Course Materials: Email Archives
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Class Email Archives
Feb 15: S532 Update - Info Arch for the Web
Congratulations on completing the first two activities (SBAs). Some of you tried to use Cynthia Says for checking accessibility and encountered problems; it appears that their online tool site is not working correctly. The more recent, updated program, WAVE from WebAim is fine. From here on out, you need to complete both accessibility and validation checks (HTML and CSS) for all your work.
I ask that you remember to place your contact information (as the webpage, site developer) and embedded mailto element at the bottom of your entry page for each web product / project that you complete. Include the creation date too and place the icons for validation, accessibility. These are just standard items to be included in your work - a good practice to adopt and follow. If you are coding HTML5 and are not provided an icon, consider making your own (matching size to CSS one) and linking it to the validator site used.
HTML5 & VALIDATION
I understand frustration with HTML5 and getting code to validate. When re-designing this course, I knew it was time to shift to HTML5, however the some of the new features are still clearly under development and react differently on different browsers. Keep exploring the possibilities and gaining more understanding about these grey areas.
Also another reminder that anytime you are finishing up a webpage and cannot get it to validate, continue to email me identifying the problem(s) and attach your coding and / or URL to the webpage(s). I can help - that is what I do!
SBA3 is due this coming Monday, Feb 18th. This is the last assignment that is restricts you to hand or raw coding. But this assignment is not just about coding; we are moving into the 'information architecture' part of the course. SBA 3 has you analyze and evaluate library websites and find one that fits your professional interest: a type of library where you would someday like to work.
Then you develop a website to nominate your choice for the 'Best in the Universe' award. As with the other exercises, scoring will be guided by the criteria listed with the assignment.
You should also keep in mind and begin thinking about SBA4 which calls for you to conduct an interview with a webmaster, someone who is in charge of a website. This can be an in-person interview or one done via email, internet chat, etc. You have a few weeks to get this done, but don't delay making contact and getting the cooperation, participation of your web developer.
Advice for 'cold' contacts for these interviews. Don't overload your people, create an interview question list that zeros in on 6 to 8 different topics of interest. Carefully word your contact email; you are asking these people to devote valuable time and effort in sharing their insights and expertise. Also be prepared to contact several different people if needed. Some may not respond at all, after a few days send out messages to a few other possible participants. Once they have agreed to help, be sure that you thank them and thank them again.
This week, we have moved into the Information Architecture section. Continue that with these websections for next week:
Web Development Tools http://eduscapes.com/arch/23.htm
You may continue to use your HTML coding skills but after you have completed SBA3, you can use the html development program, Adobe Dreamweaver. This software will help speed up the web development process, assist with HTML coding and validation skills, and you should be able to tweak the coding to maximize your work.
When you are ready, just go to IU Ware and download the Adobe Dreamweaver software. The latest version is available at no charge to IUPUI students through IUware - Adobe Creative Suite 6 (Available in Mac or PC versions?
Before downloading check that you have enough hard drive space and the correct operating system. Recommend that you download the entire Creative Suite providing you with access to PhotoShop and Illustrator provide valuable image tools.
IMAGES & VIDEO
You have now incorporated audio and/or video into a web page. Think about your audience; who will be using your website? If they are new to audio and video, you may want to provide support such as links to the QuickTime drivers. Or, if they need information on the web page to understand the video, it makes sense to embed the video on the page rather than putting it in a separate location. It really depends on the needs of your content and audience.
You can take entire courses in imaging and using image editing / manipulation software, and I know some people have more experience than others. However, everyone did a nice job with images for there work so far. As you select images for future projects, think about their purpose. Whether it's a piece of clipart or a photograph, consider whether it's needed and how it contributes to the page. Also carefully consider the size of the graphic and whether to use a small/thumbnail, medium, or large visual depending on the intended purpose of the visual. Many of you incorporated captions or discussed the specific photo in the text of your page. This is a great idea.
Using a video or image by someone else, falls under the same general guidelines as for any published work. In other words, you may link to a video on another site (connect to the page) or in the case of YouTube and other video sharing sites, you may embed a direct link (when provided) to the video. However when you are intending to take the product and incorporate it into your own work, then it needs to be your own or you need permission from the distributor / publisher. If you find images in the public domain or with a stated permission of use - - then it is fine.
