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Course Syllabus
Spring '19
Wed. Eve. 6:45 - 9:30

CIS/Web 299 / 399 / 499:
Web Development Center 1 / 2 / 3

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Prof: Al Cutting
Office: GHH-316
Phone: x3056
e-mail: UWR@gnittuCA.edu
Note: The subject line of each e-mail you send with regard to this course must start with CIS 299 - Your Name
Office Hours: Mon. 3:30 - 5:00, Wed. 4:00 - 6:00, Thurs. 3:30 - 5:00

Course Descriptions:

CIS/Web 299 – Web Development Center I

Prerequisite: Knowledge or expertise that will contribute to the success of a Web development project. Such knowledge may be gained by taking courses in Web Development, Graphic Design, Communication, Marketing, PR, Journalism, Creative Writing or the Visual Arts. Students must have a thorough knowledge of both HTML and CSS.  They must be able to create and implement a Web page layout using CSS.

Course Description: Sam is taking CIS/Web 299. Her team is competing with three other teams to develop a Web presence for an actual client. The client, not the professor, will pick the winner. Each team is multidisciplinary often including students from Communication, Graphic Design, Journalism, Marketing, Public Relations, Web Development, Creative Writing and Visual Arts. Each brings expertise and a unique perspective to the project. Working within a Content Management System, Sam’s team must seamlessly integrate each of these unique perspectives. Sam is finding that explaining her design decisions to the client presents a whole new set of challenges… experience that will come in handy on job interviews. The only prerequisite is the ability to create a web page layout using CSS (CIS 206 or other experience). (3 credits) Spring

CIS/Web 399 – Web Development Center II

Prerequisite: CIS/Web 299 – Web Development Center I

Course Description: Web Development Center II continues the experience of Web Development Center I (CIS/Web 299).  In the second semester students take on a management and mentoring role in the project, possibly as a team leader. Mentor/managers play a larger role in formulating project strategy and in managing the interface between your team and the client. They also take charge of site promotion including search engine optimization (SEO) strategy and the design and implementation of effective landing pages. The team project will become part of each student’s professional portfolio.
(3 credits)

CIS/Web 499 Web Development Center III

Prerequisites CIS/Web 399 – Web Development Center II

Course Description: Web Development Center III is the capstone experience begun in Web Development Center I (CIS 299). Third-semester students direct the project strategy and the interface between the team and the client. In addition, they ensure that appropriate analytics are in place to evaluate the degree to which the site meets the site goals. Third-semester students also evaluate and select appropriate technology, including the Content Management System and custom coding options, and develop and integrate a social media (Facebook, Google+, etc.) strategy to complement the site’s Web strategy. The team’s project becomes part of each student’s professional portfolio.
(3 credits) 

Each of these courses can be used to fulfill a requirement of :

Course Goal and Objectives:

The goal of this particular class is to simulate the competitive Web development environment of the real world. Toward that end, the class is divided into four/five teams that will compete for the client's business. Each team is multi-disciplinary, made up of four/five students with majors such as marketing, graphic design, public relations, communication, journalism, writing, and Web development. Each team will analyze the client's requirements and prepare a Web site. They may also prepare a social media strategy, a search engine optimization strategy, and analytics for the site. If the client expresses interest, they may also prepare collateral material such as a logo update or redesign, business card and letter head design, branding manual, etc. The client will select the design that they feel best reflects the goals they set for the project. The group they select will then be available for an additional four weeks to meet with the client at RWU during the normal class period. During this phase they can make minor changes and additions to the design, help train the client so that the client can change and update the site content, show the client how to use and interpret the analytics on their new site, and assist in bringing the new site to life on the Web.

Your primary goal in completing this course is to both apply the Web development knowledge and skills you have acquired in other courses and to extend that knowledge.  You may choose to extend your knowledge by deepening and refining your abilities in your current area of Web expertise.  You may also choose to broaden and balance your expertise to include areas of Web Development outside your primary area of expertise.  Regardless of the path you choose you will be required to master additional technical skills associated with Web Development.

Web development is, by its very nature, multi-disciplinary. Because of the variety of interest and expertise, objectives appropriate for one team member would, most probably, be inappropriate for other members of the team. As a result, you are responsible for setting, achieving, reflecting on, and documenting your long term and week by week objectives in support of the course goal.


