LIS 390W1A - Administration

Table of Contents


Office Hours: Monday & Wednesday, 3:00 pm - 3:30 pm, or by appointment
Office Hours Location: 52 LIS (Computer Lab)
I can often be found in 212 LIS (Doctoral Study)

Class Time & Location

Monday & Wednesday, 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Room 52, LIS Building
Fall 2009

Course Description & Objectives

This course provides an introduction to the technologies behind the Web. Topics covered include: hypertext, hypermedia, the history of the Web, the role of Web standards and their impact on the development of Web resources. The course introduces principles of Web design and usability. Students will gain an understanding how the Web works and how to design, construct, evaluate, and maintain Web-based materials.

Readings and required course materials

  • There is no textbook for this class. Most or all of the readings are available online.
  • You will be spending a lot of time on the web, either doing class readings or working on homework/projects, so I assume you have sufficient web access from home or through use of University computer labs.
  • I recommend finding a good text editor that you like. I use TextPad for Windows, TextWrangler for Macs, and Emacs for Linux/Unix systems.
  • I also strongly recommend that you download and install Firefox on your personal computer(s), if you have any.

Some campus computer lab locations:

  • Nevada Street
  • Oregon Street
  • Illini Student Union
  • English Building
  • Grainger Engineering Library
  • Funk ACES Library
  • Your residence hall

Recommended Readings

Here are some books recommended by myself or by previous instructors, but don't feel compelled to go out and buy these books. They are merely for those who are interested.

  • Freeman, Elizabeth; Freeman, Eric (2006). Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML. O'Reilly Media, Inc.: Beijing, China. Amazon - $26.39 (priced on 10/13/2008, price may fluctuate)
    • This book is quite well written, and deals with most of the topics covered in the course. If you are struggling, I recommend this as a companion book to the course.
  • Shklar, L.; Rosen R. (2003). Web Application Architecture: Principles, Protocols and Practices. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Hoboken, NJ. Amazon - $33.00 (priced on 8/17/2007, price may fluctuate)
  • Asleson, R., Schutta, N. T. 2006. Foundations of AJAX. Apress. New York, NY. Amazon - $26.39 (priced on 8/17/2007, price may fluctuate)

Assorted Concerns

Requisite Experience

This class is intended for students who have little or no technical background. No experience using the internet is required, but I need you to let me know if this is the case. I expect that most students use email fairly regularly, are familiar with the basics of how to surf the internet using a web browser, and are familiar with at least one major search engine such as Google or (Note: in general, Google is more optimized toward tech results, while is more optimized towards diversity of results, but I find Google overall to be more reliable.)

Warning: People who have a computer programming background, or who are already very familiar with web content creation will find this class similar to a native speaker of English taking an ESL English I course. Students with a strong background in web technologies and techniques are encouraged, for their own sake, to spend their tuition money in a more productive manner by taking another course. Of course, if you fall into this category, but still want to take this course, you are more than welcome to stay. Please realize, however, that I will be expecting you to take on a mentoring role for your fellow students.


With the exception of guest lectures, attendance is not required for this course. You are all grown men and women now, fully capable of making your own decisions about how to spend your time. If you can do the assignments, and demonstrate mastery of the course material, you pass the course. However, there are some aspects of the course which may be attendance-dependent. For example, I will not repeat explanations and discussions which occurred during the regularly scheduled class. If you are interested in catching them, then it is your responsibility to schedule your time appropriately, or to find alternative means of covering the material (e.g., copying a friend's notes, asking a friend to record the lecture, etc.). Another example: if it seems that students are not doing the reading (as has happened in previous years), I may feel that it is necessary to implement pop-quizzes. Taking the quizzes will require attendance, so consider yourself warned. There will be no make-up pop-quizzes.

Informing your instructors of any absences, especially those which are planned or due to illness, is both common courtesy and a good habit to establish. Like most instructors, I am willing to make allowances if you inform me of absences ahead of time, or at least during class. I am much less willing to make accommodations for students who are consistently absent, or who do not take the effort to inform me of expected absences.

Attendance is required for classes where we will be having guest lectures. In previous years, less than 50% of the class has attended days when guest lectures were scheduled. Guest lecturers provide guest lectures out of the kindness of their hearts. They do so because they are doing me, the instructor a favor. I cannot pay them. Yet planning and conducting such a lecture requires considerable time and effort. When less than half the class attends, it is insulting to the guest lecturer, and embarrasing for me, your instructor. Therefore, attendance is worth 15 points each day that a guest lecturer is scheduled.

Academic Dishonesty

Any student who I, the instructor, discover to be cheating will automatically and immediately fail the class. It is the instructor's discretion whether to report the student's academic dishonesty to university level bodies. Remember, a violation of academic integrity can lead to a student being "suspended or dismissed" from the university (UIUC Student Code Article 1-Student Rights and Responsibilities, Part 4. Academic Integrity, ยง 1-403 Penalties for Infractions of Academic Integrity). The assignments in this class are very simple and straight-forward. It takes minimal effort to do them yourself. Even though they are simple, I hope you all realize the statistical improbability of writing the exact same answer with the exact same spacing, names, etc. as somebody else in the class. Cheating includes, but is not limited to:

  • Copying someone else's work and turning it in as your own work.
    • Someone else's work means someone else's work, whether it is the work of your classmate, the work of some anonymous stranger on the internet, etc. You may not copy someone else's work on the internet and turn it in as your own. I will be doing spot checks on the assignments that are turned in. Google is a very powerful tool for uncovering academic dishonesty. You have been warned.
  • Copying someone else's work, making cosmetic changes, and turning it in as your own work.
  • Turning in group work without crediting the group.
  • Turning in individual work and crediting the group.
  • Allowing another individual to copy your work, and turn it in as their work.

Any case of intimidation, coercion, etc., will be reported to higher authorities, either campus-level or law enforcement, depending on the situation. Please see the UIUC Student Code (PDF) for more details on UIUC's policies on academic integrity.