Finally you should credit the source of any and all images or other information elements with citation on your website.
ONLINE TOOL FOR CHOOSING COLORS
One of you posted this at Oncourse, but in case others missed that: Color selection can be tricky whether one is building or furnishing a home - - or developing webpages. Adobe® Kuler™ is a web-hosted application for generating color themes for any project. No matter what you're creating, you can experiment quickly with color variations and browse thousands of themes found at the Kuler community. Learn more at:
Be sure to explore the FAQ and Technical Information sections
Public Domain, Copyright Free, Open Source, and Student Use Images and Media
For example, there are sites that provide clipart in the public domain such as http://openclipart.org/. You can find similar sources for audio, video and other image files.
It's a good idea to tell people what type of file, image, or video they are accessing within within a website. Similarly one should tell users when a larger image is available from a thumbnail version. Also important when you link to a document such as a Word file or PDF file. When needed, link to a website containing plugins such as the Apple QuickTime website. Just keep in mind the needs of your users and think about making their experience as easy and smooth as possible.
CONVERTING IMAGES TO INCLUDE TRANSPARENT BACKGROUND
Have you ever noticed after adding an image to a webpage that you have a background frames the image? Would you like to know how to convert the image so that the background is transparent and does not show up as a white block?
Depending on the software you use to manipulate graphics, you can find online instruction that will help you learn a process. Here are a few examples for Photoshop (Search for 'make transparent background in photoshop'). Here are a few examples of online tutorials:
Have a great weekend,
Feb 8: S532 Update - Info Arch for the Web
Good job with your SBA1 webpages. I'm starting to score the second SBA exercise and will email you with the feedback and score.
Reading for this week is online and involves critically examining a variety of library websites:
School LIbraries http://eduscapes.com/arch/14a.htm
Public Libraries http://eduscapes.com/arch/14c.htm
Academic Libraries http://eduscapes.com/arch/14b.htm
Special Libraries http://eduscapes.com/arch/14d.htm
Several sample sites are provided, but they are not necessarily the best of the best - - rather together they provide an array of different designs and content. You will want to extend your viewing to other library websites; you are not limited to these.
You should be working on SBA3: Website evaluation.
Again you are to complete hand (raw) coding for this exercise, but you can choose whether that is XHTML or HTML5. This SBA3 exercise is due on Monday, Feb. 18th.
Just a few reminders about validation. First I am happy to help anyone with this, just email me with your html file attached. If images or video are involved in the problem, attach the files as well.
When you validate your code (I usually copy and paste the entire source code into the validator, that way I can make changes and retry / undo as needed - I often copy and then delete a section, check coding that is left, check just the coding removed, in order to ascertain what is causing the error / where it is located), don't overreact to the error numbers - - they sometimes "freak people out." One small error can trigger a whole stream of error messages. As you fix one, many others that are associated with the same error will disappear. Instead systematically work down the page changing one thing at a time and revalidating with each change.
Look for missing characters, characters out of place. Here are the most common errors. Start with these:
Missing characters. For instance, you may be missing a / < > ; or "
Missing start or end tag. For instance, you have a <p> but not a matching </p>
Order problems. Sometimes your tags might be out of order. For instance be sure you nest properly.
The most common problem for a CSS document is improper coding. It's NOT an html document, so it should contain NO html code... no declaration, no head, no style tags... just the CSS information. Most of you already recognize that placing a comment within the CSS is different than placing one within HTML and HTML5 coding.
The error messages returned from validator tools are somewhat cryptic (mysterious, hard to understand) They are automatically created by the validation software, but the software has been in use for several years and is reliable. I'm saying the the results are consistent; if you put in the same code again - - you will get the same result each time.
Finally, look at the code immediately BEFORE the information provided in the error statement. Sometimes an apparent error is actually something in the line before what's appearing in the error statement. For instance if you're missing an end tag, it may say that your tag "isn't allowed" here.
Last couple of things; once you get one document to validate and get a sense of the way the procedures work - - you are usually 'home free.' I will not validate all parts of your documents for you, but will provide specific ideas that will help you get started, get you to the point where you can successfully validate your own documents. And once you complete these SBAs, you should find the worst part of the course is behind you.
