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LIS 543 Human Information Interaction

Course Outline

Winter 2020

Phone: (780) 492-0179

Tuesdays 1-3:50pm
Education North 5-180

Office Hours:
5-168 Education North
Wed 1:15-2:15pm, Thu 11am-noon
or by appointment
Exception: Wed Jan 15: 2:30-3:30pm

Calendar Description:

An examination of individual and collaborative information needs, uses, and practices in context. Students will develop an understanding of the crucial interaction between people and information.

Course Objectives:

By the end of the course, students will be able to

Student Learning Outcomes:

After critical engagement with the literature and readings, class lectures, and class discussions, students will:

Program Learning Outcomes:


Topics include the basics of human information interaction; key HII concepts including information, information behaviour, information practices, information needs, information seeking, and information use; key factors in HII; HII models, theories, and paradigms; the information interactions of a wide range of human users; and the placement of these interactions, research on them, and practice of them within a wide range of physical, conceptual, social, emotional, cultural, and emergent contexts.


Written and oral introductions to topics, readings, class and group discussions, in-class demonstrations, in-class small group activities and hands-on exercises, and individual presentations will be used throughout the course. When and where possible, guest speakers and/or special presentations may be included.

Course Relationships:

Prerequisite: LIS 501 Foundations in LIS (or consent of instructor).

Required Texts:

There are no required textbooks for this class. Copies of required readings from scholarly journals, conference proceedings, and books will be provided by the instructor or be accessible online openly or via the University of Alberta Library.

Assignments and Weighting:

Assignment Due Percentage Points
Key Concepts Exploration Jan 28 15% 30 points
Information User Interview Feb 25 20% 40 points
Information Environment Analysis Mar 17 10% 20 points
Applied Case Study Apr 7 30% 60 points
Case Study Discussion Apr 7 (in class) 5% 10 points
Discussion Leading One of weeks 3-6, 8-13 10% 20 points
Class Discussion and Participation Throughout 10% 20 points
GRAND TOTAL 100% 200 points

Late Assignment Policy:

Assignments should 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):

Assignments submitted more than three days (72 hours) after the due date will not be accepted. In most cases 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 email 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.