LIBR 220-05
LIBR 220-14
Resources and Information Services in the Disciplines and Professions
Topic: Psychology of the Information User
Fall 2012 Greensheet

Dr. Joni Richards Bodart
Phone: (408)924-2728
Web Site:

Greensheet Links
iSchool eBookstore

Students will be automatically enrolled in the D2L site for this course. The course will be automatically available to students on August 22nd, 2012.

Course Description

Understanding the library or information user requires the basic knowledge of human development, communication, individual and group behavior, cognition and information seeking processes to give students a fundamental understanding of information consumers’ thinking and behavior. This course will focus on systems theory, development, communication, and behavior.

Course Requirements

Office Hours
I will be in my office by appointment, Clark Hall, 418H, and will be on campus some weekdays, however, without an appointment, there’s no guarantee I will actually be IN my office.

I will answer e-mail on a daily basis or as quickly as I can. I will also be posting email responses to the FAQs section of the discussion board when questions are asked that are of interest to the whole class.If you need to speak to me by phone, I will do all I can to be available to you, but scheduling that call in advance to make it convenient for both of us, and ensure that I have enough time cleared to respond to your questions or problems.

The D2L Site
Please check the site regularly for announcements, discussion board questions, and so on. As soon as you are enrolled, go to the site, read my welcome message, then go to the discussion board and introduce yourself, both professionally and personally. I will give you a format for each part of your introduction. If you read someone’s introduction and think that you would like to work with them on a team, you are welcome to contact them either on that forum or privately and make prearrangements for your team before the first E session. The purpose of these introductions is to allow you to see who else is in class and what their interests are, and help you decide who you would like to work with on the team-oriented assignments. You may stay in the same team for all three team assignments, or work with different people for each of them.

Explore the various forums for other information I think might be helpful to you, such as resources and links to sites you will find useful. And make sure you take a look at the files given as examples. Assignment due dates are also posted there, as well as below.

I expect you to answer emails promptly and keep up with additional postings and information put on the site.

I make every effort to proofread the Greensheet and the D2L website, but errors can occur. Please contact me with any errors you see or any questions or may have so I can correct or explain them.

Collaborate classes
Lecture information will be given via Collaborate classes, which will include lectures, discussion, and Q&A, and will include what I think the most important concepts are for the various topics we will be covering. Some of these lectures include information not in your texts. I will also answer questions about assignments and other things you are confused about. All Collaborate sessions will be recorded for viewing later. I will have a student assistant who will be able to help you with technical issues. Be sure to log into the class session at least 10 minutes ahead of time, so you can get any communication problems taken care of ahead of time, before class starts.

Collaborate sessions
Sessions in bold type are required synchronous attendance
Synchronous attendance of all other sessions is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
All sessions 630-900 Pacific Time

  • August 29
    • Introduction to the course
    • Opening exercise
    • Information processing theories: Boulding, NLP, others
  • Sept 10
    • Finish discussion of IP theories
    • Discuss IP Stories: Martian Odyssey, Sound of Thunder, The Bridge (available on D2L class site)
    • Construction of memory
  • Sept 17
    • Developmental theories
  • Oct 10
    • Developmental theories / Communication theories
  • Oct 29
    • Communication theories / Behavior as communication
  • Nov 5
    • Behavior as communication
    • Student presentations or projects
  • Dec 3
    • Student presentations or projects
    • Summary and Wrap-up

Team sites will be available as teams are formed and request me to create a website for them. You are NOT required to have a team website if you want to use other software for team communication, file sharing, and meetings. Team websites in D2L are for your convenience, and you can use them as much or as little as you want to.

Please let my graduate assistant know right away if you have problems with anything on your team sites.

Student Responsibilities
As a student in this course, you are expected to challenge yourself, to actively participate in your education, and to search both inside and outside of the classroom for answers to your questions. Answers are rarely black and white at this level of study. I expect you to be an involved participant, to listen and to discuss ideas with your colleagues. I expect you to read all assigned materials, and research additional sources for more information. The sources I have chosen are only some of those available in the field; you are encouraged to find other resources and share them with the class.

