Introduction to Web Page Design and Development [COMM 223]
Spring 2017
Section 1, M/W 1:40 - 2:55 (Ely 313 - Mac Lab)

Professor Nigel Dobereiner
Office: Ely 321
Monday 11:15-12:15 and by appointment
Wednesday 11:15-1:15 and by appointment

Office Phone: (413) 572-5743

This course provides as introduction to web page design and creation. It also explores theoretical issues related to media development and user interface design. It includes an overview of the Macintosh interface, and prepares students for advanced work in multimedia production, web page design, streaming media and social media cross-links.

Among other things, when you finish this course you will be able to:

Students are expected to get to class each day. I will take attendance at every class and excessive missed classes will lower your final grade. Here's how it works. Everyone can have a legitimate sick day now and then. I give you a couple. After that, every day you miss takes one point away from your final grade. That can easily lower your grade by a full letter. Taking attendance also helps me learn who you are! Anyone with borderline scores at the end of the semester will benefit from a good attendance record, and vice versa. Missing classes will almost certainly affect your final grade also in that almost all of the material learned in this course will come from class lectures and participation. 

If you arrive late for class, be sure to let me know you were in attendance when class is over – otherwise you will probably be marked as absent. I don't like it when people come in late because you disrupt the class and miss the point of what I'm talking about. Be here on time.

If you miss class, I will not provide copies of my lecture notes. You will have to get material from another student. If you miss a project due date your score for that project will be lowered by one full letter grade. If your project is not done within a week of the due date, it will not be accepted and you will receive a grade of 'F' for that project. NO EXCEPTIONS!

You will have to purchase a portable USB drive (available at the book store but much cheaper elsewhere). You will also need to purchase a web site name (~$10) and hosting services (~$16). I will show you how to do this. For that, you will need a credit card number or debit card There is no text for the course.

We will be using software called Dreamweaver which is part of the Adobe suite of tools including Photoshop. For the foreseeable future, having skills with many of the Adobe tools will be of value when seeking work in Media Arts or PR, and increasingly in Journalism. Acquiring this suite is strongly recommended. It will make it much easier for you to get your work done if you have access to your own copy. This class will be taught with the assumption that you have ready access to the software tools we are using any day of the week. You can buy the Adobe Suite through Westfield for a special student discount of $20/month. Again, this is strongly recomended.

Five projects (adding to your grade as 15% for first, 20% for second, 20% for third, 30% for fourth and 15% for fifth) will make up most of your grade. The remaining part of your grade is attendance. Yes, that means you can get an "A" on every project and still end up with a "B" in the course if your attendance is very poor. 

It is my view that students, in effect, grade themselves. That is, I will make every effort to assist you and give you all the information you need to succeed. However, the ultimate responsibility for success (or failure) is your own. Below you will find the Grading Structure. 















60 or below











A very important part of this course is attending the presentations of student work.  Each project will be viewed online by the entire class and I expect constructive feedback/compliments and criticism be provided as appropriate. 

A note of warning: Projects take longer to create than you might think.  Please plan your time accordingly.  Also, TEST your projects before submitting them for grading.  Too often they simply don’t work from the USB drive the way they do on the Mac.

If you are having trouble with the course, please arrange to meet with me during office hours.  I will be happy to assist you in any way I can.  Anyone whose final grade is close to a borderline status between two letter grades will receive the benefit of the doubt (or vice versa) by a consideration of class attendance and participation records.  Again, it’s all up to you.

A somewhat intangible factor in your grade includes a quality loosely referred to as “effort.” I’ve done all the things you will be asked to do and I know when it’s been worked on or just dashed off at the last minute. 

Always exceed expectations!

Creating your own work is how you will get ahead your career, no matter what you choose to do. Using anyone else’s work; using a project that was submitted in another class; or having someone else write your assignment, are examples of plagiarism. I caught two students recently and followed procedure to sanction them both. In the real world, plagiarism is often simply called theft and will not be tolerated by companies who may be sued for having employees who steal. I know most people would never commit this crime. But you should know that plagiarism in any form will not be tolerated. Committing plagiarism also means you are not developing skills you will need in the marketplace. You can read more about what constitutes plagiarism here.

This policy may be updated this year so check for the latest version, if needed. If you have any doubts about whether something is considered plagiarism or not, please check with me.

All assignments and related materials will be available online at

The following Classes and Topics listing is subject to change as our/your interests and progress dictate.  However, my experience with this course is that skill levels vary widely so this syllabus may change to a slower or more accelerated pace to meet the needs of the majority of the class.


Classes and Topics




Assignment Due
1 1/23

Class introduction, syllabus

2 1/25

Introducing the Macs if applicable). Good web sites, bad web sites, what’s the difference? 
Audience, color, type, navigation and images.

3 1/30

Review of projects

First assignment due.

4 2/1

Introduction to HTML: Tags, lists and colors

5 2/6

HTML Cont: Basic layout methods and tables, hyperlinks and pictures

6 2/8

Work on projects in class

7 2/13 snow cancellation
8 2/15

Work on projects in class


HOLIDAY - President's Day


9 2/21

Monday Schedule on a Tuesday

Review web sites
Organization of site assets, standardized file naming
How the web works

Second assignment due:
First basic web site

10 2/22

Registering a domain.
Purchasing web site hosting.

11 2/27 Introducing Dreamweaver and CSS
Setting up your web site
Optimizing images for the web in Photoshop.
12 3/1

Work on projects in class.


13 3/6

Work on projects in class.


14 3/8

Work on projects in class.


HOLIDAY - Spring Break

15 3/20

Work on projects in class.

16 3/22

Video and HTML 5
Adding Javascript elements such as rollovers

17 3/27

In-class work on fourth project

18 3/29

Creating forms
Using background images.
Image Maps


19 4/3

In-class work on fourth project


20 4/5

Review of web sites

Third assignment due:
Personal or homage web site

21 4/10

Forms - Adding email response

22 4/12

Javascript, integrating third party scripts
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and metatags


HOLIDAY - Patriot's Day


23 4/19 In-class work on forth project
24 4/24
Fourth assignment due: Adding metatags, javascript and email
25 4/26 CMS and other Worpress sites  
26 5/1 In-class work on fifth project  
27 5/3 In-class work on fifth project  
28 5/8 Review of web sites Fifthassignment due: A Worpress web site