Validation tells us whether the page will look good on many different browsers; just because it looks good on one does not mean that the coding is valid. It's a little like running your car engine with low oil level - - it may run okay for awhile but eventually there's going to be a problem.
Have a good remainder of the week and weekend. Email me with questions and concerns.
Jan 25: S532 Kwicknote - Information Architecture for the Web
Hello everyone. Another week has sped by . . .
I will be scoring and sending you individual feedback messages about your first SBA assignment after the time period for posting replies / responses to classmates has elapsed.
This week's assigned reading includes Chapters 8 and Chapters 10-11 plus Chapter 13 in the Wooldridge textbook.
FONT SIZE / VIEWING ISSUES
Some people find reading off a screen tiring. Particularly if you're on a Mac, you might find the fonts small.
If you're using Chrome as your web browser (Firefox is somewhat similar), go to the View menu and choose Zoom In. You can do this over and over to make it increasingly larger.
If you're using Explorer as your web browser, go to the View and choose Text Zoom and make it 150 or 200%. This should help a lot.
SKILLS BUILDING ACTIVITIES
Replies to classmate's SBA1s will be due on Monday,
SBA2 http://eduscapes.com/arch/course/courseguide.htm#sba2 will be due
Pay close attention to the Evaluation Criteria provided with the assignment. This assignment emphasizes applying CSS coding to multiple webpages, incorporating a number of images / graphics and multimedia elements, use of a drawn canvas element, including a table, and conducting / using an accessibility check. Don't confuse usability with accessibility. The latter has to do with special needs users while the former is concerned with everyone's use of a website. Validation of the coding for all webpages is required. SBA2 is due on Monday, Februrary 4th.
Have a great weekend,
Jan 15, 2013: S532 Update - Information Architecture for the Web
I've enjoyed reading your introductions; interesting to learn about some of your life. Hopefully your reading of everyone's introductions gave you a feel for the wide variety of people we have in the course. Its important that you become part of the course 'community.' You can learn so much from sharing and communicating with each other; each of you bring unique skills and experiences to the course content.
Your SBA1 posting at Oncourse is due on Tuesday Jan 22nd and your replies / responses are to be completed within the following week.
This SBA calls for you to setup your personal webspace (to house your web works) and create your first webpages. Nothing fancy but each page calls for adding new basic coding to achieve specific effects. For some of you, this will be a 'piece of cake.' Nothing spectacular or creative needed, just establishing a baseline of skills before we move on to the architecture segment of the course. But if you are relatively new to HTML / XHTML coding, this may be a challenge. Therefore don't wait until this weekend to get this started. Give yourself a chance to work through the process. Do your best, look over your coding carefully (one typo often changes everything); coding is very 'exacting.' Most of us love it or hate it; but before we move on to using the HTML editing program, you need to have the basics of coding.
Read Chapters 4 through and including Chapter 7.
CSS Styles http://eduscapes.com/arch/4.htm
Formative Evaluation http://eduscapes.com/arch/7a.htm
Suggest that you complete coding in a simple text editor such as Notepad for the Windows PC platform and TextEdit with a Mac system. Make sure that the code is 'Plain Text.' DO NOT CODE in MS Word (Avoid hidden coding that will mess up your work and is sometimes difficult to 'see'). http://eduscapes.com/arch/course/require.htm
MORE ABOUT PERSONAL WEBSPACE
At one time we could use GooglePages (No longer supported) to host website projects. GoogleSites replaced that system, and unfortunately that location does not allow the uploading of HTML and CSS files. Rather than using an outside service, I suggest that you use the University services for file storage for this course (Some of this information is also included on the Requirements page
ITS Knowledge base has an extensive Help index such as this one for File transfer http://kb.iu.edu/data/apfj.html
What is SFTP, and how do I use it to transfer files? http://kb.iu.edu/data/akqg.html
You can access more help information by using the search feature and browsing the menu at top of each webpage.
You have two options for IUPUI space:
1. Option one is to use your university web space. Follow directions for using MyPage http://kb.iu.edu/data/alcr.html
2. Option two is to use Oncourse. Oncourse provides space to store assignments.
You will upload the files (html, images, css, etc) to your Oncourse Workspace and make them PUBLIC so it can be accessed by others on the web. A common problem is not making all files and pages public so that the instructor and classmates can see the work; this means checking to see that it works (Log out of your University account and see if you can view the pages).
