Course Description

In Advanced Online Media, we will continue exploring Web design topics, moving more heavily into the area of development, including data visualization and programming. The course will focus on application of these topics in the communication discipline.

The goal is to spend several weeks going over new topics and doing exercises, then working on a group deliverable with the topic to be determined each semester. Instructor may choose to deliver some lectures and assignments online.


Upon completing this course, students can expect:

  • To have an advanced understanding of Web Design and Development issues
  • To more fully understand the role of Content Management Systems
  • To utilize data and programming techniques in storytelling
  • To be able to apply techniques to advanced multimedia projects
  • To use advanced CSS, HTML, Web Frameworks, PHP, and MySQL skills


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. Contact the instructor, if you have questions. Make sure you check your email on a regular basis, as schedule changes will be communicated there as well as on our course site.

Course Requirements

  • Weekly Homework & Assignments (20%)
  • Graded Exercises (25%)
  • News Presentations (5%)
  • Final Project Contribution (40%)
  • Attendance/Participation (10%)

Final Project - You will work on the final project in groups of two. You will each create your own site, but they should mirror each other in terms of design and content. The final project will incorporate data and multimedia to tell a comprehensive story. You can choose any topic, but it needs to have a data component as well as a topic that lends well to multimedia.

  • You may pick your own partner, but pair up with someone who complements your skill set. You will be graded on design, development, content and data presentation. Tell me who your partner will be next week.
  • Pick your topic. Do one blog post per team on your topic and how you plan to approach. Consider the elements we discussed in the Data Journalism Handbook. Do the post before 3/27. Topics don't have to be serious, but need to meet the criteria above.
  • Use Wordpress as the platform to develop the site. If you want to use something else, let's discuss
  • Pick an appropriate theme for your design, but you will be expected to customize; develop graphics for logo; include other visuals like photos. Since responsive design was an element of this class, pick a theme that has responsive elements or be prepared to add some customized features that affect the presentation on smaller screens.
  • Include multimedia (video); upload to YouTube and embed
  • Data - you can use any of the techniques we discussed this semester (or others that you identify) to create data presentations. The presentation should be interactive, should summarize and present relevant data and should use appropriate visualization methods. Think about the chart type and presentation carefully. Work with the data in Excel first.
  • Remember, this is an Advanced graduate class. This should be the culmination of your skill set and should be an excellent showcase of your abilities. Many of you have taken 3, 4, 5 courses in digital media. You are expected to do professional quality work on this project. It should serve as the most advanced show piece in your online portfolio.


You must attend class during the scheduled time each week. We will be covering advanced topics, and it will be difficult (near impossible) to catch up. Some lectures and assignments may be delivered online.

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 at

Note to Students with Disabilities

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.

Instructor may notify you of changes or updates to policies in this syllabus throughout the semester.