LIBR 281-15
Seminar in Contemporary Issues
Topic: The Emerging Future: Technology Issues and Trends
Fall 2014 Greensheet

Dr. S Alman
Office Hours:
(By Appointment)

Greensheet Links
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Canvas Information: This course will be available beginning Monday, August 25, 2014. You will self-enroll after receiving an invitation to join the course.

Course Description

Students will gain skills to plan strategically for the changing technological landscape. The course design enables students to participate in futuring activities through readings, video presentations, guest lectures, interaction with today’s futurists, and individual research.  After an historical overview of forecasting students will become immersed in the literature and practices of current technological futurists, gain skills to plan strategically for the changing technological landscape, develop a grant proposal outline to implement a new technology with a partner institution, and create a digital poster/infogram that focuses on a new technological area that can impact the future.

Course Requirements

Mode of instruction
This course will be entirely asynchronous. We will use Canvas for online discussions, for the submission of assignments, and for accessing readings and course materials.  We will also use METIS, a beta web content repository being developed by HP.

For detailed requirements and grading rubrics for each of the assignments, please see documents in Canvas. Please note that the due dates listed below are subject to change with fair notice.

  1. Tech, Journal, and Product Watch Reports, Participation & Engagement* (Supports SLO #3; Core Competency H): Students will interact weekly via the course learning community. Students will be actively reading a wide variety of publications and scanning for new products, and they will report their findings by posting to METIS. 
    1. Students will share their work during several points:
      1. Week 8 :What’s the Next Big Thing?(What have students identified to date in the course in preparation for the final digital presentation)
      2. Weeks 14-15 (Digital Presentation).
      * Students will also be responsible for participating in weekly activities such as the Library 2.0 conference or scanning for positions that include a futures aspect.
  2. History of Forecasting and Futuring (Supports SLO #1, #2, #4, #5; Core Competency H): Students will have the option to develop one of the following: paper (suited for submission to the iSchool Student Research Journal), LibGuide, or media-based presentation relating to the history of forecasting and essential resources to explore emerging technologies.
  3. Grant Proposal Collaboration. (Supports SLO #6, Core Competency N) Using grant proposal materials and strategic planning skills students will develop a plan for a technological partnership.
  4. Book Review. (Supports SLO #3, Core Competency H) Students will select two (2) books from the course reading list and write a 1,000-word comparative review.  (THIS IS NOT A BOOK REPORT, and a link will be provided to a book review writing guide.)
  5. Digital Poster or Infogram on Emerging Future Technologies. (Supports SLO #5, #7, Core Competency H, N) Students will develop and present a digital poster or infogram that focuses on a new technological area that can impact the future.

Late Assignments Policy
There will be a late penalty for assignments turned in after the due date without prior approval. If your life circumstances require you to seek an extension, please do so at least several days before the assignment is due. No extensions will be granted for discussion posts.

Course Calendar

(Dates Subject to Change with Fair Notice)

  • Part 1: Futures Overview
    Weeks 1-4 (August 25 – September 21)
    • History and Keeping Current: Background, Techniques, Professional Societies, Publications
    • Emerging Technologies: Who and What to Watch
    • Environmental Scanning: Leadership and Management
    • Futurists
  • Part 2: Technological Innovations:
    Weeks 5-8 (September 22 – October 19)
    • Role of the World Wide Web: Past, Present & Future
    • Cutting Edge Technologies
    • Library 2.0 Conference Attendance (October 8-9)
    • What's the Next Big Thing?
  • Part 3: Key Impact Factors
    Weeks 9-12 (October 20 – November 16)
    • Book Reviews
    • Big Data (Michelle Chen
    • Cybersecurity (Tonia San Nicolas)
    • Funding and Collaborations
    • Digital Poster Design
  • Part 4: Futuring
    Weeks 13-15 (November 17 – December 7)
    • Careers for Futurists
    • Digital Presentations
    • Wrap-up

Major assignments are spaced 2-weeks apart in most instances.

Tech Watch Reports, Participation & Special Topics

Attend Library 2.0 Conference

Locate Futures Jobs
3 H METIS & Discussion Forum

Discussion Forum

Discussion Forum
30 Weekly

October 8-9

November 17
History of Futures 1,2,4,5 H Paper, LibGuide, OR Digital Presentation 20 September 28
Book Reviews 3 H, M Essay 15 October 26
Grant Proposal Outline 6 M, N Written outline 10 November 9
Emerging Future Technologies 5, 7 H, M, N Digital Poster or Infogram 25 DRAFT October 12

FINAL November 30

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 200, LIBR 202, LIBR 204, Other prerequisites may be added depending on content

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Interpret the ways in which factors such as environmental scanning, big data, and cyber security impact the planning and implementation of future technologies.
  2. Plan strategically for the changing technological landscape.
  3. Identify and track the various publications, organizations, and trade shows that highlight new technologies.
  4. Identify and discuss the history of forecasting.
  5. Select the appropriate resources to use in planning for new technologies.
  6. Develop a digital poster on the future of technology.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

LIBR 281 supports the following core competencies:

  1. H Demonstrate proficiency in identifying, using, and evaluating current and emerging information and communication technologies.
  2. N Evaluate programs and services based on measurable criteria.


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.

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