Course Syllabus

Please note that the specifics of this Course Syllabus are subject to change. Instructors will notify students of any changes and students will be responsible for abiding by them. Even if you print this syllabus, please check the online version often.


IST 361: Application Development Design Studio II (3 credits) - Intermediate design and development studio course for IST and SRA students.

Application Development Design Studio II will provide opportunities for students to practice technical skills acquired in their application design and development courses to-date, specifically, in IST 140, IST 242, and IST 311. The course will follow the general format of experiential studios in the arts and architecture. It will be primarily problem-based and project oriented. Students are expected to complete deliverables in different phases of the systems development life-cycle (i.e. problem definition, requirements analysis, design, development, test). Peer and instructor design critiques provide feedback and form part of the course assessment mechanism. 

The IST design and development studios are a forum for serious students to engage with the concepts, process, tools, and materials used to envision and build software applications. Both collaboration and individual performance will be emphasized, as will experimentation, risk-taking, and enthusiasm for the process of designing and building working software applications. Students will be expected to improvise and then respond constructively to feedback from instructors and peers.


  • IST 311


Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Write an application development project proposal/pitch describing the project domain, focal problem space, design concept, design challenges, and basic competitive analysis.
  • Develop a basic conceptual design to represent an application prototype including scenarios, use cases, and class diagram.
  • Plan and estimate the effort required to develop an application prototype.
  • Decompose an application development project into development phases or ‘sprints’.
  • Implement a basic interactive prototype in Java using the model-view-controller architecture.
  • Conduct and record application prototype demonstrations and walkthroughs.
  • Conduct peer reviews of other students' designs and application prototypes.


  • TBD


  • None

Course Lessons

The course lessons are designed to focus on the most essential concepts, techniques, and tools related to the lesson topic. They provide detailed guidance on how to complete many of the deliverables required during the course.

See the Course Schedule for when specific lessons should be covered by you. They generally map to course deliverables.

Course Tools

The course will make use of several different technologies including an Integrated Development Environment (IDE), software modeling and design applications, and demonstration and walk through recording software.

Specific instructions for specific tools will be posted to the Canvas Unit where related activities and deliverables appear.

Java Development

You will be using the Netbeans Integrated Development Environment for all project development work. Netbeans is free and is available for the Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.

Download the Netbeans IDE and Java SE 

Conceptual Design

You will be using the Unified Modeling Language (UML) for part of your conceptual design. There are several software tools available for constructing UML models.

You may choose to use the MS Visio application, which is available through vLabs. The course lessons generally use MS Visio for UML demonstrations. 

You can also install MS Visio on your own computer through the Penn State Dreamspark program.

An open source and free tool you can use to create your UML diagrams is ArgoUML

Finally, you may also choose to use an online tool for creating your UML models. One that has been tested and is recommended for the course is

You can use any UML modeling tool you like as long as it will produce a figure or file that can be inserted into your MS Word document.

Project Walkthrough & Demonstration Recordings

Starting in week four you will begin making screencast videos to demonstrate your project progress, your user interface designs, and your source code.

These videos will be produced using the Screencast-o-matic tool, which is a free, online service for creating and editing screencast recordings.

Make sure to sign up for your free account as soon as possible after the semester begins.

There is a ‘sandbox’ assignment where you can practice uploading links to your screencast recordings.

Important note: the screencast recordings you create are hosted at the Screencast-o-matic site. You submit the link (URL) to your recording. DO NOT attempt to submit an actual recording file.

Screencast-o-matic is easy to use and the site includes some good tutorials.

There is a somewhat more advanced version of Screencast-o-matic available for $15 a year. 

You may also elect to use other screencast capture software, and you may host your recordings elsewhere (e.g. YouTube). The only stipulation is that the recordings must be available to the instructor via a URL with no special accounts or software required.

You MAY NOT submit a file for your recording. Canvas has a limit on the total data storage capacity for a course and this would be exceeded if students submit the actual recording files rather than a URL.

Assignments & Grading

Assignments will be graded based on the following general criteria:

  • Correctness (e.g. programs compile & run; language constructs are used appropriately; diagrams (e.g. UML) make correct use of symbols)
  • Completeness (e.g. programs and written work address all aspects of the problem as described in the assignment specification.)
  • Clarity (e.g. programs are formatted professionally and include comments; written work and diagrams are free of typographical and grammatical errors, and are formatted neatly)
Course Grading Breakdown
Course Component Percentage of Final Grade
Project Proposal 10%
Project Conceptual Design 10%
Project Plan & Estimate 10%
Project Progress Walkthrough Recordings 40%
Project Peer Reviews 10%
Final Project Demo Recording & Source Code 20%
TOTAL 100%

Course Grading Scale

The following are minimum cutoffs for each grade:

  • 93.00% = A
  • 90.00% = A-
  • 87.00% = B+
  • 83.00% = B
  • 80.00% = B-
  • 77.00% = C+
  • 70.00% = C
  • 60.00% = D
  • less than 60.00% = F

Course Policies and Expectations

  • Late Policy
    • All deliverables must be completed and submitted before the due date and time.
    • Assignments submitted within 48 hours after the due date and time will be marked for 50% credit. This means you will receive your marked score divided by 2.
  • Logging into Canvas - Students are expected to login regularly to check for course updates, announcements, emails, discussions, etc.
    • Updates will occur regularly so please make sure to keep up with announcements and updates to the course site.
  • Emailing through Canvas - Students are expected to use Canvas for all course email communication.
  • Attending virtual meetings - Students are expected to use specified virtual meeting tool(s) for collaboration, meetings, presentations, etc., as needed.

Academic Integrity

Penn State and the College of Information Sciences and Technology are committed to maintaining Penn State's policy on Academic Integrity in this and all other courses. We take academic integrity matters seriously and expect you to become a partner to the University/College standards of academic excellence.

For more information, please review these policies and procedures:

While utilizing additional sources outside of this class is encouraged for gaining a better understanding of course concepts, seeking explicit answers for graded assignments from outside sources (e.g. Course Hero, Chegg, tutoring services like, etc.) is considered CHEATING and will not be tolerated. Sanctions range from failure of the assignment or course to dismissal from the University. Additionally, sharing course content without permission is a violation of copyright and may result in university sanctions and/or legal ramifications. Contact your instructor with questions related to this topic. 

University Policies

Review current information regarding various Penn State policies (such as copyright, counseling, psychological services, disability and military accommodations, discrimination, harassment, emergencies, trade names, etc.) on the University Policies page.

Penn State takes great pride to foster a diverse and inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff. Acts of intolerance, discrimination, or harassment due to age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religious belief, sexual orientation, or veteran status are not tolerated and can be reported through Educational Equity via the Report Bias webpage (


Find extensive information and links to many Penn State and IST resources (including the Penn State libraries, video conferencing tools, technology and software, writing and research help, and much more) on the Resources page.

Technical Requirements

Standard World Campus computer technical specifications are assumed for this course. Please test your computer for requirements. In addition, a webcam and a headset with a microphone are REQUIRED for the course. These may be used for virtual meetings, virtual office hours, interactions with classmates and your instructor, and group presentations - which are all conducted with virtual meeting tools. No special software is required.


The following schedule outlines the topics covered in this course, along with the associated time frames, readings, activities, and assignments. All due dates reflect Eastern Time (ET). Specifying the time zone ensures that all students have the same deadlines, regardless of where they live.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due