MARA 210-10
Records Creation, Appraisal and Retention
Spring 2012 Greensheet

Sofia Empel, MLIS, CRM

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Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
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D2L Information: This course will be available beginning 25 January 2012. 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

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.

Course Prerequisites: MARA 200 and MARA 202 required.

Course Objectives

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • articulate the roles of context and function in identifying and analyzing records for purposes of creation and retention;
  • perform environmental and functional analyses of an organization for the purposes of establishing context for the records of the organization;
  • communicate the issues surrounding the creation and capture of records in an age of electronic media;
  • apply the tool of functional analysis to identify and define records series for the purposes of records retention;
  • identify regulatory requirements for records creation and retention, evaluate the potential need for records in legal actions; and determine operational requirements for the retention of records;
  • apply the fundamentals of archival appraisal to the records of an organization; and
  • create records retention schedules and document the associated analysis and appraisal.

MARA 210 supports the following MLIS 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 areas of electronic records and digital assets managment
  • H. Be conversant with current information technologies and best practices relating to records preservation and security

Course Requirements

This course requires 12 relatively short assignments that build on each other to result in a finalized and documented retention schedule for an organization. Students will submit their assignments separately, but are encouraged to confer with their classmates and review and comment on each other's work before submission. With the exceptions of the first and last assignments, students will have 2 weeks to complete each assignment.

Students may accumulate up to 100 points to determine their course grade. See Grading below for details. The assingments will be introduced generally in the Course Content area of D2L and then in detail in the associated lectures. Students are encouraged to contact the instructor during office hours or via e-mail with questions.

Weekly Discussions
This course requires participation in 15 weekly discussions based on additional readings that are provided as links to articles and resources in D2L. These links will be accessible by going to the Content area of the D2L course page, and then to the unit lesson for the week. On the unit lesson page, you will find links to the additional materials listed under "Discussion".

Each student will be required to psot as a participant generally, and as the moderator for one unit. As the "participant", students will post to 14 weekly discussions. As the "moderator", students will choose one weekly discussion topic from a list provided by the instructor; write a discussion question to be pre-approved by the instructor; and moderate the discussion for that week.

Course Calendar
Dates subject to change

  • Week  1 - Introduction and Basics of Records
  • Week  2 - Contextual Analysis
  • Week  3 - Analyzing Functions
  • Week  4 - Records Creation and Capture Fundamentals
  • Week  5 - Challenges of Electronic Records
  • Week  6 - Records Program Strategy and Policy
  • Week  7 - Records Retention Schedules and Identifying Records Series
  • Week  8 - Retention Analysis: Statutory, Regulatory and Accountability
  • Week  9 - Retention Analysis: Assessing Legal Risk
  • Week 10 - Retention Analysis: Determining Operational Value
  • Week 11 - Introduction to Archival Appraisal
  • Week 12 - Retention Analysis: Conducting Archival Appraisal
  • Week 13 - Finalizing Retention Schedules and Documenting Analysis
  • Week 14 - Implementing Retention Policies and Strategies
  • Week 15 - Litigation Holds; Vital Records; and Continuity Planning

All assignments are due by 11:59 P.M. PST on their respective dates. Late submission will result in a 10% reduction of the grade for the assignment.

Grading will be based on a total accumulation of 100 possible points, distributed as follows:

15 Discussion Forums - 20  possible points

  • 14 as a Participant of discussion topics (1 point each) - 14 points
  • 1 as the Moderator of one discussion topic (one week) - 6 points

12 Weekly Assignments- 80 possible points

  • 10 assignments - 6.5 points each
  • 2 assignments - 7.5 points each

Textbooks and Readings

Each unit will have assigned readings, both in the required textbook and as links to additional materials such as articles and resources in D2L. These links will be accessible from the Content area of the D2L course page. On the unit lesson page, you will find links to the additional materials under "Required Readings".

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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