Most importantly, you are expected to learn, and to leave this course with new ideas. My goal is to provide you with the foundation to continue to explore these ideas when you leave the classroom.

Faculty Responsibilities
My role in this course is to serve as a facilitator. I will present you with information related to the subject, and will help you to synthesize the material used in class. I will both ask and answer questions; this class is your opportunity to discuss the issues. I am available outside of class time to answer questions concerning assignments and topics covered in class. I will also give you a grade. My expectations for your performance are clearly outlined in this greensheet. If anything appears unclear, or if you have any questions, please ask me. Most of all, my role is to encourage you to learn -- encourage, not force. You will take from this course what you put into it. I hope you will take advantage of the opportunity to learn in this class, from me, from the materials on the subject, and from your colleagues.

I want each of you in this course to succeed, and I will do everything I can to help you do so, but this is a partnership. Please make sure that communication is your top priority during the semester. Ask questions when you have them, seek clarifications when you need them, and take responsibility for understanding all expectations, content and assignments for the course. You are responsible for your own learning experience. I do not make you succeed. YOU make you succeed. You also make you fail. Understanding the contents and expectations explained in the greensheet is critical for a student’s success in the class.

Course Requirements:

  • Students are required to attend all online classes or to watch the recordings of them asynchronously, and participate actively in class discussion about the assigned materials and about other materials students have found in their own research that enhance or contradict the assigned material.
  • Students will learn from each other as well as from the instructor, and therefore, class discussion is an important part of this class, and will be included as part of the final grade.
  • Students will be discussing their own individual processes in learning, behavior, motivation, and philosophy. Comments that make this more difficult for other class members are completely inappropriate. Your postings on all of the discussion boards should be professional, polite, and informative. Flaming will not be tolerated at any level.
  • Students are required to turn in all assignments on time, and in the format described. Grades for assignments turned in late without permission will be lowered. When necessary, asking for extra time at least 24 hours before the deadline is a wise decision. Material turned in late with permission will not be penalized.
  • If you are unable to turn in an assignment when it is due, please contact me BEFORE the due date to discuss an alternate date. Exceptions will be made on an individual or team basis, if the request is reasonable and made at least 24 hours prior to the due date. When asking for extra time, please explain the need for it and the date you agree to turn in the work. Extensions longer than one week with not be granted. Only one extension per assignment. Please plan ahead to avoid late submissions. I understand that emergencies happen, and we all have our personal lives to cope with, however, planning ahead is wise. You will not be penalized for turning in work early if you do not need the extra time.


1. Read texts and articles as assigned. Students will be expected to locate other sources to share with their classmates and to support the assignments below. Your final grade will depend partially on whether you choose to find sources outside the required and recommended readings in this greensheet and how frequently you choose to share them in class discussion. (Included as part of the participation grade.)

Assignments 2, 3 and 4 will be completed in teams of 1, 2 or 3, and submitted as research papers, or completed in some other format that will (A) help you learn and (B) CLEARLY demonstrate to me that learning has indeed taken place. Creating a project should take approximately the same amount of time as creating a research paper, therefore I expect an equivalent complexity and sophistication in them. Projects may or may not include a presentation. If students choose to share their work and their insights in this way, they may schedule presentations during either of the two final Collaborate sessions.


Please feel free to be creative about this--everyone learns differently, and learning is the most important thing! If you choose to do a project for any/all of these assignments, you will be required to include written material discussing its origins and evolution, why you think it shows your learning and understanding of the topic, and a list of resources or references you used to complete it. Remember, you will need to make sure that you have shown me your enhanced learning, knowledge, or wisdom about the topic at hand, no matter what format you use to submit your work.

