|Course Dates: October 16-November 6, 2012
Days/Times: Tuesday/Thursday – 6-8PM
Instructor: Lorelle VanFossen
Office/Hours: By Appointment
Mobile Phone: 503-809-1277
|Class Number: F257
Term: Fall Quarter 2012
Location: CTC 339
Class Site(s): Lorelle Teaches and Lorelle on WordPress
Email: lorelleonwordpress@gmailcom or firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter: @lorelleonwp and @lorelle
Note: This Syllabus is based upon Clark College standards and requirements and may not directly apply to Clark College Corporate and Continuing Education Programs.
Course Official Description
Course Description for Fall Quarter 2012 Corporate and Continuing Education ITEM F257: Introduction to WordPress
This course is designed for anyone looking to learn how to use the WordPress platform for either personal or business website use. The course covers the basics on how to use the WordPress platform including installation, content management, and configuration. The course also covers more advanced areas including WordPress themes, plugins, and advanced settings. Prior web publishing experience not required. Familiarity with web browsers and email is highly recommended.
The main purpose of Introduction to WordPress is to introduce you to the popular web publishing platform, WordPress. Developed in 2003, WordPress is used by millions of people and companies self-publishing content on the web. Employers and clients are eagerly hiring WordPress consultants, designers, and developers.
Learning to use WordPress as a content publisher requires basic writing and web browsing skills. Little code experience is necessary for the typical user. If you can handle a word processor, you can blog. The flexibility and extensibility of WordPress makes it fascinating to web designers, developers, coders, and programmers.
This course is designed to introduce you to the core features and functions of WordPress and to provide an overview of the potential of WordPress for a variety of web publishing purposes.
By the end of the course you will have:
- an active WordPress.com blog
- an understanding of the differences between WordPress.com and other versions of WordPress
- a solid skill set in publishing web content in WordPress
- an understanding of the basic structure of a WordPress Theme
- a basic understanding of Theme customization and options
- an introduction to WordPress Plugins
- the ability to integrate WordPress with social media
- the understanding of how comments, comment spam, and interactivity works on a WordPress site
- a strong insight into what requisites are needed to become a WordPress contributor, designer and developer
- and the ability to provide basic WordPress support.
The instructor does not have an office on campus. Communication shall be by phone or text message to 503-809-1277, email, Google+, or Twitter, as listed above of this syllabus.
Announcements regarding the class, assignments, and information will be posted in the site blog on this site, Lorelle Teaches.
Individual meetings must be made by appointment and schedule before or after class.
Course Resources and Materials
Required Text and Books
No books are required for the class, however, the following are optional text found on the Clark 24/7 free textbook access site:
- Recommended: WordPress 24-hour Trainer by George Plumley
- WordPress 3 Complete by April Hodge Silver, Packt Publishing 2011
- Teach Yourself WordPress 3 in 10 Minutes by Chuck Tomasi and Kreg Steppe, Sams Publishing 2010
- WordPress for Dummies 3rd Edition by Lisa Sabin-Wilson, Wiley 2010
- Digging Into WordPress by Jeff Starr and Chris Coyier, self-published 2009
- Lorelle Teaches
- WordPress Codex, the online manual for WordPress Users
- Learn WordPress
- Lorelle on WordPress
Required and Optional Hardware, Software, and Membership/Registration
- Twitter account
- Google+ account (optional but recommended)
- Gmail or web-based email account
- Facebook account (optional but recommended)
- LinkedIn (optional)
- Windows Live ID Account for Windows Essentials
- USB Thumb Drive or Portable Hard Drive
- Personal Laptop/Tablet (optional)
There are no formal prerequisite classes for the course.
Prerequisite knowledge and skills highly recommended include:
- Computer proficiency.
- Proficiency with the web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, or Safari), searching and search engines, and web pages in general is highly recommended.
- English and writing proficiency.
- Familiarity and experience with text editors such as Notepad or Textmate, word processing programs, photo editing programs (PhotoShop or equivalent), and social networks and services is highly recommended.
Homework, Labs, and Projects
Unlike most classes with formal text books and assignments handed in on paper, homework in this class will be done on your blogs.
- Even if you currently have a blog or website, you will be asked to create a new WordPress.com blog for the duration of this course. Consider this site disposable, a good place to practice and experiment.
- Use the following format to create your blog on WordPress.com: [yourname]1234.wordpress.com or [yourintials]987.wordpress.com, or something similar.
- You are expected to complete all assignments, including the final project. Each assignment will count toward your final grade, and you will forfeit credit from any assignment missed. Extra credit may be available during the course to improve your final score.
