MC 4315: Web Design and Publishing

Course Description:

This course provides students fundamentals in designing and maintaining mass communication content on the web through hand-coded websites, provided frameworks and content management systems. Students will also discuss theoretical approaches to design, user research and web semantics.

Learning Objectives:


Project 1: Portfolio Site 200
Project 2: Multimedia Journalism 200
Project 3: Organization Site 250
Exercises 150
Quizzes 100
Attendance and Participation 100
Total 1000

Grading Scale

A: 1000-900 pts, B: 899-800 pts, C: 799-700 pts, D: 699-600 pts, F: 599-0


Extra Credit

View the documentary Helvetica (2007) and write a response regarding your opinion on the typeface. (Available on iTunes, on DVD for checkout at Alkek Library and on YouTube, if you don't mind looking past subtitles.)

Write at least 400 words about the typeface, if you like or dislike it, find it to be overused or used appropriately, and with which typographer from the documentary you agree. Worth up to 50 points replacing a missed exercise.


Revisit Project 1 or 2 and fix up something you're not pleased with or something you want to redesign. Write a few paragraphs about what you changed, why you changed it, what makes it better now, etc. Worth up to 25 points back on any assignment.

Course Materials

Recommended Texts

Policy on late work:

Late work will not be accepted. The professional environments in which web developers and web journalists work often involve strict deadlines and rigorous timelines. This class will follow that concept. In cases where the student believes he or she deserves an extension on a project, it is his or her responsibility to contact the Dean of Students' office and launch the necessary formal steps to gain an extension.


Attendance is required for all classes and workdays. You are allowed four absences with no penalty throughout the semester. Any absences following the fourth will result in a 2 percent deduction from your overall grade.


You must use an active Texas State email account. Communication via TRACS uses your Texas State email, and the university is required to send grade information out only through the Texas State email system. Make sure you check your email on a regular basis, as schedule changes will be communicated there as well as on TRACS.

We will use Slack to complete some quizzes and troubleshoot while working on assignments. All communication regarding absences and grades should be left to in-person meetings with the instructor or email through your Bobcat mail account.

Academic Honesty

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication commits itself to the preparation of mass media professionals and scholars. Such a mission demands the highest standards of academic honesty and integrity. Violations of academic honesty, including but not limited to plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, collusion, deception, conflict of interest and theft, are not tolerated and can lead to severe penalties. Disciplinary actions for violations of the standards for academic honesty are outlined in the Texas State Academic Honesty Statement, printed each year in the Student Handbook. The policy is also available here.


Texas State University seeks to provide reasonable accommodations for all qualified individuals with disabilities. This university will adhere to all applicable federal, state, and local laws. Students with disabilities who need special accommodations should contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) at (512) 245-3451, and register with that office. ODS is located in Suite 5-5.1 at the LBJ Student Center. If you are a student with a disability certified by ODS and you require accommodations in this class, it is your responsibility to notify the professor no later than the fifth class day of this semester so that accommodations can be discussed and promptly provided.

Other references

Code of Student Conduct and The Honor Code.