LIBR 244-10
Online Searching
Summer 2012 Greensheet

Amelia Kassel
E-mail
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Greensheet Links
Textbooks
SLOs 
Competencies 
Prerequisites
Resources
D2L
iSchool eBookstore
 

The Greensheet is the course syllabus and may be revised before or during the semester.

Students will be automatically enrolled in the D2L site for this course. The course will be available to students on the first day of class, June 4, 2012.

Course Description

This course introduces students to and focuses on search techniques and content for fee-based databases contained in Dialog, Factiva, and LexisNexis, known in the traditional information industry as the Big Three aggregators and also considered part of the Deep Web. These search systems are particularly useful to information professionals in corporations, government agencies, law firms, and other business settings because of powerful search capabilities, diverse sources that are searchable across multiple databases at one time, and precision search features that enhance productivity. The knowledge gleaned from this course is applicable in any setting where librarians answer questions, conduct research, or train others how to search, including public, school, academic, and special libraries. Learning how to formulate search strategies within the Big Three builds a solid foundation for achieving better search results when using a range of subscription search systems offered by libraries as well as expanding your knowledge of Internet search techniques and sources.

Through readings, discussions, and exercises, students will work with and compare the Big Three to Internet search engines, tools, and sources. Course topics include the history of the online information industry, current trends, and pricing issues.

Course Requirements

Students are expected to check daily for announcements posted to D2L News and read all discussion postings daily. Students are required to complete the following assignments:

  • Readings: Read and discuss required books, vendor documentation, and articles assigned throughout the semester.
  • Online Discussion: Read all postings and participate minimally one time a week in online discussions by adding thoughtful, substantive comments or questions that relate to the reading material and other assignments. Interacting with other students is essential. Detailed class discussion requirements will be posted at the beginning of the semester.  Class discussion is 20% of the grade. Lack of meeting the class discussion requirement will automatically result in a grade below a B.
  • Exercises: Perform online searches for a series of exercises.
  • Final Research Report: Prepare a formal report of eight to ten pages in length plus a list of sources used about an online research topic of interest to you.  The final research report is due the last day of class, Friday, August 10th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time. You're expected to use the Big Three to research your final report.  If the Big Three do not produce information about your topic, other sources and databases are acceptable with the following requirement:  Provide an introduction explaining why the Big Three did not work for your topic and add an appendix that includes databases or sources used along with search strategies tried.  If the Big Three are cited in your report and fulfilled all or most of your research needs, an appendix is not necessary.  Other requirements for the report:
    • A minimum of eight citations, five of which should be during the past two years are required to document your research.  Older citations are acceptable when applicable.  If current information is not available, explain reasons for lack of current information in your introduction.

    • When Dialog databases contain abstracts without fulltext and you require fulltext articles, use other sources available to you.
    • Peer-reviewed articles are not required.
    • Follow APA style and all the rules of good organization, grammar, and syntax.
    • Include a title page and abstract according to APA style.
    • Use Times Roman 12 or Arial 11 typeface and double space your report.
    • Submit your report to me in a Word file with the paper title as the name of the file and in the email Subject line.  
    • Email your report to amelia@marketingbase.com

Assignment Schedule

Dates are subject to change with fair notice. 

Assignment Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) Due Date Point Value
Exercise 1 SLO #1 SLO #2 SLO #3 SLO #4 Monday, June 25th 12
Exercise 2 SLO #1 SLO #2 SLO #3 SLO #4 Monday, July 9 12
Exercise 3 SLO #1 SLO #2 SLO #3 SLO #4 Monday, July 23 12
Exercise 4 SLO #1 SLO #2 SLO #3 SLO #4 SLO #5 SLO #6 Monday, August 6 12
Exercise 5 SLO #1 SLO #2 SLO #3 SLO #4 SLO #5 SLO #6 Friday, August 10 12
Final Research Report SLO #6 Friday, August 10 20
Discussion Participation

SLO #1 SLO #2 SLO #3 SLO #4SLO #5 SLO #6 SLO #7 SLO #8

Participate minimally, once weekly (any time); read all posts 20
Total Points     100