- Assignments will be given in class and featured on the class blog. Assignments will generally involve one or more of the following:
- Writing and publishing correctly formatted and web standard compliant blog posts.
- Answering polls and/or surveys on the class blog or fellow student blogs.
- Commenting on the class and student blogs.
- Publishing content on social networks for integration with your WordPress blog.
You are responsible for reading and understanding assignments, complying with posted due dates and submission instructions, and for completing the assignments and projects.
The class will be divided into teams during the course and you will be responsible to your team and their requirements.
Evaluation of assignments will consider completion of the assigned tasks and assignments, organization, development, mechanics, presentation, and critical engagement. If something is unclear, you are responsible for asking before the assignment is due. While life interferes, it is your responsibility to comply with all the course policies and procedures, whether it involves extra time on campus in the computer lab or at home.
Incompletes are not typically given. If extreme circumstances arise, the teacher may give an “incomplete” if the student has completed at least 70% of the course work at the end of the quarter, and the request is inline with the college incomplete policies.
Special credit and make up work may be assigned or given during the course. These may influence your final grade.
Getting the Most Out of the Class
A blog works best when you have something to say about a specific topic or interest to talk about. Your topic influences the decisions you make on site design, development, customization, content, organization, navigation, and more. You will establish that purpose and focus on the first day of class and evolve it throughout the course.
Blog Content Guidelines
The blogging world is noted for freedom of expression, remember that classmates will be reading, reviewing, and commenting on your blogs during the course. Content should be family- and work-friendly. When it comes to commenting on others’ work, the teacher has one motto: Play nice. The focus of your blog and its contents are your own but you will be expected to meet standards of spelling and grammar, web standards, general visual and publishing guidelines, and assignment goals and outcomes.
It is the student’s right and responsibility to protect their site and access to their site and online activities as well as their personal privacy. Do not publish information and data you do not wish to be made public. Students are not required to use their real names or other private and personal data when setting up their blog and publishing content. During the course, the blog should be accessible and visible to the public but not search engines. After the quarter end and grades assigned, the student has the right to keep, delete, or make private the blog. Students agree not to share private data and information revealed during the course.
Backups and Storage
Students are required to backup all content including drafts, code, images, video, audio, and notes until the end of the quarter after grades have been given. These are to be stored on portable hard drives, thumb drives, or cloud storage and made available upon request if necessary to grade the assignment as proof of work. Loss of work due to failure to backup is not an acceptable excuse for incomplete work.
If necessary as part of the class, a student may be added to the class, teacher, assistants, or fellow students’ blogs. Instructions will be provided as to procedure and permissions and authority levels. At the end of the semester, the student may change user permissions and/or remove the user(s) from their blog. Students granted such privileges will respect the honor and respect the copyright and publishing policies of the site’s owner. Failure to do so could result in penalties similar to copyright and cheating violations. Do not share passwords, and play nice.
Academic Conduct and Copyrights
Students are responsible for upholding the student code of conduct.
- Plagiarism: What Every Student Needs to Know
- Clark College English Department Statement On Plagiarism
- Clark College Code of Student Conduct
- What to Do When Someone Steals Your Content by Lorelle VanFossen
- Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today
This course demands responsibility and accountability for your actions and published works.
- Homework, lab, and assignments will be original and you will be the original author.
- All work published during the course must meet original copyright holder licenses.
- All quotes and citations must be cited and linked to the original author including photographs, graphics, podcasts, and videos per Copyright Fair Use guidelines (typically 10% or 400 words).
- Examinations, whether in class or take home projects, represent your work and not that of others unless they are part of the collaborative project effort.
- Notes and other reference materials are to be used during examinations only to the extent allowed by the teacher.
While it is normal for two or more students to have similar conclusions and solutions, the presentation of the material shall be in the student’s original voice and style.
Failure to comply will result in penalties per the guidelines of the college.
Student attendance is expected for all classes, however it is not used as a criteria for the final grade. Announcements, clarifying information, and original material may be provided and developed interactively during the class. The class blog will feature much of the content but may not include all the information necessary for completion of the class grade. Regular attendance will be critical to successful completion of assignments and exams.
Missed Exams and Assignments and Incomplete Work
In-class and out-of-class assignments will be made throughout the course. Students not in class when assignments are given shall be responsible for completion of the assignment when due. If a student misses a class, it will impact others, especially with the team projects.
Late work is not accepted unless the project is ongoing. Assignments with a clear deadline are due at the designated time and date unless arrangements are made in advance.
There are no make-up exams and the final project cannot be delayed. The final project is due by the second to last day of the course with final evaluations due the last day of the course.
