Undergraduate Distance Education

Jim Clauson's
CMST 386 Course Syllabus

Course Description:
Prerequisite: CMST 385 or equivalent; access to an Internet service provider is recommended, although not required. A study of advanced applications for the Internet and the World Wide Web. Focus is on Web page design, including features such as frames, animation, and cascading style sheets. Dynamic HTML and JavaScript are introduced. Assignments include publishing a Web page.

Course Materials:
Required Books
Musciano HTML: The Definitive Guide, 4th ed. O'Reilly 0-596-00026-x
Flanagan Javascript: The Definitive Guide, 4th ed. O'Reilly 0-596-00048-0

Course Objectives:
Students enrolled in this course should be at ease with Unix and DOS/Windows, have no fear of programming, and be comfortable with Unix/Internet tools (FTP, mail, and Telnet). Students should be committed to spending the time necessary to explore the nooks and crannies of the Internet.

When you have completed this course, you should be able to:

  • summarize the major strengths and weaknesses of the Internet
  • evaluate Web browsers as means of accumulating material on a specific topic
  • develop strategies for searching the Internet using the full resources of the Internet
  • evaluate the validity of information found on the Internet
  • demonstrate the capabilities of HTML and Java Scripting
  • appraise the regulatory impact on the Internet and its users
  • evaluate the effectiveness of the Internet in solving academic- and work-related problems
  • design and develop a World Wide Web page for publication
  • discuss the major issues surrounding the debate over free speech versus privacy on the Internet
  • implement security measures to protect yourself while online

Course Modules:
The course is divided into the following eight modules:
  • Module 1: Getting Connected In this module, we catalog the hardware, software, and services needed to play actively on the Internet as users of services and as offerers of the same.
  • Module 2: Searching the Internet The Internet can be seen as an enormous library with many librarians. The problem is that each of these librarians uses a different cataloging system and changes systems often. We address this issue in module 2. Here, we are the users of services.
  • Module 3: The Mechanics of Web Page Design. The next step, after surfing the Internet as users, is to offer services. In this module, we will address the fastest-growing, most commercial part of the Internet, the Web. We will learn how to design and publish an HTML page.
  • Module 4: The Art of Web Page Design. Putting a page up is nice, but what if no one comes and stays to read your wonderful work? This is where art and design come in. Although much carries over from paper-based design, there are new challenges presented by this electronic medium.
  • Module 5: JavaScript. JavaScript has become an "easy-to-use" tool for enhancing a Web page. It is a tool for non-programmers, or at least non-object programmers. Although relatively easy compared to C++, Java Script has its own set of challenges.
  • Module 6: CSS. Use of cascading style sheets is increasing. This module introduces the topic.
  • Module 7: Forms. Here, we review the construction of forms to collect information from users and deliver it to the server.
  • Module 8: Internet Security. We'll examine the tension between freedom of speech and the right to privacy and consider the effectiveness of various methods of controlling content, which is often referred to as censorship. We will also discuss ways in which you can stay safe while online.

Course Grading:

The final grade is weighted as follows:

Assignments = 20%
Online Discussions = 20%
Research project = 40%
Final examination = 20%
Total = 100%

Grade Points
90-100 = A
80-89 = B
70-79 = C
60-69 = D

Course Project(s):

Research Project

This project has five parts:

  1. Select an Internet research topic. This topic should be briefly stated, as shown in the examples below. Your audience is your fellow students. Submit your topic in the assignment area.

  2. Upon approval of the topic, the research is to be accomplished and the paper submitted in the assignment area. The minimum word count is 2,000 words. Please note that at least six Internet citations are required. Cover pages, tables of contents, citations, and so on are not to be included in the word count.

  3. Make the paper into a series of Web pages and put it up on the Internet. Submit the URL of the web site in the assignment area.

  4. Revise Web pages as needed.

  5. Critique another student's web site. Submit your critique in your assignment area.

Course Schedule:
Please refer to the Web Tycho for scheduling specifics

Course Facilitator:
Jim Clauson, CyberEducator

Course Resources and Downloads page:

Copyright Jim Clauson & Breakthrough Systems 1999-2002. All rights reserved.