Revised: January 9, 2001

Northern Virginia Community College - Annandale Campus

Web Page Design I, Spring 2001

IST 129-04N, Tuesdays 1800-2050, CS235
IST 129-05N, Wednesdays 1930-2220, CG118
Instructor: Dr. William M. Pegram,

Web Site for Class: (most up-to-date)
Alternative site for class:

Course Description:

This course is a hands-on introduction to Web Page Design, with an emphasis on HTML as opposed to design.

Floppy Disks

You will want to bring a floppy disk to class so that you can save your work.  If you forget to bring a disk, you can save your work to the c drive and then send an email to yourself with the file as an attachment.


If you miss class, please check the class website for any changes to the schedule, including new assignments.  Contact fellow students rather than the instructor regarding material that was covered during your absence.  When class is cancelled due to inclement weather or instructor absence, assignments will be pushed back to the next class date.  In cases of instructor absence, I will send an email to all students, so checking it before coming to class is always a good idea.  If class is cancelled for the Tuesday section, there is a chance I will cancel it for the Wednesday section as well, so as to keep the sections together, so watch your email.

If you have a conflict or otherwise can't attend class some week, you may come to the other section of this class.

Office Hours: My class schedule and office hours for the semester will be distributed shortly.

Communication with Instructor: In addition to office hours, all class periods will have time for substantial one-on-one assistance from the instructor.  Particularly if you are having difficulty with this class, I strongly urge you to take advantage of this.  Asking questions in this way is generally more efficient than email.  


I would suggest one of the following three books for this class.  All emphasize HTML, which is my emphasis.  I will place less emphasis on design, which is the focus of the Web Style Guide which is in the bookstore.  However, I think there are better books for design, although they are more expensive.  Although you need not use a book, I think you will find it convenient to have one.  For example, at least one of the tests will be open notes, open book etc., and looking something up in a book is probably quicker than looking it up on the internet.

1) The HTML Web Classroom, Paul Meyers, ISBN 0-13-796111-1, 1999, $42.  I have taught from this book all three semesters I have taught IST 128 or 129 and think it is quite good.  It's in the bookstore.  (The other book in the bookstore is the Web Style Guide).  The downside is the price and that is has a few typos.  

2) Teach Yourself HTML Visually, ISBN 0-7645-3423-8. $30, but half-price at Barnes & Noble stores.  Because it is full of pictures and few words, some students will like it, but to others it may seem too elementary.  However,  I read the entire book recently and was quite impressed.  It leaves out a few things, but makes most of the points I would want to make.  

3) Web Design in a Nutshell, Jennifer Niederst.  ISBN 1-56592-515-7.  $25.  This is the book I always turn to as the definitive reference.  It probably isn't a good textbook, but if you have already some background or think you can get along without a basic text, this may be the book you will want to buy.  You will want to read   Chapters 5-12, and then Chapter 23 if we do stylesheets and Chapters 1-3 are good on design issues.  Skip the reference material at the beginning of most chapters.

Required Email Address and Host for Web Page:

Students must provide email the instructor with an email address and web page address for the work you will do in this class.  Provide the email address that is most convenient for you, which may or may not be your NOVA email address.  In all emails to the instructor, please include the course number and section in the subject line and your full name in the body of the email.  

In most cases, you will host your web site at NOVA or at your Internet Service Provider, if you have one.   You should not host your site at a free service like Geocities for two reasons: (1) using a free service will result in ads on your site, and (2) free services often offer file transfer programs that are initially easier to use than the file transfer program taught in this course, but are much less powerful.  

NOVA provides 2MB of free web space to each student which should be more than adequate unless your site is very unusual (e.g., containing a number of large files - sound, image, PowerPoint files, etc.).  Students must have a NOVA email account for them to have web space at NOVA, therefore all students should gain access to their NOVA email at the beginning of the semester unless they plan on hosting their site elsewhere.  

Grading Policy:

Midterm (25%), Final (25%), Project (25%), Homework (25%).  Although this suggests that homework is  unimportant, quite the opposite is true.  The best way to prepare for the exams is to give your best on each assignment and do it in a timely fashion so that you get feedback from the instructor.


Assignments will receive a 10% grade penalty if they are not on your web site when I go to grade it.  Assignments that are more than 1 class period late, will either not be accepted (if I have discussed the solution) or will receive an additional 10% off for each additional class period late.  If you must miss an exam, please contact the instructor so that he can arrange for a makeup exams through the Testing Center.

Academic Integrity

In general, students are expected to follow the Information Technology Student Ethics Agreement as posted in computer areas and academic integrity standards as set down in the Student Handbook.

In addition, I want to give you specific guidance regarding the following issues:

(1) On homework assignments and projects, students may ask for and receive some assistance from others, unless otherwise directed by the instructor.  Yet those helping a student should avoid "doing the work" for the student.  If students receive significant assistance from others, the student should give credit to these individuals.  No assistance is permitted on exams and quizzes.

(2) Because students will be posting their homework on their web sites, using another person's homework without their knowledge is much easier in this class than in others.  However, it is wrong, a violation of trust among students and faculty, and if detected, may result in a range of penalties, including removal from the course and failure in the course. 

(3) Academic integrity issues are also involved where 
(a) the student has made substantial use of material from elsewhere on the web or from other sources,
(b) the instructor might reasonably conclude that the work was the student's own work, and
(c) no credit is given, either on the web page or as a comment in the HTML code.

In cases where the use was inadvertent or relatively minor, the student will simply be reminded to correct the deficiency. 

(4) In instances where it is clear that the material is not one's own (e.g. a photo that the student would not have taken), no academic integrity issues are involved.  In these instances, attribution is still useful however.  For example, if the student wishes to make commercial use of the material at some future date, it may be necessary to get permission to utilize the material.  If one has not made attributed the source when the page was created, one may very well forget the source of the material and thus be unable to get permission.  Failure to attribute sources in these instances will only result in the student losing a few points.

These issues will be discussed again during the class on finding and using images on the web and during the class on the website proposal.

Web Site Proposal:

The proposal is intended to require the student to think through the web site and to get instructor input before the beginning of coding.  The proposal need not be no more than a page or two in length.  Further guidance on the content of the proposal will be distributed.

Web Site Presentation and Project:

Each student will present their web to the class so that each student will have the opportunity to learn from each other.  You will not be graded on the presentation, only on the project, but those who are not ready to present will be penalized.

Withdrawal from the Class:

Friday, January 19 is the last day for schedule adjustments and textbook refunds.  Thursday,  March 15 is the last day to withdraw without grade penalty or to change to audit.

Learning Environment

NVCC is a place for learning and growing.  You should feel safe and comfortable anywhere on this campus.  In order to meet this objective, you should: a) let your instructor, his/her supervisor, the Dean of Students or Provost know if any unsafe, unwelcome or uncomfortable situation arises that interferes with the learning process; (b) inform the instructor within the first two weeks of classes if you have special needs or a disability that may affect your performance in this course.

Fire/Emergency Evacuation Procedures

Students should familiarize themselves with both the primary and secondary routes that are to be used, in case you need to evacuate the building, as well as other evacuation procedures to be followed.