MARA 284-10
Seminar in Archives & Records Management
Spring 2013 Greensheet

Dr. Erika L. Farr
Office Hours: Thursdays 6-7pm PT (via Blackboard Collaborate)

Greensheet Links
D2L Login and Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

D2L Information: Students will be automatically enrolled in the D2L site for this course. The course will be available to enrolled students on 23 January 2013.

Course Description

This course explores current issues and practices in archives and records management. The topic of this course will focus on policies, practices, and standards for digital preservation as it relates to the acquisition and management of born-digital collections. Over the course of the semester, we will explore the challenges of appraising and acquiring born-digital collections, current approaches to processing born-digital and hybrid collections, applications of digital forensics to archival content, and emerging trends in developing access tools for twenty-first century archival content.

Course Requirements

Course Topics:

  • Week 1: Introductions and Beginnings
  • Week 2: An Introduction to Digital Preservation
  • Week 3: Digital Preservation in Libraries and Archives
  • Week 4: An Introduction to born-digital and hybrid collections
  • Week 5: Appraisal, donor relations, and policy making
  • Week 6: Acquiring born-digital materials
  • Week 7: Forensics in the Archives?
  • Week 8: Stewardship and data management, part one (technical metadata)
  • Week 9: Stewardship and data management, part two (technical infrastructure)
  • Week 10: SPRING BREAK
  • Week 11: Arrangement and description  (triage and initial assessment)
  • Week 12: Arrangement and description (processing and descriptive metadata)
  • Week 13: Web Archiving
  • Week 14: Researcher use and access
  • Week 15: Assessing preservation and use
  • Week 16: The future of archives

Course Assignments:

  • Assignment #1: Online Workshop Review [2 page paper]
    For this assignment, each student will participate in an online digital preservation workshop and then write a brief critique of the experience. The review should be professional in tone, well written and concise. Assignment details are included on the course D2L site. Advances SLOs 1, 4, and 5.
  • Assignment #2: Real World Problem and Analysis [3 – 5 page paper]
    In this 3-5 page paper, each student will identify a real world digital preservation problem using current events or other news and then propose a solution or strategy to that problem using information acquired in class readings or other relevant research. Assignment details are included on the course D2L site. Advances SLOs 3 and 7.
  • Assignment #3: Digital Archives Tool Review [Class presentation via BB Collaborate]
    This assignment requires each student to select a tool intended or predisposed for use in digital archives, experiment with that tool, and then create a presentation that introduces that tools, its uses, as well as its advantages and disadvantages. Assignment details are included on the course D2L site. Advances SLOs 2, 3, 4, and 7.
  • Assignment #4: Case study: Creating a digital archives plan [8 -10 page paper]
    This assignment will be the final project for the course. After selecting an instituional scenario from those provided by the instructor, each student will create a plan for establishing a digital archives program. The plan will need to include policy and guidelines for acquisition, data managment, digital preservation, and user access. Assignment details are included on the course D2L site. Advances SLOs 2, 3, 5, and 6.
  • Participation: Your participation in course activities accounts for twenty percent of your grade and is earned through participation in discussion forums and either attendance at lectures or viewing of recorded lectures. Attendance at two live lectures is required.

Course Calendar
Dates for assignments and detailed course calendar available on course D2L site.

Course Grading
Grading will be based on a total accumulation of 100 possible points, distributed as follows: 

Assignment #1: Online Workshop Review 15 points
Assignment #2: Real World Problem 20 points
Assignment #3: Digital Archives Tool Review 20 points
Assignment #4: Case Study 25 points
Participation 20 point

Please submit all assignments via D2L. Naming conventions for files will be discussed during the first week of class, but file names must always include your last name and “assign#” (e.g. farr_assign1.doc).

The majority of our course readings will be available through out D2L course site.

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

MARA 200, MARA 202, MARA 204 for all MARA students. These prerequisites are waived for non-MARA majors. 

Student Learning Outcomes

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

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

MARA 284 supports the following core competencies:

  1. MARA 284 has no supported core competencies defined in the database.


No Textbooks For This Course.

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.