Course Grading
Completing all assignments accurately and on time and participating in class discussion according to instructions will earn a grade of B. To raise this grade, you will need to demonstrate above average creativity, imagination, analysis, and scholarship including:

  • Originality in the approach to assignments
  • Greater depth of analysis than assignments call for
  • Superior organizational and/or written skills in the presentation of the material

Grading for exercises is based on a combination of:

  • Following all instructions, which is key to this course.
  • Evidence that you’re learning basic commands and syntax, reflected in your work.
  • Your comments contained in a summary that includes an objective analysis of your strategies, findings, and lessons learned. You must integrate what you've learned from readings and class discussion within your summaries and cite sources used.  Summaries are to be written in a narrative format. Bullets or numbered sections within the narrative are acceptable. The summaries should be a minimum of two to three paragraphs in length but can be more.
  • Finding relevant results.
  • Evidence of experimenting with varying search strategies, called iterations.

Late Assignments
Late assignments are not accepted.  If you have a life-threatening medical emergency or a family tragedy, please contact me.  A letter from your physician is required for medical emergencies.

Extra credit is not available.

Successful students will:

  • Post a brief bio and statement of purpose during the first week of class.
  • Read and discuss the required textbooks and all other assignments.
  • Initiate and respond to discussion postings with substantive and analytical comments and questions. 
  • Integrate knowledge from readings and class discussion into all assignments by quoting and citing sources.

Additional Requirements and Comments 

  1. This is a technical and challenging course because you will be learning new ways to think about how to search and differences between three major online search systems.  The course requires consistent and regular attention to all class discussion postings, preparation, and careful attention to following all instructions. 
  2. A survey found that students spend between 8 and 25 hours on this course per week. 
  3. Students taking more than one or two courses and having other responsibilities may find this course too time-consuming to adequately meet all requirements for an A and several students have had problems earning a B grade.
  4. Lack of satisfactory participation in class discussion results in a grade lower than a B.
  5. All students are graded on the same basis regardless of workload, personal, medical, or technical problems, which are each student’s responsibility.
  6. Because there are many search questions used to teach this course and there isn’t necessarily one correct answer or approach to most online research, students may be required to read and study documents posted to D2L with tips, corrections, and/or examples from other students and/or discuss exercise problems within discussion forums.
  7. One-on-one answers for exercise questions by email are not provided. If a student has a question about any aspect of the course curriculum, you're required to post to class discussion; if you have a question, others may too and Q&A is helpful to your classmates.
  8. For questions of a personal nature, email me at amelia@marketingbase.com.
  9. Please make yourself aware of SJSU drop dates and policies. Even if past the regular drop date, it may be better for some students to drop late rather than receive a grade below a B.
  10. Incompletes will not be awarded, no exceptions.
  11. This is a full semester course compressed into a 10 week summer session and the same requirements and standards are applied to this course as for Fall and Spring.

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

LIBR 202

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate a broad understanding of the design of major fee-based online databases and how to search them effectively.
  2. Describe database content, search language, and syntax.
  3. Apply effective search strategies and techniques, with a focus on concept analysis and pearl building.
  4. Identify the value and role of fee-based database aggregators in obtaining precision results quickly and efficiently.
  5. Understand how knowledge of database aggregator systems increases the quality of Internet research.
  6. Use quality Internet search tools and techniques.
  7. Demonstrate skills and knowledge applicable to assisting and training end users.
  8. Develop confidence in their ability to learn to search other databases or online systems similar to those covered in the course.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

LIBR 244 supports the following core competencies:

  1. E Design, query and evaluate information retrieval systems.
  2. H Demonstrate proficiency in identifying, using, and evaluating current and emerging information and communication technologies.

Textbooks

Required Textbooks:

  • Hock, R. (2010). The Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook (3rd ed.). Medford, NJ: Information Today. Available through Amazon: 0910965846. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Mann, T. (2005). Oxford Guide to Library Research (3rd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. Available through Amazon: 0195189981. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Vaidhyanathan, S. (2011). The googlization of everything: (And why we should worry) . Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Available through Amazon: 0520258827 arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Recommended Textbooks:

  • Bell, S. S. (2009). Librarian's Guide to Online Searching (2nd ed.). Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. Available through Amazon: 1591587638. 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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