Use the following readings to learn more about this space:
* Oncourse My Workspace: Overview http://www.kb.indiana.edu/data/aqzy.html
* File storage in Oncourse http://www.kb.indiana.edu/data/aroh.html
* In Oncourse, how do I make my resource items publicly accessible? http://www.kb.indiana.edu/data/atkh.html
Here are directions to help you upload to this space and ensure that projects can be viewed by others on the web.
Enter OnCourse. Go to the MY WORKSPACE option in the red banner across the top of the Oncourse and find the RESOURCES section (Navigation menu on the left side of page).
Remember, do NOT to use spaces in folder or file names.
To Add a Folder:
Click ADD next to My Workspace.
Choose CREATE FOLDERS.
Enter the name of the new folder such as frogs
To make the folder PUBLIC, so others can see it:
Find your folder.
Click ACTIONS and choose EDIT DETAILS.
Click THIS FOLDER AND ITS CONTENTS ARE PUBLICLY VIEWABLE.
Note: A common error is to forget to make your webpage(s) public so that I and others in the course can view them.
To Upload Single Files:
Locate the folder you wish to add items to such as frogs
Click ADD, UPLOAD FILES and locate the file on your hard drive.
Click ADD ANOTHER FILE to add multiple files.
Click UPLOAD FILES NOW to add the files.
If you upload to the main directly, be sure to select ACTION and choose EDIT DETAILS, and click THIS FILE IS PUBLICLY VIEWABLE.
To Upload multiple files:
Click Upload-Download Multiple Resources and follow the directions for Mac or Windows.
You can upload any kind of document including web pages, Word documents, PowerPoint documents, graphics, video, audio, etc.
Once you've uploaded files return to MY WORKSPACE, you should see the new items on the list.
Click the REVISE link next to the file you uploaded.
You'll see choices.
Under ACCESS, choose DISPLAY TO NON-MEMBERS (PUBLICLY VIEWABLE).
Near the bottom of the page you'll see the web address such as
https://oncourse.iu.edu/dav/~ljohnso followed by directories and subdirectories
Example - https://oncourse.iu.edu/acces
Finally, if you have access to other space on the Web that will support your website - - that is fine. But I expect many of you to use space available through the University.
Remember, once you have given it your best and are just about to bang your head against the wall, email me with an explanation of the problem and attach your coding file (HTML). Then I can look at exactly what you have and provide help. That's what I am here for . . .
MESSY CODING IN ONCOURSE POSTINGS
Sometimes a posting at Oncourse can have a lot of extraneous coding. This is usually caused by text from a program such as MSWord that has been copied / pasted into Oncourse. In the past, a few students have commented that this can also occur when they keyboard directly into Oncourse. I do know that Microsoft is noted for its hidden coding. Remove it by converting and leaving content as a 'plain text' document before copying and pasting. Many website developers compose their text content in simple text editors like Notepad for Windows users and TextEdit for the Mac platform. Try out your postings in the practice area that has been setup for your use. Note also that you can edit and delete / replace your own postings at Oncourse; therefore you can cleanup and correct any messy coding in your Hutmate postings.
SCORING OF SKILLS BUILDING ACTIVITIES (SBAs)
In my scoring, I start with the criteria that is listed within each assignment. Reminder that an A grade or full score (all available points) is reserved for outstanding work / achievement. There is more specific information for SBA activities given with the assignment - - check the Course Guide page.
A reply or response to a fellow classmates SBA is required. For full credit, your reply / response needs to add new information, ideas, insights, and examples related to the original activity. Responses in the arena of "I like", "I agree", "I will use" etc. will not gain credit - even though positive feedback is welcomed and encouraged. Rather for the full score, you need to extend the work with substantive additions. You may post as many responses to classmate's postings as you want.
In general, I'm online, working most days. Next Monday is a holiday, and I plan to get outside, away from the computer for parts of that extended weekend. But I will check email messages as soon as possible.
