INFO 287-11
Seminar in Information Science
Topic: Innovation and Participatory Practice in Libraries
Summer 2016 Syllabus

Ms. Monica R. Harris
Other contact information: Reach me on gmail chat (monicaharrisatwork)
Office location: Online
Office Hours: By appointment

Syllabus Links
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iSchool eBookstore

Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning June 6th, 6 am PDT unless you are taking an intensive or a one unit or two unit class that starts on a different day. In that case the class will open on the first day that the class meets. Course sites will close on August 12, 2016.

You will be enrolled into the Canvas site automatically.

Course Description

This course is intended as an introduction to participation and creativity in libraries, with a focus on DIY culture, innovation, and developing creativity through play. Students will be focused on the value of active participation in experiential learning, and will understand changes in technology and youth culture online that are influencing the social revolution. They will also be asked to explore the power of innovation and play in a cultural organization. Students will also cover the DIY and Maker movements, particularly as they relate to STEM education in libraries and other areas for informal learning. Emphasis is placed on encouraging visiting patrons to engage with their libraries as a place for intellectual growth and curiosity, through the design of surprising interactive spaces and mentorship of visitors in content creation.

Course Requirements


  • Weekly Posts
    Weekly Reflection Blog Posts (Due Each Week) - To cover a variety of topics (CLO #1, #3)
  • Projects
    • One (Due Week Three) - Games and Learning (CLO #2)
    • Two (Due Week Six) - Library or Museum Visit Report (CLO #3)
    • Three (Due Week Eight) -  LIBR 287 Maker Fair (CLO #4)
  • Final Project
    Develop a makerspace or participatory space plan for the community of student's choice. Includes a one year budget, programming, and evaluation plan. (CLO #1, #2, #3, #4)

Course Calendar
Course calendar is subject to change with fair notice.

  • Week One
    • Introduction to Participatory Culture and Learning in Libraries
    • Why is Creation Important?
    • Introduction to DIY Culture in Libraries
    • Due: Blog Post One
  • Week Two
    • Rise of Digital Youth Culture
    • Theory of Play in Learning
    • Due: Three Comments Week One
    • Due Blog Post Two
  • Week Three
    • Emerging Media Practices
    • Fandoms
    • Learning in a Culture of Change
    • Due: Three Comments Week Two
    • Due: Blog Post Three
    • Due: Project One - Games and Learning 
  • Week Four
    • Design Thinking
    • The Importance of Informal Learning
    • Participatory Exhibit Development in Nonprofits
    • Due: Three Comments Week Three
    • Due: Blog Post Four
  • Week Five
    • Evaluation of Participatory Experiences and Content Creation
    • Participatory Experiences and Hands On Learning
    • Due: Three Comments Week Four
    • Due: Blog Post Five
  • Week Six
    • How an Organization Innovates
    • Due: Three Comments Week Five
    • Due: Blog Post Six
    • Due: Project Two - Library or Museum Visit Report 
  • Week Seven
    • Introduction to Fab Labs and Makerspaces
    • Digital Production: Audio, Video, and Print
    • Computing: Coding, Linux, and Raspberry Pi
    • Due: Three Comments Week Six
    • Due: Blog Post Seven
  • Week Eight
    • Robotics and Electronics: Arduino, Sensors, and Lego
    • Fabrication: 3D Printing, Laser Cutters
    • Due: Three Comments Week Seven
    • Due: Blog Post Eight
    • Due: Project Three - LIBR 287 Maker Fair 
  • Week Nine
    • The Rise of Craft
    • Practical Application and Examples in Libraries and Nonprofits
    • Wrap Up and Final Reflections
    • Due: Three Comments Week Eight
    • Due: Blog Post Nine
  • Week Ten
    • Due: Three Comments Week Nine
    • Final Project Due

Grading Weight Breakdown

  • Class participation (10%)
  • Weekly reflection blog posts (20%)
  • Projects (three total) (40%)
  • Final Project -- Development of Makerspace or Participatory Space Plan (30%)

Late Assignment Policy
Late assignments will be penalized 5% off the total possible points if turned in within the first 24-hour period after the specified due date and time, and 5% per 24-hour period (or fraction of a day) (including weekends) after that time, up to a week after the due date. Late assignments will be accepted with penalty up to one week after the due date. Assignments submitted at any later time without an approved excuse will not be accepted.

Other Relevant Information
Participation is extremely important in any graduate level course. You will learn more by respectfully challenging each other (and me) then you will from any text. The only way to truly engage with new material is by being an active participant. In an online class about the importance of participation, you may find that you're being asked to comment, reflect, and write more than in other classes you've taken.

A full ten percent of your grade in this class is determined by your level of participation in class discussion. My expectation is that you will not only submit a weekly blog reflection for your fellow students and myself to read, but that you will also present timely comments on others' blog reflections and add to discussions in the online class forums provided. If you comment thoughtfully and respectfully on at least three classmates' blog posts during each week's class, you can expect full credit for this ten percent. If you miss two weeks or more of commenting, expect a deduction. Students not commenting in class discussion and/or on student colleagues' blog posts will receive a zero for this portion of their overall grade.

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

INFO 287 has no prequisite requirements.

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify the library's role in STEM education.
  2. Understand models of learning by play and active participation within and outside the library community.
  3. Evaluate models for physical content creation in libraries.
  4. Use and evaluate maker tools.
  5. Identify and apply a personal innovation style.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 287 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 using measurable criteria.


Required Textbooks:

  • Martinez, S., & Stager, G. (2013). Invent to learn: Making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom. Constructing Modern Knowledge Press. Available through Amazon: 0989151107arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Simon, N. (2010). The Participatory Museum. Museum 2.0. Available through Amazon: 0615346502arrow 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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