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LIS 598 Technology, Information, and Society [IT]

Course Outline - Winter 2019 (on-campus)


Phone: (780) 492-0179

Office Hours:

5-168 Education North
Tuesdays 11am-noon
Wednesdays 1:30-2:30pm
Or by appointment

Calendar Description:

A critical and interdisciplinary examination, incorporating human and social perspectives, of technology in the context of libraries and information organizations and of the complex relationships between technology, information, and society.

Course Objectives:

After completing this course, students should be able to:

Measurable Student Learning Outcomes:

Program Learning Outcomes:

The course objectives and student learning outcomes above map to the following SLIS program-level learning outcomes (PLOs):


Week Date Topic
1 Jan 8 Introduction to technology, information, and society
2 Jan 15 Human - Design and usability
3 Jan 22 Human - Human-computer interaction (HCI) & cognition
4 Jan 29 Human - Human-centred computing (HCC)
5 Feb 5 Social - Social informatics
6 Feb 12 Social - Sociotechnical research
7 NO CLASS Winter Term Reading Week
8 Feb 26 Social - Organizational and community informatics
9 Mar 5 Critical - Policy and governance
10 Mar 12 Critical - Social justice
11 Mar 19 Critical - Gender and identity
12 Mar 26 Emerging - archives, museums, repositories
13 Apr 2 Emerging - online communities and culture
14 Apr 9 Group case study presentations


Written and oral introductions to topics, readings, class and group discussions, in-class small group activities, group project report and presentation, paired presentation, and guest speakers (where and when possible).

Course Relationships:

Prerequisite: LIS 501 Foundations of LIS

Required Texts:

There are no required textbooks for this class. Copies of required and recommended readings from scholarly journals, books, etc. will be provided by the instructor.

Assignments and Weighting:

Assessment Due Points Weight
Report #1: Human or Social Feb 5 or Mar 5, 5pm 40 points 20%
Report #2: Social or Critical Mar 5 or Mar 26, 5pm 40 points 20%
Article Presentation and Discussion Leading (paired) Jan 15, 22, 29; Feb 12, 26; Mar 12, 19; or Apr 2; in class 16 points 8%
LIS Tech Case Study (group) 70 points total 35% total
  Report Apr 9, 5pm 48 points 24%
  Presentation Apr 9, in class 22 points 11%
Discussion and Participation 34 points total 17% total
  Discussion Sparks (online) Jan 14, 21, 28; Feb 4, 11, 25; Mar 4, 11, 18, 25; Apr 1; all 9pm 10 points (1/week) 5%
  Participation (in class) Throughout 12 points 6%
  Attendance Throughout 12 points (1/week) 6%
TOTAL: 200 points 100%

Notes on your assignments this term:

Late Assignment Policy

Assignments must be handed in by the date specified unless you have made prior arrangements with the instructor. Late assignments will not earn full credit; ten percent (10%) will be deducted for every day (24 hours, including weekends) an assignment is late, to a maximum of three days (30%). Assignments submitted more than three days (72 hours) after the due date will not be accepted. Unexpected downtime for cloud services, including Google Apps at the University of Alberta, is not an accepted excuse for a late assignment submission. Exceptions to this policy will be rare and given at the instructor’s discretion. If you require an extension due to constraints, emergencies, and crises that will result in you submitting an assignment late or incomplete, please contact the instructor as soon as possible and in advance to make those arrangements.

School of Library and Information Studies Grading Statement:

Grades reflect professional judgements of student achievement made by instructors. These judgements are based on a combination of absolute achievement and relative performance in class. The instructor should mark in terms of raw scores, rank the assignments in order of merit, and with due attention to the verbal descriptions of the various grades, assign an appropriate final letter grade. Grades are calculated in accordance with the SLIS Grading Procedure.

Academic Integrity:

The University of Alberta is committed to the highest standards of academic integrity and honesty. Students are expected to be familiar with these stands regarding academic honesty and to uphold the policies of the University in this respect. Students are particularly urged to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Code of Student Behavior (online at and avoid any behaviour which could potentially result in suspicions of cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation of facts and/or participation in an offence. Academic dishonesty is a serious offense and can result in suspension or expulsion from the University.

Students should also be mindful of the SLIS Copyright Policy.

Inclusive Language and Equity:

The Faculty of Education is committed to providing an environment of respect for all people within the university community and to educating faculty, staff and students in developing teaching and learning contexts that are welcoming to all. The Faculty recommends that students and staff use inclusive language to create a classroom atmosphere in which students’ experiences and views are treated with equal respect and value in relation to their gender, racial background, sexual orientation and ethnic background. Students who require accommodations in this course due to a disability or chronic health condition affecting mobility, vision, hearing, learning, or mental or physical health are advised to discuss their needs with Student Accessibility Services.

Recording of Lectures:

Audio or video recording, digital or otherwise, of lectures, labs, seminars or any other teaching environment by students is allowed only with the prior written consent of the instructor or as a part of an approved accommodation plan. Student or instructor content, digital or otherwise, created and/or used within the context of the course is to be used solely for personal study, and is not to be used or distributed for any other purpose without prior written consent from the content author(s).

Policy about academic regulations can be found in Section 23.4(2) of the University Calendar.

The University of Alberta and SLIS acknowledge that we are located on Treaty 6 territory, and respect the history, languages, and cultures of the First Nations, Métis, Inuit and all First Peoples of Canada, whose presence continues to enrich our institution and school.