Health Information Science

Spring 1999 Syllabus

Instructor: Charles Webster

Phone: 412 396-4772


Office: 433 Fisher Hall

This course is an introduction to a World Wide Web technologies and their relationship to health care. While emphasis will be on the hands-on skills of molding text and images into coherent Web sites, and their uploading and maintenance, due attention will be given to special problems in health care and the Web, such as the quality of medical images, the importance of security, and the increasing role of the health care consumer in Web-based health information systems.

The goals of this course include the following:

1. You be able to speak knowledgeably of Web technology and its likely future direction.
2. You be able to convert non-Web material, such as word processing files and photographs, into files which can be placed on a Web site.
3. You be able to organize moderate amounts of material, represented by multiple pages, into attractive, navigable Web sites.
4. You be able to move files across the Internet to a variety of Web hosting services, and know which are appropriate for what kind of material.
5. You create and maintain an Web-based portfolio to represent your successes, not just in this course, but other courses, such as research papers and information systems projects (even if they, themselves, are not Web based).

Each of you will maintain a Web site, at first a simple one, later a complex on, and, through links between sites, we will create what is called an Intranet, which will allow you to easily compare your progress with others in the class, and to learn from what others find on the Web or figure out themselves.

Textbook: The World Wide Web is the best tutorial reference to the World Wide Web, in spite of its lack of organization and uneven quality. It is a textbook which constantly renews itself. So, this is one course in which you do not have to buy a text book. However, you (individually and collectively) will have to learn to impose useful organization one the Web, and develop a critical ability to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Quizzes will be mostly hands-on creation and modification of Web documents and their elements, but will also require some short written essays on topics presented in class.

Grading: 20% a piece, Quiz 1, Quiz 2, Quiz 3, Personal Web Portfolio, Web Project (to be discussed)