Computer Science 180
Web Design

Fall 2011, Siena College



Dr. James D. Teresco, Roger Bacon 314, (518) 783-4171
Electronic mail: jteresco AT (best contact method)
Class URL: [Link]
Class hour: Wednesday, Friday 1:30-2:25, Roger Bacon 302
Lab meetings: Monday 1:30-3:30, Roger Bacon 330
Office hours: Monday 3:30-4:30, Wednesday 2:30-4:00, Friday 10:30-11:30


Everything on this syllabus is subject to change. Changes will be announced in class and updated in the online version of the syllabus.

Course Objectives

From the course catalog:

CSIS 180 - Web Design

Web Design is a hands-on laboratory based course covering the design and implementation of websites using markup languages, style sheets, and various software tools and applications. Lecture will cover the history and development of the Internet, the World Wide Web, and the core technologies used to implement modern websites. Students will learn about the importance of semantic markup, language standardization, and separation of content and appearance. The course will focus on web interface design using forms, techniques for integrating a wide range of media formats, and design fundamentals needed in implementing effective, user-friendly websites. (ATTR: ARTS, MUMD)

Course Goals

  1. Develop an understanding of the markup languages and other tools that are used to implement websites.
  2. Examine the history of the Internet and World Wide Web.
  3. Learn the importance of open standards both as they relate directly to the World Wide Web and in the broader context of computing.
  4. Gain proficiency in using authoring tools.
  5. Develop an understanding of web servers and browsers, and the hardware and software that enable each.
  6. Learn how to evaluate the design and implementation of a web site, considering appearance, usability, and accessibility on a variety of client devices, as well as the ease of maintenance and extension of the site.
  7. Develop the skills needed to design and implement a reasonably complex web site.

Missions and Learning Goals

Please be sure you are familiar with the following statements of mission and learning goals by visiting these links:


There are no prerequisites.


There is no required text for this course. We will use a variety of free online sources.


Everyone is expected to attend class and participate in discussions. Supplemental readings are listed on the lecture and reading schedule. Of course you are encouraged to do the reading, but all important topics will be covered in class.

The notes I use to guide my in-class presentations are available as PDF files linked from the lecture and reading schedule.

Be prompt, prepared, and ready to focus on the day's topics. This should go without saying, but this means your phones and other devices not being used exclusively to follow along with class materials and/or to take notes must be powered off. You may bring food or drink to class, as long as you are not a distraction to your classmates or instructor.

Most lectures will include a small assignment due at the start of the next class. No late submissions of these "lecture assignments" will be accepted, as they will often be discussed in class on the due date.


Labs are held on Monday afternoons in Roger Bacon 330. Attendance is required. Typically, lab assignments will be handed out in class a few days before a lab meeting, you will work on the them during the scheduled lab time and on your own, and you will turn them in a few days later. The number of points available will vary with the complexity of the assignment. You may work on them from anywhere (Computers in the lab, your own PC, etc.) but grading will be done using the the Siena School of Science systems unless otherwise specified. We will have regular lab meetings most weeks. Exceptions are the two lab meetings that will be used for exams, and the last few lab meetings that will be used to work on your design projects. During our last lab meeting, scheduled for the last day of classes, you will present your design projects to your classmates. More details about the design project will be available later in the semester.

Unless otherwise specified, late lab work may be turned in with a penalty computed as 1.08h%, where h is the number of hours late. Extensions will only be granted in serious situations and requests must be accompanied by written documentation from the appropriate college office (e.g., Academic Affairs for family emergencies, Student Affairs for personal illness). Work turned in after solutions have been made available cannot receive credit. All assignments are to be submitted electronically unless otherwise specified. Please submit plain text where appropriate and PDF otherwise. Please avoid other formats such as Word documents. If in doubt about a file format, please check first. Keep a copy of all submissions for yourself.


There will be two exams during the semester, plus one during finals period. Exams are tentatively scheduled to take place in mid-October and mid-November.


Grades for individual assignments and exams are not scaled. Any scaling deemed appropriate will take place at the end of the semester by adjusting the above thresholds. The following thresholds may be adjusted downward (thereby raising grades) but will never be adjusted upward.


Lecture Assignments 10% A >= 93% A- >= 90%
Labs 25% B+ >= 87% B >= 83% B- >= 80%
Design Project 20% C+ >= 77% C >= 73% C- >= 70%
Exam 1 15% D+ >= 67% D >= 63% D- >= 60%
Exam 2 15% F < 60%
Final Exam 15%


Please be sure you are familiar with the Siena College Attendance Policy.

Every college student should be motivated to attend every lecture and lab meeting for all the right reasons (e.g., desire for knowledge, desire to get the most out of every very expensive minute, etc.). As experienced college students, you understand that regular attendance is essential to your ability to master the course material.

Therefore, there is no formal attendance policy. You are expected to attend regularly, and should still see the instructor about any excused absences. An excused absence may be any of the following:

  1. A documented athletic or academic event that conflicts with a class meeting. The required paperwork must be presented in person at least one week prior to the event.
  2. A family emergency. These must be documented through the Office of Academic Affairs (783-2307), who will then contact your instructors.
  3. Personal illness. These must be documented by the Office of Student Affairs (783-2328), who will then contact your instructors.

While there is no formal penalty for unexecused absences, missing class regularly will be considered a sign that you are not taking the course seriously. History shows that students who are frequently absent perform poorly on graded work. Do not expect compassion when final grades are assigned or extensive extra help if you do not understand a topic that was covered while you were absent without a valid excuse.

Academic Integrity

You are encouraged to discuss the concepts related to course assignments and exams with your classmates. This is an essential part of a healthy academic environment. However, work submitted for grading must be your own (or the combined work of group members, for group assignments). Any unauthorized copying or collaboration is considered a breach of academic integrity and will not be tolerated. Academic dishonesty cases are unpleasant and uncomfortable for everyone involved. You are responsible for reading and understanding the College Catalog Statement on Academic Integrity and the Computer Science Department's Academic Integrity statement. The minimum penalties for a first violation will include failure (0 grade) for the assignment or exam in question and the filing of a Academic Integrity Violation Accusation Form. A second violation will result in failure of the course and a formal letter describing your misconduct will be sent to the head of the Computer Science Department and the Office of Academic Affairs.

If there is any doubt about the degree of collaboration allowed or the permitted sources for a particular assignment, please ask for clarification before collaborating or consulting the source. Any such collaborations or sources must be cited properly.

Additional College Policies

Please be sure you are familiar with the following College policies by visiting these links: