Spring 2011, taught by Dr. Joey George
This class, as stated succinctly in its syllabus, was about “the social impacts of information and communication technologies (ICTs)” within individual, group, and organizational contexts. Being one of my three minor courses, it generally took a different approach to LIS, focusing primarily on the view of management information systems (MIS) but also including readings from cognate fields such as information technology (IT), social informatics, and communication and media studies. In doing so, it recognized that the study and understanding of these impacts and contexts is inherently multidisciplinary. While leaving out much of the information science perspective (excepting where the latter overlaps with social informatics and IT), that allowed it to fit quite naturally into my coursework and provide me with alternative perspectives on many of the issues I had previously viewed solely from an LIS perspective.
The course, which was taught online, was structured around heavy participation on discussion boards. Each week a different set of readings and lecture notes was provided on a different topic within MIS as broadly defined, with social and organizational implications which we then discussed by responding to a prompt posted by the instructor.
The course also featured a 4-page written midterm exam, where we had to choose what we saw as the two most and two least important of the six areas we had covered so far and discuss our reasoning based on the literature; you can read my midterm submission.
Near the end of the course, a group project had us choose a topic that had not and was not to be covered in the course, reviewing both academic and industry literature to present a slide show with substantial notes, intended as a tutorial for others in the course to review and learn from. (Slide presentations were not given through synchronous media.) We critiqued two other groups’ presentations and received feedback in return. You can view my group’s presentation on Social Media in Natural and Man-Made Disasters, completed by Azhar Ali Khan, Tom Masters, and myself.
Finally, the course concluded with a final exam, administered online and consisting of multiple-choice and short answer questions. Due to a lack of access and a desire to not give away questions that may be used again, I am not providing my final exam answers as part of my portfolio.