General Announcements

English 460/560 over the Internet: Requirements and Information

This section is offered as an Internet class.  I'm setting up the assignments as though the class is a T-Th class so people will be able to pace themselves.

Additional Information

  • I will respond to your email within 24 hours during the week (Monday-Friday).
  • I will not check email on weekends (Saturday-Sunday).
  • Do not expect replies to emails sent after three p.m. until the next business day.
  • Over the weekend, I do not promise a speedy reply, but if I am working at home and receive your email, I will try to answer it. 
  • Please remember: I am not online 24 hours a day.
  • Technical support is your responsibility. If a document or lecture does not work, let me know. However, if the problem is on your end (your computer, your software, your modem), it is your responsibility to find someone to help you with the problem.


Course Introduction

Hello, everybody.  Welcome to English 460 & 560 -- Digital Communication.

  1. I think we've gotten everybody into Moodle now.  Please read over the syllabus carefully.  I'm still designing the course.  The assignments and due dates are pretty well fixed.  I still need to complete the readings and expand the details for the individual assignments.
  2. I'm still developing this course, so I'd like your feedback to help me make sure it gives you what you need.  We'll concentrate on the current frontier of technical communication, communicating online.  I have been teaching students to create web sites since 1996, and have a number of these posted in by English 303 links if you want to take a look.
  3. Since this is an English class, our focus will be on writing.  In Computer Science, the focus would be on raw coding.  In Art, it would be design.  My son the musician just had a couse focusing on recording music electronically and posting it online.  So here are my goals:
    1. That you learn to design and compose documents to be posted online.
    2. That you create a personal web site where you can post your resume and other materials you create to be an online portfolio.  You can use the the space provided by the university OR one of the free blogs by services like Wordpress.  
    3. That you will be able in your job to match documents you create to the style that the organization uses.
    4. That you have a general idea about maintaining a web site.  The English Dept here got a professional to design our site, but I have been maintaining it since since we got it in 2008.  It's a great boon to job security to be the only one who knows how to update the web site without breaking it :-)
    5. If you enjoy working with HTML, other opportunities become available down the road after this class is over.  You can write ebooks and by-pass publishers using free software like Sigil to make books in .epub format, which is essentially a web page that's been zipped.  You can also create content-focused apps for smart phones, since the content can be in html form. 
  4. For our purposes, any good HTML editor will be fine.  You can pay a lot of money for Dreamweaver if you like, but there are some very serviceable FREE programs that do most of the formatting for you.  I'm writing this page with Seamonkey, a free suite that includes a browser and an HTML editor. Many of the free services have themes to choose from in designing your site.  I've stopped counting the number of ways people produce HTML. I personally have Aptana Studio 3, Atom, Blogger, Brackets, CKEditor, CoffeeCup, Dreamweaver, HxD, Microsoft Expression, Notepad++, SeaMonkey, NoteTab Light, PageBreeze 5, Sublime Text, Windows Live Writer, and WordPress.  I only use a few regularly, but I try out the others from time to time to see how they work.  And don't forget MailChimp for designing and sending mailouts.