You might create a website/wiki/blog, a presentation of some kind, or some other kind of creative endeavor. While I have never gotten a song or a poem (I’m not sure either would be able to express the complexity of the topics below.), I have gotten lengthy fiction pieces which have explained the theoretical concepts while telling the story. (However, the student that wrote a picture book instead of a more complex piece didn’t get an A.) Of course, a straight research paper is also quite appropriate.

If you have any questions/concerns/doubts about what kind of format/product is appropriate for these three assignments, please don’t hesitate to contact me, either using email or the FAQ discussion boards. If you are in a team and email me privately, please cc your other team members, so they will be on the same page and also see my reply to you. While the submitter is the only person who will post about the topic choice and team members (unless working alone), anyone in the team can ask questions. They do NOT have to be filtered through the submitter.

Everyone will submit their work on the appropriate forum so your colleagues can learn from and comment on it. You are responsible for reading/viewing/etc. all submitted assignments and commenting on each of them at least once. Comments should be substantive, responding to the content and format of the work, not just “attaboy.” Obviously, you do not have to agree with the opinions expressed in others’ work, but your perspective/ideas should be presented objectively and include the rationale behind your disagreement.

Each of you may choose to work alone of one of these assignments, rather than working as part of a team on all of them. Your grade will not be impacted by this choice. To clarify:

  • You may work as part of three different teams, one per assignment.
  • You may work as part of one team, doing all three assignments together.
  • You may work as an individual on one assignment (your choice of assignment), and work with two different teams on the other two assignments.
  • You may work as an individual on one assignment (your choice of assignment), and work with one team doing the two other assignments together.

My rationale in requiring you to work in two teams is based on the fact that experience working in successful virtual teams is considered very valuable to most employers. These assignments will also meet the requirements of team work included in your competencies and therefore in your 289 eportfolios. However, I also know that some people prefer working alone, which is why you may choose to work as an individual on one of these assignments.

The general topic areas/groups are listed below under each assignment. You may also use your texts for ideas on areas you might want to investigate. Please note that you are limited to 20 pages of text for each of these assignments (see Detailed Information on Assignments below), so your topic should not be too broad. You will want to be able to cover it in some detail and specificity. Please don’t hesitate to ask me if you would like my ideas about the broadness or narrowness of your topic. You may choose all your topics at the beginning of the semester, and tweak them later as you learn more about what areas we will be covering. For instance, you might choose to compare two theorists for one of the assignments, and then later decide you want to focus only on the one that you are most interested in or agree with. Or disagree with, for that matter. Or focus only on one aspect of a theory or theorist. Just as long as you let me know how you are tweaking things, that’s fine.

Obviously, teams will have to make a team decision, as stated below under working in teams. If a team wants to stay together for the whole semester, it may want to state all three topic choices early in the semester, and have them approved, so they can work on all three assignments throughout the semester. If anyone wants to do this, please post three separate posts as described below, NOT one post with all three topics.

This option is also available to individuals: if you want to work alone on any of the assignments, you can state that at the beginning of the semester, as described below.

This means that the forum for final topics/teams may contain, from the beginning of the semester, information on teams/topics for any of the assignments, 2,3,4. Please make sure you follow the instructions below for the subject line of these posts.


  • You will state that on the forum devoted to forming teams. This posting will have your last name, assignment number (2,3,4) and topic in the subject line.
  • You will also (in the same post) state the topic of your research. I will need to approve each topic.
  • When you get my okay—this may be informal in tone—you can start to work.
  • You will be totally responsible for submitting a paper or project that is just as complex and comprehensive as those submitted by teams. This does mean you will do more work, but you will be able to do it alone. Some people prefer this.
  • When you discuss your theory/theories in your work, you should present the ideas/theories they are based on/depend on, and show how your thinking differs from them. Since you are working alone, you will present only your own thinking on the topic—you don’t have to agree with anyone else.
  • If you choose to do a presentation, you must schedule it with me, and make arrangements with my Collaborate assistant to practice ahead of time, to ensure a polished performance.
  • You may choose to do any of the papers/projects alone, basing your choice on your own preferences.
  • SUBMISSIONS: You will submit your work on the appropriate discussion forum to share your work with your colleagues and receive feedback at the same time you submit it to the appropriate dropbox for grading.
  • In the same dropbox you will also submit a self evaluation, detailing your process in creating your work, your goal for the work, and how successful you believe you were in achieving that goal.
  • FORMAT OF SUBJECT LINE WHEN SUBMITTING TO DROPBOXES: Last name, Assignment #, Project/Paper, Topic. OR Last name, Assignment #, Self Evaluation, Topic.


  • One team member should be chosen as submitter. This person will post on the forum for choosing teams/topics, stating the names of the team members, the assignment number (2,3,4) and the topic they want to explore. The subject line of this post must include the last names of team members and the topic you will be researching. I will need to approve each topic.
  • When you get my okay—this may be informal in tone—you can start to work.
  • If team members agree on the various ideas and concepts involved with the assignment, they can discuss the theory they created as a team theory. If they have different perspectives, then the different theories should all be discussed, compared, and contrasted. It is NOT APPROPRIATE to label one theory as better than another in any way.
  • Each person in the team will receive the same grade, since this is a team project. It is up to the members of the team itself to make sure that each member contributes an appropriate amount of work. Your understanding of systems theory and group interaction will help you accomplish this. I also recommend you watch the video Ken Haycock did on working in virtual teams, which has lots of good information on it. You can get to it through the Videos link at the bottom of our home page.
  • SUBMISSIONS: The team member designated as “submitter” will submit the finished product/paper/project to the appropriate dropbox, and at the same time post it to the appropriate forum to share with your colleagues and receive feedback from them.
  • Team members will each submit, in the same assignment dropbox, their evaluation of themselves (self evaluation) and the other team members (peer evaluations), including who did what, and the effectiveness or non-effectiveness of their team process. This evaluation will detail your process in creating your work, your goal for the work, and how successful you believe you were in achieving that goal.
  • FORMAT FOR SUBJECT LINE OF SUBMISSIONS: For paper/project submissions: Last name of each team member, Assignment #, Team paper/project, Assignment topic. For submissions of evaluations: Last name of person submitting the evaluation, Assignment #, Evaluation, Assignment topic. EXAMPLES: Jones, Smith, Assignment 2, Research paper, Analyzing Boulding’s The Image. Jones, Assignment 2, Evaluations, Analyzing Boulding’s The Image


2. Read material on information processing theory and write a reaction paper on several different aspects or theories of human information processing, discussing what you like or don’t like about them, what makes sense or doesn’t, and how they could be applied. It is not necessary to summarize any of the material from assigned reading or class notes. Relate this information to your own conceptualizations of data, knowledge, information, and wisdom, as discussed during the first class meeting. Discuss your understanding of how knowledge is created, processed, and used to create your own reality, including the role played by memory. Formulate this into your own theory of human information processing. If each team member has a different theory, explain and discuss all of them, comparing and contrasting them. You may or may not choose to create a diagram or illustration for your theory. 20% of final grade. Due Sept 23, 1159 pm. SLOs 124)

3. Read material on developmental theory and write a reaction paper explaining your own theory of development, and how it applies to changes in information processing during development and information use throughout life. Focus on the aspects of the subject you consider to be the most important, and include your own conceptualization of development throughout life or during one stage or span of years within an individual’s life. Include in your discussion your understanding of how your perception of development impacts your performance as a librarian or information provider in a specific setting. If team members have different ideas or conceptualizations, include all of them, comparing them to one another. If you choose to focus on only one stage of life, you need to briefly describe your own conceptualization of the other stages in order to put your discussion in an appropriate setting and allow me to understand your personal theory of development. 20% of final grade. Due Nov 4 at 1159 pm SLOs 1, 4, 5

