Seminar in Contemporary Issues
Topic: Intercultural Communication
Fall 2012 Greensheet
D2L Login and Tutorials
D2L Information: This course will be available beginning August 22nd. You will be enrolled into the site automatically.
Throughout most of history, people around the globe lived in small communities with little exposure to other cultures. While there were always trade routes and diverse cities, most people lived in isolated rural areas far from others who were different from them.
Today we live in increasingly pluralistic communities. Whether you plan to design websites, instruct K-12 students, provide reference services in an academic or special library, develop library programs for children and adults, or lead an information center, you will likely find yourself needing to communicate with those with completely different perspectives, values, religions, cultural references, gestures and symbols. Meaning, context and intent are often lost, sometimes with devastating consequences.
This course will help you identify and solve cultural differences so essential for navigating a flat world. This course is designed to give you very practical tools to understand the worldview and experiences of others, helping you become a more competent professional, no matter what your career goals.
Learn about the differences between individual and collective cultures, why saving face can be more important than being right, how power is distributed differently between groups, and how various people rely on certain values for avoiding or dealing with conflict. You will interact as you watch films and video clips, read foundational texts, examine timely examples straight from news headlines, and learn from field pioneers.
You obviously need a computer with regular internet access (broadband recommended, especially for video assignments) and an environment conducive to learning. You need to obtain the required books, and have a means for accessing a film your group chooses to watch and critique.
- Cultural visit (100 points)
This assignment satisfies learning objectives 1, 2, 3, & 7. You will visit a gathering of your chosen culture. This could be a religious service, community meeting, cultural even or other formal or informal get-together. There you will pay attention to cultural beliefs, values & communication styles. Afterwards you will write a report to the class (1-2 pages single-spaced).
- Culture paper (200 points)
This assignment satisfies learning objectives 1, 2 & 5. This paper has five main sections that need to be emphasized: 1) History of the culture, 2) Cultural beliefs, 3) Cultural values, 4) Communication styles and, 5) Self-reflection of this process (copare & contrast with your culture). This will be a 10-12 page paper double-spaced, with a 2-3 page summary posted for your classmates in a discussion thread.
- Group projects (100 points)
You will participate in two group projects. The first is to choose (as a group) an intercultural film you will all watch, being careful to identify principles you are learning in the course. You will then research background on the film and together, write a critique of the film from an intercultural perspective.
The second group project is to do a thorough search for key and timely articles that deal with library and information science and intercultural communication. You will divide up the search, then compile your list into a final report. If you have access to digital copies of the articles, you are requested to attachor post links for them to your report.
- Final paper (200 points)
This assignment satisfies learning objectives 1-7 as well as core competencies C & M. Your final paper will be a very practical application of some aspect of intercultural communication with your chosen field. It will be the culminating expression of what you learned and how you plan to implement it in your career. This will be a semester-long project; note your topic is due week 5, and you are expected to post updates on your progress throughout the semester.
- Aug 22 - partial week - Print & read syllabus, locate texts, make introductions on D2L
- Week 1 - Introduction to intercultural communication, communication & culture
- Week 2 - Social cognition, communcation styles, cultural perceptions, values & dimensions
- Week 3 - Cultural dimensions, intro to conflict management, language & culture
- Week 4 - Role of history in cultures, nonverbal communication, relating course to SIL, cultural visit & interview due
- Week 5 - Intercultural competence, intercultural relationship development, groups watch, discuss & present critique on film
- Week 6 - Diversity & multiculturalism, culture paper due
- Week 7 - Conflict management, listening between co-cultures
- Week 8 - Culture shock and adaptation
- Week 9 - Trends in intercultural communication and LIS, group article list due
- Week 10 - Everyday intercultural spaces
- Week 11 - Intercultural communication competence
- Week 12 - Itercultural training
- Week 13 - Thanksgiving
- Week 14 - Ethics, application
- Week 15 - Course wrap-up, final paper due, course evaluations
- Culture visit 100 points
- Culture paper 200 points
- Discussion board participation 300 points
- Group assignments 100 points
- Final exam 100 points
- Final paper 200 points
- TOTAL POSSIBLE POINTS 1000 (see grading scale below)
Other Relevant Information:
A note from your course facilitator: My hope is that you will find this course both fun and informative. I look forward to sharing experiences and insights with each of you. I trust we will all grow as we share this particular aspect of our journey, forming an online community that makes for challenging and rewarding experience together.
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.
LIBR 200, LIBR 202, LIBR 204, Other prerequisites may be added depending on content.
Student Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:
- Articulate major issues and problems related to metadata.
- Apply current metadata terminology and concepts, including major content and encoding schemes for digital libraries.
- Analyze and critically apply different approaches to metadata creation, storage, management, and dissemination within different information communities for different purposes.
- Critically analyze and compare different metadata standards and their applicability to different contexts, and apply basic metadata quality metrics to assess the relative quality of different types of descriptive metadata.
- Create descriptive metadata for digital resources, and design and plan metadata database templates for digital resource projects.
- Demonstrate an understanding of information policy issues and services from an ethical standpoint, as well as noting the differences between professional ethics and legality.
- Build the skills needed to make decisions on complex cases related to information access, services, technology and society.
- Analyze the importance of professional conduct in the workplace, including those elements related to interpersonal interactions, sensitivity to organizational culture, ability to take initiative and risks, and socially responsible behavior as it relates to ethical (professional) dilemmas.
Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)
LIBR 281 supports the following core competencies:
- A Articulate the ethics, values, and foundational principles of library and information professionals and their role in the promotion of intellectual freedom.
- C Recognize and describe cultural and economic diversity in the clientele of libraries or information organizations.
- E Design, query and evaluate information retrieval systems.
- F Use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital items and collections.
- G Demonstrate understanding of basic principles and standards involved in organizing information, including classification, cataloging, metadata, or other systems.
- Arasaratnam, L. (2011). Perception and communication in intercultural spaces. Lanham, MD: University Press Of America. Available through Amazon: 0761854592
- Chen, G., & Starosta, W. J. (2005). Foundations of intercultural communication. Lanham, MD: University Press Of America. Available through Amazon: 0761832297
- Gordon, R. S. (2004). The Librarian's Guide to Writing for Publication. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. Available through Amazon: 0810848953.
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|
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).
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."
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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