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CS 205 Syllabus

Web Page Programming and Design

Spring 2017

CIS Department

Saint Vincent College

General Information

  • 3 credits
  • Prerequisite: CS 109 or CS 110
  • Instructor: Brother David Carlson
  • Office: Dupre Science Pavilion, Tenley Hall W217
  • Office hours:
    • Mon, Fri 9:00 am - 10:20 am
    • Mon 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
    • Tue, Thus 9:00 am - 9:50 am and 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
    • and by appointment
  • Phone: 724-805-2416
  • Email:
  • The CIS lab in room W214 of Tenley Hall will be available according to this schedule that will be posted at the lab and under the above link. The lab will usually be staffed by tutors, some of whom may be able to assist you with this course.
  • Text: Web Programming and Internet Technologies, 2nd ed., Scobey, Porter and Lingras, Pawan; Jones & Bartlett Learning (2018), ISBN 978-1-284-07068-2. Avoid getting a different edition, especially an international edition of this book, as they can differ a lot.


This introduction to web development and web programming is intended for both CIS majors and non-majors. Topics include basic aspects of good web design and introductions to technologies that add functionality such as HTML 5, cascading style sheets, JavaScript, the document object model, XML, PHP, Ajax, and the MySQL database.

Why Take This Course

Good web developers are in demand. This course can get you started on a career in web development or add web development skills to what you bring to bear on another type of job.

The Prerequisite

An introductory background in programming, as provided by CS 109 or CS 110, is required to take this course. That is so that you will be able to understand programming in JavaScript, PHP, etc.

The Text

This course covers most of the text, though some sections are covered in depth, while a few are done more briefly.

Core Goals

This course contributes especially toward the following core curriculum goals, listed in order of emphasis. Written communication skills are the type emphasized (though there is one project presentation to the class as well) and are shown by students' abilities to write both program code and documentation that describe clearly what their software does. Also of importance is the ability to communicate well via web pages and web applications.

  1. To form habits of ordered inquiry, logical thinking, and critical analysis
  2. To develop effective communication skills
  3. To develop mathematical skills and quantitative literacy
  4. To foster historical awareness (of the computing discipline)

CIS Department Student Outcomes

This course contributes to the following departmental student outcomes, listed in order of emphasis. There will be a few group homework projects in this course, which contributes to the teamwork goal. Note that students will communicate with their peers and their instructor with their project presentations. They also communicate with their instructor through the documentation, code, and other items that they submit for this course.

  1. An ability to design, implement, and evaluate a computer-based system, process, component, or program to meet desired needs
  2. An ability to use current techniques, skills, and tools necessary for computing practice
  3. An ability to analyze a problem, and identify and define the computing requirements appropriate to its solution
  4. An ability to apply knowledge of computing and mathematics appropriate to the program's student outcomes and to the discipline
  5. An ability to function effectively on teams to accomplish a common goal
  6. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences

Course Goals and Means of Assessment

  1. By the end of the course the student should be able to apply the principles of good web design.
  2. By the end of the course the student should be able to write good HTML that passes validation.
  3. By the end of the course the student should be able to write good JavaScript, PHP, and cascading style sheets, as well as be able to use DOM, XML, Ajax, and MySQL effectively in web development.

These objectives will be assessed mainly through the use of homework assignments, projects, and exams. Informal discussions with students provide additional feedback.

Methods Used to Reach These Goals

Lectures, demonstrations, class activities and discussion are used to assist students in mastering the course material. Homework assignments, including a final project, are designed to allow students to grow in their understanding of the topics at hand. Exams provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate what they have learned.

Grading and Course Policies

  • First Exam 20%
  • Second Exam 20%
  • Third Exam 20%
  • Final Project and the Project Presentations 15%
  • Regular Homework 25%

Letter grades will be given using the scale found in the College Bulletin. Exams will be announced in advance and will be closed-book, pencil and paper exams in nature. On exams, only the test paper, calculators, pens, pencils, and erasers may be used. However, on exams you may use one two-sided 8.5 in. x 11 in. page of written notes of any kind. Cell phones, tablets, laptops, and similar devices should be turned off and put away. Calculators may be used on exams but are not to be shared among students.

