LIBR 240-11
Information Technology Tools and Applications
Spring 2012 Greensheet

Heather Ebey
Office Location: Web
Office Hours: Virtually by e-mail

Course Links
iSchool eBookstore

Students will be automatically enrolled in the D2L class site on the first day of the semester. I will post any updates to this information via MySJSU nearer  to the course opening date on January 25th. This session starts on January 25th with a mandatory attendence Blackboard Collaborate meeting starting at 6:30 p.m. PT.

Course Description

We will focus on best practices in modular Web design using XHTML / HTML5  for structure and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) for presentation. Throughout the semester, there will be an emphasis on making a web site both accessible (U.S. Section 508 / WCAG 2.0) and usable. We will cover developing style sheets for different devices, using SSI (server-side includes) for modularity and using JavaScript to add interactivity. You will learn how to create web-based forms that interact with a PHP script on the server. We’ll work with photographic images and graphics and learn how optimize images for the Web. I will introduce HTML 5. The course includes a brief introduction to XML and the use of XSLT style sheets.

For several weeks we will focus on integrating and using various Web 2.0 technologies, such as blogs, wikis, Flickr, social bookmarking, online collaboration tools, creating RSS feeds, and digital storytelling.

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).
  • Develop conceptual and practical strategies for presenting information on the web.
  • Understand the client-server relationship and how to work with files and directories on a Unix server.
  • Demonstrate using and integrating Web technologies such as RSS, blogs, wikis, plug-ins, gadgets and online collaboration tools.
  • Understand how to make Web pages more usable and accessible and demonstrate awareness of accessibility and cultural issues.
  • Be able to incorporate tables and images (optimized for web presentation) into web pages.
  • Understand the difference between client-side (JavaScript) and server-side (PHP) web programming and incorporate some pre-written JavaScript in web pages.
  • Create and configure interactive forms using a pre-written PHP server-side application.
  • Build an XML file and selectively display it with an XSLT style sheet.

LIBR 240 supports the following SLIS Core Competencies:

  • (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. I will assume that you meet the requirements.

Tasks to do Before the Class Begins
Please do the following prior to the course orientation session held on Blackboard Collaborate on Wednesday, January 25th at 6:30 p.m. PST.

  • Order and receive the required books.
  • Visit the D2L course site before the mandatory Blackboard Collaborate meeting at 6:30 p.m. PST, Wedneday, January 25th. Additional course related login and password information will be available on the D2L course site in the first announcement.
  • Take a Blackboard Collaborate class before our first session if you do not know how to use it. See Student Guide to Blackboard Collaborate (

Course Demands
This class requires a considerable amount of time each week. Depending on a student's background and comfort with the technologies covered, students spend 10 to 20 hours per week reading / watching / listening to course material and completing assignments. You must have sufficient time to devote to the class if you want to be successful. The final project will likely take you 20 or more hours to complete.

Measuring Student Learning Outcomes
Assignment Points & Percentage of Grade

14 Weekly Assignments 800 points 80%
Final Project 200 points 20%

After the first week, assignments start on Tuesday and are due the following Tuesday no later than 2:00 p.m. PT.

Extra Credit
For the Spring 2012 semester there will be an extra credit assignment covering virtual worlds. Additional extra credit is at the descretion of the instructor and will require a deeper understanding of the material.

Late Assignments and Incompletes
Late assignments will not be accepted
. If you have an illness or other extenuating circumstance please contact the instructor as soon as possible.

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

Final projects may be turned in between Saturday, May 12th and Saturday, May 19th at 11:59 p.m. PT. No final project modified after Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. PT will be accepted.

No incompletes will be awarded.

Course Calendar

This calendar is subject to change with fair notice. A Blackboard Collaborate session marked as "optional" means that you can attend it live or view the recording later at your convenience. The previous week's assignment is due on the day the new topic starts unless otherwise noted in the class.

New Topic
(The order of topics may change according to class needs.)
Previous Weekly Assignment Due (Due 2:00 p.m. PT unless otherwise instructed.)
1 Jan. 25 Getting set up; SSH/SFTP;
How the Web works: client-server relationship;
Working with the Unix server;
file management; HTML & graphics editors
Mandatory live attendance Blackboard Collaborate session for introduction to course, overview of procedures, discussion of first assignment and Q&A: Wednesday, January 25, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. PT
2 Jan. 31 Web standards;
Core XHTML and HTML 5 elements including links; DOCTYPE; validating code

Assignment 1 due: Browserhawk scan; introduce yourself in D2L forum; create directories on Unix with web page file in a week 1 directory; answers on reading

