Syllabus

INFO 200
INFORMATION COMMUNITIES

Dr. M. Stephens
E-mail
Office Hours: Virtual office hours.


COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course examines information users and the social, cultural, economic, technological, and political forces that shape their information access and use. The different resources and services that information professionals provide for their user communities will also be addressed as well as ethical/legal professional practice. INFO 200 meets SJSU’s graduate writing assessment requirement.

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Ultimately users are at the heart of all libraries and information services, so this course focuses outward on the very people librarians and information professionals serve: those who are creating, using and sharing information. Framing the course as outward-facing embraces a forward-thinking and beneficial perspective for graduates and information professionals to conceptualize both their own roles and the potential of the LIS profession. This course will help prepare students to proactively and intentionally engage with the users they serve through examining information communities in a broader context of information behavior and the social, cultural, economic, technological, and political forces that shape their information access and use.

From The Encyclopedia of Community, Joan Durrance and Karen Fisher’s definitive entry provides a theoretical framework: information communities promote a common interest around creation and exchange of distributed information; may be built around different focal points and topics; can emerge and function without geographical boundaries; and often exploit the Internet and technology. Each module explores these ideas of information communities and how libraries and information organizations can support diverse communities and see the individuals they serve not just as information consumers, but as seekers, creators and collaborators.

INFO 200 Information Communities is designed to leverage your work throughout the semester in order to ensure a successful, culminating research paper at term’s end. Students will be asked to identify an information community that librarians and information centers serve and as the semester progresses, the blog posts and the larger written assignments will focus on your community’s information behaviors and needs and guide your research and writing.

COURSE LEARNING OUTCOMES

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Define the concept of community within a framework of information creation, use, and exchange.
  2. Locate, synthesize, and properly cite research and professional literature relating to specific information communities.
  3. Describe the various theories and research devoted to information use and behavior.
  4. Articulate prominent issues related to diversity, special populations, and emerging technologies within the context of various information communities/environments.
  5. Identify various resources and services that information professionals utilize to serve their communities.
  6. Explain how libraries and information centers create and offer learning opportunities related to specific information communities.
  7. Identify ways in which information professionals serve specific information communities in a global context.
  8. Identify and describe current and emerging technologies that impact the creation, use, and exchange of information within communities.
  9. Create and deliver high quality reflections on course themes across open social platforms via various media: text, audio, video.

CORE COMPETENCIES

INFO 200 supports the following core competencies:

  • C Recognize the diversity (such as cultural and economic) in the clientele and employees of an information organization and be familiar with actions the organization should take to address this diversity.
  • F Use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital information items.
  • H Demonstrate proficiency in identifying, using, and evaluating current and emerging information and communication technologies.
  • J Describe the fundamental concepts of information-seeking behaviors.
  • K Design collaborative/individual learning experiences based on learning principles and theories.
  • L Demonstrate understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods, the ability to design a research project, and the ability to evaluate and synthesize research literature.
  • M Demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for professional work including collaboration and presentations.
  • O (for students entering from Spring 2015) identify ways in which information professionals can contribute to the cultural, economic, educational, and social well-being of our global communities.

Weekly Schedule

Module Topics
1 Information communities: An Introduction
2 Researching information communities
3 Information Seeking Behavior 1
4 Information Seeking Behavior 2
5 Information Communities & Diverse Information Needs
6 Research-based Information Resources
7 Community-based Information Resources
8 User experience
9 Intellectual Freedom & Information Communities
10 Information & Misinformation
11 Teaching and Learning
12 Global Information Communities
13 Emerging Technologies
14 Expanding Roles
15 Final Reflections

Assessments

Blog Reports
Students will research and explore various topics related to their community group and report their findings on their blog. (Course Learning Outcomes: #1, #3, #4, #6, #7, #8)

Reflection Blog Topics:

  • Community Description
  • Overview of Information Seeking Behaviors of Community
  • Research Article Summary
  • Information community & Instructional Programming
  • Global Issues & Information Community
  • Emerging Technology Use of Information Community

Context Book Review/Reflective Essay
Students will read one book selected from a list provided and write a reflection relating the book to their chosen community, information behaviors, technology and the focus of our course. (Course Learning Outcomes: #1, #2, #3)

Commenting, Engagement and Participation in Course Blogging Community
Students will demonstrate active participation and engagement through their blogs (including introductory and final reflective posts), commenting on classmates’ blogs, project work, and use of the course site. A minimum of six well-articulated comments is required. (Course Learning Outcomes: #2, #4, #9)

Information Sources Survey
Using LIS guides, databases, and other relevant professional resources, students will locate and describe two information sources created for and used by the community they are studying. The survey will include a critical description of each source and an assessment of its value to the community. (Course Learning Outcomes: #1 and #5)

Literature Review Matrix
Students will evaluate 8 – 10 articles about the information behaviors of the community they have chosen to study. The literature review matrix will assess the research on the community by identifying key components of the research, major theories and findings, and continuing gaps. Students will use the matrix for reflection and evaluation of sources and integrate information from the matrix to write their research paper literature review. (Course Learning Out- comes: #1, #2 and #3)

Research Paper
Students will write a final paper based on their reading in the scholarly and professional literature and the data collected for each blog report. The final papers should include a literature review and critically assess the findings of their review. The paper should be a minimum of 3000 words in length; the reference list should have at least 20 sources; and the formatting should follow the APA Publication Manual Style (6th ed.). Students will have the opportunity to submit a draft of their paper to the instructor for formal instructor feedback. Students can then incorporate this feedback into the final version of the paper submitted for grading. (Course Learning Outcomes: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8)

Grading

Assignment Points Due Date
Context Book Review 10 points September 22
Information Sources Survey 10 points October 6
Literature Review Matrix 15 points November 10
6 Reflective Blog Posts 25 points Multiple
Research Paper 30 points December 1
Commenting, Engagement,
and Participation in Course
Blogging Community
10 points Ongoing

GWAR

This course satisfies the Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR).

INFO 200 gives students graduate-level writing experience, including a literature review and research paper. Graduate-level academic writing is formal and logical. It involves the avoidance of bias, the inclusion of evidence, and the development of strong arguments. Scholarly writing uses concise, precise, and clear language, is cohesive, and utilizes a logically organized flow of ideas. Successful completion of the research paper satisfies San José State University’s Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). If the instructor finds that a student’s writing is unacceptable, the instructor will require the student to sign up for online writing tutoring. The student will ask the tutor to confirm with the instructor that he or she is attending sessions.

Course Workload Expectations

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

TEXTBOOKS

Recommended Textbooks:

  • American Psychological Association (2009). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) Chicago: American Psychological Association. Available through Amazon: 1433805618. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Hirsh, S. (2018). Information services today: An introduction (2nd ed.). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Available through Amazon: 1538103001arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

UNIVERSITY POLICIES

Per University Policy S16-9, university-wide policy information relevant to all courses, such as academic integrity, accommodations, etc. will be available on Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs’ Syllabus Information web page at:
http://www.sjsu.edu/gup/syllabusinfo/

In order to request an accommodation in a class please contact the Accessible Education Center and register via the MyAEC portal.

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