Withdrawing and Grade Options
Students who find it necessary to withdraw from classes must do so formally with the registrar. The withdrawal is effective on the date a Change of Registration form is processed in the Registration Office. Dates for dropping/withdrawing classes are listed in the class schedule.
The default grade option is a letter grade. Requests for a different grade option (pass/fail, audit, etc.) must be made at the Registration Office.
Course Methods, Goals, and Expectations
The course is highly interactive. Instruction is a combination of assigned reading, research, lecture, lab work, and collaborative effort around creating a blog in WordPress. While presented in a highly computerized lab-type classroom, instruction is social and collaborative. Students are encouraged to work together and help each other solve the various challenges and assignments. It is expected that computer use during the class will be limited to in-class lab exercises, research, and note taking.
Outside Class Time Commitment
Time required outside of class will vary greatly from student to student depending upon general computer knowledge, keyboard, reading , and research, and general aptitude to comprehend technical material. It also depends upon the amount of work the student chooses to put into their published content and homework assignments. A general rule of thumb is approximately 2 – 3 hours of outside work for each hour spent in class. Continuing education programs typically do much of the work in class. Anticipate 1 hour of outside work for each hour spent in class at most, again, dependent upon the goals of the individual student not the class itself.
Course Assessment and Grades
Evaluation of student performance includes a mid-term test and final class project presentation covering reading, lecture material, lab assignments, homework, and timely and accurate completely of all exercises and assignments.
Scoring of the grade is based upon completion of the assignments, student and teacher feedback, and the end result of your site and the final class project. Website assignments are graded based upon completion of the task, format, style, and presentation. Content, specifically written, graphic, or video, is not graded. Application of such content is graded.
The final project is a team project evaluated by the class and teacher. The final project represents 50% of your total grade. It is a team effort, and each team member will be evaluated based upon the results of the entire team. The class will evaluate and submit grade recommendations on the final project presentation representing 60% of the final project grade total.
Final Grade Scale (assuming minimum requirements are met):
A: 90% – 100%
B: 80% – 89%
C: 70% – 79%
D: 60% – 69%
F: Less than 60%
Grades of minus or plus may be assigned at teacher discretion based upon factors such as attendance, performance, your work compared to other fellow students in the same percentage range, etc.
NOTE: Grades are given in Continuing Education Courses with advance permission only through the Clark College Corporate and Continuing Education Office as a certification or credit hours for work.
- Final Project: 50%
- Midterm Exam: 20%
- Assignments: 30%
- Extra Credit: 5%
- Final Project Breakdown totaling 50% of the overall grade
- Instructor evaluation: 40%
- Class evaluation: 60%
- Individual evaluations: 10%
After successfully completing this course, students should be able to accomplish the following outcomes measured by assignments, exams, in-class projects, class interactivity and participation, and a final team project.
- Understand and demonstrate WordPress core elements, features and options.
- Demonstrate blog publishing skills with WordPress.
- Demonstrate working knowledge and skills for customizing an existing WordPress Theme and WordPress site for a variety of publishing formats and content types.
- Demonstrate the ability of WordPress interactivity & integration with the social web.
- Create a WordPress site with a focus on analytics, SEO, and marketing strategies.
- Demonstrate basic understanding of WordPress specific stylesheets (CSS), HTML, site migration, site structure, organization, and framework.
- Demonstrate preparing a statement of work for basic WordPress development project.
Numerous computer labs are available for registered students during the posted hours. See Clark College Computing Resources.
Tutoring services available free of charge to registered Clark College students. Tutoring Center/Writing Center Clark College Tutoring Center and Writing Center.
Clark College has a Disability Support Services Office. To find their current location and contact information go Clark College Disability Support Services Office.
Inclement weather or emergency information: Go to clark.edu or call 360-992- 2000 for information. The College does send notices to radio and television stations, but the College’s web site and switchboard are the official platforms for the most accurate information.
Immediate emergency communication alert: To receive immediate notice on emergencies, you can register your cell phone number to receive text pages and your email address to receive email messages. To do this, go to Flash Alert. Select “Subscribe” on the left, and follow the instructions. Mass communication will also be sent to all college employee phones and computers.
Fire Alarm: Evacuate the building through closest exit; evacuation maps are located in the hallways. Take personal belongings only if it is safe to do so. Remain at least 50 feet from the building. Notify others of evacuation. Do not re- enter building until instructed to do so.
Parking Lot Identifiers: New parking lot identifiers using colors and numbers have been assigned to all Clark parking lots. To help emergency or security personnel locate you, please refer to these identifying features.
Security Escort: Security Officers are available for escorts. Please call 360-992-2133 to make arrangements.