for the Web and create our own graphics. We will spend time learning about and/or implementing various Web 2.0 technologies, such as blogs, wikis, Flickr, map mashups (with Google maps), social bookmarking, and syndicating and subscribing to content with RSS. Throughout the semester, there will be an emphasis on making a Web site both accessible 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:

  • Understand the client-server relationship as it applies to the World Wide Web.
  • Work with files on a Unix server, execute basic Unix commands, and use a Unix text editor (pico or vi) for simple editing.
  • Develop conceptual and practical strategies for presenting information on the Web.
  • Demonstrate and explain modular Web design techniques using standards-based XHTML and CSS.
  • Know how to use CSS to support different devices and to quickly change the look of an entire Web site.
  • Understand how to make Web pages more usable and accessible and demonstrate awareness of accessibility and cultural issues.

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 (e.g., PHP or Perl) Web programming and incorporate JavaScript and PHP in Web pages. Demonstrate accessible form design and perform error checking with JavaScript.
Demonstrate use of Web 2.0 technologies such as RSS, blogs, wikis, Flickr, Twitter, and optionally podcasting and video blogging (e.g. YouTube). Build an XML file and 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 Calendar

Calendar is subject to change with fair notice.

(Order of topics may change according to class needs.)
Assignment Due
(Posted by 8:00 a.m. PST unless otherwise specified)
1 Jan 22 Getting set up; SSH/SFTP;
How the Web works: client-server relationship;
Working with the Unix server;
file management; HTML & graphics editors; Twitter

2 Jan 28 Web standards;
Core XHTML elements including links; DOCTYPE; validating XHTML
Assignment 1: Browserhawk scans; intro on Angel; directory on Unix with Web page; questions on reading; Twitter account
3 Feb 4 Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)—syntax; Validating CSS
Assignment 2: XHTML Web pages
4 Feb 11 Tables; Images; image maps Assignment 3: Basic CSS (internal and external)
5 Feb 18 Blogging with WordPress; Web development process; style guides Assignment 4: Tables; Images
6 Feb 25 CSS for web page layout; Blogging continued Assignment 5: Blog
7 March 4 Web 2.0: wikis, collaboration tools; IM; social bookmarking Assignment 6: CSS layout; Blog Plugins
8 March 11 Accessibility, usability, and cultural issues; modular design; server-side includes (SSI); alternate style sheets Assignment 7: Web 2.0: social bookmarking; blog theme; wiki; Final Project Proposal Due
9 March 18 Forms; Overview of server-side scripting (PHP) for handling forms and displaying form data Assignment 8: Answer to questions on accessibility and usability issues; addition of SSI to mini-web site; print and handheld style sheets
10 April 1 XML / XSLT; RSS Assignment 9: Forms; PHP
11 April 8 Embedding multimedia Assignment 10: XML/XSLT; RSS
12 April 15 Javascript Assignment 11: Embedded multimedia
13 April 22 Second Life Assignment 12: Javascript Exercises
14 April 29 404 pages; meta redirects; Assignment 13: Second Life
15 April 29 Web hosting; Search engine optimization (SEO) Assignment 14: Final Project Style Guide due
  May 16 Final Project Due (25 points) Final Project: due Saturday, May 16, by 8:00 a.m. PT


Course Requirements

Course Materials
Material will be posted each week on Angel - this includes the lecture and any reading materials. We will also be using a restricted Web server. The access code for the Angel site will be sent to those enrolled in the class via the messaging system on January 19. The Angel site will open for self-enrollment on January 20. You will also be sent passwords for the restricted Web server.

Student Coursework
We will be building Web sites that are targeted towards a Web 2.0 world. Although each student must learn all the tools and technologies there will be talking points and discussion forums on the applications of the technologies.

There will be 14 weekly assignments. Each assignment will be worth 3 to 8 points (total 75 points). Unless otherwise noted in the posted assignment, assignments are due by 8:00 a.m. PST each Wednesday. The calendar will give you a general idea of what will be required in each assignment. Many assignments require hand-coding Web pages to meet specific technical requirements. You will also be installing and using a personal blog and a personal wiki, and will have some assignments that require modifying or configuring prewritten PHP and JavaScript scripts.

The final project will be worth a total of 25 points.