Contact me with any questions and concerns,
Jan 7th: S532 Update
A few more startup instructions and guidelines for this course:
There are no face-to-face or scheduled chat sessions for this course. Many students enjoy taking an online course because they don't have to be in a particular place at a particular time. HOWEVER, this means that you're responsible for making your own personal schedule in order to meet the course requirements on time. Some people find that this difficult; success relies on your self-discipline, your personal attention.
My job is to help you successfully complete this course and expand your skills in developing effective web-based materials. I spend much of my time at or close to a computer hooked directly to the Internet, so I'm happy to hold personal e-mail discussions whenever you feel the need to talk. Therefore anytime that you have questions or encounter a problem, don't understand something or cannot get it to work, e-mail me - - I'll get back with you as soon as possible.
For those who have taken one of the other Lamb - Johnson Web classes, this one is a little-bit different. All the other classes have some degree of project-based assignments; however most of this course requires completing actual webpage products. Assigned reading provides the needed background and instruction for completion of the assignments.
I hope that you have been able to purchase the required textbooks, both are practical texts that will take you step-by-step into the learning.
This week, complete the following assigned activities.
Follow the instructions on the Requirements page, go into Oncourse and Introduce Yourself (I see that some of you have already been there / done that). Also setup or update your Profile at Oncourse.
Then follow the instructions setup in the Course Guide
Begin at http://eduscapes.com/arch/course/courseguide.htm (Coordinate you use of the guide with the Calendar http://eduscapes.com/arch/course/calendar.htm).
This week's assigned reading:
Textbook - Chapters 1-3 :Wooldridge, Mike (2011). Teach Yourself Visually HTML5
Also read the following online:
HTML Section http://eduscapes.com/arch/a.htm
Document Structure http://eduscapes.com/arch/2.htm
REFRESH / RELOAD WEBPAGES
Pardon that some of the information has already been touched upon in the previous message: There have been major changes made to the course materials; the entire webmaterials section has been revised and updated - has an entirely new look. If you have explored some of the course webpages in the past (Even recent past), you may have an older webpage version still stored on your browser's memory. Therefore it is a good idea to hit the refresh / reload tab on your browser to insure that you are seeing the latest version.
Other recommendations - Microsoft products are often bloated with hidden coding; therefore they can bring in unexpected coding that interferes in simple things like copy and paste postings made in Oncourse and unexpected coding in HTML work. Therefore you need to know how to eliminate those problems. I rely on simple text editors such as TextEdit (Mac) and Notepad (PC) for making sure that the keyboarded code is clean. Convert text content to plain text and then copy and paste. Check your postings to make sure that they are 'clean.'
Similarly if you are still using MicroSoft's browser (Explorer), it's time to replace or at least augment your browser use to include some of the more reliable packages (Chrome, Safari). In working with our webpage development, a good habit to gain is looking at our work in a number of different browsers to check how your work appears.
As you are getting started, I strongly recommend that the only page that you print out be the Checklist. I would not print-out course materials for reading; it's takes a lot of time, ink and paper (money spent) plus you cannot grab the connected resources in this hypertext Web environment. Those are resources through which you should browse, looking for key information and ideas related to the course content. If you need to print out directions for specific assignments, wait to do that at the exact time you are beginning to work on that assignment.
SOFTWARE - ADOBE CREATIVE SUITE 6
As mentioned previously, very shortly you will need access to the latest version of Adobe Dreamweaver software. It is one part of the Adobe Creative Suite 6 Design & Web Premium software package (Available in Mac or PC versions) https://iuware.iu.edu/ If possible, download the entire Suite so that you have access to PhotoShop, Illustrator, and Fireworks - - the entire package.
As a student, you can download the software for free at the IUWare site. Don't delay; get that done in the next few weeks. Have found that waiting till the last weekend leads to finding out that something does not work and then you have no extra time to find and resolve the problem. If you have a slow internet connection, it may take a while. You can arrange to purchase the disks if needed but you MUST have the software for this course.
Back with you soon,
Jan 6th: S532 Update - Ready, Get Set . . . Let's Go
Class officially starts tomorrow, that's Monday, Jan 7th. I hope that you are ready to start . . .
Welcome to e-class! The Course Website contains all the resources for the course. Go to the Course Materials section http://eduscapes.com/arch/course/index.htm to connect to and read the Syllabus, then explore the Calendar, Requirements and Checklist.