In many respects, this course is conducted more like a business than a traditional course.  You will be expected to conduct yourself in ways that may seem unusual for a course.  For example:


Text (Optional):

Talk Like Ted
Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World's Top Minds
By: Carmine Gallo  (March 10, 2015)
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1250061539   ISBN-13: 978-1250061539

Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics, 3rd Edition  (March 2012)
By: Brian Clifton
Publisher: Wiley / Sybex
Formats: Ebook  
Pages: 600
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-4571-2088-6 | ISBN 10: 1-4571-2088-7


Build Your Own Wicked WordPress Themes
Build Your Own Wicked WordPress Themes
by Alan Cole, Raena Jackson Armitage, Brandon R. Jones and Jeffrey Way (Sep 4, 2010)
Publisher: SitePoint;
ISBN-10: 0980455294
ISBN-13: 978-0980455298


WordPress Bible
WordPress Bible
by Danny Dover and Erik Dafforn (Mar 29, 2011)
Paperback: 456 pages
Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition
ISBN-10: 0470554185
ISBN-13: 978-0470554180


SEO Secrets Book Cover
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Secrets
by Aaron Brazell (Feb 8, 2010)
Paperback: 672 pages
Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition
ISBN-10: 0470568135
ISBN-13: 978-0470568132


Marketing in the Age of Google
Marketing in the Age of Google, Revised and Updated: Your Online Strategy IS Your Business Strategy
by Vanessa Fox (May 1, 2012)
Paperback: 254 pages
Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition
ISBN-10: 1118231937
ISBN-13: 978-1118231937

In addition, you should reserve about $60 to purchase books or supplies you may need in support of your learning objectives.

Supplies (Required):

  1. You will need at least two USB Flash Drives ...Why Two? 
  2. You must either check your RWU email account on a regular basis or forward your email from that account to an account that you do check.


You are required to attend all classes. If you do miss a class you are still responsible for all material presented; you must  arrange to get the class notes and an explanation of the material you missed from at least one other student. If you still have questions after you have obtained the assignment, notes, and an explanation I will, of course, be happy to help you.

Missing a class is NEVER an excuse for not having your homework!


 You must have a notebook for this class. You must bring your notebook along with a writing implement to every class.

Class Schedule:

The class will meet with two clients over the course of the semester.  You will meet with each client for about six consequitive weeks.  At the end of each six week period the current client will select a winning team.  The winning team will continue to work with that client for an additional 2-6 weeks as described in Goals and Objectives (above).  The other teams will meet their next client.


To receive an "A" in this class you must consistently establish, achieve, reflect on, and document your learning objectives on a weekly basis.  Your goals must be ambitious and relevant.  You must find ways to make a significant contribution to the efforts of your development team each and every week.  The quality of your work must be consistently outstanding, indicative of special effort and good scholarship. You must consistently have outstanding class participation.

Instant Messenger, Chat, eMail, Pagers, Cell phones:

Hot Button - Don't Push!I have a zero tolerance policy regarding the use of text messages, chat, eMail, cell phone, inappropriate browsing, looking at your hands in your lap, or other distracting activities during class.  Each infraction will cost you 5 points off your final grade for the course.  Cell phones must be turned off or set to non-audible (silent) alert during class.

How to study for this course:

Tutorial Services:

Tutorial Support Services (TSS), located on the second floor of the University Library within the Center for Academic Development, provides peer and faculty tutoring at no charge for all RWU students.  The Math, Writing, Science, and Foreign Language Centers offer assistance Monday – Thursday 9 am – 8 pm; Friday 9 am – 3 pm; Sunday 2 pm – 8 pm. For additional information about the Center, including tutor schedules, please see the website at http://rwu.edu/go/tss

RWU Policy on disability accommodations:

Students who wish to receive academic accommodations for this course must first register with Student Accessibility Services (SAS) in order to begin the accommodation process.   The SAS office will provide registered students with the specific information they will need to share with each instructor.  SAS is located on the second floor of the Main University Library and is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday.  Please note Student Accessibility Services was previously known as Disability Support Services. Website:  http://rwu.edu/academics/academic-services/sas/current-students

Have Fun!