4. Read material on communication theory, including behavior as communication and write a reaction paper explaining your own theory of communication, and how it applies to at least two specific client groups in a library setting. Be sure to include all aspects and channels of communication, and clearly show the importance of clear and open communication to an information professional. Focus on the aspects of communication that you consider to be the most important to a librarian or information professional on a daily, based on your experience in this field as a professional or as a customer. If team members have different perspectives or theories, all of them should be included, discussed, compared and contrasted. 20% of final grade. Due Nov 18 at 1159 pm SLOs 1, 3, 4, 5

However, if you wish to share your work with team members you worked with on assignments 2,3,4, (or other class members) for their feedback before submitting it, you are welcome to do so. If you do this, the resulting discussion/feedback/changes should be included as a section, perhaps as part of your conclusions, in your final paper.

Write a final paper (which may be informal in style, or may be written in first person) or create a final project summarizing what you have learned during this course, and synthesizing it into your own coherent theory base, discussing your ideas on each of the groups of theories covered in the class. Some of the other topics you will want to include are:

  • Your own answers to the questions discussed during the first class session and listed in the Introduction section of the class outline.
  • Your own process of acquiring/processing information, including the theory or theories you base your understanding on.
  • How has your process of information processing changed or developed throughout your life? What influences or events have caused these changes?
  • How do you acquire and use information? How is this affected by your age, roles, education, companions, self perception/image, emotions, physical attributes, environment, and relationships? What are your strengths and weaknesses? How do you predict your information processing will change in the future, and why?
  • How will you as an information professional use the material you learned in this class? How and why has your understanding of the information profession and yourself as an information professional changed since the quarter began? 20% of final grade. Due Dec 10 at 1159 pm. SLOs 1, 67

6. Class participation is essential in this course.
It is defined as:

  • attending scheduled Collaborate sessions and participating actively in them
  • responding to questions from me and from other class members pertaining to the lecture and the outside readings in Collaborate sessions and on discussion forums
  • bringing up questions about the lecture and readings that require clarification, that you wish to dispute, or that you agree with in Collaborate sessions and on discussion forums
  • being an active participant in your own learning process
  • Comments and questions should be relevant to the topic under discussion, and take into consideration both that humor can enhance learning, and that this is a graduate classroom and some level of analytical thought is expected.
  • To some extent, my perception of your level of class participation is qualitative, however, after nineteen years of paying attention to who contributes and who doesn’t, my evaluation of you in this area is not without quantitative support. More detailed standards for class participation are given later in this greensheet.
  • You will learn from each other as well as from me. However, you do NOT have to agree with me in order to speak. I am not always right, by any means, and welcome your dissension as well as your agreement. I want to learn WITH you.
  • It is important for each of us to remember that no question is dumb, no response silly or invalid, and no idea unworthy of consideration. This pertains to all comments, whether they are made by you, by me, or by someone else in the class.
  • Please read, think, and share your thoughts with the other members of this class. Share your ideas, your questions, and your insights, so we can all learn and grow together. 20% of final grade. “Due” on Dec 14—last day to post on discussion forums SLOs 1-7

Please note that I do not “give” grades to students--students earn the grades they receive. Students who earn failing grades indicate a failure on their part and on mine as well.


