Cross-listed as AFAM 250, FIST 250

Rachael Barlow | | North College 309 | Make an appointment

M, 1:20 – 2:40 pm

Welcome aboard! I am so excited to meet a new crop of students this semester. I hope you are equally excited to be in this class. By the end of the semester, my goal is for you to have:

  • Engaged in intentional reflection about your last few years at Wesleyan and beyond.
  • Categorized your reflections to highlight what you have learned & how you have changed.
  • Practiced web writing conventions to prepare your reflections for presentation in an online portfolio.
  • Developed enough WordPress skills to create an online portfolio that meets WCAG 2.0 standards.
  • Practiced user experience (UX) research practices to build & test your portfolio’s content & design.

There are FIVE things I expect you to do in this course:

  • Prep before class. Before class, I will ask you to prepare for an exercise or workshop, often by skimming a short article or two or watching a video
  • Attend & participate in class. In class, I will ask you to participate wholeheartedly in each exercise/workshop. Show up on time and be ready to jump right in.
  • Share after class. After each class, I will ask you to upload your work for the day so that your classmates and I can see your progress.
  • Complete posts & interviews. By the end of the course, you will have written at least six posts. I will also have interviewed you twice in my office.
  • Submit a final portfolio. At the end of the semester, you will participate in a “launch party” to which you will be required to bring 2 guests. Start thinking now about who they will be.

This is a pass/fail class. To pass it, you must attend at least 11 of the 13 classes. Your presence is crucial in helping our class develop a sense of community and for providing each other with feedback. When you miss a class, make an appointment with me to talk about what you missed.

Risk-taking & sharing.  You will not get what you should get out of this class unless you are willing to take a few risks. I want you to share unfinished, messy, ugly drafts of your work with other students in the class. Take a deep breath and give us whatever you have before, during and after class. It may be half-finished. You may not be proud of it. That is okay.  

You can share all of your work by going putting your posts, artifacts, images, and other files in the Google Drive folder assigned to you for the course. Remember that anything you put in this folder can be seen by other students in the class. This is intentional, and you’re expected to share your work this way unless there is a specific file you want only me to review and comment on.

All exercises/workshops take place during class, but check the “what to do” tab for each exercise to see what you need to do to prepare in advance. Each post is due by the start of class on the day it is due in your “Posts” folder on Google Drive. Each meeting with me will take place in my office (North College 309) must be completed by the day listed below.

(takes place in class)
(via Zoom or call)
1/27Content Inventory
2/3Portfolio Parade
2/10Open Card SortDirected Post 1
2/17Curricular Mapping Directed Post 2Interview
2/24Let Me Show You HowDirected Post 3
3/2 Artifact AnalysisOpen Post 4
3/23 Mood Boarding 10 m 04 s
3/30 Closed Card Sort Open Post 5 11 m 08 s
4/6 Editing Workshop Open Post 6 10 m 25 s Wireframing
4/13 Title Trade 9 m 08 s
4/20 Design Decisions 11 m 50 s
4/27UX Test Set-Up12 m 25 s
5/4Final Touches14 m 00 s

*To protect students’ privacy, these are password protected. Please email RB for the password!

Wesleyan University is committed to ensuring that all qualified students with disabilities are afforded an equal opportunity to participate in, and benefit from, its programs and services. To receive accommodations, a student must have a disability as defined by the ADA. Since accommodations may require early planning and generally are not provided retroactively, please contact Accessibility Services as soon as possible. If you have a disability, or think that you might have a disability, please contact Accessibility Services in order to arrange an appointment to discuss your needs and the process for requesting accommodations. Accessibility Services is located in North College, rooms 021/022, or can be reached by email ( or phone (860-685-5581).