Web documents for educational purposes
... by Bob Stepno
Originally for Prof. Phil Meyer's students
Back when I was writing for a daily newspaper, I stumbled on a book called Precision Journalism by Phil Meyer, who had the interesting idea that journalists should use computers as data analysis tools, not just typesetters or word processors. Twenty years later, I wound up working for Prof. Meyer for the 1996-1997 school year as a graduate research assistant. Among other projects, I created his first home page, including an online syllabus for each of his courses and a collection of links related to his research interests.These pages were done with simple tools, such as the university's Simple Start template for faculty home pages, RTF2HTML conversion of existing documents, and Netscape Gold, but most required some additional tweaking of the ASCII HTML code.
I also put together some Internet search tips for his students, including suggestions about using the computer to browse the net and take notes at the same time.
Pages I launche d for Prof. Deb Aikat's (and my) Electronic Information Sources class
- EIS Fall 1995 was our first attempt at designing a course to introduce journalism undergraduates to the Internet and get them used to using the library at the same time. I suggested and coded the online syllabus with links to reference materials from the campus Office of Information Technology and our own pages.
Going online with the syllabus was inspired by Paul Jones Cybercasting and Cyberpublishing course,which I'd taken the previous semester. In 1995 the EIS course had slightly more work as a three-credit course versus the current two-credit version, but we did some things the hard way. Here's the Latest version, the product of several iterations of the course and a growing crew of Deb's teaching assistants. It has more graphics and more links, but still a few of my contributions.
The examples below were from 1995:
- For class discussion: A few examples of online newspapers, magazines, and publications born on the Web
- For beginning Web authors, my HTML lab notes
- Instead of a skeletal "sample page" template, try my Steal this page page.
More UNC Web how-to adviceFor a more formal approach to plain but functional web pages, see the original HTML Guidelines from the UNC Web Style Guide Committee. (I didn't create these pages, but I was a member of the committee.) If you're at UNC and interested in such things as campus standards and how they come about, you check out the Webwalkers meetings.
Class projects for Paul Jones' Internet and New Media UNC JOMC and INLS courses
- A discussion of Quality of information/disinformation on the Web, also with Bob Henshaw, plus my own Java/Disinformocracy afterthoughts. The latter is partly inspired by Howard Rheingold's "disinformocracy" chapter in his book, The Virtual Community, and partly by the rush into "cool" technologies (with Java as an example).
- Java & Hot Java presentation, with Bob Henshaw
- More Java examples and my comments.Note: The server that originally housed most of these pages, blake.oit.unc.edu, went offline in 1998. The topics and titles are here for historical purposes, and just in case the server is reactivated by its owner.
- The New Republic WWW Sampler (team project with Luke Duncan and Mark McCarthy)
- My survey (non-serious forms demo)
- My equally serious first attempt at a graphical navigation aid
- Part of the final exam in Paul Jones's Cyberpublishing and Cybercasting course was to create a page about one of the visiting speakers. This was fun on a deadline, including the quick search of the net to find interesting graphics. (They've gotten more interesting since 1995 thanks to GIF animations and Java.)