LIBR 202-01
LIBR 202-03
Information Retrieval
Spring 2014 Greensheet

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

Greensheet Links
D2L Login and Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore
LIBR 202 Resources
Online Resource
Supplemental Readings
DB/TextWorks Download

The Greensheet is a course syllabus which may be revised before or during the semester.

Students will be automatically enrolled in the D2L course site on the first day of the semester. Students need to logon to the course site no later than the second day of the semester.


This course covers principles of information retrieval and database design and their application to information systems and services. Emphasis is on models of user information seeking behavior, human information processing, and their relationship to information retrieval systems.


Complete LIBR 203: Online Social Networking: Technology and Tools 
This is a mandatory 1 unit course that introduces students to the various e-learning tools used in the SLIS program, including Collaborate and Second Life. This course must be completed by all new SLIS students within the first 4 weeks of their first semester. If you have questions about this course, e-mail Debbie Faires or Dale David.

For more information, see

Starting Requirements
Please do the following by January 23 at 12 noon PST:

General Requirements

  • Check the course site at least every two days for announcements and discussion posts and subscribe by email to appropriate discussion areas.
  • Submit assignments by the due date - always Tuesdays at noon. Late assignments are not accepted.

Technology Requirements


Topic / Activity Student Learning Objectives Point Value
Seminar 1: Information Architecture & Retrieval    
Reading Quiz 1 1 10 points
Homework 1: Attributes & Data structures 1 10 points
Seminar 2: Representation of Information    
Reading Quiz 2 3    10 points
Homework 2: Description & Database Design 2 4 7 10 points
Seminar 3: Information Systems and the User    
Reading Quiz 3 5 6 10 points
Homework 3: Subject Analysis & Evaluation 2 3 4 7 10 points
Discussion Participation 5 6 7 30 points
Presentation 5 6 7 10 points
Total Points   100 points

Course Grading

Assignments will contribute to your final grade as follows:

  • Quizzes (30 points)
    The three quizzes are open-book, untimed, and all questions may be viewed at once. Students are given several days to complete each quiz. The quizzes are designed to review the material covered and offer students a semi-structured way to apply new knowledge.
  • Homework (30 points)
    Students 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 students to demonstrate  mastery of the course learning objectives. Work will be assessed on how well it integrates concepts from the readings, supplementary materials (lectures) and class discussions.

    Exemplary work displays obvious mastery of the learning concepts addressed in the assignment. Descriptions are thorough and illustrated well with the appropriate combination of text and visuals. The submission is closely tied to material from the reading. The student has commented on work by fellow students with depth and helpful insights.
  • Participation (30 points)
    Each week, students will interact with the learning community using the class message board and optional synchronous meetings in Collaborate. The instructor will post questions occasionally and students should comment on posts from colleagues.

    Exemplary contributions correctly apply course concepts, theories, or materials and then provide substantive and encouraging feedback to fellow learners. Posts apply relevant professional, personal, or other real-world experiences and tie in applicable resources beyond assigned reading.
  • Presentation (10 points)
    Student will prepare brief reports on various IR topics and present them live to classmates in the Collaborate meeting room. Students may choose a time that best suits their schedule.

Course Calendar

A complete course calendar is available from the course site at the start of the semester.

  • January 23 - First day of instruction and class opens for access
  • January 28 - Due date for Discussion Forum introduction post (noon)
  • January 28 - (5-6:30pm) class meeting in Collaborate. Access instructions will be emailed to students.
  • February 18 - Quiz 1 due (noon) < Date changed 2/10/14
  • February 18 - Homework 1 due (noon)
  • March 11 - Quiz 2 due (noon)
  • March 18 - Homework 2 due (noon)
  • March 18 - (5-6:30pm) Guest speaker & class meeting
  • March 24 - March 28 - Spring recess
  • April 15 - Quiz 3 due (noon)
  • April 22 - Homework 3 due (noon)
  • April 22 - May 6 - Required live student presentations in Collaborate.  (Slots will be arranged by survey to accommodate everyone’s schedule.)
  • May 13 - Last day of instruction

Materials in addition to the required textbooks will be made available on the course site, YouTube and on Course Reserves:

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 has no prequisite requirements.

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Define metadata, both structure and representation, and identify standards such as the MARC record, LC Classification, Dublin Core, and NISO 39.19.
  2. Create a user model, articulate the information needs of the intended users, and design a database information retrieval system to meet those needs.
  3. Use Boolean logic to query the databases they create as class projects. with effective searches in both natural language and controlled vocabulary fields
  4. Evaluate a database information retrieval system, including its indexing, using standard measures such as recall and precision.
  5. Articulate fundamental concepts of information-seeking behavior and their application in the design and evaluation of systems.
  6. Explain basic principles of good interface design and be able to evaluate interfaces using those principles.
  7. Define terms reflecting fundamental concepts of information retrieval, apply them in analyses of their projects, and use them in class discussions.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

LIBR 202 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. J Describe the fundamental concepts of information-seeking behaviors.


Required Textbooks:

  • Morville, P. (2005). Ambient findability: What we find changes who we become. O'Reilly Media. Available through Amazon: 0596007655. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Rowley, J. & Harley, R. (2008). Organizing knowledge: An introduction to managing access to information (4th ed.). Ashgate. Available through Amazon: 0754644316 arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Recommended Textbooks:

  • Takahashi, M. (2009). The manga guide to databases. No Starch Press. Available through Amazon: 1593271905arrow 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.