MAT-225 Schedule

About This Page . . .

This schedule corresponds to course section MAT-225


You can see the following quick views:
Assignments at a Glance 
Due Dates at a Glance

…OR jump straight to the desired week to see what you should be doing for reading, tutorials, prep, etc.

Week 01: 8/21 – 8/27
Week 02: 8/28 – 9/3
Week 03: 9/4 – 9/10
Week 04: 9/11 – 9/17
Week 05: 9/18 – 9/24
Week 06: 9/25 – 10/1
Week 07: 10/2 – 10/8
Week 08: 10/9 -10/15
Week 09: 10/16 – 10/22
Week 10: 10/23 – 10/29
Week 11: 10/30 – 11/5
Week 12: 11/6- 11/12
Week 13: 11/13 – 11/19
Week 14: 11/20 – 11/26
Week 15: 11/27 – 12/3
Week 16: 12/4 – 12/10
Week 17: 12/11 – 12/14


First Thing First: YouTube Tips!

You’ll find an enormous amount of this class is comprised of video demos, so if you don’t know how to speed up YouTube, watch this short video below. It will save you LOADS of time this semester:


Assignments at a Glance


Due Dates at a Glance

These due dates are subject to change during the semester.

  • 08/22 (w1) :: Tuesday :: Discussion: “Class Introductions”  initial post
  • 08/27 (w1) :: Sunday :: Discussion: “Class Introductions” responses (1%)
  • 09/03 (w2) :: Sunday ::  Discussion: Research Topic 1 on Responsive Web Design
  • 09/03 (w2) :: Sunday ::  “TECH Weeks 1-2” help discussion closes.
  • 09/13 (w4) :: Wednesday :: Completed “Phase One” of the first project uploaded to class server.
  • 09/13 (w4) :: Wednesday :: Make initial post by Wednesday night to Discussion: Phase One Progress Critique
  • 09/17 (w4) :: Sunday :: Make response posts by Sunday night to Discussion: Phase One Progress Critique
  • 09/17 (w4) :: Sunday ::Discussion: Research Topic 2- Server Side Scripting
  • 09/17 (w4) :: Sunday :: “TECH Weeks 3-4” help discussion closes.
  • 09/24 (w4) :: Sunday :: Discussion: Research Topic 3 – Web CMS
  • 10/01 (w6) :: Sunday :: “TECH Weeks 5-6” help discussion closes
  • 10/08 (w7) :: Sunday :: Initial post : P1 Artist Statement and Presentation (Discussion)
  • 10/08 (w7) :: Sunday :: Project-1 DUE Sunday by 11:59pm
  • 10/08 (w7) :: Sunday :: Be sure to also have all practice php files completed during Project-1 uploaded to your class server “dev” folder to receive full credit for Phase Two of Project-1.
  • 10/15 (w8) :: Sunday :: Response posts : P1 Artist Statement and Presentation (Discussion)
  • 10/22 (w9) :: Sunday :: “TECH Weeks 7-9” help discussion closes
  • 11/05 (w10) :: Sunday :: Project-2 DUE Sunday by 11:59pm
  • 11/06 (w11) :: Monday :: Initial post : P2 Artist Statement and Presentation (Discussion)
  • 11/12 (w12) :: Sunday :: Response posts : P2 Artist Statement and Presentation (Discussion)
  • 11/19 (w13) :: Sunday :: Project-3 Design Mockups (Discussion post with artwork) DUE
  • 12/14 (w17 – FINAL DAY) :: THURSDAY ::
    • DB : Final Presentations and Statements (1% graded!)
    • Project 3 (30%)

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Organized Chronologically by Weeks/Dates

Week 01: 8/21 – 8/27

By end of Tuesday, 8/22:
  1. Watch Orientation video FIRST.
  2. Read entire syllabus.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the MiraCosta Student Help Desk.
  4. New to Canvas or Canvas’ Discussion Boards? Here are tutorials.
  5. DUE: Log into Canvas and make your initial Class Introductions post to introduce yourself to the class. This is required  by the end of Tuesday night to show “first day” attendance. Failing to do this might drop you from the class.
  6. How to Add/Drop Classes
By end of Sunday night 8/27:

Complete Lectures/Demos from:

  1. 01a : Understanding the PHP process (~30min)
  2. 01b : Installing PHP/MySQL on your personal computer (~2hrs)
  3. DUE: Log into Canvas and respond to classmates in the Class Introductions discussion board.
  4. Relevant/optional reading: Chapter 1 from recommended textbook, Learning PHP
  5. Why Bother Using PHP? Why not just do this in HTML?
    • At least a couple of students each semester ask what the point of using PHP is when we are first learning foundational stuff (data types, creating variables, etc.). It is hard to see at first the multitudes of applications, but this video explains how it is useful beyond the basics with some example sites.

