Purpose of Class: To introduce Master's-level CPAP students to some of the systems and technologies they are likely to encounter in today's governmental agencies. In addition to understanding what they are, the purpose of this course is to provide hands-on exposure to these systems and technologies.


Class Project: So that the systems and technologies considered in this course are not considered isolated and un-related to each other, an over-riding project that involves the use of every technology introduced will be employed. The project to be used this semester is the building of the first e-government web-presence for a rural Virginia county, Craig county. This project will not only entail having to deal with actual public administrators, but will result in the production of an actual product to be used by the citizenry of that county.


Project Teams: Craig county government can be divided into 6 distinct units: County administration; Treasurer; Commissioner of the Revenue; Clerk of the Court; Commonwealth's Attorney; and the County Sheriff. Accordingly, the class will be separated into six teams, each focused specifically on creating a web-presence for its assigned unit of government. If the size of the class is significantly larger than planned, additional governmental units may be added.



The final grade in the course comes from the addition of five separate components

  • Instructor individual rating: 15% -- how much effort does the instructor think the individual contributed to the team on group assignments
  • Intra-group rating: 20% -- how much effort does each team member think the other members of his/her team put into the project
  • Inter-group rating: 15% -- according to each group, which of the other groups put the most effort into their project
  • Skills quizzes: 25% -- are you learning the technical skills that are being presented?
  • Assignments: 25% -- are team assignments being completed on time?



Session Date, Location and Time

Session Description

Session Assignments

Monday, January 13th

CPAP, 6:30PM

Introductions, Class Purpose, Class Project, and Team Assignments

       Draft Focus Group Instrument

       Due, via email, Friday, January 17th



Definition and history of focus groups



Monday, January 20th

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, 6:30PM


Instructor: Stephanie Baker


Conducting a Focus Group and Associated Techniques: You will participate in an actual focus group pre-test session, learn about associated information elicitation techniques, and learn how to formulate and conduct your own focus group session.


You will then, with your team, conduct a focus group of your assigned governmental unit to determine they would like to provide to the public and what data they actually have that could be used.


       Finalize Focus Group Instrument

       Schedule and Conduct Focus Group with appropriate governmental department

       Complete Write-Up

       Write-up due, via email, Friday, January 31st


Monday, January 27th

Torgerson Hall (3060), 6:30PM


Instructor: Travis Hundley

Creating dynamic presentations with Microsoft PowerPoint: Strategies will be provided which will decrease your time investment with the software and increase your focus on your content. Text, image, sound, and movie insertions will be demonstrated as will advanced custom animations and transitions. Participants will also learn the best ways to convert a PowerPoint presentation into a web-ready format and explore the variety of printout options provided by PowerPoint. Hands-on activities will be an integral part of this session.


       Complete PowerPoint skills quiz on Blackboard

       Draft Survey Instrument

       Both due Friday, January 31st



Counting on the Internet: Most expect to find key information online,

most find the information they seek, many now turn to the Internet first



Digital Town Hall:

How local officials use the Internet and the civic benefits they cite from dealing with constituents online



The Rise of the E-Citizen:

How People Use Government Agencies' Web Sites



Monday, February 3rd

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, 6:30PM


Instructor: Rewa Hintz


Surveying the Public and Associated Techniques: you will learn about establishing need for a survey, defining the problem, establishing research objectives, determining design, determining methods for accessing data, designing data collection forms, determining sample size, and other issues surrounding the surveying of the public.


Armed with these skills, you and your team will develop a survey instrument and strategy to collect data from key stakeholder groups of Craig county about what they would like see on their county's web site.

       Finalize Survey Instrument

       Conduct Surveys

       Complete Write-Up

       Write-up due, via email, Friday, February 14th



Basic understanding of data normalization (read it before normalization class and after)



Monday, February 10th

Torgerson Hall (3060), 6:30PM


Instructor: Dr. Schroeder


Introduction to Databases using Microsoft Access: You will learn how to create and use database objects, including tables, queries, forms, and reports. You will also learn the basics of Database Normalization.

       Complete Microsoft Access and Database Normalization skills quizzes on Blackboard

       Complete draft data collection strategy and data tables (done in Access)

       Due Friday (data strategy and Access database via email), February 14th



Great introductory site for learning SQL



OPTIONAL: This will all be discussed in class, but if you go to Google.com and search on SQL Tutorial, you will find MANY basic introductions to SQL.

