Virginia Montecino
Guidelines for Course Web Pages
© Virginia Montecino Feb. 11, 1999
[picture of a row of leaves]
Your Web space on the mason/osf1 server is provided by George Mason University.  What you put on the Web creates an impression of you, the university, and your courses, if they required Web material.  The Web, an important way to share information today,  is a great place to share course work and learn how to become literate about the Internet. 

While I don't want you to be alarmed about the possible dangers of posting on the Web, it is important to be aware of the public nature of the Web.  Material on the Web can be accessed all over the world.  Some information posted on Web pages can have lasting negative effects, such as preventing you from getting certain jobs, aligning you with certain causes or beliefs you might not really want to be associated with.  Information on the Web could cause you to be harassed. Some things you may share with friends you might not really want posted in a public place. Think of the possible consequences before you publish material on your Web space.  Do not reveal personal information about yourself or others.  Do not publish phone numbers or addresses.

To protect yourself, remember that infringement of copyright laws, obscene, harassing or threatening materials on Web sites can be in violation of local, state, national or international laws and can be subject to litigation by appropriate law enforcement agencies. Authors of HTML documents are responsible for what they allow users worldwide to access. GMU can stop your university access to the Web if you fail to meet their computing policy conditions.  Web material on your GMU Web space should adhere to the GMU "Responsible Use of Computing Policy," observe copyright laws and guidelines which protect you and the university from any possible legal problems, and from having your GMU account pulled. 

If you already have a Web page on your mason account, please create a separate "page" for your course work, with links to the html files that contain your work for the course. 

Please adhere to these guidelines on your course Web site:

  • Web material for this class should be posted on your GMU web space on the mason server, NOT on a  commercial account.  Your mason account must be activated to do this. Here is the address to activate your account on the Web:
  • Web material  for this class should be directly related to the course assignments.
  • The structure of your Course Web page, with appropriate linked files, should follow this approximate format: 
A main page, which should  include:
 - your name, your email address
 - a hypertext link to the course syllabus
- a hypertext link to your papers, clearly labeled. 
- a hypertext link back to your main course page
- a copyright symbol to indicate the work is your original work 
           ( html "tag" for copyright is © )
- other appropriate links you desire , such as to Townhall 
(You can create links to other pages, but you can't copy the page and post it on your Web page. 
Graphics on the Web are not free unless they are advertised as free. Copying images off the Web without permission and putting them on your page is a copyright violation, even if you give credit to the source.) 

Be sure that you cite sources in your papers to avoid plagiarism.

Please don't use frames - some students' browsers do not support them.  

Keep graphics to a minimum and keep them small.  Large graphics take up space in your directory.  Your account has a generous amount of space but can be filled up quickly with graphics.  Large graphics also take too long to load and can frustrate users.  Before you post your picture or pictures of loved ones on your Web page, remember people all over the world will view these pictures and can download them to their own computers. 

You are free to design your own page: pictures, fonts, colors, background color/pattern.  But be sure whatever graphics or backgrounds you use are not copyrighted.  If it doesn't say "free" it is copyrighted. 

Consider the sensibilities of your classmates who belong to many different cultures and have a wide variety of religious views.  I am sure you want to avoid unintentionally insulting or harassing someone because of race, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs.  Think about the image of yourself you might  be conveying if you post sexually explicit material or link to such content. 

Though you have a great deal of flexibility in what you want to put on your own Web page, Web material for this class should be strictly academic and contain what is proscribed by the course requirements. I do encourage you, however, to be creative in designing your Web page.  The originality of  your Web is a projection of your personality.

Web Publishing Help (
STAR- ( GMU's Student Technology Assistance & Resources - for help with Web pages
File Transfer (ftp) and Telnet (
UNIX(  handy for working in your mason directory or mason public_html Web directory 
back to top
[picture of a row of leaves]