Guidelines for Final Projects


Over the course of the semester you will be working to develop or re-design a complete web platform, which for the purposes of this course will mean a full website complete with multiple interconnected webpages. The final product ought to be in a stable state with no errors induced by navigation, changing the size of the browser window, changing the browser itself (e.g., Chrome vs. Safari vs. Internet Explorer), or by changing between operating systems (e.g., Windows vs. OSX vs. iOS vs. Android).

You can choose any content for the website that you like, including research you've done or are currently doing in other courses (with the approval of that instructor), your portfolio and professional information, content from a business you own or work for (with permission), content from a club, group, or organization (with permission), or simply content that you pursue in your personal life, like hobbies or fandom.

Once you've decided on a project, you will need to develop a project proposal. Your proposal should include the following information: Purpose (why are you doing it?), project description (what will the product look like?), audience (who will read/use it?), technical aspects (what kind of technologies will you employ?), resources needed (what content do you need to develop, create, or collect?), timeline for completion, and examples of similar sites/projects (along with a brief assessment of those sites).

You will be responsible for completing a draft of your project proposal and making it available for peer review during class on Wednesday, May 31st. You will then revise your project proposal and turn in a final version for a grade on Friday, June 2nd.

As soon as I've approved your project proposal, you will have the rest of the semester to work on your final project, including some time in class. As you work, I encourage you to learn the appropriate keywords and forums to use to locate answers to the technical problems you will inevitably encounter. Work on your troubleshooting skills, and in particular get used to reading your code very carefully for that one missing quotation mark or bracket that is disrupting the entire site. And post your code and questions to the forum so that we can help one another in the process.

Once your web platforms are in working order, you will provide a live demo to the class on our exam day. By the time of your demo, your web platform should be thoroughly debugged and fully operational.

In your demo you will also describe some of the design and rhetorical strategies you employed throughout the semester, specifically as it relates to your sites navigation, layout, content, audience, etc. This will be a good opportunity to return to your proposal, reflect on your experiences, and prepare to write your project report.

The project report should address the design and rhetorical decisions you made as you worked on the project. There are two main sections — the report of your activities and a reflection on what you learned while carrying out those activities.

Both the finished web platforms and the project reports will be due on Wednesday, June 28th of exam week.