Expectations for Success Applied to All Assignments

  • This Greensheet is the course contract. Please read it and understand it.
  • 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 and 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.
  • There may be a few additional readings that I will choose from newly-published articles relating to this course's subject matter.
  • Title pages: All course assignments must have a title page.
  • Prepare all assignments in MS Word 2003/Word 2007, either single or double-spaced;
  • All pages must have a header with your name and the page number (assignment pages must be consecutively numbered);
  • Students must proofread written assignments (including discussion forum postings) for correct spelling, grammar, and usage. I encourage you access the SLIS Writing Resources site. You are also welcome to peer edit each other's work.
  • Use the following file name convention when you attach your work to the assignment drop-boxes: YOURLASTNAME_KEYWORD-FOR-ASSIGNMENT;
  • Students should use the Manual of the American Psychological Association, (6th ed.) as the standard for all bibliographic citations.
  • Students and faculty are bound by the U.S. copyright regulations and need to cite the sources of the intellectual property of others, including information, images, or ideas that do not belong to us. Follow the regulations located in the Fair Use of Copyrighted Materials policy at;
  • Because this is an online class, students must pay particular attention to the Distance Learning (SJSU), Copyright, and Fair Use, and Plagiarism Guidelines at Students need to pay special attention to the third bullet item at the website: Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia;
  • If you submit work with words, images, or ideas that are not their original ideas, words, or images, you must cite the sources of those words, images, or ideas. It is important for students in library science courses to develop a respect for the work of others and to be responsible users of the work of others. Although the work of students does have some fair-use protection, you are never safe in using words, images, or ideas of others in a course in which we share our work with one another. Not only will you need to remember this when you are posting to the discussion forums, you must also practice responsible use of resources in your projects that you will be sharing with your colleagues.

Formatting details for papers and projects
You must include these sections/topics in each paper or project:

  • Introduction (introduce yourself or your team members and briefly state what you will be discussing/demonstrating in the paper/project, including the sequence of the sections of the paper/project)
  • Discussion of theories and other materials you consulted when creating the paper/project, either from assigned readings or outside readings you consulted on your own
  • Explanation/discussion of your own theory/theories, including a complete explanation of how it/they were created and how they will be applied in your professional and personal lives
  • Conclusion (a synthesis/analysis/summation of the above ideas presented in your work, clearly showing your conclusions, with the new knowledge you have acquired during your work

Writing Standards for Assignments

  • Students will produce assignments that meet writing and research standards appropriate for students in a Master’s program of study. It is critical to proofread your work before turning it in.
  • Graduate level writing standards do not tolerate spelling or grammatical errors of any kind. Proofreading your work is advised.
  • You are welcome to consult the SJSU Writing Center if you have problems with grammar and construction. Students are also encouraged to refer to a writing handbook. Many are available online.
  • APA style is mandated for citations included within the text of the paper and reference/bib page(s). The manual is available in print and online.
  • See class rubric under Content on the D2L class site for description of criteria/expectations for each grade level.

All assignments must include:

  • Cover/Title page (name, course name and section number, school name, date, instructor’s name. If you are doing a project instead of a paper, please have this information available at the beginning of your project.)
  • Page Numbers (except on the Title Page) when writing a paper.
  • Reference Page/Works Cited in full accordance with APA formatting
  • Citations/Quotes in the body of the paper/project need to be formatted according to APA rules.
  • Material must be written using complete sentences, and not using abbreviations or acronyms without clarification of what the letters stand for.
  • Spelling, grammar, and syntactical errors are not tolerated in visual or spoken work.

Spelling and Grammar Errors
I may not read your entire paper for spelling and grammar mistakes; if, in my opinion, your paper or database contains too many errors, I will reduce your points substantially (generally 5-10 points), stop grading your paper for mechanics, and will go on for content and other elements that are required in the assignment. Please note that the SJSU Writing Lab is available for help with writing problems of all kinds. There are also numerous websites on grammatical errors and proper usage, some of which can also check your work for correctness.

My mother was an English teacher, and corrected my grammar constantly when I was a child and a teen, and even as an adult, although by that time, I didn’t make many errors. As a result, I am very sensitive about grammatical errors. My particular red flags are misspelled homonyms, incorrect usage of linked pronouns (“She came to see you and I” when “you and me” is correct. This also includes correct usage of she/he and him/her.), incorrect use of possessives, and the use of “done” when “finished” or “completed” is more correct.

Discussion Posts
Discussion posts should adhere to the same spelling and grammar requirements that other written work must meet. However, a certain level of informality, as in spoken conversation, is appropriate.