Monday, February 17th Torgerson Hall (3060), 6:30PM


Instructor: Dr. Schroeder


Introduction to Structured Query Language (SQL): SQL is a tool used to work with databases. Just as Latin is the "root" of many languages, SQL is the "root" of database communication. In other words, just as Latin helps in our understanding of other languages, SQL helps in our understanding of databases.


       Complete SQL skills quiz on Blackboard

       Complete queries for your data

       Due Friday (queries via email), February 21st



OPTIONAL: This will all be discussed in class, but if you go to Google.com and search on HTML Tutorial, you will find MANY basic introductions to HTML.

Monday, February 24th

Torgerson Hall (3060), 6:30PM


Instructor: Dr. Schroeder


Introduction to HTML and Web Servers: you will learn how to create Web pages with the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). You will learn how to create tables and lists, use graphics, create hyperlinks, and use the text formatting features of HTML to create fully functional Web pages.


       Complete HTML and Web Server skills quiz on Blackb=.....oard

       Complete template web-site for your group (upload site to Web Server)

       Both due Friday, February 28th



Basic Introduction to GIS from the USGS



Monday, March 10th

Geography Computer Lab, 6:30PM


Instructor: Dr. Carstensen


Introduction to Geographic Information Systems: A GIS (geographic information system) enables you to envision the geographic aspects of a body of data. Basically, it lets you query or analyze a and receive the results in the form of some kind of map. Since many kinds of data have important geographic aspects, a GIS can have many uses: weather forecasting, sales analysis, population forecasting, and land use planning, to name a few. This course will serve as a basic introduction to the most popular desktop GIS software system, ArcView.


       Using ArcView, create a map applicable to the data your group is collecting this map will be used on you web-site.

       Complete data collection for your teams web-site.

       Both due Friday, March 14th



Good reference for CFML




Monday, March 17th

Torgerson Hall (3060), 6:30PM


Instructor: Dr. Schroeder


Introduction to ColdFusion (CFML) Learning how to Web-Enable your Data: you will be able to connect a database to the ColdFusion Application Server, apply CFML tags, CFML, variable , and ouput syntax, create templates and queries, and build a ColdFusion application from scratch (SO COOL!).


       Complete CFML skills quiz on Blackboard

       Update your template web-sites to use CFML to select an display data from your database

       Both due Friday, March 21st


Monday, March 24th

Torgerson Hall (3060), 6:30PM


Instructor: Travis Hundley


Photoshop 7.0 - Imaging Techniques: you will learn basic imaging techniques, including scanning, image editing, image resizing, color modification, etc. A focus on putting images on the web will be included.

       Complete Photoshop skills quiz on Blackboard

       Collect and process all photos to be used on your teams web-site

span style='font:7.0pt "Times New Roman"'>       </span>Get ArcView map into appropriate format and size for web

       All due Friday, March 28th



Definition and reference for Heuristic Evaluations



Monday, March 31st

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute



Instructor: Kathy Laskowski


Heuristic Evaluation: This class session will look at performing a usability evaluation utilizing a combination of two human factors methods (usability testing and heuristic evaluation) to successfully target fundamental usability problems and design changes that should be made to improve the users experience on your website.


Heuristic evaluation is a usability inspection method. Heuristic evaluation is done as a systematic inspection of a user interface design for usability. The goal of heuristic evaluation is to find the usability problems in the design so that they can be attended to as part of an iterative design process. Heuristic evaluation involves having a small set of evaluators examine the interface and judge its compliance with recognized usability principles (the "heuristics").

       Using the skills learned from the Heuristic Evaluation class, each team is responsible for getting at 10 other people to evaluate their site.

       Brief write-up of findings and measures to be taken to address any issues is due Friday, April 4th via email


Monday, April 7th


Open Week

       Complete your team web-sites

       create individual team presentations using PowerPoint and Web-Site


Monday, April 14th

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute



Instructor: Dr. Schroeder

Present individual team web-sites

       Each team sends 1 representative to web-site integration meeting

       Decide on single navigation format

       Integrate web-sites


Monday, April 21st

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute



Instructor: Dr. Schroeder


Present integrated web-site with discussion of process (dress-rehearsal for Craig County)



Monday, April 28th

Craig County Government Bldg.

Time: TBD


Host: Dr. Collins, Craig County Administrator


Present final web-site to Craig County Government Officials



Monday, May 5th


No Final Exam This day will be used as a buffer in case we get backed up