Both the instructor and students are expected to do their best to produce a good class and to treat each other with respect. This includes many factors, such as listening when someone else is speaking, trying to understand what others are saying, being of assistance to others, etc. It definitely does NOT include making fun of others. On a practical level, do your best to improve your grade: read the course materials, attend class, do the homework, ask questions, and try to answer questions in class! Computer science requires active participation and repeated practice. If you begin to feel lost, consult one of the tutors, see the instructor, or work through the difficulties with the help of another student in the course. Do not let yourself get behind. In fact, one key to academic success is to start early on homework and other tasks. Last-minute miracles seldom work, particularly with software development! Note in particular that attendance is expected. Student performance is bound to deteriorate when classes are missed. In order to emphasize the importance of attendance, the policies outlined after this paragraph will be used.

  1. If the student does not attain an overall passing test average, a failing grade will be received for the course.
  2. Each unexcused class absence after the first 3 results in 1.5 percentage points being deducted from the final course grade.
  3. Arriving late for class or leaving early (without a proper excuse) is counted as 1/2 of an absence.
  4. An unexcused absence from an exam results in the failure of the course.
  5. Unexcused absence from more than one-third of the semester's classes results in the failure of the course.
  6. Attendance is used to decide borderline grades at the end of the semester.
  7. Unexcused absence from class results in a grade of zero for any activity done in that class.
  8. Late work is not accepted unless resulting from an excused absence, but partial credit is given for incomplete homework that is submitted on time.
  9. Written documentation (such as a note from a doctor's office or coach of one's sports team) is normally required for an absence to be excused. Always bring a copy of such a note to give to your instructor when you can do so. In special circumstances, check with your instructor, as it is not always possible to get documentation.

Make-up exams are strongly discouraged. If possible, take the regularly scheduled exam. For an excused absence or other significant reason, the instructor may agree to give a make-up exam. Whenever possible, see your instructor ahead of time if you know you must miss an exam (e.g. due to sports). Normally some type of written documentation is required (such as a note from the coach, doctor, etc.). If the documentation or reason for missing an exam is poor, the student can count on receiving a significantly more difficult exam, if one is given at all! Do ask about a makeup exam if you have a good reason to miss an exam, even if documentation is not readily available, as it is understood that illnesses and other complications do happen.

Exams will ask critical thinking questions that require careful analysis, explanation, and conclusions. For example, you might be presented with a section of a web page, code, style sheet, etc. and asked to trace what it does, to write the documentation describing at a high level what this section does, or to give an alternative implementation of this section. You might also be asked to write a section of code, web page, or style sheet that carries out a particular task such as producing a certain result in a web page. A few multiple choice or true/false questions may also be included. In this course you will be asked to write web pages, style sheets, and code that total about 1 to 7 pages in length for a given assignment, including well-written documentation. The final project is likely to be somewhat longer.

Homework usually consists of producing web pages using HTML, style sheets, and programming. You will be expected to write your own HTML and style sheets and to modify existing web pages and style sheets. Programming involves typing code, running it, and fixing it as necessary. Web development assignments normally require careful planning and the use of several hours of out-of-class time. Plan to have each homework or project done early so that there will be time to test it and to fix the problems that testing usually reveals. Engineering a web project requires a development process that cannot normally be done at one sitting. Allot several hours over multiple days to do a typical assignment. Note that it nearly always takes longer than you expect! Students may be assigned to small groups for the purpose of doing a few of the homework assignments. All other homework assignments must be done separately by each individual. The purpose of group homework is to allow students to learn from each other, to enable the creation of larger and more complex web pages and applications, and to provide practice at a cooperative project like those demanded by many job situations. Further information about any group assignments will be provided during the course.

Assignments are due anytime on the date given and are normally tested, debugged, and turned in electronically by posting them on our live web server or producing them on the web server in the first place. Exceptions to these deadlines are only granted for serious reasons and normally require written documentation of the reasons.

