MARA 210-10
Records Creation, Appraisal and Retention
Spring 2009 Greensheet

Lori Lindberg
Phone: 408-924-2729

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Course Requirements
Course Calendar
Textbooks and Readings
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This course has an ANGEL site.  Students will be instructor-enrolled in the ANGEL site on January 12, 2009.

Course Description

Overview of records creation processes; management and documentation of those processes, including forms, mail, reports, reprographics management, document control, legal compliance; basic appraisal concepts; records inventories and retention scheduling; vital records; contingency planning; records disposition; and archives.

Prerequisite: MARA 200, 202

Course Objectives

Student Learning Outcomes

At the completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • articulate the importance of context in the creation of records and the basic principles of records creation and capture
  • apply the fundamentals of context analysis in order to design a classification scheme for records in paper, electronic and hybrid systems
  • describe the need for retention controls and demonstrate fundamental knowledge and application of appraisal strategies, development of appraisal criteria and decision making for records retention
  • formulate and apply retention decisions and produce retention documentation
  • identify vital records and apply fundamental principles of risk assessment and risk management planning in records retention, including disaster planning and business continuity planning

This course satisfies the following MARA Core Competencies:

  • C. Understand the evolution of information recordkeeping systems in response to technological change
  • D. Have expertise in the basic concepts and principles used to identify, evaluate, select, organize, maintain, and provide access to records of current and enduring value
  • E. Understand the system of standards and structures endorsed and utilized by the recordkeeping professions, particularly in the area of digital assets management
  • H. Be conversant with current information technologies and best practices relating to records preservation and security

Course Requirements

This course requires a number of assignments designed to introduce students to the concepts covered in class and in the text, as well as practical applications of methods. Students will work in groups, with a specific recordkeeping scenario and forms (provided by instructor via ANGEL).

Students accumulate 100 points to determine the course grade. See Grading below for details. Details for the assignments will be given at the first class meeting and requirements for each will be posted under your Lessons tab on ANGEL.

The following assignments are designed to build one upon the other and guide students through all of the steps necessary for proper decision making regarding records creation, appraisal and retention:

  • Classification scheme assignment (15 points, due Week 4 - Feb. 17). Create a simple classification scheme for records based on a given recordkeeping scenario.
  • Appraisal criteria assignment (15 points, due Week 8 - Mar. 17 ). Building on the previous exercise, formulate appraisal criteria that form the basis for retention decisions based on an analysis of context (social, technological, legal, etc) and appraisal models introduced in class.
  • Records inventory assignment (15 points, due Week 9 - Mar. 31) . Create a records inventory that accurately reflects the recordkeeping scenario assigned.
  • Retention decision assignment (15 points, due Week 10 - Apr. 7). Apply the appraisal criteria to the records inventory and produce a table of retention decisions and justifications.
  • Retention schedule assignment (15 points, due Week 12 - Apr. 21). Codify retention decisions by producing a formal retention schedule.
  • Risk assessment assignment (15 points, due Week 15 - May 12). Analyze risk and the potential impact of a lack of retention management.
  • Class participation (10 points, ANGEL participation, group assignments

All assignments are due by 11:59 p.m. on their respective due date. Late submissions, or failure to adhere to the established file naming convention will cause a loss of 10% of the grade for that assignment.

Course Calendar and Outline

  • I. Records Creation
    • Week 1: Definitions and considerations; understanding records creation within records management and administration.
    • Shepherd & Yeo, Chapters 1, 2
    • Week 2: Analyzing context for records management; classifying records and documenting context.
    • Shepherd & Yeo, Chapter 3
    • Week 3: Methods of creation; legal compliance; documentation of business transactions.
    • Shepherd & Yeo, Chapter 4
    • Week 4: Correspondence management; electronic communications; mail management and facilities. Classification scheme assignment due.
    • Week 5: Documentation of policies and procedures; forms management; reprographics.
  • II. Records Appraisal
    • Week 6: Theory and practice; appraisal strategies and methods.
    • Shepherd & Yeo, Chapter 5
    • Week 7: Appraisal strategies and methods, continued; appraisal criteria.
    • Week 8: Records inventories: planning, methods, types of data and analysis of data.
    • Appraisal criteria assignment due.
    • Week 9: Putting it all together: making decisions based on criteria; documenting and applying retention decisions. Records inventory assignment due.
    • Week 10: Retention schedules: definitions and objectives; schedule considerations; milestones/events; approvals; publication and distribution; implementation and administration. Retention decision assignment due.
  • III. Records Retention
    • Week 11: Maintaining records and assuring integrity. Custody approaches.
    • Shepherd & Yeo, Chapter 6
    • Week 12: Vital records; risk assessment. Retention schedule assignment due.
    • Week 13: Business continuity/contingency planning.
    • Week 14: Archives.
    • Week 15: Risk assessment assignment due.

Textbooks and Grading

Required Textbooks:

  • Shepherd, E., & Yeo, G. (2002). Managing Records: A Handbook of Principles and Practice. Neal-Schuman. Available through Amazon: 1856043703. arrow 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;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA) — 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 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.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

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

University Policies

General Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities of the Student

As members of the academic community, students accept both the rights and responsibilities incumbent upon all members of the institution. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with SJSU's policies and practices pertaining to the procedures to follow if and when questions or concerns about a class arises. See University Policy S90-5 at More detailed information on a variety of related topics is available in the SJSU catalog at In general, it is recommended that students begin by seeking clarification or discussing concerns with their instructor. If such conversation is not possible, or if it does not serve to address the issue, it is recommended that the student contact the Department Chair as a next step.

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drop, grade forgiveness, etc. Refer to the current semester's Catalog Policies section at Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at The Late Drop Policy is available at Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for dropping classes.

Information about the latest changes and news is available at the Advising Hub at

Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material

University Policy S12-7,, requires students to obtain instructor's permission to record the course and the following items to be included in the syllabus:

  • "Common courtesy and professional behavior dictate that you notify someone when you are recording him/her. You must obtain the instructor's permission to make audio or video recordings in this class. Such permission allows the recordings to be used for your private, study purposes only. The recordings are the intellectual property of the instructor; you have not been given any rights to reproduce or distribute the material."
    • It is suggested that the syllabus include the instructor's process for granting permission, whether in writing or orally and whether for the whole semester or on a class by class basis.
    • In classes where active participation of students or guests may be on the recording, permission of those students or guests should be obtained as well.
  • "Course material developed by the instructor is the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be shared publicly without his/her approval. You may not publicly share or upload instructor generated material for this course such as exam questions, lecture notes, or homework solutions without instructor consent."

Academic integrity

Your commitment, as a student, to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University. The University Academic Integrity Policy F15-7 at requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 at requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at to establish a record of their disability.

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