Submitting your work

  • You will submit your work to the appropriate dropbox on the D2L site before midnight on the due date
  • If you are working as part of the team, one member of the team will submit the team project/paper as described above
  • Specific information as to the content of the subject line is included in the information on assignments above
  • All members of the team will submit individual team evaluations of each member’s contribution to the team process and to the paper/project itself—described under information on working in groups above
  • Papers/projects must be posted to the appropriate forum when they are posted to the dropbox, so they can be read/viewed and commented upon by everyone in the class—more details on this above
  • Other questions concerning assignments, their content, format, or submission should be asked on the FAQ forum on the class website. I subscribe to this forum, and endeavor to respond promptly to questions posted there. However, if one of your colleagues has answered your question before I have posted my response, I may not make any additional comments if I think they are unnecessary.

Course Outline

Introduction to information psychology

  • What is information? Data? Knowledge? Wisdom?
  • What is information processing? Information transfer? Information use?
  • What are your own ideas about human nature, human groups, communication, behavior and development?
  • How do these ideas influence or control the way you--and each of us as individuals--perceive, process and disseminate information?

Information Processing Theories

  • How do we perceive, organize, store, retrieve and use information?
  • Discussion of “A Martian Odyssey”, “The Bridge,” and The Image, Bandler and Grinder, Endangered Minds
  • Memory (STM, LTM, “CS”)
  • Inputs/outputs
  • Implications for individuals and groups
  • Impact of society, experience, emotions, physical attributes, philosophy of human nature

Developmental Theories

  • Piaget
  • Erickson
  • Information Processing Theory
  • Gibson
  • Vygotsky
  • Sheehy
  • Bly
  • Other current theories on development and their impact on our society

Communication Theories

  • Theories of communication
  • Methods of communication
  • Verbal/nonverbal behavior
  • Attribution theory
  • Impressions
  • Managing communication
  • Behavior as communication
  • Roles and role theory
  • Stereotypes
  • Effect of ambiguity and change on communication
  • Managing behavior
  • Conclusions and wrap-up
  • Evaluation

Grading Standards

Standards for Papers

    This paper completes the task set by the assignment and is excellent in nearly all respects. It is well argued and well organized with a clear thesis stated or implied. It is well developed with content that is specific, accurate, interesting and appropriate. It demonstrates the writer's ability to produce and synthesize complex ideas. Logical transitions contribute to its fluent style. It is virtually free from errors in mechanics, usage and sentence structure and shows evidence of excellent control of language. The writing style may demonstrate the writer’s creativity and uniqueness in tone or format. Its grade will most likely be an A or A+.
    This paper shares most of the characteristics of the outstanding paper. It may not be as carefully reasoned as the outstanding one, but shows no serious errors in logic. There may be minor weaknesses in paragraphing, but the content is effectively organized into coherent units. The paper is well written and is largely free from errors in mechanics, usage and sentence structure. Its grade will most likely be an B or B+.
    This paper is generally competent. It may accomplish the assignment: less completely than the above papers, but it does come to terms with the basic task of the assignment. Compared to a very good paper, it may have a weaker thesis and less effective or complete development. It may insufficiently develop minor points, but it does give evidence of the writer's ability to convey ideas. It is organized well enough to allow the reader to move with relative ease through its discourse. This paper may contain some awkward or ineffective sentences and may show some problems with mechanics and usage but, these errors are not serious or frequent enough to consistently distract the reader from the content. Its grade will most likely be a C or C+.
    This paper may show difficulty managing the task of the assignment. The thesis may be vague or too obvious to developed effectively. It may lack adequate support for the thesis, and may be too brief to adequately cover the topic. There may be distinct weaknesses in paragraphing and organization, but the total effect is not chaotic. Errors in mechanics, usage and sentence structure interfere with its readability. Its grade will most likely be a C- or D.
    This paper is seriously flawed, and fails to come to terms with the assignment.. It is likely to have no clear thesis or central topic. Further, it may display random organization, lack adequate support or specific development, include irrelevant detail or fail to fulfill the assignment. It may contain major and repeated errors in mechanics, usage and sentence structure.A paper which is obviously "off-topic", regardless of the writing quality, may also be designated as unacceptable. In this case, the paper does not deal with the topic assigned and, therefore, does not fulfill the assignment. Its grade will be an F.