Every homework assignment should list all sources that contributed to the solution. This would include the individual student (on an individual assignment) or the students assigned to a group (in a group assignment). It may also include the instructor, a tutor that was consulted, a reference book, a web site, etc. You may consult other students who are not part of your group only to clarify what the homework assignment is asking. If you need assistance beyond simple clarification of the description of the assignment, the best person to consult is the instructor. Tutors may also be able to assist with this, though only the instructor knows the full details of how the homework should work. On an individual assignment you may not look at the homework solution (in whole or in part) for another student in this course or show yours (even a part of it) to another student in the course. You may not work out the design or solution for a homework assignment with one or more other students from the course unless you were specifically assigned a group project to work on together. If you break one of the conditions spelled out in the last two sentences, then this is a case of plagiarism. See the next paragraph for how this gets handled and the possible consequences.

Intellectual honesty is important at Saint Vincent College. Attempts to pass off the work of another as one's own, or group work as one's individual work, etc. will result in action appropriate to the seriousness of the situation. If there is some doubt as to whether or not you solved a homework assignment yourself, you may be asked to explain the solution. If you can do so, that provides good evidence that you did do the assignment yourself. All cases of apparent intellectual dishonesty will be referred to the administration. If the administration does not say what to do about the grades in such a case, the first offense will involve a significant grade penalty (such as a grade of zero) on the assignment, while a second offense may result in failure of the course. In this course, students are expected to do entirely their own work on exams and individual homework assignments. Homework assigned to a group should not include any significant amount of work from a different group. Assignments that are unduly similar (which means that a prudent individual would reasonably conclude that the assignments were done by the same person or collection of persons) will be reported to the administration as likely cases of plagiarism. If you really do your own work, you will not produce something that is unduly similar to someone else's work.

Be sure to read and follow the CIS Department Policies, available under the CIS Department web site. (This statement covers especially the proper use of departmental computing facilities, policies concerning your web pages, academic honesty, etc.) Be sure to read the Regulations section of the College Bulletin (which covers such things as grading, academic honesty, etc.) and the Student Handbook (which covers academic honesty, classroom etiquette, etc.). Since this is a web development course where you will be producing web pages on a live web server, the following policies also apply:

  1. These web pages are intended to teach students how to create web pages, interactive scripts, etc., and not primarily to allow students to express personal views. Some self-expression is to be expected, but greatly inaccurate, extreme, illegal, or offensive material is not permitted.
  2. In particular, material that is offensive to others is not permitted. What is offensive is governed particularly by the Catholic, Benedictine nature of the college. Offensive material includes (but is not limited to) pornography, hate material, and other material that is harassing to others.
  3. Each student web page must contain the first and last name of the student, clearly identified as the person responsible for the page. For a set of web pages, the name of the student only needs to be on the main web page, as long as the main web page is easily reachable from the other pages.
  4. Commercial activities are not permitted on these web pages.
  5. It is the responsibility of each student to insure that all proper permissions for use of others' work have been obtained from the authors of graphics, sound clips, and other files that are incorporated into the student web page. Note that photos and graphics files are typically covered by copyright law. Photos and personal information about others are not to be included without the written consent of the individuals. Each student web page must include credits information for each non-public domain image, sound clip, etc. that is used. This credit information can be on the main page or on a separate page accessible via a well-marked link and should include the author of the file (perhaps as the web address of the person or company that supplied it) and any statement that the author requests (such as "used with the permission of...").
  6. Scripts, interactive web pages, or similar that contain security problems will be disabled until the student corrects those problems.

Students with disabilities who may be eligible for academic accommodations and support services should please contact the Associate Dean of Studies, Mrs. Sandy Quinlivan, by phone (724-805-2371), email ( or by appointment (Academic Affairs-Headmaster Hall). Reasonable accommodations do not alter the essential elements of any course, program or activity. The Notification of Approved Academic Accommodations form indicates the effective date of all approved academic accommodations and is not retroactive.

If the instructor needs to cancel class, every effort will be made to send an email message to students' Saint Vincent email accounts.

Maintained by: Br. David Carlson
Last updated: January 14, 2017