LIBR 240-10
Information Technology Tools and Applications
Spring 2009 Greensheet

Paul Sims
Office Location: San José, CA
Office Hours: Virtually by email or instant message; by phone, appointment only.

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

The access code for the Angel site will be sent via the MySJSU messaging system to those enrolled in the class on January 19, 2009. The Angel site will also open for self-enrollment on January 20, 2009. Please enroll before January 22. The Angel site will provide you with links to the class web site, calendar, wiki, and blog.

Course Description

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

Course Objectives

With the aid of standards-compliant tools and best-practices techniques, we will learn basic XML, how to develop cross-browser compatible Web pages using XHTML for structuring content, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) for presenting content, and JavaScript/PHP for client-side dynamic interaction with content. We will learn how to create and manage images and graphics using good design principles. We’ll review information architecture design concepts taking into account sound usability strategies, and we’ll consider cultural and accessibility issues for developing quality Web sites. We’ll look at server side processes such as basic PHP. We’ll learn about and apply selected Web 2.0 technologies such as blogs, wikis, social tagging sites like Flickr, embedded multimedia, syndication with RSS, podcasting, Content Management Systems (CMS). We will also cover relational database mySQL syntax, search engines, web hosting service providers, some common web management tools, and how to utilize web statistics.

LIBR 240 supports the following SLIS Core Competencies:

  • Design, query and evaluate information retrieval systems;
  • 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;
  • 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.

In addition, this section supports the following SLIS Core Competencies:

  • evaluate programs and services on specified criteria.

Student Learning Outcomes
By the end of the semester, students will:

  • Understand the client server relationship and how to work with a web server, a web management system
  • Develop conceptual and practical strategies for presenting information on the Web
  • Create content in XHTML format
  • Design interfaces for different browsers, browsing environments, and applications using CSS
  • Create and edit images based on good graphic design principles, and know how to include optimized images on Web pages
  • Embed multimedia files in Web pages
  • Incorporate interactive forms and scripts into Web pages
  • Understand best practices design and accessibility
  • Recognize current trends in web design and development
  • Understand the difference between client and server side Web programming languages
  • Build some JavaScript programs and some PHP programs
  • Build an XML file; and access it via an XSLT stylesheet or CSS.
  • Work with Web 2.0 technologies such as RSS, blogs, wikis, tagging, and other social networking sites
  • Understand how to interpret and utilize Internet statistics and analytics
  • Understand basic search engine algorithms and know how to apply search engine optimization techniques to improve results rankings.
  • Learn about content management systems

Course Requirements

Course Format
The course will officially begin on Angel on January 22, 2009. You may enroll on or after January 20, 2009. You will receive access to the class Web site through Angel on January 22, 2009. We use Angel only for access to the class website, submitting assignments, quizzes, and keeping track of grades.

The class Web site contains all weekly assignments, lectures and lessons, lesson resources, links to the class calendar, blog, and wiki. 

Elluminate may be used for some lesson recordings. You will need speakers or a headset to hear the recordings. Be sure you have had Elluminate training or have taken a tutorial. For more information, see the Student Guide at

Technology Requirements
This class makes use of a variety of technologies including secure shell and secure file transfer. You will need a current and fast internet connection like DSL, Cable, or FIOS. Dial-up is too slow all of the operations. Please see the home computing environment requirements at:

You will be required to purchase a domain name and four months of web hosting from a hosting company that I will specify on the first day of class. (The entire cost combined should be less than a typical textbook purchase.)

You will be expected to download and install various types of software onto your computer including SFTP clients, Opera browser, and other software that is available free or available on a trial basis.

Assignments and Grading

Twelve Assignments
60 points
10 points
Web Design Proposal
5 points
Final Project
25 points

There will be twelve assignments, each worth 5 points for a total of 60 points. There will be occasional opportunities to earn extra credit points. Assignments will be graded beginning with the full point value with deductions taken for errors or incomplete work.

Please plan on spending 10 –12 hours per week on course readings and assignments.

Assignments are due by 11:59pm on the due date.

A final project is worth 25 points. The final project Web site requires a written proposal that must be submitted for approval prior to development. The proposal is worth 5 points. No final project will be graded without prior theme and design approval.

Late Assignments and Incompletes
I will accept late assignments up to one week late for half credit. After one week, I will not accept any late assignments.

The final project must be turned in by 11:59 pm on the due date and absolutely no late submissions will be accepted.

Course Calendar

Calendar is subject to change with fair notice

Date Topic Assignment Due by 11:59pm
1/20Enroll in Angel  

Lesson 1: Basics
Technical Setup, SFTP, File Types, Client-Server Model, Web Hosting, Website Management Systems, DNS and URLs

Web 2.0: Intro to "Web 2.0" and the Social Web 

1/28Lesson 2: XHTML
WWW Development, Text Editors, Syntax, Basic Tags, Validation, mySQL Database basics

Web 2.0:
Intro to Using Blogs - Blog Set Up & Configuration
Assignment 1 Due
2/4 Lesson 3: XHTML continued and intro to CSS
CSS Syntax, Formatting with CSS, XHTML tables,  

Web 2.0: Blogging Presentation & Themes
Assignment 2 Due
2/11Lesson 4: More CSS
CSS layout for different browsers, different browsing environments including mobile browsers, and applications including printing.

Web 2.0: – Using Flickr, Tagging, Linking and Embedding

Assignment 3 Due

Lesson 5: Images
Using Image Editors; Creating, Managing, Optimizing, & Publishing Images

Web 2.0: Tagging

Assignment 4 Due
2/25Lesson 6: Forms
Form elements, Form actions using scripts, and JavaScript Validation
Assignment 5 Due
3/4Lesson 7: Client Side programming
Scripts , JavaScript, & intro to AJAX

Web 2.0:
Assignment 6 Due
3/11Lesson 8: Server Side programming
PHP and SSI, modular web design

Web 2.0:
Assignment 7 Due
3/18Lesson 9: XML Documents
Creating XML files and accessing them XSLT and CSS

Web 2.0:
RSS Feeds, Google Gadgets, Podcasting
 Assignment 8 Due

Lesson 10: Web Site Design
Architecture, Usability, Accessibility and Cultural Issues, Statistics and User Tracking

Assignment 9 Due
4/8Lesson 11: Web Management
Content Management Systems, Plone & Drupal, MySQL

Web 2.0:
 Social Networking Apps
Final Project Proposal & Assignment 10 Due
4/15Lesson 12: Web Management
Web hosting, Web management tools, Web Site Statistics

Web 2.0:
Mapping Applications
Assignment 11 Due
4/22  Assignment 12 Due
5/13 Final Project Due  

Textbooks and 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
  • Goldberg, K.H. (2008). XML (2nd ed.). Peachpit Press. Available through Amazon: 0321559673. 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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