Web Programming for Non-Programmers

DH 110

Winter 2016

Class Meeting Metadata
Meets: MWF 10:10am - 11:05am
R (lab) 8:35am - 10:00am
Classroom: Center for Global Learning (CGL) 114
Instructor's Metadata
Instructor: Jason T. Mickel, Ph.D.
E-Mail: mickelj@wlu.edu How to Email a Professor
Phone: (540) 458-8653
Office: Leyburn M33
Office Hours: M 11:15am - 12:15pm
W & R 1:00pm - 2:00pm
By appointment


Computer science and IT graduates are no longer the only people expected to have some knowledge of how to program. Humanities and social science majors can greatly increase their job prospects by understanding the fundamentals of writing computer code, not only through the ability itself, but also being better able to communicate with programming professionals and comprehending the software development and design process as a whole. The most centralized and simple platform for learning is the Web.

This course starts with a brief introduction to/review of HTML and CSS and then focuses on using Javascript to write basic code and implement preexisting libraries to analyze and visualize data. Students will become familiar with building a complete Web page that showcases all three languages. No prior programming experience is needed, but a desire to learn and be challenged is a must.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completing this course, students should be able to:

  • Develop a small-scale website using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • Visualize data using widely available JavaScript libraries and present the results of analysis
  • Contextualize the nature of programming projects in order to better understand how to interface with professional developers
  • Explain and discuss current issues in web development and programming



Course Policies

Please refer to the box for policies that apply to this course.


Required Textbooks

HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites (2011)
Jon Duckett
ISBN-13: 858-0001041711

JavaScript and JQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development (2014)
Jon Duckett
ISBN-13: 978-1118531648


Programming Assignments 40%

Programming assignments will evaluate your mastery of concepts as we cover them. Some may be completed in-class; however, most will be completed in the time between class meetings.

Please refer to the Sakai course site for assignment details.

Exams 25%

There will be three exams: two during the term and a final. The exams will be open book, note, and Web; however, you may not consult classmates or any others besides your professor through any form of communication (included but not limited to: written, spoken, electronic, telepathic, osmotic, semaphore, hand signals, or Morse code) during the exam period. Each also will be comprehensive of all information presented up to that point. Consequently, the exams will be designed to test your ability to apply knowledge versus your capability to memorize.

Term Project 20%

By the end of the term, you will individually produce a small website. There will be various deliverables throughout the semester to keep you on track.

For additional details, please see the separate project deliverable assignments in Sakai.

Reflections, Discussion, and Participation 15%

Throughout the term, you will be required to post in a Sakai-based forum that I established for this course. You will also read and comment on at least 2 other posts each week to create an active discussion.

We will not be having regular in-class discussion of the topics; however, as time and topics warrant, we may spend part of some class meetings discussing a topic further. Always be prepared to talk about what you contributed to the forum as well as any posts you read from others. Participation is highly important for learning and understanding.

All original blog posts (30 points each week) MUST:

  • Be the approximate equivalent length of at least 1 page if it had been typed in Microsoft Word using 1-inch margins, 12 pt Times New Roman font, double-spaced, and without typical header info (name, class, date, etc.). Feel free to write more!
  • Be written in standard academic English without "chat-speak", txtng-style abbreviations, or emoji (unless used for emphasis or as part of your argument). Proper punctation, capitalization, and grammar is expected. Think of the posts as a series of miniature papers.
  • Make an informed argument rather than simply stating your opinions. Back up your reasoning with outside sources. When you state WHAT, always follow-up with WHY.
  • Be posted no later than 11:55pm on the Sunday following the assignment of that week's topic.

Comments (20 points total each week) MUST:

  • Be written in standard academic English without "chat-speak", txtng-style abbreviations, or emoji (unless used for emphasis or as part of your argument). Proper punctation, capitalization, and grammar is expected.
  • State more than simple responses such as "I agree/disagree" to receive discussion credit.
  • Always be respectful even when you disagree. Remember, you have to live, work, and study around your peers.
  • Be posted no later than 11:55pm on the same Sunday that your original post is due.

Course Policies

Lab Help

Ryan Grant will be available in Parmly 412 on most Sunday afternoons from 3:00 to 5:00pm.


Students must bring their own laptops to class or make arrangements to borrow one on a regular basis. Macs, Windows PCs, or Chromebooks are welcome. If it is usable for writing papers and your everyday use, it will be good enough for our course.

Attendance & Participation (Lecture)

I will be keeping a regular attendance record. Attending class is crucial to learning not only for yourself but also for your colleagues. You are permitted 1 unexcused absence without penalty. Subsequent unexcused absences will be penalized 2 points of the attendance and participation grade per absence.

Arriving late to class is equally impactful and also distracting. Show up on time. I reserve the right to penalize those consistently arriving late.

Absences will be excused only if I am notified prior to class.

If you do miss, securing the information covered during that class is YOUR responsibility.

You are expected to actively answer questions posed in class and participate in discussions when they occur. Asking pertinent questions also contributes to your participation.

Attendance (Lab)

All above policies apply except that no unexcused absences will be permitted without penalty, and excused absences will be permitted under much more restricted circumstances than for lectures.

Late Work

Late work is accepted at my discretion, but it will always have some amount of penalty applied. This is in fairness to those who strived to submit their work on time. The penalty may vary based on the circumstances but will always be fair and appropriate.

Class Conduct

All communication should be approached with maturity and academic respect. We may not always agree, but we will give each other the opportunity to hold and support our positions. This applies not only in-class but also to any electronic discussions assigned.

Please put your phones on vibrate or silent mode. Check social media before class begins. To put it simply, be respectful to everyone in the room.

Grading Scale (Inclusive)

Letter Grade Ranges (in percents)
A+ >= 97 C+ 77 - 79
A 93 - 96 C 73 - 76
A- 90 - 92 C- 70 - 72
B+ 87 - 89 D+ 67 - 69
B 83 - 86 D 60 - 66
B- 80 - 82 F <= 59

Assignment, exam, and final grades will be rounded to the nearest whole number. .5 and higher will be rounded up. For example, 92.5 will round up to 93 and an A. A grade of 92.49 will round down to 92 and an A-. To keep things fair, there will be no exceptions to this rule.

Academic Integrity

With the exception of any group assignments, everything submitted for credit should be your own work. You must give full and accurate credit to sources that are not your own (books/ journals, online resources, other students). Deliberate concealment of sources constitutes plagiarism and will result in a failing grade for the course and a report to the EC. Cite and credit everything, except your own class notes. All work must be pledged.

This is NOT intended to discourage helping or seeking help from your classmates, but rather, it is intended to promote the idea that when help is received that it should be credited explicitly.

Please familiarize yourself with W&L's policy on plagiarism at: http://libguides.wlu.edu/plagiarism.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Washington and Lee University makes reasonable academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. All undergraduate accommodations must be approved through the Office of the Dean of the College. Students requesting accommodations for this course should present an official accommodation letter within the first two weeks of the term and schedule a meeting with me outside of class time to discuss accommodations. It is the student's responsibility to present this paperwork in a timely fashion and to follow up about accommodation arrangements. Accommodations for test taking should be arranged with me at least a week before the date of the exam.

Tentative Schedule

(nb. Dates of activities and due dates for assignments are always subject to shifting. Refer to Sakai for the most accurate information.)