Standards for Class Participation
Students who are judged to have just adequate participation would...

  • Have all necessary materials.
  • Provide intelligent and informed responses to inquiries.
  • Participate in class discussions
  • Contribute to their team’s group process

Students who are judged to have good participation would also....

  • Consistently contribute to discussions as required, without need for the instructor to extract their participation.
  • REACT to other student comments and share their agreement with or questions about the topic at hand.
  • Make thoughtful and insightful comments about the readings or other students’ comments on them.
  • Participate on their team projects consistently, contributing to the positive team process of the team

Students who are judged to have excellent participation would also...

  • Ask questions or make comments which:
    • Clarify and synthesize discussion.
    • Relate their ideas or experience to lecture or discussion topics.
    • Contribute examples or counter-examples relevant to lecture or discussion topics.
    • Challenge what is being taught, with logic, example, thoughtful consideration and creativity.
    • Acknowledge and extend the ideas and contributions of others.
    • Respect the ideas and opinions of others, whether or not they agree with them.
    • Relate content from class materials, readings, and their own experiences to the discussions
  • ... And make jokes of any quality whatsoever.

Optional textbooks
Please note that not all of the texts are required.

Optional titles will enhance your participation and learning in this class. However, if money is a factor, you might want to consider using library copies of the optional texts or sharing with another class member rather than purchasing them immediately.

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 210

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify key print and online research resources useful for finding moving images and moving image-related information.
  2. Demonstrate effective use of film and media resources.
  3. Evaluate at least two institutions with collections that include moving images.
  4. Identify the broad issues involved in collecting, cataloging, preserving and providing access to film and media.
  5. Describe the federal and state governmental units that make primary law and the types of primary law they make.
  6. Identify the major types of primary law and secondary authority for both federal and state jurisdictions.
  7. Locate the nearest brick-and-mortar law library and find materials in it.
  8. Identify and describe the relative merits and shortcomings of the major print and online (both "free" and "pay-for-view") legal resources.
  9. Use print and online sources to find the major types of primary law and secondary authority for both federal and state law.
  10. Answer questions from patrons about basic legal resources, and direct patrons to the best sources for legal information.
  11. Develop strategies for defining search terms to use with "finding tools" in print, online, and pay-for-view legal resources.
  12. Create guides ("pathfinders") for patrons needing legal information.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

LIBR 220 supports the following core competencies:

  1. B Describe and compare the organizational settings in which library and information professionals practice.
  2. F Use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital items and collections.
  3. I Use service concepts, principles, and techniques to connect individuals or groups with accurate, relevant, and appropriate information.
  4. J Describe the fundamental concepts of information-seeking behaviors.
  5. N Evaluate programs and services based on measurable criteria.


Required Textbooks:

  • Boulding, K. (1956). The image. University of Michigan Press. Available through Amazon: 0472060473arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Flaxington, B. (2010). Understanding other people: Five secrets to human behavior. ATA Press. Available through Amazon: 0615272290arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Miller, P. (2009). Theories of developmental psychology (5th ed.). Worth Publishers. Available through Amazon: 1429216344arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Skyttner, L. (2006). General systems theory: Problems, perspectives, practice. Hackensack, NJ: World Scientific Publishing Co. Available through Amazon: 9812564675arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Recommended Textbooks:

  • Gall, J. (2003). The systems bible: The beginner's guide to systems large and small. General Systemantics Press. Available through Amazon: 0961825170arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Rueben, B. (2005). Communication and human behavior (5th ed.). Allyn and Bacon. Available through Amazon: 0205417906arrow 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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