LIBR 285-15
Research Methods in Library and Information Science
Topic: Assessment of Information Literacy Instruction
Fall 2014 Greensheet

Dr. Peta Wellstead
Other contact information:
on request I can phone you (I live in New Zealand)
Office location: off campus
Office Hours: virtual by e-mail and by appointment

I encourage you to email me at anytime with a question or an issue of concern, and to post to the forums regularly for advice from the class. Please email to arrange an appointment for me to talk on the phone or online. I am available to Skype with you if this is convenient (take note of the International Date Line and how this impacts on the time in NZ - it is already tomorrow!)

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Canvas Information: This course will be available from Monday August 25, 2014 . You will be enrolled into the site automatically.

Course Description

Covers fundamental principles, processes, values and roles of research for professional application in information organizations. Students will become critical consumers of research products and learn the basic skills of evaluating, planning, designing, executing, and applying research. In addition to a general research methods class, which examines a variety of research methodologies, iSchool offers a number of applied or specialized sections of LIBR 285 for students to choose from.

LIBR 285 is required for all students who entered the MLIS program from Spring 2007. Effective for students who enter the program in Fall 2010 LIBR 285 must be taken within the first 24 units.

Waiver of LIBR 285: See Waiver option for those who completed a graduate-level methods course AND completed a thesis or dissertation as part of a previous graduate degree.

Section Description: Assessment of Information Literacy Instruction

Like all sections of LIBR285, this course will provide you with an introduction to research methods in library and information science. The course will have a particular focus on research methods to evaluate and assess information literacy instruction. In the context of the course information literacy will be defined broadly and the course content will be relevant for information professionals who teach in a wide variety of settings, not just those in academic and school libraries with formal Information Literacy programmes. The course has a reflective element in order that you can to consider your own Information Literacy strengths and weaknesses and how this might impact on delivery of Information Literacy instruction to others.

Course Requirements

IRB Training Requirement
Complete the National Institute of Health’s online workshop titled: “Protecting Human Research Participants (PHRP).” Completion of this workshop is required by all San José State University faculty and students intending to do research with living human subjects. The course can be located at: link goes to non-SJSU web site 

You must post your certificate to the discussion group for the IRB Training.


  • Literature Review: Students will compose a research question and identify six relevant studies and discussions in the professional and academic literature, and write a literature review. (SLO, 2 and 3). The literature review should focus on the IL needs of online distance learners undertaking tertiary study.
  • Assessment Design Project: Students will develop a small information literarcy assessment tool for their user group (identified in the literature review) including writing learning outcomes.  
  • Data Analysis: Students will analyse a data set (provided by the lecturer) and write a research report (SLO 4) based on their literature review.
  • Weekly activities: Students will participate in weekly course discussions and activities, including the IRB Training Requirement (SLO 1,4). Students will develop a reflective approach to their learning (SLO 3).

Course Calendar
Assignment Due Dates

  • Literature Review - Due September 26 (end Week 5) (1200 words)
  • Information Literacy Assessment Tool Development - Due November 1 (end Week 10)
    • Develop four learning outcomes for your assessment tool.
    • Develop your assessment tool using an appropriate research method (max 10 questions).
  • Peer Review - Due November 10 - 14 (Week 12)
    • Your lecturer will post your assessment tools to the online forum for comment and discussion. You must comment on the work of 2 other students. 
  • Analyise Data from Information Literacy Assessment Tool - Due December 5 (end Week 15)
    • Retrieve the data set provided by your lecturer
    • Analyse the data in light of what you learned from your literature review
    • Write a research report integrating components of your literature review (1600 words).
  • Write a 600 word reflection on your learning outcomes for this course - Due December 8 (Classes finish December 10)

The assignments are worth a total of 750 points.

  • Literature Review - 200 points
  • Information Literacy Assessment Tool - 200 points
    • Development of 4 learning outcomes (40 points)
    • Development of assessment tool using an appropriate research method (100 points)
    • Peer review (60 points)
  • Data Analysis and Research Report - 250 points
    • Analysis of data - 100 points
    • Research report (including high quality writing and referencing) - 150 points
  • Reflection - 100 points

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

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Understand the difference between primary and secondary research.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of fundamental principles and processes of conducting research.
  3. Articulate the research method(s) covered in the course, appropriately apply them, and understand their strengths and liabilities.
  4. Understand appropriate data collection/analysis tools, and ethical concerns related to research.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

LIBR 285 supports the following core competencies:

  1. L Demonstrate understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods and of the evaluation and synthesis of research literature.


Required Textbooks:

  • Radcliff, C. J. (2007). A practical guide to information literacy assessment for academic librarians. Libraries Unlimited. Available through Amazon: 1591583403arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Recommended Textbooks:

  • Creswell, J. W.(2013). Research design: Qualitiative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (4th ed.). SAGE. Available through Amazon: 1452226105arrow 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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