Also, don’t forget to contribute to the Week 01-02 Technical Help discussion board in Canvas. This discussion is open for two weeks and requires at least two posts during that time to receive credit. You can ask a question, offer solutions to other students, or simply make observations relevant to the coursework that you think others might find useful.


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Week 02: 8/28 – 9/3

This Week’s Responsibilities:

  1. Topical Research 01 (Responsive Design) discussion board post/writing
  2. Project-1 Introduction (video explanation):
  3. Start Phase One of our first project:
    • You will begin Project-1 this week by creating and styling a design base file. This template file will be the basis of your Project-1 design, and this design portion of the project has a progressive due date, due by the middle of Week 4, on Wednesday by 11:59pm. This phase is worth 30% of your total Project-1 grade.
    • Make sure you watched the introduction video above, and then you should start by reading the entire Project-1 outline yourself so you have a better understanding of the assignment goals and different phases of the project.
    • To see how to begin the design process, specifically review Phase One of Project-1, “Initial Responsive Design (30 pts),”and complete it by the middle of Week 4.
    • Then go to the “Creating a Mobile-First Design Template for Your PHP Project” lesson to get started. You should try to get through at least HALF of this lesson this week. The full lesson’s videos span ~2.5 hours, so you should follow a minimum of ~75 minutes of instruction. NOTE: doing the work will at least double the time you need to dedicate to this process.
  4. This week’s required practice lessons:
    • 02 : Overview of PHP Data Types (25min)
    • 03 : Data Types – Strings (~1hr)
    • Upload your lessons to your class server’s “dev” folder when you complete them.
    • For more info on strings, you can read pp. 64-87 of Ch.2 from Learning PHP.
    • NOTE: Technically, all practice lessons are part of “Phase Two” of the first project, so even though you might still be working on the Phase One design portion, you also need to start working on the practice lessons to keep up.
  5. DUE: Contributions to Week 01-02 Technical Help discussion board in Canvas.

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Week 03: 9/4 – 9/10

This Week‘s Responsibilities

  1. Work on Phase One of the first project (worth 30% of Project-1 grade). This includes completing the following before next Wednesday:
    • Finishing “Creating a Mobile-First Design Template for Your PHP Project”
    • “adding a jQuery mobile menu to the template”
      One thing you might notice if you have followed the template demo closely is that the navigational menu in mobile view stays expanded. Because this takes up valuable real estate, you should consider adding javascript functionality to the menu so that it collapses into an expandable menu in ‘mobile’ view. It also covers how to create an accessible fallback method in the event the client borwser has Javascript disabled. To learn how to do this, watch the following 3-part video demo series, “Project1 – Mobile JS Menu ” (~53 minutes total).
    • Styling the template in you OWN UNIQUE way with different fonts, colors, background images, etc. You are welcome to modify the layout, but you cannot use other readily-available 3rd party templates to do so. Merely turning in an unrevised version of the demo’s template will result in significant grade reduction. PHASE ONE DUE BY END OF NEXT WEDNESDAY NIGHT
  2. This week’s required practice lessons (~2hrs videos):
  3. Weeks 03 – 04 Technical Help Discussion (contributions due by end of next week)

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Week 04: 9/11 – 9/17

This Week‘s Responsibilities

Week 05: 9/18 – 9/24

This week’s responsibilities:

  • Topical Research 03 (Web CMS) discussion post writing (due Sunday)
  • Complete Phase-2. Remember that Phase two includes the PHP practice lessons you have been doing this whole time, and wraps up with “Modularizing the ‘template.php’ file (essential and mandatory).” If you have done the Control Structure lessons above, you can also launch directly into the PROJECT-1 INCLUDE video. This is required before moving forward to Phase-3.
  • First: read, watch, and review basics of User-Defined functions on the Functions Web Notes page.
  • Next, try to begin adding functions to your template: “pageName” (~40min video runtime):
    It can be a tricky transition knowing exactly how to get those practice scripts tailored to work with your website, especially when creating functions out of them and including them separately via an external ‘functions.php’ page. This short video demo set will help you rethink how to write your switch argument for dynamic page title, banner info, etc., as well as how to get it working within an external ‘functions.php’ file. It is expected that you will use this tutorial as a launch pad in figuring out how to implement other functions for other Project-1 PHP requirements.
  • Work on Phase Three of your first project.
    You should be entering into Phase three of the project now where you integrate the scripts and techniques you’ve learned so far into your dynamic template. Click the title link above for more information if you need to review the project requirements. This includes starting the lesson, “Creating a function to dynamically generate image galleries” (total ~4hrs video runtime)
    This week’s relevant readings from Learning PHP: Ch. 5 – “Groups of Logic: Functions and Files”
  • Weeks 05-06 Technical Help discussion opens. Contributions are due at the end of next week.

