Each additional absence, unless it has been cleared with me

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ENG 3307: Writing in Digital Environments

Instructor: Julia Jasken Office Hours: MW 3-4, T 2-3:30

E-mail: jjasken@mcdaniel.edu Class Meets: MWF 1:50-2:50

Writing Center, Hill Hall, Office: Hill Hall 210, #857-2431



USB drive (128 MB minimum)

Gauntlett, David and Ross Horsley. Web.Studies. 2nd Ed. New York: Arnold Press, 2004.

Williams, Robin and John Tollett. The Non-Designers Web Book: An Easy Guide to Creating, Designing, and Posting your own Web Site. 3rd Ed. Berekley, CA: Peachpit Press, 2006.

Course packet available from English Dept. secretary

Recommended: McAlpine, Rachel. Web Word Wizardry: A Guide to Writing for the Web and Intranet. Berekley: Ten Speed Press.

About this Course

In this course, you will be spending fifteen weeks immersing yourselves in the wonderful world of web-based communication. You’ll be learning about and working with the software needed to produce various kinds of web-based texts, and you’ll gain experience with the production of your own personal website as well as the production of websites for others. But perhaps more importantly, you’ll also be considering the kinds of relationships that are established between and amongst people in the process of producing those sites. By exploring the quirky, sometimes disturbing, and often exciting diversity of information on the web, you will come to your own productions with a much rounder sense of the contexts surrounding even the most basic of web-based productions. Significant time will also be spent providing direct instruction in how what makes writing “effective” changes as we move from print to screen.


Because participation is incredibly important in a course such as this, you are allowed two unexcused absences throughout the term without penalty. Each additional absence, unless it has been cleared with me in advance, may drop your final grade as much as one half grade (so, from a B to a B-). Even if you absence is excused, you are responsible for handing in assignments the day they are due. You are also responsible for finding out what was covered in class that day. These absences also apply to workshop days unless otherwise noted.

Unless you have a note from a doctor or administrator explaining the nature of an extended absence, missing seven class periods will mean an automatic F for the semester. Missing five class periods means an automatic zero for your class participation score.

Arriving Late to Class

Please, please, please arrive to class on time. When you arrive late, you miss valuable introductory announcements and explanations. Excessive lateness will negatively affect your grade.

Technology Issues

Given the networked nature of the classroom environment, it may be tempting to “multitask” while you are at your computer. (For example, you might be tempted to check e-mail or to instant message a friend during class discussion.) However, I would ask that you refrain from doing this, even if you have finished a particular assignment and are waiting for the class to come back together as a group. Multitasking in this way removes the focus from the important work of the classroom and sends the message that you are not fully engaged in the work of the course.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

McDaniel College, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973/Section 504, will provide reasonable accommodations for eligible students with disabilities. If you require special assistance, please see me privately and/or seek assistance directly from the Office of Student Academic Support Services in Winslow Hall, room 213 (410-857-2504, sass@mcdaniel.edu).

Course Assignment and Grade Breakdown

Blog entries 5 points each

In the first portion of this class, you will explore various elements of web culture—in particular, how individuals, communities, and organizations use the web to communicate who they are/want to be/want others to think they are. You will be focusing on how various groups use the kinds of communication privileged by the web to both shape and push boundaries of identity. In your blog entries, you will be reflecting on assigned readings in Web Studies and related websites. The public nature of your blog will also provide you with the opportunity to link your experiences with others in the class.

Research paper (1000-1250 words) 40 points

In this paper, you will read one of the texts on reserve in the library and will use its content to analyze a specific web-based phenomenon (e.g., You Tube, Myspace, Fanzines, Creative Commons, World of Warcraft). This paper should take the form of a traditional analysis paper in proper MLA format.

You will be graded on the extent to which you demonstrate a clear understanding of the text’s central themes, as well as the sophistication of your analysis.

Homepage 10 points

This assignment provides you with an opportunity to establish your own web presence.

From Paper to Screen: Identity Research Website 20 points

This assignment asks you to revise the content of your research paper for the web. In the process, you will be implementing what you have learned about integrating visuals and writing for the screen.

Student Organization Web Page 10 points

For this project, you will develop a main explanatory page for an active campus student organization and upload it to the intranet. You will interview a member or members of the organization to gather your information, which will include the primary mission of the organization as well as the kinds of activities in which it typically takes part. Between one and four images should be included on the page.

Iconographic Argument 10 points

For this assignment, you will work with the concept of iconic representation to create an iconographic argument that sheds light on some kind of social issue. In the process, you will learn about how to create frames in Dreamweaver.

Collaborative Literature Project 80 points

This project will give you the opportunity to work with “real clients” who will be coming from Mary Bendel-Simso’s upper-division short story course. Students from this course will research selected short stories and collect various artifacts that help readers better understand the authors who wrote the stories, the stories themselves, and the cultural and historical time framework in which the stories were written. You will be editing this material for the web and then designing a series of linked webpages to showcase it.

