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LIS 598 Technology, Information, and Society [IT]
Winter 2020 (online)
COURSE INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Adam Worrall
Phone: (780) 492-0179
5-168 Education North
Virtually by email / phone or by appointment
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.
After completing this course, students should be able to:
- Understand and articulate and critique the critical and complex human, social, and sociotechnical contexts surrounding libraries, information, and technology
- Express familiarity with the cognitive, social, technical, historical, cultural, political, and organizational factors shaping the relationships between technology, information, and society
- Discuss major research and practice trends in the design, adoption, and use of technology in libraries and information organizations
- Use theoretical and practical knowledge and skills to critically assess the design, adoption, and use of technology in libraries and information organizations from human, social, and other critical perspectives
- Understand, critique, and apply research on the human, social, and critical contexts of information to professional activities and practices in LIS.
Measurable Student Learning Outcomes:
- After critical readings, lectures, and discussion in the human, social, and sociotechnical contexts surrounding libraries, information, and technology, students will articulate their understanding of these contexts through in-class activities and written reports on these contexts.
- After critical readings and lectures in the cognitive, social, technical, historical, cultural, political, and organizational factors shaping the relationships between technology, information, and society, students will demonstrate their understanding through two critical reports on a selection of these factors.
- After critical examination of major research and practice trends in technology use in libraries and information organizations, students will reflect on these trends in synthesized context with their experiences through a paired presentation and group case study.
- After readings and discussion of how to analyze technologies and systems from human, social, and critical perspectives, students will engage in a group case study of a technology in use or proposed for use in a library or information organization of their choice.
Program Learning Outcomes:
The course objectives and student learning outcomes above map to the following SLIS program-level learning outcomes (PLOs):
- #2: Evince complex and ethical awareness of major issues, research, trends, and dilemmas in library and information studies.
- #3: Demonstrate critical thinking, analytical capacities, and problem-solving skills.
- #5: Communicate effectively and professionally.
- #8: Utilize, appreciate, and evaluate a broad range of LIS and related research literature and have sufficient understanding of processes and methods (including those shared across disciplines) required to conduct principled inquiries and investigations.
- #9: Examine the impact, importance, and limitations of technologies in personal, professional, and social contexts as well as in library and information studies settings.
|1||Introduction to technology, information, and society|
|2||Human - Design and usability|
|3||Human - Human-computer interaction (HCI) & cognition|
|4||Human - Human-centred computing (HCC)|
|5||Social - Social informatics|
|6||Social - Sociotechnical research|
|7||Winter Term Reading Week|
|8||Social - Organizational and community informatics|
|9||Critical - Policy and governance|
|10||Critical - Social justice|
|11||Critical - Gender and identity|
|12||Emerging - archives, museums, repositories|
|13||Emerging - online communities and culture|
|14||Group case study presentations|
Written and oral introductions to topics, readings, class and group discussions, group project report and online discussion / presentation, and guest speakers (where and when possible).
Prerequisite: LIS 501 Foundations of LIS
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:
|Report #1: Human or Social||Feb 7 or Mar 6, 9pm MT||40 points||20%|
|Report #2: Social or Critical||Mar 6 or Mar 27, 9pm MT||40 points||20%|
|LIS Tech Case Study (group)||72 points total||36% total|
|Virtual Seminar||Apr 3, 9pm MT||56 points||28%|
|Discussion Leading||Week 14 (Apr 5-8)||16 points||8%|
|Discussion and Participation||48 points total||24% total|
|Discussion Initial Posts||Jan 14, 28; Feb 11, 25; Mar 10, 17; all 9pm MT||30 points (5 each)||15%|
Notes on your assignments this term:
- For the two Reports you have a choice of three topic areas and thus three due dates: human perspectives on February 7th, social perspectives on March 6th, and critical perspectives on March 27th. You must turn in a Report in two of these three areas.
- All assignments are due by 9pm Mountain Time (Edmonton time) on the day they are due. (This remains true through the switch of most of Canada to Daylight Savings Time on March 8. Those of you in areas that do not observe DST — including most of Saskatchewan — please take note that your assignments will be due an hour earlier local time after March 8.)
- Overall Participation is expected and will be assessed throughout the term. You will be informed after each unit of the course if you are not doing well in this area.
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; the following deductions will be taken (time spans include weekends):
- Up to 24 hours late: 5%
- 24-48 hours late: 15%
- 48-72 hours late: 25%
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.
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 http://www.governance.ualberta.ca/) 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.