2018 Course Syllabus

Instructor Information

  • Instructor: Melissa Cabral
  • Office Hours: By appointment
  • E-mail: mcabral@platt.edu

Course Dates & Schedule

  • August 23, 2018 – September 27, 2018.
  • Monday through Friday, 8:00am – 12:00pm

Course Description

  • Programming for Designers (WIP400) serves as an introduction to programming with PHP and MySQL. Topics covered will provide students with a perspective and comprehension of the programming process, as well as an understanding of how to design and implement flexible, dynamic systems. Designing for user-driven applications will be a focus.

Course Length

  • 100 hours

Credit Hours

  • 5 semester credit hours


  • WS300, WC300, WRD300

Textbook & Course Materials

  • Required Text(s):
    • Visual Quickstart Guide – PHP for the web by Lary Ullman
    • Additional resources and reading materials will be posted at the course website
  • Notebook, pen, and a suitable method of transferring files between home and the classroom

Important Note: This syllabus, along with course assignments and due dates, are subject to change. It is the student’s responsibility to check with the instructor for corrections or updates to the syllabus. Any changes will be clearly explained and announced by the teacher.

Learning Outcomes & Objectives

Course Objectives

  • Learn the fundamental structures and patterns of web programming languages
  • Learn PHP, MySQL, and the tools necessary to develop dynamic, database driven websites.
  • Design and implement two complete sites (one in class, one student-designed) by the end of the course.

Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will:

  • Know:
    • The correct syntaxes of PHP and MySQL
    • How to architect a database
    • How to work in an iterative design-to-development process
  • Do:
    • Organize and design data-driven systems that scale
    • Validate and protect all user-submitted data
    • Optimize data relationships
  • Care about:
    • Organized, optimized, human-friendly code
    • Designing systems that stand the test of time
    • User privacy and safety

Instructional Method

Course material and learning experiences are provided through lectures, as well as demonstrations, class discussions, reading, online tutorials, exercises, creative projects and critiques. A strong emphasis is placed upon individual assistance for technical and creative development. Printed guidelines and requirements are provided for each creative project. Project deadlines are important and must be met to receive full points.  Late projects result in grading penalties.

Daily Schedule

Important Note: Refer to the course website for specific meeting dates and times. Activity and assignment details will be explained in detail within each week’s corresponding learning module. If you have any questions, please contact your instructor. Class schedule is subject to change.

Week 1: The Basics

  • Day 1: Dynamic web site basics, PHP syntax overview, Local Environment, Mini-Project (Hello World)
  • Day 2: HTTP Protocol, GET and POST, Arrays, Mini-Project (Feedback Form)
  • Day 3: Cookies, Sessions, Mini-Project (Login Form)
  • Day 4: Understanding Email,  Server Side Form Validation, Mini-Project (Enhanced Feedback and Login Forms)  
  • Day 5: Intro to database design.  MILESTONE 1

Week 2: Databases

  • Day 6: PHP + MySQL integration, Mini-Project (Photo sharing web app)
  • Day 7: SQL SELECT and JOIN, Mini-Project (Photo sharing web app)
  • Day 8: SQL INSERT, Mini-Project (Photo sharing web app)
  • Day 9: SQL Search form and pagination, Mini-Project (Photo sharing web app)
  • Day 10: User Authentication. MILESTONE 2

Week 3: Advanced

  • Day 11: Converting data to feeds with JSON, RSS & XML, Mini-Project (Photo sharing app)
  • Day 12: Mid-term review
  • Day 13: Mid-Term Quiz.
  • Day 14: AJAX + PHP + MySQL, Adding “likes” interface to our web app
  • Day 15: SQL relationships with Junction tables. MILESTONE 3

Week 4: Integration

  • Day 16: Handling image uploads, cropping and resizing
  • Day 17: SQL UPDATE
  • Day 18: SQL DELETE
  • Day 19: SASS preprocessing
  • Day 20: MILESTONE 4

Week 5: Projects and Final

  • Day 21: Work on Final Project
  • Day 22: Work on Final Project
  • Day 23: Work on Final Project, Final Exam Review
  • Day 24:  Final Exam
  • Day 25: Final Project Due

Grading Policy

Graded Course Activities

Points                Description
20 In-Class Project
40 Student Project
10 Mid-term Exam
30 Final Exam
100 Total Points Possible

Checking Grades in ThinkWave

Points you receive for graded activities will be posted to the course grade book in ThinkWave.com.

Letter Grade Assignment

Final grades assigned for this course will be based on the percentage of total points earned and are assigned as follows:


Letter Grade Percentage Performance
A 90-100% Excellent (4.0)
B 80-89% Above Average (3.0)
C 70-79% Average (2.0)
D 60-69% Below Average* (1.0)
F 0-59% Failing Work / Unsatisfactory
WE 0 Withdraw/Exception
WF 0 Withdraw/Fail
W 0 Withdraw
TC Transfer Credit Transfer Credit
CX Credit by Exam/
Portfolio Assessment
Credit by Exam/
Portfolio Assessment
INC Incomplete Incomplete

*No credit is granted for a D grade in technical courses, but is granted for General Education courses if a cumulative 1.8 grade point is maintained for the General Education module, and the student maintains a cumulative grade point average of 2.0.

Platt College San Diego School Policies

Late Work/Make Up Policy

Deadlines are important and affect your grade if they are not met. There will be no make up assignments, quizzes, or late work accepted without a serious and compelling reason, and with instructor approval.

There is no makeup opportunity for an unexcused absence the day of a midterm, quizzes, presentations or final exam. For excused absences and at the instructor’s discretion, the makeup work/exam must be completed by the time determined by the instructor.

