Live Web - Summer 2021 - Syllabus

Instructor: Shawn Van Every
Office Hours: Signup for an appointment
Location: Zoom
Presentation Schedule


The World Wide Web is a great platform for asynchronous communication such as email and message boards and extended into media posting and sharing. With the rise of broadband, more powerful computers, always on and connected mobile devices, synchronous communications have become more viable. Streaming media, audio and video conferencing and realtime chat give us the ability to create new forms of live interactive experiences for participants.

In this course, we'll focus on the types of content and interaction that can be supported through web based and live interactive technologies as well as explore new concepts around participation. Specifically, we’ll look at new and emerging platforms on the web such as HTML5, WebSockets and WebRTC using JavaScript and Node.js.

Experience with web technologies are (HTML and JavaScript) are helpful but not required. ICM level programming experience is required.


Grades will be determined according to the following breakdown:


It is expected that everyone in the class will create and maintain a blog for their assignments.

Be sure to enter your name, preferred email address and the URL to your blog on this Google Doc. (Note: You must be using Google Docs with your NYU login in order to edit this document).

Laptops and Mobile Devices

I think laptops and mobile devices are a valuable tool for use in the classroom; unfortunately, they can very easily be a distraction. We are going to be exploring a variety of models for live interaction online and therefore laptops and mobile devices will prove very useful not to mention for taking notes and following along with examples. We should though be courteous to one another though and when we have outside guests, during discussion or student presentations laptop and phone use should be avoided.

Weekly Assignments

We will have weekly assignments that are relevant to material from the previous class. Due to the nature of the assignments, it is likely that you will want to work with other students as well as participate with the projects of your fellow students as testers.

Attendance and Tardiness

Attendance is mandatory. Please inform me via email if you are going to miss a class. Habitually showing up late for class or absences will adversely affect your grade. Two lates equals one absence and two unexcused absences will lead to a failing grade.

Class Participation

As if I haven't stated this enough. This class will be participatory, you are expected to participate in discussions and give feedback to other students both in class and participate with their projects. This (along with attendance) is 20% of your overall grade.

Group Project

Starting on the 3rd class, we will have group project presentations. I will divide the class up into groups and each week one or two groups will be expected to present and have the class test a project utilizing technology from the previous class. Some ideas are to reimagine chat with emoji, develop a multiplayer game, put on a live interactive game show, and so on.

Final Projects

Class will culminate final projects. It is expected that these will be both technology and concept driven.


I will periodically assign readings (handouts and/or online articles).

Class Schedule

Class 1: May 25

Introductions What is the "live" web? (Synchronous vs. Asynchronous)
HTML5 and Client Side JavaScript: JavaScript 101 and Media Elements
Class Recording
  • Add your name, preferred email address, and blog URL to this Google Doc. (Note: You must be using Google Docs with your NYU login in order to edit this document).
  • If you want more basic JavaScript, go through's JavaScript Essential Training
  • Review Videos: HTML Basics, CSS Basics, CSS Basics - Better Organization, JavaScript DOM Basics, and HTML 5 Media Elements
  • Using HTML5's video or audio tags along with JavaScript, create an interactive self portrait. Link to it on your blog. (If you can't link to it, no worries, we'll cover servers in the next class.)
  • Find a live or synchronous site or platform online. Try it out. Describe it on your blog. How is it used? What do you find interesting about it? Come to class prepared to discuss.

  • Class 2: May 27

    Presentation Schedule
    JavaScript 102: Becoming Live AJAX, and WebSockets
    Serverside JavaScript: Node.js
    The foundation: Chat
    Class Recording
  • Get up and running with Node.js on Digital Ocean and the example Chat Application. Try to extend it a bit, make it better, more fun.

  • Class 3: June 1

    Transmitting Other Data Types: Collaborative Drawing, Mouse Events, Other data: Notes
    JavaScript 103: Objects and JSON
    Class Recording
  • Continue with the project you started in class - sharing/displaying cursors. Take it in a direction of your chosing.
  • Email me your NetID and Digital Ocean Server IP and I'll setup to point to your server. We'll need this done for next class!

  • Class 4: June 3

    The Canvas
    The Live AV Web: HTML5 Audio and Video with WebRTC and HTTPS
    Class Recording
  • Enhance one of your last 2 assignments (or create a new one) with the ability to share camera images.

  • Class 5: June 8

    The AV Web Part 2: Involving Everyone: Multiuser Audio/Video
    Class Recording
  • Get up and running with Live Audio/Video

  • Class 6: June 10

    Guest Presentation: Billy Clark from CultureHub
    Web Audio API
    Class Recording Assignments:
  • Prepare a final project proposal; in a blog post include a short description of the idea, a bit of background (why you want to make it), include any references, and start thinking about how you will develop it.

  • Class 7: June 15

    Final Project Proposals
    Manipulating Video and Saving Files on Node.js
    Guest Presentation: John Henry Thompson - DICE + p5 + WebRTC
    Class Recording
  • Try out some video manipulation on the Canvas or in p5.

  • Class 8: June 17

    WebRTC Data Channels: Notes
    Class Recording
  • Create a new project or update an existing project saving image files or using Media Recorder

  • Class 9: June 22

    Aidan Nelson - three.js and WebRTC together (and YORB 2020)
    Going Beyond: Mobile and Live Data from other sources (Web Services) Notes
    Class Recording
  • Work on Final Project

  • Class 10: June 24

    Simple Server Side Databases and Chat + Database Example
    Class Recording
  • Work on Final Project

  • Class 11: June 29

    Final Project Workshop
    Going Beyond: Live Data from the physical world (Arduino) Example
    Class Recording
  • Sign up for Final Project Presentation Slot

  • Class 12: July 1

    Final Project Presentations - Expect Guests Final Project Presentation Schedule
    Class Recording
    Documentation due July 2. Update link in document.