Assignments Roster Links
3 Credits, Fall Semester, 2007.
Course schedule: lectures, readings, assignment due dates
"Reading, writing and thinking are all integrated.
An idea can have value in
but its usefulness diminishes to the extent that
you can't articulate it
to someone else." - Kevin Byrne
Department of Plant Sciences
TA's: Becky Koepke (e.g. of her work)
(e.g. of her work)
Monday through Friday, by appointment
Rm 258 Ellington Plant Sciences Bldg.
Class time and location
10:10 - 11:00 Mondays in PS 101
10:10 - 12:05 Fridays BESS 270/276
Final exam time (oral presentations): Dec 13 10:15-12:15
- Communications 210 or 240,
- Senior standing if enrolling as as undergraduate,
- Desire to learn more about use of internet for technical communication,
- Desire to practice your writing skills.
- Desire to increase your knowledge of a particularagricultural or biological area.
You can find LOTS of online how-to information and tutorials about various aspects of creating web pages. Try googling whatever you want to know more about: e.g. Photoshop Layers tutorial; image map tutorial; creating styles sheet. You can even find some free podcasts on various web and imaging topics in iTunes.
- On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction. By: William K. Zinsser. $10.17
- The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition. By: William Strunk Jr. et al. $10.05
- Creating Web Pages For Dummies, 8th Edition. By: Bud E. Smith, Arthur Bebak $16.49 (optional)
- Dreamweaver 8: The Missing Manual $30 to $35 (optional)
- Dreamweaver for Dummies: ~$17 (optional)
If you anticipate developing a web site having lots of photos, and you do not own a camera nor do you have anyone to borrow one from, you may want to purchase an inexpensive digital cameras. Try www.cnet.com or similar to search for lowest prices, reviews and user ratings.
We will use Macromedia's (now Adobe's) Dreamweaver 2004 MX or 8 to design web pages and work with their code. We use use Adobe Photoshop CS2 to work with images. SSH Secure File Transfer Client or Filezilla will be used to transfer files to and from your web sites. The project will require Camtasia, Captivate, PhotoStory or similar. Depending on your needs and creativity, some of you may use other tools: e.g SnagIt to capture screen images, Powerpoint to display a slide presentation. You will have one assignment
on evaluating open source software.
- You'll be able to things like this in Photoshop
- You'll be able to things like this in Dreamweaver
- You'll be able to things like this in Camtasia if you're taking the course for graduate credit
The course will be taught from the standpoint of the Windows operating system on PCs.
Work space for this course: The necessary software is available in many of UT's computer labs, including our Friday classroom Perkins 208. I have also installed the software in PSB 129 and 229 on computers that will be available for student use for this course. Computer labs are scattered across UT, with computers at most labs available on a first-come first-serve basis. Consult the UT Office of Information Technology for a listing of all labs; that site also lists labs by equipment and software. On the agriculture campus, the CASNR computer lab on the second floor of the BESS building (Rm 270 and 276) now has both Photoshop and Dreamweaver for us for fall semester 2007 (shoul dbe working on all machines there as of second week of July).
Goals of the course are three-fold:
To hone communication skills (especially writing; this course has WC status),
To learn to create and serve web sites,
To increase knowledge of a particular agricultural/biological expertise.
Each student will create an online technical resource of professional interest to them, "chunking" approximately 10 pages of a paper they write into various web pages.
In the process of developing the web site, each student will:
- study some principles of good technical writing and practice them,
- learn to read and write html documents;
- gain experience in organizing and formatting an attractive and useful web site;
- learn to work with digital images;
- develop skills in using the Internet to access and disseminate information;
- learn a heck of a lot about a horticultural or biological topic about which she is passionate.
Learning Objectives: Given the task of creating an informational web resource on a particular topic, the student will be able to:
- ferret out relevant, appropriate and comprehensive information (text and images);
- organize and restate the information in their own words in a clear and professional manner, and at a level appropriate for the intended audience;
- clearly organize and "chunk" the information for delivery via the internet;
- establish and service a working website;
- accomplish above in accordance with acceptable fair use practices.
Lectures will focus on the skills (and a little philosophy) involved in the various course assignments.
See Assignments for description and schedule for due dates for main semester project and other assignments.
Important note: writing clearly and learning how to build web sites are each rewarding activities that can be loaded with frustration. Each is akin to learning to play a musical instrument; it takes practice, practice, practice. Diligence, and patience. Then one day you find you can produce something pleasant, even masterful.
Please be assured that I want students to learn and receive the good grades they deserve. Come talk with me if you have questions or difficulties.