INFO 200-10
INFO 200-11
Information Communities
Summer 2022 Syllabus

Steven J. Tash
Office: online via zoom
Phone: 949-683-7151  9 am-9 pm PT or TEXT me
Office Hours:
Virtual office hours. Telephone and in-person advising by appointment.

Syllabus Links
Canvas Login and Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning Wednesday, June 1, 2022, at 6 am PT unless you are taking an intensive or a one-unit or two-unit class that starts on a different day. In that case, the class will open on the first day that the class meets. Using a MONDAY TO SUNDAY week: Summer semester begins on
WEDNESDAY, June 1, 2022.

You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.

Note: All INFO 200 students receive a complimentary student membership in a professional association, see: Complimentary Student Memberships In Professional Associations. This only is accomplished during the FALL term each year. Contact iSchool staff in the Fall of 2022.

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 will instructional programming and technology. INFO 200 meets SJSU’s graduate writing assessment requirement (GWAR).

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.

Note: The iSchool requires that students earn a B in this course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation.  You must repeat the class the following semester. If -on the second attempt- you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.

The iSchool utilizes a content management system called Canvas for class communications, submitting assignments, and grade records. This course will be available on Canvas. 

Weekly class sessions normally run from MONDAY TO SUNDAY of each week. Weekly material and assignments will be visible in Canvas from the beginning of the semester for students' semester planning. Assignments are generally due usually on Sundays but during summer it varies greatly at 11:59 pm Pacific Time; however during the summer session there may be a few weeks that include multiple assignments due in a particular week! Check the canvas assignments page for correct due dates.

 NOTE: Set your calendars up to consider Pacific Time for due dates. Late assignments will not be accepted. 

Summer Session (June 1,2022 - August 5, 2022). July 4 observed holiday. Canvas site usually remains open 30 days after the close of class so remember to make copies of your work, blog comments, etc. for your portfolios.

Course Requirements

Complete INFO 203 Online Learning: Tools and Strategies for Success. This is a mandatory 1 unit course that introduces students to the various e-learning tools used in the iSchool program, including Collaborate.  For more information, see INFO 203 Online Learning.

Writing Requirement
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.


Blog Reports

Students will research and explore various topics related to their community group and report their findings on their blog. You will use the blog you created in INFO 203 for this class. Students will author eight (8) blog posts of 300 words each minimum including introductory and final reflective posts. Majority of posts (6) have a guided topic for students to explore (see Reflection Blog Topics below). You will also join a group on the Community Site to share and interact with classmates. Community Site titled Professor Steve Tash INFO 200 Summer 2022 (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. Select a book within first days of course. Realize it takes weeks sometimes to interlibrary loan, borrow from local public library, or order a less expensive copy of selected title. Some titles are available for free ONLINE at the King Library (SJSU). (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. I use a WordPress group URL at the Community Site titled Professor Steve Tash INFO 200 Summer 2022. Use your INFO 203 Blog site that you created in this course for INFO 200.

You are REQUIRED to join this group (click on the blue button that says "join group"). (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 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 Outcomes: #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 (7th 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)


Assignment Point Value Due Dates
Context Book Review 10 points See Course Calendar & Weekly Module Schedule below and Canvas Assignments Page
Information Sources Survey 10 points  
Literature Review Matrix 15 points  
6 Reflective Blog Posts 25 points Multiple
Research Paper 30 points  
Commenting, Engagement, and Participation in Course Blogging Community 10 points Ongoing

NOTE: Set your calendars up to consider Pacific Time for due dates as Canvas will consider your assignment late if you submit after time/day set. 

All work will be of graduate standard. This means:

  • No assignments submitted after the due date and time
  • Spelling, grammatical, and syntactical errors will not be allowed
  • All work cited should be in full accordance with the style format selected.

Late assignments will not be accepted. If you have an illness (medical certificate supplied) or a family tragedy, please contact the instructor. 

Course Calendar & Weekly Module Schedule 


Module Topic


Using a Monday to Sunday week. 

Summer semester begins June 1.

Week 1: June 1-5

Information communities: An Introduction

-Researching Information Communities(2)

I use a Group at the Community Site titled 

Professor Steve Tash INFO 200 Summer 2022

Blog Post #1 due SUNDAY, June 5 @11:59 pm PT

Week 2: 6/6--6/12

-Information Seeking Behavior: Theoretical Overview(3)
- Exploring Information Behaviors(4)

Blog Post #2 due Friday June 10

Week 3: 6/13-6/19

Information Seeking Behavior 1
Information Seeking Behavior 2

 Blog Post #3 due Saturday June 18

Week 4: 6/20--6/26

 Information Communities & Diverse Information Needs

Blog Post #4 due Wednesday June 22

Information Sources Survey due  SUNDAY June 26

Week 5: 6/27-7/3

 -Research-Based Information Resources

 Blog 5 due  SUNDAY, July 3

Week 6:  7/4--7/10
(Independence Day observed on 7/4)


-Global Information Communities

-Teaching and Learning

 Context Book Review due SUNDAY, July 10

Week 7: 7/11--7/17

-Community-based Information Resources

-Expanding Roles


Literature Review Matrix due  SUNDAY July 17

Week 8: 7/18--7/24

-Emerging Technologies

-User Experience


 Blog Post #6 due Friday July 22

Blog Post #7 due SUNDAY July 24

Week 9: 7/25--7/31

-Intellectual Freedom & Information Communities


-Information & Misinformation


Research Paper Due Sunday 7/31

Week 10: 8/1--8/5 (Friday)

Final Reflections





Blog Post #8 due Wednesday 8/4 @11:59 pm PT

Commenting, Engagement, and Participation (Submit your INFO 200 Community Blog activity link to show commenting activity for the term along with your blog 8. Last Day of Course is Friday 8/5/22

Inclusion Statement

Students are expected to participate fully in all class activities. It is expected that students will be open-minded and participate fully in discussions in class and debate in a mature and respectful manner. Use of derogatory, condescending, or offensive language including profanity is prohibited. Disagreement is healthy and perfectly acceptable. Expressing disagreement should always include an explanation of your reasoning and, whenever possible, evidence to support your position. In accordance with San José State University's Policies, the Student Code of Conduct, and applicable state and federal laws, discrimination based on gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or disability is prohibited in any form.


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.

Course Prerequisites

INFO 200 has no prequisite requirements.

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 (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 200 supports the following core competencies:

  1. C Articulate the importance of designing programs and services supportive of diversity, inclusion, and equity for clientele and employees.
  2. F Use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital information items.
  3. H Demonstrate proficiency in identifying, using, and evaluating current and emerging information and communication technologies.
  4. J Describe the fundamental concepts of information-seeking behaviors and how they should be considered when connecting individuals or groups with accurate, relevant and appropriate information.
  5. K Design collaborative or individual learning experiences based on learning principles and theories.
  6. 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.
  7. M Demonstrate professional leadership and communication skills.
  8. O (For students entering from Spring 2015 onwards) Understand global perspectives on effective information practices that are supportive of cultural, economic, educational, or social well-being.


Recommended Textbooks:

  • American Psychological Association (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). American Psychological Association. Available through Amazon: 1433832178. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Hirsh, S. (Ed.) (2018). Information services today: An introduction (2nd ed.). Rowman & Littlefield. Available as free eBook through King Libraryarrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work or undergraduate (for BS-ISDA);
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA, Informatics, BS-ISDA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation. You must repeat the class if you wish to stay in the program. If - on the second attempt - you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Graduate Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). Undergraduates must maintain a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

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: Make sure to visit this page, review and be familiar with these university policies and resources.

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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