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 250: Introduction to Web Design and Development (3 credits) - Introduction to how the World Wide Web utilizes emerging technologies. Students acquire conceptual and practical understanding of constructing Web sites. Recommended preparation: IST 110 

This course is designed to present an introduction to the basic processes and technologies on which the World Wide Web is built. We will cover both the component technologies that drive what we can do on the Web, as well as the application of these skills to real world problems and situations. This is both a concept and design course and a development course, so you will pick up some basic building skills through the labs and your Personal Web Site project.

What you will come away with is not just a basic understanding of the technologies associated with the WWW, but a fundamental appreciation for the broader issues associated with analyzing, designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating web-based media. In order to prepare yourself to be an information technology leader, you will be forced to look at these issues from a technological perspective, a social perspective, a business perspective, an ethical perspective, a legal perspective, and a political perspective. Be prepared to work independently, with others, and learn a lot. In this course, we will cover the following major topics:

  • Internet Introduction 
  • End User and Project Design 
  • Web Design Considerations 
  • Overview of HTML 
  • Layouts, Forms, Scripts 
  • Graphics on the Web 
  • Dynamic Interactivity 
  • Cascading Style Sheets and XML 
  • Multimedia and the Web 
  • Site Management 
  • Security 
  • Components of a Sustainable Web Ecosystem


  • None


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

  • Describe key components of the Internet
  • Describe the relationship between the end user and design
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of HTML
  • Describe effective strategies for using graphics on the web
  • Identify how to effectively use multimedia in web design
  • Identify security issues with utilizing the web
  • Discuss the benefits of dynamic web content 


  • TBD


TEXTBOOK: One textbook is required for this course. Both print and online formats are fine for this class.

  • Robbins, J.N. (2018). Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web Graphics. (5th edition) O'Reilly Media. (Paperback, 700 pages) ISBN 9781491960202
    • An online version of this text is available at no cost as a Penn State Library E-Book and can be accessed through Library Resources in the course navigation. Some E-Books will only be available online, while others will be available to download in full or in part. You may choose to use the E-Book as an alternative to purchasing a physical copy of the text. For questions or issues, you can contact the University Libraries Reserve Help.

SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS: The software you will need for this class:

LinkedIn Learning: In this class we use several online, asynchronous lecture-tutorials on LinkedIn Learning through Penn State. Access at

Assignments & Grading

DISCUSSIONS: You will be asked to participate in required discussions. 

LABS: The labs are hands-on work for the students that are based on the lessons we cover each week. All labs must be completed. The labs are worth points and each student will turn his or her lab work in each week for a grade. You can work with partners or small groups (this is your preference only, not required) that you form ad hoc, but each student is responsible to turn in their own completed lab in each week that labs are assigned. You will only be graded on your individual work for these labs. In weeks where labs are assigned, all labs are due Sunday 11:59 PM EST.

FINAL PROJECT: There is no final exam in this course. There is, however, a final project due at the end. Consult your list of assignments for the final project due date. 

Course Grading Breakdown
Grading Category Percentage of Final Grade
Discussions 6%
Final Project 11%
Lesson Questions 13%
LinkedIn Learning Quizzes 15%
Textbook Exercises 43%
Web Space Assignments 12%
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

  • Logging into Canvas - Students are expected to login regularly to check for course updates, announcements, emails, discussions, etc.
  • 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