Writing and Developing Websites

Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Course Code
CMNS 3501
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course focuses on content development for the web. Students will gain an understanding of how websites are planned, written, and produced. Beginning with an analysis of objectives and audience, students will work in teams to produce a client-based website using industry-standard software programs. Students will also be introduced to key trends, issues, and developments (ethical, cultural, technological, and economic) in the field.
Course Content

1.  Introduction to Designing and Writing Websites

  • learn what makes a good website and a bad website
  • analyze the writer’s role in the collaborative-team approach
  • complete a cognitive analysis of how users move through information
  • examine the ethical issues of writing for the web (for example, copyright, surveillance, freedom of speech)
  • learn basic storyboarding skills for websites
  • practise minimalist writing
  • study screen design
  • learn how to construct an audience analysis for a website
  • analyze end-user information needs
  • use project-management skills for website development
  • use basic html and image manipulation using a suitable software program
  • learn how to manage, convert, and transfer files for websites

2. Basic Website Production

  • learn webpage software programs
  • create and maintain a blog
  • write, design, and produce a professional website
  • develop a concept for a client-based website (for example, product or event promotion, informational, services)
  • understand the various roles within a website development team
  • plan for content development/acquisition
  • plan and implement the structure of the website
  • plan a promotional strategy for the site (including social media)
  • test and debug the website
  • document the style and conventions used in the website
  • identify strategies for ensuring the website content remains up-to-date
Learning Activities

This course will use a combination of teaching methods including lecture, demonstration, group discussion, analysis of samples, and in-class and home exercises and projects. The emphasis will be on learning by analysis reinforced with hands-on practice wherever possible. Students will be required to prepare, write, and produce all, or portions of, a client-based website during the course. Students will be required to work collaboratively on selected assignments.

Means of Assessment

Students are expected to be self-motivated and to demonstrate professionalism, which includes active participation, good attendance, punctuality, effective collaboration, ability to meet deadlines, presentation skills, and accurate self-evaluation.

Evaluation is consistent with the Douglas College Evaluation Policy and will be based on this general format:

Short assignments (4 to 6) 60%
Website project 30%
Professionalism/participation (as defined above)    10%
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course will:

  1. learn effective communication strategies for developing a client-based website
  2. understand and know when and how to use appropriate writing and formatting conventions
  3. learn how to use industry-standard software to produce a website
  4. understand the writer’s role in the team approach to web-based communication projects
  5. be familiar with key trends, issues, and developments in the field of web-based communication
  6. understand the impact of technological change on the role and responsibilities of the professional communicator working in this area
Textbook Materials

Examples of textbooks that may be used for this course include:

Crawford Kilian, Writing for the Web

Janice Redish, Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content That Works.



Acceptance into the Post-Degree Diploma in Professional Communication

or a minimum of 45 credit hours including a university-transfer course in English, Communications, or Creative Writing with a grade of B or higher

or permission of the Professional Communication program coordinator


No corequisite courses.


Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for CMNS 3501
Camosun College (CAMO) CAMO CMNS 1XX (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU CMNS 3XX (3)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU CMNS 3XXX (3) or TRU JOUR 3XXX (3)
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) No credit
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU DIGI 340 (3)

Course Offerings

Summer 2023