 


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Week 06: 9/25 – 10/1

This week’s responsibilities:

  1. Complete :“Creating a function to dynamically generate image galleries” (~4hrs video runtime)
    Upload this lesson to your class server’s “dev” folder when you complete it.
    This week’s relevant readings from Learning PHP: Ch. 5 – “Groups of Logic: Functions and Files”
  2. If you haven’t already, complete adding functions to your template: “pageName” (~40min video runtime)
  3. Phase Three of your first project
    You should be fully into Phase Three of the project now where you integrate the scripts and techniques you’ve learned so far into your dynamic template. Click the link above for more information if you need to review the project requirements.
  4. Contributions to Weeks 05-06 Technical Help discussion are DUE by end of Sunday night.

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Week 07: 10/2 – 10/8

This week’s responsibilities:

  1. Complete Project-1 in its entirety and upload to your student class server space, placing the files in a folder named, “project1” (lowercase, no spaces or dashes). PROJECT DUE ON SERVER BY END OF SUNDAY NIGHT THIS WEEK. Be sure that you have also uploaded all practice lessons to your class server’s “dev” folder to get full credit on Phase Two of the project.
  2. Also DUE by end of Sunday night: PART 1 of Project 1 Artist Statement and Presentation.
    • PART 1 (post Sunday): Students are required to share their work with the rest of the class by providing the following:
      • link to your completed site
      • artist design statement explaining the goals and design decisions behind the site
      • you can also discuss any hurdles and challenges you faced, as well
    • PART 2 (due next week): After submitting your initial post, be sure to go back and give feedback to your classmates on their work. You are required to respond to at least three people to receive full credit for the discussion.
  3. You can begin contributing to the Weeks 07-09 Technical Help Discussion.

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Week 08: 10/9 -10/15

This Week’s responsibilities:

  1. DUE by end of Sunday night: PART 2 of Project 1 Artist Statement and Presentation.
    • PART 1 (due last Sunday): Students are required to share their work with the rest of the class by providing the following:
      • link to your completed site
      • artist design statement explaining the goals and design decisions behind the site
      • you can also discuss any hurdles and challenges you faced, as well
    • PART 2 (due this Sunday): After submitting your initial post, be sure to go back and give feedback to your classmates on their work. You are required to respond to at least three people to receive full credit for the discussion.
  2. Review Project-2 Outline
    You need to read the Project-2 outline and requirements thoroughly before starting. After reviewing the project, you should get started with this week’s tutorial lessons in setting up WordPress.

    IMPORTANT NOTE FOR STUDENTS WITH OWN HOSTING: If you have your own web hosting, whether it is privately on your localhost network or publicly on your own paid hosting solutions, you will still be required to turn work in on the CLASS SERVER. Do not underestimate the problems you might face migrating your work to the class server at the last minute! If you must develop on your own hosting, it is recommended that you should concurrently reproduce your work on the class server at the same time to avoid problems near the due date.

  3. This week’s required lectures/demos:
  4. Don’t forget to contribute to the Weeks 07-09 Technical Help Discussion.
BY THE END OF THIS WEEK, YOU SHOULD HAVE COMPLETED:
  1. Successfully installed WordPress on the class server
  2. Made successful backups of fresh WordPress site with a minimum of ‘WP Example Content’ enabled
  3. Attempted to delete database and restore it via cPanel
  4. Attempted to drop tables via phpMyAdmin and restore them

