MARA 211-10
Records Access, Storage and Retrieval
Summer 2012 Greensheet

Jason Kaltenbacher, MA
Office hours: By appointment.  Appointments can be via telephone or online.

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D2L Information: This course will be available beginning June 4, 2012. You will be enrolled into the site automatically.

Course Description

Examination of records systems, storage, retrieval; filing systems; fundamentals of information retrieval; active file systems and operation; records center operations; special storage; archival reference and access concepts; legal and ethical considerations; privacy and copyright; user communities.

Course Requirements


Lectures, discussions, assignments, and rubrics will be posted to the Desire2Learn course management system.  Links to additional materials will be provided in Desire2Learn as well.

Here is a brief summary of the assignments and points earned:

  • Student Introduction post to discussion board – 10 points
  • Weekly Discussion participation based on material covered – 10 points each X 10 = 100
  • Filing Review Quiz – 50 points SLO #1
  • Archives Fundamentals Review Quiz – 50 points SLO #6
  • Analytical Essay #1 – Records Storage Assessment – 50 points SLO #4
  • Analytical Essay #2 – Active File Management – 100 points SLO #5
  • Research Paper – 200 points – SLO #2 SLO #5 SLO #7

Total number of points for this class is 560.

NOTE: Students should provide their initial discussion board posts by Wednesday at midnight (pacific time) each week, to leave ample time for follow-up discussion.  The current’s week’s discussion board is set to close each Sunday at 11:59pm (pacific time).  Please participate actively in the required discussions.

Details for all of the discussions and assignments will be provided in Desire2Learn.

Assignments Due
Each academic week beings on Monday and ends on Sunday.  Assignments will be due by midnight (pacific time) on the due date.  

Course Calendar

Week/Dates Objectives & Readings Assignments
Week 1: June 4-10  Introduction to the concepts of a comprehensive records program which includes access, storage and retrieval; lifecycle of records

Read: Preface & Ch. 1 in Saffady text
Review lecture

Introductory post

Discussion board 
Week 2: June 11-17  Making records available to clients and stakeholders; policies and procedures; security considerations; vital records

Read: Ch. 6 in Saffady text; additional readings will be provided in class
Review lecture

Discussion board 
Week 3: June 18-24 Filing methodologies; Records management of active paper records

Read: Ch. 7 in Saffady text
Review lecture

Discussion board

Filing Review Quiz; Due: June 24th
Week 4: June 25 – July 1  Records centers (internal or outsourced); transfer and retrieval of records; services needed/provided; cloud-based services for electronic records

Read: Ch. 4 in Saffady text; additional readings will be provided in class
Review lecture

Discussion board

Submit Topic for  Research Paper; Due: July 1st
Week 5: July 2-8  Digitization and micrographics; legal credibility of electronic records

Read: Ch. 5 in Saffady text
Review lecture

Discussion board

Analytical Essay #1; Due: July 8th 
Week 6: July 9-15  Records management of active digital records; archival preservation of digital records

Read: Ch. 8 in Saffady text; additional readings will be provided in class 
Review lecture

Discussion board
Week 7: July 16-22 Archival processing of records; introduction to arrangement and description, finding aid development, EAD, description standards, controlled vocabulary, taxonomies

Readings will be provided in class
Review lecture

Discussion board

Analytical Essay #2; Due: July 22nd
Week 8: July 23-29 The archival repository; reference and access services

Readings will be provided in class in class
Review lecture

Discussion board

Archives Fundamentals Review Quiz; Due: July 29th 
Week 9: July 30 – August 5  Legal and ethical considerations; policies and procedures; privacy and copyright

Read: pp. 63-70; pp. 75-83 in Saffady text; additional readings will be provided in class
Review lecture

Discussion board
Week 10: August 6-10  Course review: from records creation to disposition, records manager to archivist

Readings will be provided in class
Review lecture

Discussion board

Research Paper; Due: August 10th

Please consider completing the SOTE (Student Opinion of Teaching Effectiveness). Optional but appreciated; Due: August 10th

**No class on Wednesday, July 4, 2012


  1. Course grades are determined by the accumulation of 560 possible points, distributed as outlined above under the course calendar.
  2. This class follows the standard SLIS Grading Scale. 
  3. Late assignments submitted after the assignment deadline will receive a 10% point reduction for each day based on the total point value of the assignment. For example, a 100 point assignment would have a daily 10 point reduction; a 50 point assignment would have a daily 5 point reduction.  
  4. Quizzes and discussion board postings will not be accepted after the due date.

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

Demonstrated computer literacy through completion of required new student online technology workshop

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Devise and apply basic filing systems for records.
  2. Apply the fundamentals of information retrieval concepts to archives and record repositories.
  3. Articulate the need for effective active file management, and demonstrate fundamental knowledge and application of active file systems, facilities and operations considerations.
  4. Analyze and conduct a records storage assessment.
  5. Compare, contrast and apply different methods of evaluating use and users of records and the varying factors that contribute to open or restricted access and retrieval of records by users.
  6. Understand how archival description, finding aids, EAD, description standards, controlled vocabulary, taxonomies assist in archival retrieval.
  7. Demonstrate fundamental understanding of the importance of legal compliance and ethical considerations as they apply to the use of records and their applicability to and impact on various user communities.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

MARA 211 supports the following core competencies:

  1. C Describe the evolution of systems that manage data, information, communication, and records in response to technological change.
  2. D Apply basic concepts and principles to identify, evaluate, select, organize, maintain, and provide access to physical and digital information assets.
  3. E Identify the standards and principles endorsed and utilized by data, archives, records, and information professionals.
  4. G Describe the legal requirements and ethical principles involved in managing physical and digital information assets and the information professional#s role in institutional compliance and risk management.
  5. H Describe current information technologies and best practices relating to the preservation, integrity, and security of data, records, and information.


Required Textbooks:

  • Saffady, W. (2011). Records and information management: Fundamentals of professional practice (2nd ed.). ARMA. Available through ARMAarrow 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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