LIBR 281-01
LIBR 281-10
Seminar in Contemporary Issues
Topic: Digital Divide
Summer 2009 Greensheet

Dr. Paul M. Christensen         
Office Location: Virtual, Indianola, WA
Home Phone: 360-297-2965
Office Hours: Available by e-mail and telephone, best times for telephone are
Any evening 6-11pm PST

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

Students must self-enroll in the Angel section of the course NLT May 31. I will be distributing the access code to registered students through the MySJSU Messaging system no later than May 29.


Welcome to a new elective course on the Digital Divide. I am pleased that you have decided to enroll. I hope you will enjoy the educational experience and ponder some of the challenges of your professional career and personal development. Taking an online course can be a challenging for both instructor and student; however, by closely working together we can make this a positive and rewarding experience. In the meantime, please familiarize yourself with this Greensheet and Angel. Pay special attention to the calendar, and announcements to keep track of weekly assignments and other expectations.

Course Description

This class is designed to explore complex issues of the library/information science profession including:

  • Understand the digital divide and digital inequality.
  • Understand the role of libraries and digital inequality.
  • Assess library policies and efforts that address digital divide issues.

Course Objectives

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Know the foundations and structure of the information profession
  • Locate, evaluate and utilize scholarly and professional literature
  • Demonstrate in-depth understanding of major issues in library and information science
  • Demonstrate the ability to prepare and present oral and written reports.

Assignments and evaluative measure in this course that further this outcome:

  • Readings in the professional literature; reading the instructor’s discusion notes posted on Angel; literature review and analysis; peer review; position papers; the research paper; group collaboration and participation in the online Discussion Forums.

This course supports the following SLIS Core Competencies:

  • Articulate the ethics, values and foundational principles of library and information professionals and their role in the promotion of intellectual freedom;
  • Compare the environments and organizational settings in which library and information professionals practice;
  • Recognize the social, cultural and economic dimensions of information use;
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the use of current information and communication technologies, and other related technologies, as they affect the resources and uses of libraries and other types of information providing entities;
  • Use service concepts, principles and techniques that facilitate information access, relevance, and accuracy for individuals or groups of users;
  • Demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for group work, collaborations and professional level presentations;
  • Evaluate programs and services on specified criteria; and
  • Contribute to the cultural, economic, educational and social well-being of our communities.

Course Requirements

Course Participation
Students are expected to participate throughout the entire session, contribute on the Discussion Forum, explaining why you agree or disagree with others by sharing meaningful thoughts, ideas, resources, etc.  (Do not just write: I agree) As new concepts evolve, re-label the subject lines so that “threads” of information are easy to follow.  It is important to express your own opinions while also being respectful; suggest constructive ideas for improvement while evaluating other’s work; pose relevant questions; compare and contrast ideas; share and critique resources; communicate and collaborate.

Course Format
This course will be taught online via Angel.  Some office hours maybe held via Elluminate.

Primary Requirements
The primary course requirements are that students will:

  • Have access to the computing environment as described at
  • Use Angel and refer to Tutorials as needed at
  • Participate in collaborative sessions as needed in  Elluminate
  • Use an up-to-date virus protection program to scan all assignments before submitting them electronically via Angel’s upload file manager. 
  • Complete readings, assignments and discussion topics as detailed on Angel;
  • Complete required exercises and assignments to assess learning and provide practical experience and application;
  • Contribute substantive comments to the weekly class discussion forums;
  • Complete all work by the respective due dates;
  • It is important to pay attention to time management in order to complete an online course successfully. Although you can access the course materials online at anytime, plan to set aside time each week to complete the readings and assignments. It is easy to get behind, so be organized, disciplined and self motivated. Please check the site regularly for announcements, assignments, disscussion forums questions, etc.