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Week 09: 10/16 – 10/22

This week

  1. Watch and follow entire tutorial: Building Your First WordPress Self-Hosted Site – [10 videos total, ~2.5 hrs]
  2. Based on what you have learned so far, collect and author content for your project/site. Create an outline of how you’d ideally like the navigation and content flow to work on the site. Important considerations will be deciding which content needs to be “pages,” which needs to be “posts,” and how and where you want your navigation to be organized for efficient usability. Additional considerations will be deciding how to create and organize categories, how categories can assist in navigation, if you need to create custom menus, and where those custom menus will go.
  3. Once you have create the outline above, you can start researching themes. If you find a theme you really like it it’s missing a few things important to you, figure out if you can make the theme work for you through custom widgets, menus, and plugins that extend functionality.
  4. Decide on a theme by the end of the week (YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PAY FOR ONE! If you decide that you want to pay for a theme, that is entirely up to you, but you can successfully execute this assignment without buying a theme).
  5. DUE: Contributions to the Weeks 07-09 Technical Help Discussion

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Week 10: 10/23 – 10/29

This Week


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Week 11: 10/30 – 11/5

This Week:

  1. The assignment is due at the end of this week. So, to stay on schedule, you should be completing your content creation and adding plugins where necessary to extend functionality.
  2. DUE by end of Sunday night: Project 2 (WordPress Site)
  3. BE SURE TO BACK UP WORK (files and database) at the end of this project!
  4. BE SURE TO BACK UP WORK (files and database) at the end of this project!!
  5. BE SURE TO BACK UP WORK (files and database) at the end of this project!!!
  6. BE SURE TO BACK UP WORK (files and database) at the end of this project!!!!!
  7. BE SURE TO BACK UP WORK (files and database) at the end of this project!!!!!!!!
  8. BE SURE TO BACK UP WORK (files and database) at the end of this project.
  9. Get the picture???

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Week 12: 11/6 – 11/12

This Week

  • DUE by end of MONDAY night: Initial project-2 artist statement post on “Project 2 (P2) Artist Statement and Presentation” Canvas discussion 
  • Get started on Project 3 by doing the following:
    • Read the Project 3 outline of objectives, requirements, and resources
    • Decide on a final project topic and email a basic written proposal to the instructor if you haven’t already done so.
    • Watch the first FOUR video lessons in the instructor’s Final Project Custom WP Theme Tutorial playlist
      Video 1 covers downloading the correct WP package, the correct “topcat” Underscores starter theme, merging them, and uploading to the class server. [corresponds with pp.11-12 of book, but videos go into much better explanation]
      Video 2 covers creating the new MySQL database and database user and then finishing the installation of WordPress with Underscores activated. [corresponds with pp.11-12 of book, but videos go into much better explanation]
      Video 3 covers installation of Theme Unit Test Data and Developer plugins. [corresponds with pp.13-15 of book] 
      Video 4 covers the WP template hierarchy (!IMPORTANT) [corresponds with pp.17-33 of book, but video provides more detailed explanation]
    • Read Chapters 1-2 of the textbook (pp.1-33) WordPress Responsive Theme Design by Dejan Markovic. These chapters correspond to the videos, although the videos cover some things in more depth, while the book covers other topics in greater depth, such as em/rem multipliers.
  • DUE by end of SUNDAY night: Peer response posts on “Project 2 (P2) Artist Statement and Presentation” Canvas discussion

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Week 13: 11/13 – 11/19

This Week

  1. Have you finished videos 1-4 of the ? If not, you can check out the details listed in last week’s to-do’s. You should have your WordPress installation already set up on the server with the “topcat” Underscores development theme installed along with Developer plugins at this point.
  2. Get started (and complete) your mockups of the Project-3 website. This can be TIME CONSUMING, so start right away. Before starting, please be sure to read ALL of the details and tips on the graded “PROJECT-3 DESIGN MOCKUPS” discussion board. The mockups are due by the end of the week on Sunday night. Examples are provided on the discussion outline.

    This also includes a detailed tutorial of how to use Adobe’s XD protoyping tool (~2hrs runtime), which is a much more efficient solution compared to Photoshop and Illustrator because it allows you to create quick for repeatable regions for duplicative design elements, along with live-scrolling testing. It’s also a LOT easier to use for making quick vector-based layouts with raster imports. Using XD is optional, but be aware that tools like XD and Sketch (which is what XD is modeled after) have become industry standard for UI/UX prototyping development.
  3. You should also start the technical tutorials for your theme development, getting through the following tutorial stages this week to stay on track (~35-min of video runtime): 
    • Video 5: This demo explains how to set up FTP as your primary method for transferring files in this project. It goes over explicit instructions on mapping your WP project folder from your computer to the correct server subdirectory using an absolute path from the class server. It is not as intuitive as you might expect! It also discusses the methods you should NOT use to edit your files on the server. (20min) [somewhat related to pp.36-37 of book]
    • Video 6: This demo explains what the basic components of the functions page does and shows you how to modify some basic settings to get started. (14min) [corresponds with pp.37-38 of book]
  • DUE by end of SUNDAY night: “Project 3 Design Mockups” – post design mockups on  Canvas discussion

