CSC 105

Interactive Web Documents


Course Catalog Description

This is a half-semester course, with the first meeting on March 20. The course will address both technical and humanistic aspects of web site design, focusing on the interaction between the site and its intended users. In addition to mastering specific techniques, including programming in the object-oriented language JavaScript, students will be expected to learn and apply good design principles to the sites they build. Group interaction will be fostered through cooperative projects and commenting.

A calendar of topics to be covered appears on a separate page.


Recommended text:

This is available in free PDF format online, as well as in a relatively inexpensive paperback edition (both at the campus bookstore and at online booksellers). In my opinion it is well worth owning if you plan to continue doing web design. A copy is also on reserve in the library. There are also many web resources available which provide equivalent information, but they may not be as well organized.

Also recommended:

The first book considers the design and usability of web sites in much more detail, rather than focusing on the means of creation. The second has much more detail on Javascript and the Document Object Model. If you want to continue in web design, both may be worthy investments. They are on reserve at Young library.


The course meets twice a week, with a mixed lecture and lab format. Students will complete two significant projects in the course, and will be expected to participate in group discussions on their own work and that of the other students in the class. There will be a self-scheduled final exam.

The two design projects will together make up 60% of the course grade. Lab assignments and participation will count for 10%, and an open-book self-scheduled final exam will make up the remaining 30%. Meaningful participation in class discussions (particularly when others are presenting their work) is expected of all students. An exceptionally high or low degree of participation may therefore result in a corresponding adjustment to the final grade. Students are encouraged to review the instructor's grading policies.

Collaboration policy: Because the details of each student's project will differ, consultation on technical aspects of web site creation is permitted and encouraged. Similarly, consultation with fellow students during lab exercises is allowed. However, one student may not create content for submission under another student's name, and any work submitted must accurately reflect the understanding of the student(s) who submitted it. Work that borrows significantly from any source should credit that source in the design document for the project. Abuses of this policy will result in a referral to the Honor Board.


Monday & Wednesday 1:10-2:30 AM, Ford Hall 241.

Look here for a list of topics by week. (Note that this is merely a projection and subject to change as the class progresses.)

Consulting Hours

There are no dedicated TAs for this course, but students may bring questions to one of the CS department's roving TAs, who will help as best they can. TA hours are listed here.

Office hours for Professor Howe are available here.

Additional Considerations

We want everyone to succeed in this course. We try to teach in a manner that is accessible to all, but recognize that everyone has unique circumstances that may or may not require additional accommodation. If a change to the course plans would better meet your learning needs, you should not hesitate to contact the professor to discuss them.

We wish to respect students as individuals. Preferred names and pronouns will be solicited at the start of the course, and the instructor will make every effort to use them as needed.