MARA 210-10, -11
Records Creation, Appraisal, and Retention
Spring 2018 Syllabus

Jason Kaltenbacher
Office Hours: By appointment. Appointments can be via telephone or online.

Syllabus Links
iSchool eBookstore

Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning January 24th, 6 am PT 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.

You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.

Course Description

Overview of records creation processes; management and documentation of those processes, including forms, mail, reports, reprographics management, document control, legal compliance; basic appraisal concepts; records inventories and retention scheduling; vital records; contingency planning; records disposition; and archives.

Course Requirements

Assignments, Lectures, discussions, assignments, and rubrics will be posted to the Canvas course management system. Links to additional materials will be provided in Canvas as well.

Here is a brief summary of the assignments and points earned:

  • Student Introduction post to discussion board - 2 points
  • Discussion based on material covered - 2 points each X 9 = 18 points
  • Electronic Records Exam - 10 points (CLO #3)
  • Archival Appraisal Quiz - 5 points (CLO #6)
  • Retention Policy: Project Plan Assignment - 5 points (CLO #7
  • Retention Policy: Functional Analysis & Records Survey Assignment - 10 points (CLOs #24)
  • Retention Policy: Records Series Classification Assignment - 10 points (CLO #4)
  • Retention Policy: Records Retention Schedule Assignment - 20 points (CLOs #2, 4, 5, 7)
  • Final Exam - 20 points (CLO #1)

Total number of points for this class is 100.

NOTE: For modules with required discussion board postings, students should provide their initial post by Tuesday at midnight (Pacific Time), to leave ample time for follow-up discussion. Please participate early and actively in the required discussions.

Details for all of the discussions and assignments will be provided in Canvas.

Assignments Due
Unless otherwise noted, each module beings on Saturday and ends on Friday. Assignments will be due by midnight (Pacific Time) on the due date.  

Course Calendar

Week/Dates Objectives & Readings Assignment

Jan. 24-26

Course Introduction  

Module 1:

Jan. 27 - Feb. 2


Introduction to the concepts of records creation, appraisal, and retention; lifecycle of records

Read: Introduction, Ch. 1 & Ch. 2. in the Franks text
Review lecture

Student Introduction

Discussion board

Module 2:

Feb. 3-9

Electronic records, part 1: creation of electronic records; unique characteristics; electronic records management; metadata

Read: Ch. 5 in the Franks text
Review lecture

Discussion board

Module 3: 

Feb. 10-16

Electronic records, part 2: electronic content management systems; the capture, storage, and tracking of electronic records

Read: Ch. 6 & 7 in the Franks text
Review lecture

Discussion board

Module 4:

Feb. 17-23

Records retention schedules

Read: Chs. 3 & 4 in the Franks text
Review lecture

Electronic Records Exam; Due: February 23rd

Module 5:

Feb. 24 - March 2

Digitizing and microfilming paper records, preservation and active use

Readings will be provided in class
Review lecture

Discussion board

Module 6:

March 3-9

Contextual Analysis

Readings will be provided in class
Review lecture

Retention Policy: Project Plan Assignment; Due: March 9th

Module 7:

March 10-16

Functional Analysis; conducting a records survey; classifying records series

Readings will be provided in class
Review lecture

Discussion board

Module 8:

March 17-23

Retention analysis: regulatory requirements for records creation and retention

Readings will be provided in class
Review lecture

Retention Policy: Functional Analysis & Records Survey Assignment; Due: March 23rd
March 24 - March 30 Weekend + Spring Break (NO CLASS)  
March 30 Cesar Chavez Day (NO CLASS)  

Module 9:

March 31 - April 6

Retention analysis: identifying potential records for legal action

Readings will be provided in class
Review lecture

Discussion board

Module 10:

April 7-13

Retention analysis: determining operational value for the retention of records

Readings will be provided in class
Review lecture

Discussion board

Retention Policy: Records Series Classification Assignment; Due: April 13th

Module 11: 

April 14-20

Retention analysis: archival appraisal of records

Read: Ch. 10 in the Franks text
Review lecture

Archival Appraisal Quiz; Due: April 20th

Module 12:

April 21-27

Vital records policy; continuity planning

Read: Ch. 8 in the Franks text
Review lecture

Retention Policy: Records Retention Schedule Assignment; Due: April 27th

Module 13:

April 28 - May 4

Implementing records management policies and strategies

Read: Ch. 9 in the Franks text
Review lecture

Discussion board

Final Exam made available to Students on Saturday, April 28th - Two weeks to complete

Module 14 (Extended week):

May 5-14

Course Wrap-Up Review lecture

Discussion board

Final Exam; Due: May 14th

Please complete the SOTES (Student Opinion of Teaching Effectiveness) by May 14th

**No Class: Monday-Friday, March 26 - March 30, 2017 (Spring Break)

**No Class: Friday, March 30, 2017 (Cesar Chavez Day)


  1. Course grades are determined by the accumulation of 100 possible points, distributed as outlined above under the course calendar.
  2. This class follows the standard iSchool Grading Scale. 
  3. Late assignments will not be accepted after 5 days past the due date. Late assignments submitted after the assignment deadline will receive a 10% point reduction for each day up to 5 days based on the total point value of the assignment. For example, a 20 point assignment would have a daily 2 point reduction; a 10 point assignment would have a daily 1 point reduction; a 5 point assignment would have a daily 0.5 point reduction. No points will be awarded after 5 days late.
  4. Discussion board postings will not be accepted for credit after the module's discussion has ended.
  5. All course materials must be completed by the last day of the class.

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

Demonstrated computer literacy through completion of required new student online technology workshop

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Articulate the roles of context and function in identifying and analyzing records for purposes of creation and retention.
  2. Perform environmental and functional analyses of an organization for the purposes of establishing context for the records of the organization.
  3. Communicate the issues surrounding the creation and capture of records in an age of electronic media.
  4. Apply the tool of functional analysis to identify and define records series for the purposes of records retention.
  5. Identify regulatory requirements for records creation and retention, evaluate the potential need for records in legal actions; and determine operational requirements for the retention of records.
  6. Apply the fundamentals of archival appraisal to the records of an organization.
  7. Create records retention schedules and document the associated analysis and appraisal.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

MARA 210 supports the following core competencies:

  1. C Describe the evolution of systems that manage data, information, communication, and records in response to technological change.
  2. D Apply basic concepts and principles to identify, evaluate, select, organize, maintain, and provide access to physical and digital information assets.
  3. E Identify the standards and principles endorsed and utilized by data, archives, records, and information professionals.
  4. H Describe current information technologies and best practices relating to the preservation, integrity, and security of data, records, and information.


Required Textbooks:

  • Franks, P. (2013). Records and information management. ALA Neal-Schuman. Available through Amazon: 1555709109arrow 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 or undergraduate (for BS-ISDA);
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA, Informatics, BS-ISDA) — 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 if you wish to stay in the program. 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.

Graduate Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). Undergraduates must maintain a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

Per University Policy S16-9, university-wide policy information relevant to all courses, such as academic integrity, accommodations, etc. will be available on Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs' Syllabus Information web page at: Make sure to visit this page, review and be familiar with these university policies and resources.

In order to request an accommodation in a class please contact the Accessible Education Center and register via the MyAEC portal.

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