LIBR 202-10
Information Retrieval
Fall 2011 Greensheet

Dr. Kristen Radsliff Rebmann
Office: Hayden, Idaho (same timezone as CA - pst)
Office Hours: By appointment.
Elluminate Sessions (NOT MANDATORY): Thursdays 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm pst (password is donut).  

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
Course Calendar
iSchool eBookstore
LIBR 202 Resources
Online Resource
Supplemental Readings
Inmagic Download

This is an online-only class using D2L and Elluminate. Students will be automatically enrolled in the D2L class site on the first day of the semester. I will send more information about course access as we approach this date through MySJSU.

The course begins via D2L on Wednesday August 24th. Elluminate sessions will begin on Thursday, September1st at 12:00 pm pst.

***Student attendance at the Elluminate sessions is not mandatory - recordings will be available.***

Course Description

Principles of information retrieval and their application to information systems and services. Emphasizing models of user information seeking behavior, human information processing, and their relationship to retrieval models in information systems. Class activities will be carried out in D2L, video, and audio formats. Enrollment in the D2L class is mandatory.

Course Prerequisites: LIBR 203

Course Objectives

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will be able to design, query, and evaluate a database information retrieval system, using an appropriate user model.
  • Students will be able to articulate fundamental concepts of information-seeking behavior and employ them in the design and evaluation of systems.
  • Students will be able to define a set of terms reflecting fundamental concepts of information retrieval and use them in discussions of their projects for the class.
  • Students will understand metadata, both structure and representation, and be aware of dominant models such as the MARC record, LC Classification, Dublin Core, and NISO 39-19.
  • Students will understand principles of good interface design and be able to evaluate interfaces using those principles.

LIBR 202 supports the following SLIS Core Competencies:

  • E. Design, query and evaluate information retrieval systems.

Support for:

  • G. Understand the system of standards and methods used to control and create information structures and apply basic principles involved in the organization and representation of knowledge.
  • J. Describe the fundamental concepts of information-seeking behavior.

Course Requirements

Complete LIBR 203: Online Social Networking: Technology and Tools
This is a mandatory 1 unit course that introduces students to the various e-learning tools used in the SLIS program, including Angel, Elluminate and Second Life. This course must be completed by all new SLIS students within the first 4 weeks of their first semester. If you have questions about this course, e-mail Debbie Faires or Dale David.

For more information, see

Assignments and Extra Credit
Students will complete a short introduction of themselves via Discussion Forum, 2 exercises and 5 projects.  I will assign 1% extra credit if students complete SOTES.  Simply complete the survey and post a message (to let me know) in the SOTES-Extra Credit discussion forum in D2L at the end of the semester.  More specific information regarding all assignments and extra credit will be made available on the D2L course website.

Introductions/Short Biography via Discussion Forum
"At your leisure" Exercises - 2 total 20% @ 10% each
Projects - 5 total
75% @ 15% each
Extra Credit - Completion of Sotes


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D2L and Elluminate Participation
I hold weekly Elluminate lecture/workshop sessions and occasionally use the discussion forum in D2L to discuss course ideas and issues beyond the scope of the course.  Posting in the discussion forum is not mandatory.  Attendance at the Elluminate sessions is also not mandatory - recordings will be available.  **Part of participation in this course includes listening well to others and engaging with opposing viewpoints. You are expected to be respectful and thoughtful in responding to each other and in responding to the course materials.

Help! How do I …?
I will create a discussion forum in D2L for general questions regarding due-dates, structure of assignments, and clarification of concepts. Please post your general questions here so that all students may benefit. Feel free to contact me via email at Placing the words: 202 question and your section number in the subject field will guarantee that your email will get to my high priority folder so that I can get back to you promptly (usually within 24 to 48 hours).   Sometimes you might see me in google chat - feel free to talk with me this way as well.

Course Calendar

Subject to change with fair notice.

Week 1 – Introduction, Classification, and Representation (8/24-9/3)

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Core Course Documents: Greensheet, Readings, Exercise handouts, Lecture Powerpoints, & Project Handouts.
Readings: Norman “The Power of Representation”; Star & Bowker “To Classify is Human.”
Handouts: "Brief introduction via Discussion Forum" (due Tuesday Week 2)
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Attend Elluminate Session: Thursday (9/1) @ 12pm pst - donut.

