LIBR 285-03
LIBR 285-12
Research Methods in Library and Information Science
Summer 2011 Greensheet

 

Mary M. Somerville, MLS, MA, PhD
E-mail
Office Hours: TBD


Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
Resources
D2L Login and Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore
 

D2L Information: This course will be available on the first day of the semester. You will be enrolled into the site automatically. I will send more information about course access as we approach this date through MySJSU.

Course Description

Research methods covering fundamental principles, processes, values and roles of research for professional application in information organizations. Students will become critical consumers of research products and learn the basic skills of planning, designing, executing and reporting research as well as evaluating and applying published research findings. Emphasis will concentrate on developing, planning, and producing a quality research proposal.

Course Prerequisites: LIBR200, LIBR202, LIBR204, and demonstrated writing proficiency required.

285 Waiver Option:
If a student has taken and passed a graduate level-research methods course AND completed a thesis or dissertation as part of a previous graduate degree (as documented by an official transcript), the student can petition the SLIS Graduate Advisor to waive the LIBR 285 requirement. A waiver, if granted, does not reduce the total units required for the MLIS degree. See Waiver option.

Course Objectives

Student Learning Outcomes
Students will be able to:

  • Understand the difference between primary and secondary research;
  • Demonstrate knowledge of fundamental principles and processes of conducting research;
  • Articulate the research method(s) covered in the course, appropriately apply them, and understand their strengths and liabilities;
  • Understand appropriate data collection/analysis tools, and ethical concerns related to research.

LIBR 285 supports the following MLIS Core Competency:

  • Understand the nature of research, research methods and research findings; retrieve, evaluate and synthesize scholarly and professional literature for informed decision-making by specific client groups. (Competency L)

Course Requirements

Students' work will be evaluated according to the following specific criteria:
Identify research problem, conduct critical literature review and analysis, and produce a formalized research proposal.

IRB Training Requirement
Complete the National Institute of Health’s online workshop titled: “Protecting Human Research Participants (PHRP).” Completion of this workshop is required by all San José State University faculty and students intending to do research with living human subjects. The course can be located at: phrp.nihtraining.com/users/login.php link goes to non-SJSU web site

Course Calendar

  • Week #1 – June 6 – June 11 – Action Research Examples
    • Read: Somerville, M. M. (2009). Working together: Collaborative information practices for organizational learning. Chicago: ACRL.
    • Read: Somerville, M. M., Gaetz, I, & Lee, J. (2010). Rethinking libraries…, Collaborative Librarianship 2(1), 38-43.
    • Read: Ferrance, E. Themes in education: Action research http://www.alliance.brown.edu/pubs/themes_ed/act_research.pdf
    • Read:  LIBR 285 Research Proposal Preparation
    • Assignment: Submit Self Introduction to Discussion Forum
  • Week #2 – June 12 – June 18 – Action Research Design
    • Read: McNiff, J., & Whitehead, J. (2010). You and Your Action Research Project, 3rd ed., Part I, II, and III
    • Read: Somerville, M. M., & EchoHawk, D. (2011). Recuerdos hablados /memories spoken: Toward the co-creation of digital knowledge with community significance. Library Trends, 59(4/Winter/February), 650-662.
    • Read: Somerville, M. M., & Brown-Sica, M. Somerville, M. M., & Brown-Sica, M. Space planning: A participatory action research approach. The Electronic Library. (in press).
    • Read: Research Proposal Instructions
    • Assignment: Attend mandatory synchronous Elluminate Session:  Saturday, June 18th, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon PST (LIBR 285-03) and Saturday, June 18th, 1:00 p.m. – 4 p.m. PST (LIBR 285-12)
  • Week #3 – June 19 – June 25 – Action Research Cycle
    • Read: McNiff and Whitehead, Part IV, V, and VI
    • Assignment: Submit evidence of NIH PHRP completion to dropbox
  • Week #4 – June 26 – July 2 – Action Research Focus
    • Assignment: Submit draft research question to discussion forum
  • Week #5 – July 3 – July 9 – Action Research Context
    • Assignment: Submit draft introduction section to dropbox
  • Week #6 – July 10 – July 16 – Action Research Approach
    • Assignment: Submit draft research method section to dropbox and send full draft proposal to peer
  • Week #7 – July 17 – July 23 – Research Proposal Refinement
    • Read: LIBR 285 Library Research Proposal – Peer Evaluation Instructions
    • Assignment: Read peer draft proposal and send comments to peer
  • Week #8 – July 24 – July 30 – Action Research Proposal
    • Assignment: Submit final proposal to dropbox
    • Assignment:  Complete Sage Research Methods Online evaluation survey
  • Week #9 – July 31 – August 6 – Action Research Reflection
    • Read:  McKay, J., & Marshall, P. (2001). The dual imperatives of action research. Information Technology & People, 14(1), 46-59.
    • Read: Sussman, G. I.,  & Evered, R. D. (1978). An assessment of the scientific merits of action research. Administrative Science Quarterly, 23, 582-603.
    • Assignment: Submit peer evaluation to dropbox
  • Week #10 – August 7 – 12 – Action Research Essentials
    • Assignment: Submit action research essay to dropbox

 

Course Grading
In this course, the following point system will be used to determine the final grade which is based on a total of 100 points:

5 Self introduction
10 Elluminate session participation
5 NIH PHRP certificate
5 Draft research question, objective, and hypothesis
10 Draft introduction section
10 Draft method section
10 Draft peer review evaluation
25 Final research study proposal
5 Sage Research Methods Online evaluation
15 Action research essay

Textbooks and Readings

Required Textbooks:

  • McNiff, J., & Whitehead, J. (2010). You and Your Action Research Project. NY: Routldege. Available through Amazon: 0415487099 arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Somerville, M. M. (2009). Working Together: Collaborative Information Practices for Organizational Learning. Chicago: ACRL. Available through Amazon: 0838985319. 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 http://www.sjsu.edu/senate/docs/S90-5.pdf. More detailed information on a variety of related topics is available in the SJSU catalog at http://info.sjsu.edu/web-dbgen/catalog/departments/LIS.html. 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 http://info.sjsu.edu/static/catalog/policies.html. Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at http://www.sjsu.edu/provost/services/academic_calendars/. The Late Drop Policy is available at http://www.sjsu.edu/aars/policies/latedrops/policy/. 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 http://www.sjsu.edu/advising/.

Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material

University Policy S12-7, http://www.sjsu.edu/senate/docs/S12-7.pdf, 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 http://www.sjsu.edu/senate/docs/F15-7.pdf 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 http://www.sjsu.edu/studentconduct/.

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 http://www.sjsu.edu/president/docs/directives/PD_1997-03.pdf requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at http://www.sjsu.edu/aec to establish a record of their disability.

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