Other small assignments variable

Participation Grade 40 points

A significant amount of class time will be spent discussing the work of others (both inside and outside of the class). This portion of your grade will be based on the extent to which you make valuable contributions to these discussions. Full points in this section will only be given to those who exceed far beyond the basic level of participation

Course Final 20 points

Smaller Web Assignments and Quizzes variable


You can calculate your grade at any point in the semester by dividing the number of possible points you have received with the number of total points possible at the time of your calculation. The percentage guidelines are as follows:

100-90% A to A- 90-80% B+ to B- 80-70% C+ to C- 70-60% D+ to D-


In class we will cover This things are due


M 1.22

W 1.24

F 1.26

syllabus, blogger.com

technological literacy narrative

Williams background quiz

uploading blogger images

blog responses

web as community


explain research paper

  • Gauntlett & Horsley, Ch. 1

  • Blog entry

  • Gauntlett & Horsley, Ch. 2

  • Blog entry

  • Course pack, Johnson


M 1.29

W 1.31

F 2.2

copyright/creative commons

fan sites

personal homepage analysis

discuss research paper

  • Course pack, Litman

  • Upload book summaries

  • G & H, Ch. 6: online fan communities

  • blog entry

  • discussion board entry of personal homepages

  • G & H, Ch. 4: personal homepages

  • blog entry


M 2.5

W 2.7

F 2.9

search engines


google image search

visual arguments

online self-help

  • Williams, Ch. 2: Search the Internet

  • Course pack, “How Search Engines Work,” “How Search Engines Rank Pages”

  • G & H, Ch. 5: masculinities

  • blog entry

  • G & H, Ch. 12: self-help

blog entry


M 2.12

W 2.14

F 2.16

Tutorial 1: HTML coding

book summaries

Tutorial 2: Fireworks: Basic Shapes/Image Manipulation

Homepage workshop

  • Book of choice completed

  • Williams, “File Formats” (186), “Gif file format” (188), “Jpg File Format” (190), “Anti-Aliasing“ (192), “File Size of Images” (193)

  • Bring three images in digital format for manipulation

  • Homepage completed


M 2.19

W 2.21

F 2.23

Tutorial 3: Dreamweaver: The Basics

Tutorial 4: Fireworks: Optimizing Images and Dreamweaver: Tables

Research Paper Revision Workshop

Peer critique

  • Research paper completed

  • Williams, Ch. 4: Before you Begin, “What are Web Pages” (48), “How Do you Make a Web Page? (50), “Make and E-mail Link” (60), “Adding a Graphic” (62)

  • Dreamweaver favorite links additions to page. Williams, “Making a Table” (68)

  • Course Pack, Price, Chapter 5: Shorten That Text

  • Revise research paper accordingly


M 2.26

W 2.28

F 3.2

Revision workshop

Revision workshop

Look at clubs/organizations

Generate list of questions to ask

Peer critique

  • Course Pack, Price, Chapter 6: Make Text Scannable

  • Set up time to meet with relevant club member(s)

  • Course Pack, Price, Chapter 7: Cook up Hot Links

  • Williams, Ch. 6: Basic Designs

  • Final revision ready for comment


M 3.5

W 3.7

F 3.9




  • Identity research website completed

  • Course Pack, Price, Chapter 8: Build Chunky Paragraphs

  • Organization/Club informational page


M 3.12

W 3.14

F 3.16

Spring recess

Spring recess

Spring recess


M 3.19

W 3.21

F 3.23

Tutorial 5: Fireworks: Color

Color quiz

Look at examples

CCCC conference

CCCC conference

  • Williams, Ch. 9: Color

  • Color quiz


M 3.26

W 3.28

F 3.30

Tutorial 6: Dreamweaver: Frames


peer critique

statement presentations

  • have political issue ready and a minimum of three related images

  • Williams, “What are frames?” (70)

  • Course Packet: Stephens

  • Iconic statements due


M 4.2

W 4.4

F 4.6

Tutorial 7: Fireworks: buttons, rollovers, image swaps, menus

Introduce collaborative literary projects, view previous sites

Clients hand over material

  • tutorial

  • Williams, Ch. 8: Good and Bad Design


M 4.9

W 4.11

F 4.13

storyboards on paper

Tutorial 8: CSS

  • Williams, Ch. 7: Designing Interface and Navigation

  • Course Packet: Price, Ch. 10: Write Menus that Mean Something


M 4.16

W 4.18

F 4.20

client meeting

Tutorial 9: Dreamweaver: Image maps, Layers, Anchors, Characters

Tutorial 10: Dreamweaver: Pop-up Windows

  • Price, Ch. 9: Reduce Cognitive Burdens

  • Minimum storyboard designs in Fireworks

  • Williams, “Image Maps” (223)

  • All client content edited to reduce cognitive burden


M 4.23

W 4.25

F 4.27



meet with clients, usability testing


M 4.30

W 5.2

F 5.4


final evaluations



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