LIBR 251-10
Web Usability
Summer 2012 Greensheet

Jeremy W. Kemp, Ed.D.
Office: Clark Hall, 418E
(408) 393-5270
Office Hours:
By phone or appointment virtually

Greensheet Links

Canvas (after June 4th)
iSchool eBookstore


This course is taught online using CANVAS (not Desire2Learn). Students are automatically enrolled in the CANVAS site and receive an email with login instructions by June 4th.

See the getting started tutorial:

Please complete this survey before entering the class:

Course Description

By examining theory, methodologies, and real-life cases, Libr 251 offers a framework for developing user-friendly interfaces to control information systems and services. Students will learn the principles of user-centric design and style, as well as how to choose appropriate interaction methods for particular circumstances and populations. The course will also touch on emerging issues, such as technology trends and their relationship with library services.

Course Requirements


  • Reading quizzes (20 points) – You will complete two automated quizzes based upon content in the reading assignments. -- SLO #1, SLO #4, SLO #5

  • Homework Projects (30 points) – You will submit three documents including text and images to convey understanding of the core topics in the class. Each assignment document builds on skills developed in the previous activities. These follow the quizzes and allow you to demonstrate your mastery of the learning objectives listed above. Your work will be assessed on how well it integrates concepts from the readings, supplementary materials (lectures) and class discussions. Your last homework is also presented in an Elluminate session. SLO #1, SLO #2, SLO #3, SLO #4, SLO #5, SLO #8, SLO #9 

  • Final project (20 Points) – This capstone project leverages all the skills from the homework projects in one design activity. You are expected to create designs, implement your ideas and evaluate the effectiveness of your item(s). This project will also help you synthesize what you have learned and package it as evidence for the degree's culminating e-portfolio. SLO #1SLO #2SLO #3SLO #4SLO #5SLO #8SLO #9   

  • Participation (30 points) - Each week, you will interact with our learning community using the CANVAS message board and optional synchronous meetings in Collaborate. The instructor will post questions occasionally and students should comment on posts from colleagues. SLO #5, SLO #6, SLO #7

Course Grading
Assignments will contribute to your final grade as follows:

  • 20% Reading quizzes (two)
  • 30% Homeworks (three plus presentation)
  • 20% Final Project
  • 30% Participation

Course Calendar

  • June 4 - First day of instruction and CANVAS opens for access
  • June 6 - (6-7:30pm PDT) optional class orientation (Collaborate link to follow
  • June 8 - Due date for Discussion Forum Introduction (noon)
  • June 13 - Quiz 1 (closes at noon)
  • June 20 - Homework 1 (noon)
  • July 3 - Quiz 2 (closes at noon)
  • July 11 - Homework 2 (noon)
  • July 11 - (6-7:30pm) Optional Collaborate session with discussion and guest speakers from the field. Will be recorded.
  • Aug 1 - Homework 3 (noon)
  • Aug 3 - Aug 8 - Required student presentation in Collaborate. (times vary)
  • Aug 10 - Final project (noon)
  • Aug 10 - Last day of instruction

A detailed course outline is posted on CANVAS including a list of readings and project due dates for each week. Dates are subject to change with fair notice.

Technology Requirements
We will use several technologies. Do not take the class if your computer and Internet access do not meet the home computing environment requirements:

You will need a microphone headset for your computer. Follow the Collaborate equipment requirements:

In addition, you will need to be flexible and innovative in your use of various tools for designing and producing your information products including: screen capture, image editor, image scanner, MS Powerpoint or some other drawing tool, etc.

Policy on Lateness
Late assignments will not be accepted. Get your work in on time! All assignments are due at noon.

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. Critique and improve Web sites, software, and other library-related systems.
  2. Master rough sketching, rapid ideation, and prototyping.
  3. Refine interaction designs by studying the user's experience in a structured setting.
  4. Apply the principles of heuristic evaluation to iterative design.
  5. Explore and implement affective computing, aesthetics, and narrative in computer interfaces.
  6. Apply theoretical and practical principles of design, usability, and accessibility.
  7. Reapply the fundamentals of good design to other interactive media besides the Web.
  8. Create designs that use familiar information architecture and navigation elements to meet specific needs.
  9. Create strategies for maximizing usage by recognizing when designs deny access to people with certain disabilities.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

LIBR 251 supports the following core competencies:

  1. E Design, query and evaluate information retrieval systems.
  2. G Demonstrate understanding of basic principles and standards involved in organizing information, including classification, cataloging, metadata, or other systems.
  3. H Demonstrate proficiency in identifying, using, and evaluating current and emerging information and communication technologies.


Required Textbooks:

  • Saffer, D. (2009). Designing for Interaction (2nd ed.). New Riders. Available through Amazon: 0321643399 arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Tidwell, J. (2011). Designing Interfaces 2nd Edition. O'Reilly. Available through Amazon: 1449379702. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Recommended Textbooks:

  • Sharp, H, Rogers, Y, & Preece, J (2007). Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Edition. John Wiley & Sons. Available through Amazon: 0470018666. 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.

icon showing link leads to the PDF file viewer known as Acrobat Reader Download Adobe Acrobat Reader to access PDF files.

More accessibility resources.