The final 8- to 14-page Web site (25 points) is due no later than Saturday, January 16, 8:00 a.m. PT. There is no late extension on the final project. The final project is your opportunity to put together a professional Web site with a home page plus 7 to 13 subpages. You will use XHTML, CSS (XHTML and CSS must pass validation), a little JavaScript and PHP, SSI modular design, and will incorporate images, Web 2.0, graphics, a form, a data table, and other specific elements. Your professional Web site will require research, a comparison of similar Web sites on the same topic, a mission statement, and a brief analysis of the audience for your Web site.

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.

You must be confident using your computer, including the ability to download and upload files and create folders. If you cannot do this, then the class is not for you.

Tasks to do Before the Class Begins
Please do the following prior to the start of class on January 22.

  • Order and receive the required texts.
  • Make sure you have MS Office, 2 internet browsers and a text or HTML editor installed on your computer. (See software requirements above.)
  • Self-enroll in the Angel course by noon on January 22. The access code will be mailed via the MySJSU messaging system on January 19.

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 complete.

Measuring Student Learning Outcomes

Fourteen Weekly Assignments 75 points
Final Project 25 points

Late Assignments and Incompletes
I will accept late assignments up to 5 days late, but the assignment will get an automatic reduction of 10% per day (includes weekends and holidays) of available points. I will not accept any assignment more than five  (5) days after the due date. Unless otherwise stated on the assignment posted, an assignment is due by 8:00 a.m. PT each Wednesday. You are permitted one no-penalty extension of one week on one assignment during the semester if it is requested prior to the due date for the assignment. Procrastination and late work will severely hurt your grade in this class. Many assignments build on previous assignments, so you cannot skip an assignment.

Final projects may be turned in between May 7 and May 16 (8:00 a.m. PST). No final project will be accepted after Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 8:00 a.m. PST.  If you have an illness (medical certificate supplied) or a family tragedy, please contact the instructor.

No incompletes will be awarded.

Textbooks and Software

Other recommended and required readings will be assigned from online resources, Word documents and PDFs.


Required Software

You must have Microsoft Office, two internet browsers, image editing software, and a text editor.

You will be using an image editing program to crop, resize, change resolution, add text, and fix red-eye in an image. Examples of image editing programs are Photoshop Elements, Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, Fireworks, or The GIMP.  

A dedicated HTML text editor is required. Though you can use Notepad or Wordpad on Windows, or TextEdit on the Mac, you will find a dedicated HTML text editor will save you considerable time and frustration. Dreamweaver is also okay, but you will use it in code view mode. 

Windows Users
I can only support Windows XP at this time. You can use Vista if you are knowledgeable about how to use it. 

  • Internet Explorer version 7.0.5730.11 or later
  • Firefox (browser) version or later
  • Flock (browser) version 1.2.4 or later
  • MS Office
  • Text editor: A dedicated HTML editor. I'm a fan of Notepad but you can also consider TextPad, Taco, HTML-Kit, or NoteTab Light. Dreamweaver is very good, but the course requires hand-coding HTML, so you must use it mostly in code view mode. I strongly recommend trying the 30-day trial versions first and making your final decision after discussing editors with classmates in Angel forums in week 1.
  • Plugins: Adobe Flash player, RealPlayer, QuickTime for Windows, Windows Media Player
  • Web Developer Toolbar (WDT), an extension for Firefox by Chris Pederick  

Mac Users
I can support Mac OS X 10.4.11 at this time.

  • Safari 3.0.4 or later
  • Firefox (browser) version or later
  • Flock (browser) version 1.2.4 or later
  • MS Office
  • Text editor: TextEdit is okay, but an HTML editor is better. I'm a fan of TextWrangler but you can also consider TextMate or BBEdit. Dreamweaver is very good, but the course requires hand-coding HTML, so you must use it mostly in code view mode. I strongly recommend trying the 30-day trial versions first and making your final decision after discussing editors with classmates on BB.
  • Plugins: Adobe Flash player, RealPlayer, QuickTime for Mac, Windows Media Player
  • Web Developer Toolbar (WDT), an extension for Firefox by Chris Pederick

Required Textbooks:

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

Recommended Textbooks:

  • Freeman, E., & Freeman, E. (2005). Head first HTML with CSS and XHTML. O'Reilly Media. Available through Amazon: 059610197X. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Schafer, S.M (2008). HTML, XHTML, and CSS bible (4th ed.). John Wiley & Sons. Available through Amazon: 0470128615. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • 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

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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