When you're ready to begin, work your way into the first section of the Course Guide. The guide http://eduscapes.com/arch/course/courseguide.htm can be used to work through the required readings, assignments / activities, and projects.
The course contains six main sections: begin with (1) HTML followed by (2) Website Evaluation, (3) Information Architecture, (4) Dreamweaver, (5) Dynamic Websites and (6) Website Management. Start at the top of the course guide (The guide matches the schedule found on the Calendar http://eduscapes.com/arch/course/calendar.htm)
The course sites (Oncourse and the online course materials at the eduScapes website) are setup and ready to go, so you are welcome to explore and post your introduction at Oncourse.
S532 Information Architecture for the Web focuses on materials development - webpage and website development. Start by reading the assigned sections of the textbook and the online materials (Follow the Course Guide and Calendar). After that begin work on the first SBA 1 (Skills Building Activity) requiring you to refresh and expand your html coding skills - - includes validating your coding. Web development is demanding, requires a commitment to master the processes. However you are not alone; I'm here to help you and if you do not give up and will keep communicating - - you will successfully complete the course. SBA1 is due on Tuesday, January 22nd.
I am still waiting to hear from some persons enrolled; that's not unusual but if you have not e-mailed - - check in (e-mail me). Let me know if there are any changes needed for your e-mail (preferred e-mail address?). I have no problem sending to two different e-mail addresses - just want to be sure that you promptly receive all communications. Also if you have a preferred name version / nickname to be used, also let me know.
In recent months, the course materials have been completely revised. Undoubtedly there are some errors - - hope that none are major but know that there will be several typos. Because pages have been recently uploaded, I suggest that you 'reload' a webpage to make sure that you are viewing the latest version. And if you find anything that does not work or make sense, please email me at email@example.com and direct me to the problem (Provide me the URL location if possible).
I will be sending periodic e-mails to everyone to try and keep you up-to-date on assignments, due dates, and what's-going-on for the class. I will place an archive of these e-mails online at the course website, so that you can always check them later.
My wife (Annette Lamb) and I both teach online courses in the IUPUI SLIS program. You can learn a little more about our lives at http://www.eduscapes.com/lamb/ - a webpage at our eduScapes website (Also where we house the online materials for the course). Feel free to share some of your life with me also, especially since we do not meet face-to-face. In an online course, it is essential that everyone keep in contact and communicate any situation, problems, or concerns that are affecting performance in the course.
I see a few familiar 'faces' (guess that would be names) on the roster and also several people new to me. Maybe I should introduce myself, at least provide a little more information directly related to this course. In the past, I've been a middle school and high school teacher, a school library media specialist, an instructional media administrator at a community college and a university, and I now teach online courses for IUPUI SLIS. I've been doing web-development since sometime in the 90s, but really geared up in 1998 with the development of our popular educational website http://eduscapes.com/ (eduScapes has now grown to a 'family' of websites with a few distinct URLs, but all under the eduScapes umbrella: 42eXplore, Escrapbooking, etc.). Today eduScapes gets several million hits and visitors each month.
I know that there is usually a wide variety of students in this course. Some of you have library and teaching experience, while others may be working in areas such as business or information science. I look forward to learning more about you! I enjoy teaching online courses and exploring the world around us. I usually teach one or two classes each semester at IUPUI, but I no longer live in Indiana. For a decade Annette and I were nomads of a sort, living in a motorhome (full-time RVers) and traveling all over North America. We were teaching in the IUPUI SLIS program for over half of that time. The motorhome has a satellite Internet system mounted on the roof. In the Spring of 2008, we moved into a home we had built in rural southern Utah - in high desert country. We live on Boulder Mountain at 7,300 ft. elevation, near the small towns of Torrey and Teasdale and close to Capitol Reef National Park (20 miles away). So far this winter we have had less than a foot of snow (Dec) but most of that has melted. It's sunny here today and will be above freezing in the daytime.
The best and quickest way to contact me is my personal e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org I check that e-mail frequently; you can normally expect a reply in 24 hrs or less. If you e-mail me via Oncourse or my IUPUI address, it will be forwarded to me.
I will be sending out another message later - - on Monday