Embedded Visuals:  Student Design in Web Spaces

Tonya Browning
Computer Writing and Research Labs
The University of Texas at Austin

Embedded visuals seems an apt description of the goal in student web design. The visual element (whether it be graphical or structural) is crucial to the design, but should not overwhelm the content. Embedded visuals suggest objects that are integral to the composition and can not be removed except by digging them out. Visual elements can be rhetorical artifacts of a sort, and it is important that we help students determine where they do and don't belong.

As an instructor in a computer-assisted classroom, it is difficult to assess the importance of teaching design principles when you have a different agenda (ie teaching composition or literary analysis) to meet. However, if you are teaching HTML to your students, it is only fair to provide some guidelines for assessment purposes. But what happens when theory meets reality? Design is an important consideration when you're teaching students HTML, but often your primary consideration is still composition. What strategies can you implement to insure students can successfully make the transition from print authors to hypertext authors? What follows is a series of examples from my own teaching experience.

This web site is intended as an example of teaching and assessing aspects of design in college composition courses. It will address three major aspects of the assignment: integration, design and evaluation. Examples from student projects will be linked from within these aspects as well as highlighted in the student examples section.





Student Examples


Updated Feb. 20, 1997 by Tonya Browning