Week 2 – Retrieval and Organization of Information (9/4-9/10)

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Readings: Rijsbergen “Introduction”; Mai “Chapter 1: Information Resource Management”
Handouts: Project #1 handout (due Monday Week 4).

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Attend Elluminate Session: Thursday @ 12pm pst - donut.
By Tuesday of this week: Brief introduction via Discussion Forum. Please follow the guidelines in the handout to introduce yourselves!

Week 3 – Users (9/11-9/17)

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Readings: Marchionini “Information Seekers and Electronic Environments” & Kuhlthau: "Chapter 1: The Constructive Process in Library & Information Science Theory"
Handouts: Exercises #1 & #2 (both due final day of instruction - 5/17)

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Attend Elluminate Session: Thursday @ 12pm pst - donut.

Week 4 – Databases (9/18-9/24)

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Readings: DB/Textworks “Online Resources”
Handouts: Project #2 handout (due Monday Week 6).

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Attend Elluminate Session: NO LECTURE THIS WEEK.
By Monday of this week: Send completed Project #1 to me via Angel.

Week 5 – Querying IR Systems  (9/25-10/1)

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Readings: Manning, Raghavan, & Schutze “Chapter 1: Boolean Retrieval” & "Chapter 19: Web Search Basics"

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Attend Elluminate Session: Thursday @ 12pm pst - donut.

Week 6 – Formal Metadata (10/2-10/8)

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Readings: Hubbard “Metadata.” Coyle “Understanding Metadata and Its Purpose.”
Handouts: Project #3 handout (due Monday Week 9).

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By Monday of this week: Send completed Project #2 via Angel.
Attend Elluminate Session: Thursday @ 12pm pst - donut.

Week 7 – Subject Access (10/9-10/15)

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Readings: Subject Access Handout & Mai "Chapter 7: Controlled Vocabularies & Subject Access"

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Attend Elluminate Session: Thursday @ 12pm pst - donut.

Week 8 – Informal Metadata & Web 2.0 (10/16-10/22)

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Readings: Mathes “Folksonomies” & Maness "Library 2.0"

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Attend Elluminate Session: NO LECTURE THIS WEEK

Week 9 – Information Seeking (10/23-10/29)

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Handouts: Project #4 handout (due Monday Week 11).
Readings: Kuhlthau “Chapter 3: The Information Search Process" & Marchionini “Information-Seeking Perspective and Framework.”
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By Monday of this week: Send completed Project #3 to me via Angel.
Attend Elluminate Session: Thursday @ 12pm pst - donut.

Week 10 – Information Seeking cont. (10/30-11/5)

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Readings: "Chapter 8: Zones of Intervention in the Process of Information Seeking”
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Attend Elluminate Session: Thursday @ 12pm pst - donut.

Week 11 – Design (11/6-11/12)

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Readings: Norman “Psychopathology of Everyday Things.”
Norman "Affordance, conventions, and design"

Handouts: Project #5 handout (due Monday Week 14).
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By Monday of this week: Send completed Project #4 to me Angel.
Attend Elluminate Session: Thursday @ 12pm pst - donut.

Week 12 – Evaluation  (11/13-11/19)

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Readings: Norman cont.

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Attend Elluminate Session: Thursday @ 12pm pst - donut.

Week 13 – Practice and Power (11/20-11/26)

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Readings: Star & Bowker “Classification and Its Consequences: Chapter 6.”
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Attend Elluminate Session: NO LECTURE THIS WEEK.

Week 14 – Catch-up (11/27-12/3)

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Catch-up: Review, and complete Project #5 & Exercises #1 and #2.
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By Monday of this week: Send completed Project #5 to me via Angel.
Attend Elluminate Session: Thursday @ 12pm pst - donut.

Week 15 – Wrap-Up (12/4-12/8)

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Catch-up: Review, and complete Exercises #1 and #2 if you haven't already!

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By Thursday 12/8 of this week: Submit Exercises #1 and #2.
Attend Elluminate Session: NO LECTURE THIS WEEK.

Fall 2011 Academic Calendar

Textbooks and Readings

No Textbooks For This Course.

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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