Course Calendar

Week 1June 1Introduction & Digital divide-origins & history
Week 2June 8Digital divide-origins, history & evolution.
Week 3June 15From digital divide to digital inequality
Week 4June 22Different approaches to digital inequality
Week 5June 29Libraries, e-democracy, e-community
Week 6July 6Service learning and public librarianship
Week 7July 13Digital divide and education
Week 8July 20Global digital divide
Week 9July 27Your community and digital divide/inequality
Week 10August 3Library Practices and Policies that address digital divide-
Overcoming Digital Divide

An overview of the assignments for this course:

  1. Participation in Online Discussions
    Each week you will be assigned:
    • An online ‘lecture’ or discussion notes will be provided by the instructor, along with postings by individual students of some of the readings of the week. A question or questions will also be part of the instructor discussion post and student's reading post.
    • Each week students will submit a posting to the discussion forum based on the above.  Each student is expected to participate in the discussion.  There will be a grade based upon the content and frequency of postings to the online discussions. All discussion forums are due each week by midnight Sunday.
  2. Topic and Outline
    A 1-2 page proposal of the topic and outline for your final paper.
  3. Prospectus 
    A two page prospectus with a least ten references detailing the content of your final paper.
  4. Peer Review
    One to two page comment paper providing insight and feedback on another students prospectus.
  5. Final Paper
    Ten to twelve page paper addressing one of the core topics in the class. All topics must be approved before beginning research.
  6. Course Article Review
    I will provide a list of readings for the course. Each student is expected to provide a one-two page written review and analysis of one article. 

    The written reviews are due by the Tuesday of each week that the class will read the article. The article review should also include one or two thought provoking questions for class discussion forums.
  7. Wikipedia Revision
    As a group, select a major topic of the course covered by wikipedia and revise that article  following standard research guidelines.

Above standard work clearly displays one or more of the following criteria:

  • Originality in the approach to the assignment
  • Greater depth of analysis and overall treatment than required by the assignment
  • Making substantive comments to discussion board forums by identifying issues, resources and approached pertaining to the topic(s) under consideration
  • Critical evaluation of the readings by comparing them to other authors/sources
  • Superior organizational, written, or communication skills in the presentation of the material

Correct usage of academic English, spelling, grammar, and composition are expected; points will deducted for failure to do so.  Use formal (non- personal) tone, and avoid slang.  Be certain to structure your paper or comments to follow the assignment guidelines.

Students will be evaluated on the basis of online participation, written assignments, and a final project with the following points:

Due Date
Discussion Forums        
On going
Proposed Topic & Outline
June 14, 2009
June 21, 2009
Peer Review
July   12, 2009
Final Paper
August 7, 2009
Course Article Review
as assigned-by Tuesday weekly
Wikipedia revision-Group project                   
July 19, 2009
Total Points

Assignment Due Dates
(Dates are subject to change with fair notice)
Assignments must be submitted before 11:59 pm on the due date. Plan ahead because Angel could malfunction at any time. Angel also has downtime in the early morning.

Assignment Requirements
Requirements for all assignments:

  • Title page with:
    • Name of the assignment
    • Your first and last name
    • Date
    • Digital divide
    • Libr 281-01 or 281-10 
  • After the title page, use the following class header on the top left-hand side of each page: LIBR 281-01 Last Name   Assignment Name Summer 2009
  • Use this same class header for the file name when attaching the assignment in Angel  also in the Subject line when you email your instructor.
  • Use of any style manual is acceptable,  (APA, MLA etc.) just be consistent. 
  • Number the pages consistent with style manual. 
  • The number of pages of text required for each assignment does not include the title page, abstract, references, and appendixes (if/when used)

Late Assignments
Late assignments will not be accepted without prior notification and approval of the instructor, and with the understanding that there may be a reduction in number of points earned for the assignment. Assignments submitted up to one week after the due date will be subject to a possible 10% grade reduction. Assignments more than a week late will not be accepted.

Incompletes will be assigned ONLY in cases of documented family or medical emergency.

Textbooks and Readings


Required Textbook:

  • Osborne, R. & Hayden, C. D. (2004). From outreach to equity: Innovative models of library policy and practice. Chicago: American Library Association. Available through Amazon: 0838935419. 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.

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