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    Week 14: 11/20 – 11/26

    This week

    You should get through the following tutorial lessons in the Project-3 playlist this week (~2 hours of video runtime):

    • Video 7: This video covers how to download Google Fonts and use FontSquirrel’s web font generator tool to prep the package for your server directory. Next, it shows you how to modify the css and functions.php page to pull the fonts into the site PROPERLY. (31min)
    • Video 8: This shows you how to download the free Font Awesome icon set, package it within your site, enqueue in functions.php, and test in your site. It also covers how to download Modernizr and Respond.js to functions.php so that your site can gracefully degrade in older browsers that don’t support CSS3 for things like media queries (respond.js) and visual styling issues as well as HTML5 issues (modernizr). (32min)
    • Video 9 explains and illustrates the differences of “em” and “rem” units using a simple HTML/CSS example. (13min)
    • Video 10 starts with styling in the main style.css file, including styling all heading levels. (21min)
    • Video 11 illustrates how to enqueue the content-sidebar.css file and make modifications with mobile-first media queries to float two columns on specific screens sizes. (17min)
    • Video 12 shows you how to set up the custom header file  and add a function to the functions.php page to allow SVG image uploads (NOT IN THE BOOK). (18min)

    Also, have a good Thanksgiving!


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    Week 15: 11/27 – 12/3

    This Week

    • Complete the following video tutorials 14-20  (~2hrs 17 min video runtime)
      • 14 Tagline Media Query Styling (10 min)
      • 15 Main Navigation Styling (22 min)
      • 16 Main Navigation Dropdown Styling (21 min)
      • 17 Styling Mobile Navigation Button (17 min)
      • 18 Making Navigation Responsive (29 min)
      • 19 Registering New Widget (‘Sidebar’) Areas(22 min)
      • 20 Styling the Footer and Optimizing New SVG (16 min)
    • DON’T FORGET TO MAKE PROGRESSIVE BACKUPS OF YOUR WORK!

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    Week 16: 12/4 – 12/10

    This Week

    Work on remaining tutorials (~3hrs and 45min runtime):

    • “21 Making Content Under Header Visible with JS:” explains how you can write and enqueue custom jQuery to adjust your page’s content to adapt to the header. (26min)
    • “22 Styling the Content” (24min)
    • “23 Adjusting Background Image, Margin, and Mobile Nav Issues” (13min)
    • “24 Basic Yet Important Styling” (20min)
    • “25 Customizing Search and Archive Result Pages” (24min)
    • “26 More Custom Styling and Adding Icons to Meta” (27min)
    • “27 Adding Icons to Entry Footer and Post Nav” (18min)
    • “28 Styling Galleries” (20min)
    • “29 Not Found and Error 404 Styling” (7min)
    • “30 Sidebar Link Styling” (16min)
    • “31 Create a Custom Home Page” (28min)
    • If you complete your styling this week, the instructor recommends making a new WP installation before starting your own real website. Why? You might otherwise have a hard time  removing all of the old Theme Unit Test Data entries from the database, along with all of its corresponding categories other database record entries.
      To make a new installation, create a brand new database and a new WordPress folder installation that will connect to the new database. Add a copy of your newly developed theme to the “wp-content/themes/” folder. By creating a fresh
    • You should be finished with customized styling by the beginning of this week if you are not already finished.
    • Begin adding your original content to your site, including headings, copy, and imagery.

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    Week 17: 12/11 – 12/14

    This Week

        • Complete your Project-3 website by adding all content and any remaining styling customizations.
        • MAKE BACKUPS of your completed demo WordPress site you created from the tutorial (both the database and files)
        • Once you have a good backup, start customizing the theme so that it is uniquely styled as your own. Once you complete your own styling, BACK UP YOUR THEME FOLDER.
        • DUE 12/14:  Final Project published on class server
        • DUE 12/14: Initial project-2 artist statement post on “Final Project (P3) Artist Statement and Presentation” Canvas discussion

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    Digital Art, Design, and Communication Education