3 Feb. 7 Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Part I — syntax; Validating CSS; Using WDT CSS menu (WDT 2 link goes to non-SJSU web site).
Optional Blackboard Collaborate Session: Cascading Style Sheets, Part I. (Feb. 7th, 6:30-8:15 p.m. PT)
Assignment 2 due: Validated XHTML web pages
4 Feb. 14 Images: optimizing for the Web; image formats; image maps.
CSS Part II - float and clear properties; the power of
; CSS id and class selectors
Assignment 3 due: CSS (inline, embedded, external); start of mini web site that you will add to all semester. [This is not the final project, which you must complete using a different topic with all new material.]
5 Feb. 21 Accessibility, usability, and cultural issues; unicode. Web 2.0 Part 1: Introduction to blogs and installation of Wordpress on Unix; Web development process and information architecture Assignment 4 due: images displayed in web pages demonstrating use of
, float and clear
6 Feb. 28 Tables: layout and data with accessibility; modular design; server-side includes (SSI link goes to non-SJSU web site); Assignment 5 due: Answers to questions on accessibility, usability, and cultural issues; install/configure/use WordPress blog on Unix
7 Mar. 6

CSS, Part III: Web page layout with float or position properties;
Print and handheld style sheets.

Optional Blackboard Collaborate session: CSS layout lecture on March 6th, 6:30-8:15p.m. PT.

Assignment 6 due: Tables; Addition of SSI to mini web site. [Final Project Proposal due by Saturday, March 17th, 11:59 p.m. PT.]
8 Mar. 13 Web 2.0 / Library 2.0, Part II; Integrating blogs, wikis, social bookmarking and tagging; Blog themes and plugins; class collaboration using Zoho or Google Docs Assignment 7 due: CSS layout (redesign mini web site with CSS); CSS Garden; print and handheld style sheets.
9 Mar. 20

Web 2.0 Part III: Digital Storytelling link goes to non-SJSU web site; Embedding multimedia in Web pages (e.g., using Flickr, YouTube, Viddler, Switchpod,

[Extra credit virtual worlds overview and assignment posted. It will be due May 8th.]

Assignment 8 due: Web 2.0: social bookmarking; new blog theme and plugin; class collaboration in online application using Zoho or Google docs; reflective posting in blog about the collaboration.
10 Mar. 26 Spring recess March 26 - March 30
11 Apr. 3 XML / XSLT; RSS Assignment 9 due: Embedded multimedia that tells a story; blog posting about digital storytelling
12 Apr. 10

Overview of client-side scripting using JavaScript; Client-side vs. server-side programming.

Optional Blackboard Collaborate session: Using Javascript lecture on April 10th, 6:30-8:15p.m. PT.

Assignment 10 due: RSS; XML/XSLT
13 Apr. 17 Web 2.0, Part IV: mashups; widgets; IM; CMS Assignment 11 due: Use of JavaScript in web pages
14 Apr. 24

Form element and form widgets; accessibility with

Optional Blackboard Collaborate session: Forms, form accessibilty and form handlers lecture on April 24th, 6:30-8:15p.m. PT.

Assignment 12 due: mashups and widgets in web pages
15 May 1

404 pages; more CSS techniques; Wrap-up; Web hosting; Search engine optimization (SEO)

Assignment 13 due: Working form with coding for accessibility
16 May 8 Work on final project due no later than May 19th, 11:59 p.m. PT. Assignment 14 due: 404 page; Extra credit for virtual worlds assignment due May 8th; Final Project Style Guide due by Saturday, May 12th,  11:59 p.m. PT. [No late style guide accepted.]
17 May 15 Last day of instruction Final project may be submitted between Saturday, May 12th and Saturday, May 19th, 11:59 p.m. PT)
  May 19 Final Project Due (20% of total points) Final Project: due by May 19th, 11:59 p.m. PT [No final project that is modified after 11:59 p.m. on May 19, 2012 will be accepted.]
  May 29 Grades due from faculty  

Textbooks and Software

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

You must have

  • All software listed as required on the SLIS Home Computing Requirements . That page also has links and educational pricing for some software.
  • 2 Internet browsers (Firefox is required as one) and Internet Explorer (PC) or Safari (Mac)
  • Image editing software such as Photoshop Elements or GIMP
  • An HTML text editor such as Notepad++ (PC) or TextWrangler (Mac)
  • Web Developer Toolbar add-on for Firefox
  • sFTP client such as FileZilla, but we have other options listed on the course site.

The image editing, sFTP client and HTML editors above are examples of the ones most students use, but there are other options listed on the course site that you can access after the course begins.

Required Textbooks:

  • MacDonald, M. (2011). Creating a website: The missing manual (3rd ed.). O'Reilly Media. Available through Amazon: 144930172X 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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