Incomplete Policy

Under emergency/special circumstances, students may petition for an incomplete grade (INC). An incomplete grades will only be assigned with the instructor’s approval, and under extenuating circumstances. The incomplete grade must be resolved within 14 calendar days of the module end date, or a grade of F will be issued. Extenuating circumstances or emergencies are defined as documented and significant change in work hours, resulting in student unable to attend class, or documented and severe physical/mental illness/injury to the student or student’s immediate family.

Attendance Policy

Attendance is recorded by hours and not days. Early departures and late arrivals negatively affect attendance. Regular attendance is expected of the student. If a student misses the first class session of a new module without a valid excuse, he/she may continue in the course at the discretion of the instructor, providing the hours are made up as noted in the Make-Up Policy.

Students who miss more than 20% of the scheduled hours in a course will be withdrawn from the course (refer to the Grading System section for more information). Nevertheless, the instructors have the prerogative to enforce less than 20% of the scheduled hours based on the specific requirements of each course. Extenuating circumstances may lead to an exception of the withdrawal, but this is the decision of the instructor and the Director of Education.

Three consecutive unexcused absences may result in a withdrawal from the course. In addition, students are automatically withdrawn from the program 14 days after their last day of attendance.

Students must attend the first class session of a new module. If a student missed the first class session of a new module without a valid excuse, they may continue in the course at the discretion of the instructor.

Class Participation, Speaking Assignments and Presentations

Participation is measured by attendance and in-class activities. You are expected to follow the school attendance policy. In addition, you are expected to participate in lectures, all in class or online activities listed in the course calendar, demonstrations, and all group activities including field trips. Completing exercises and projects within deadlines is required. All students must participate in group critiques, these presentations are part of the project’s grade. You are responsible for asking questions to the instructor or Digital Media Adviser (TA) regarding course material, scheduling of projects, presentations, quizzes, etc. and to keep up with the class’ progress.

Complete Assignments / Deadlines

Assignments must be submitted by the given deadline or special permission must be requested from instructor before the due date. Extensions will not be given beyond the next assignment except under extreme circumstances.

Outside Class Time

Students are expected and required to work outside of class time. The amount of outside class time varies from course to course. Expected outside class time requirements are listed below:

  •  90 hours

Scores or grades for the following assignments/activities are accounted in the final grade:

  • Homework assigned in class: reading, exercises, and project research
  • In class presentation: topics are assigned by instructor
  • Extracurricular activities (to be announced)

Build Rapport/Communicate with your Teacher

If you find that you have any trouble keeping up with assignments or other aspects of the course, make sure you let your instructor know as early as possible. As you will find, building rapport and effective relationships are key to becoming an effective professional. Make sure that you are proactive in informing your instructor when difficulties arise during the semester so that we can help you find a solution.


Students with disabilities who may need special accommodations in any class must notify the admissions representative prior to the program start date. Documentation of the student’s disability and how it impacts the student’s participation must also be submitted to the admissions representative prior to the program start date. All reasonable efforts will be made to provide the requested accommodations. All other special accommodations must be approved by the Director of Education.

Class Rules & Etiquette

All students will be treated fairly and with respect. Verbal or physical abuse will not be tolerated. If these expectations are violated, the violator will be appropriately disciplined, which may include: a verbal warning, class suspension, expulsion from the class, and expulsion from the college.

Students are limited to the use of their own login on the computers. It is against school policy to access the desktop assigned to another student. There is no eating allowed in the classrooms. Beverages are allowed in spill-proof containers. Each student is responsible for keeping his or her station clean. Listening to music is allowed on headphones only. 

Students Concerns

Any concerns regarding policies or procedures of this course as stated in this syllabus, or as they occur in the duration of the course, should be discussed directly with the instructor. Please set up an appointment to discuss your concerns. Students wishing to resolve complaints regarding grades should first contact their instructor. Other problems or complaints may be addressed by the Director of Education.

Honesty Policy

Academic honesty is a cornerstone of the educational community; therefore, students are expected to understand the standards of academic honesty as they pertain to students’ behavior in classroom.


It is important for students to acknowledge sources that are used for completing classroom assignments. Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty.

Plagiarism may be any one of the following:

  1. Verbatim copying without proper documentation of the source(s).
  2. Paraphrasing without proper documentation of the source(s).
  3. Unacknowledged appropriation of information or ideas from someone else.

If students have any questions about these forms of plagiarism or about an assignment they are preparing, they should ask their instructor for clarification rather than risk unintentional plagiarism.


It is important for students to act in an honest and trustworthy manner. Work performed on examinations or other forms of evaluation must represent an individual’s own work, knowledge and experience of the subject matter. Students are expected to follow the classroom rules established by the instructor.

Cheating may be any one of the following:

  1. Unauthorized looking at or procuring information from any unauthorized sources or from another student’s work during an examination or from any work that will be graded or given points.
  2. Unauthorized acquiring, reading or learning of test questions prior to the testing date and time.
  3. Changing any portion of a returned graded test or report and resubmitting it as an original work to be regraded.
  4. Presenting the work of another as one’s own for a grade or points.
  5. Knowingly assisting another student in cheating.

This list is not all-inclusive and the list itself is not meant to limit the definition of cheating to just these items mentioned.

Consequences of Academic Dishonesty

The disciplinary action for cheating or plagiarism is up to the discretion of the instructor. The instructor may select one or more of the following options:

  1. Issue an oral or written notification and warn the student that further acts of this sort will result in additional disciplinary action.
  2. Issue an a failing grade (“F”) or “0” for the assignment in question.
  3. Refer the student to the Director of Education for disciplinary action. These actions may range from automatic failure of the course to potential dismissal from the college.

Important Note

For more information about any of Platt College San Diego school policies, or to obtain an updated school catalog PDF, please visit Platt.edu.