INFO 220-01
INFO 220-10

Joni Richards Bodart
Phone: (408) 924-2728

Syllabus Links
Canvas Login and Tutorials
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.


Understanding the library or information user requires the basic knowledge of human development, communication, individual and group behavior, cognition and information seeking processes to give students a fundamental understanding of information consumers’ thinking and behavior. This course will focus on systems theory, development, communication, and behavior.


Office Hours
I will be in my office by appointment, Clark Hall, 418H, and will be on campus some weekdays, however, without an appointment, there’s no guarantee I will actually be IN my office.

I will answer e-mail on a daily basis or as quickly as I can. I will also be posting email responses to the FAQs section of the discussion board when questions are asked that are of interest to the whole class.

If you need to speak to me by phone, I will do all I can to be available to you, but scheduling that call in advance to make it convenient for both of us, and ensure that I have enough time cleared to respond to your questions or problems.

I make every effort to proofread the Syllabus and the Canvas website, but errors can occur. Please contact me with any errors you see or any questions or may have so I can correct or explain them.  This version of the syllabus is posted on the website under Modules, and is the one version that will be continually updated, once the semester starts.

Instructional Philosophy
I want each of you in this course to succeed, and I will do everything I can to help you do so, but this is a partnership. Please make sure that communication is your top priority during the semester. Ask questions when you have them, seek clarifications when you need them, and take responsibility for understanding all expectations, content, and assignments for the course. You are responsible for your own learning experience. I do not make you succeed. YOU make you succeed. You also make you fail. Understanding the contents and expectations explained in the Syllabus is critical for a student’s success in the class.

The Canvas Site 
Please check the site regularly for announcements, discussion board questions, and so on. As soon as you are enrolled, go to the site, read my welcome message, then go to the discussion board and introduce yourself, both professionally and personally. I will give you a format for each part of your introduction.

Explore the various forums for other information I think might be helpful to you, such as resources and links to sites you will find useful, and survival tips from previous classes.

Zoom classes
There will be six Zoom class sessions. All are required, and all are asynchronous. They will all be recorded, and the links to them and the PowerPoints that go with each of them will be posted on the website. Dates and content for these sessions are below.   While some professors record their lectures and use them over and over, I do not.  I record the live sessions each semester and do not reuse them. 

Students who have taken this class previously recommend that you attend all Zoom sessions live, if at all possible. You will be able to ask questions if something isn't covered or if something isn't clear. I am sure you have questions about all of the above, and you can bring them with you to the first session, email me, or post a question on the FAQs forum.

You need to use a microphone and speaker for these sessions if at all possible. I suggest purchasing a headset with a mike attached, since that will give the best sound quality and also leave your hands free for typing and mousing. If you are in a public area with background noise, you will NOT be able to hear/speak and be understood without a headset. In addition, your poor sound quality will become part of the tape, and make life difficult for everyone who listens to the recording.

You will need to get to all of the Esessions AT LEAST 10 minutes ahead of time, so you can make sure that you can speak and hear. When this has been confirmed, you may step away from your computer, and you don’t have to come back till 6:30. BTW, I have to do this too, to make sure my hardware is working properly as well.

Zoom Tutorials
San Jose State University uses Zoom for web conferencing. Zoom includes an instant message tool which expands communication options for students and faculty members.
Take a look at the Zoom tutorials at

Each student and faculty member has their own Zoom personal meeting “room.” This room can be used for meetings. Meeting participants do not have to be affiliated with SJSU nor do they have to have Zoom accounts to join a meeting. Recordings can be made in the Zoom meetings and saved to the host’s computer. Faculty members also have an option to record to the cloud. 

You should not set up an individual account at Always use for access in order to enjoy the benefits of the Pro account SJSU has provided you.

Zoom Training sessions for continuing students will be held in January. RSVP for a session .

Zoom sessions
All sessions 6:30-9:00 Pacific Time

  • January 25
    Introduction to the course
    (This class is the most important one to attend synchronously, both so you can ask questions, and because of its content and activities.)
    • Opening exercise
    • Introduction to course
  • February 5
    Discussion of IP theories
    • Information processing theories: Boulding, NLP, others
    • Construction of memory
    • Continue discussing IP stories from discussion board: Martian Odyssey, Sound of Thunder, The Bridge (available under Modules on class website)
  • February 28
    IP Theories / Developmental theories
  • March 8
    Developmental theories / Communication theories
  • April 4
    Communication theories / Behavior as communication
  • April 18
    Behavior as communication
    • Summary and Wrap-up

Student Responsibilities
As a student in this course, you are expected to challenge yourself, to actively participate in your education, and to search both inside and outside of the classroom for answers to your questions. Answers are rarely black and white at this level of study. I expect you to be an involved participant, to listen and to discuss ideas with your colleagues. I expect you to read all assigned materials, and research additional sources for more information. The sources I have chosen are only some of those available in the field; you are encouraged to find other resources and share them with the class.

Most importantly, you are expected to learn and to leave this course with new ideas. My goal is to provide you with the foundation to continue to explore these ideas when you leave the classroom.

Faculty Responsibilities
My role in this course is to serve as a facilitator. I will present you with information related to the subject and will help you to synthesize the material used in class. I will both ask and answer questions; this class is your opportunity to discuss the issues. I am available outside of class time to answer questions concerning assignments and topics covered in class. I will also give you a grade. My expectations for your performance are clearly outlined in this syllabus. If anything appears unclear, or if you have any questions, please ask me. Most of all, my role is to encourage you to learn -- encourage, not force. You will take from this course what you put into it. I hope you will take advantage of the opportunity to learn in this class, from me, from the materials on the subject, and from your colleagues.

I want each of you in this course to succeed, and I will do everything I can to help you do so, but this is a partnership. Please make sure that communication is your top priority during the semester. Ask questions when you have them, seek clarifications when you need them, and take responsibility for understanding all expectations, content, and assignments for the course. You are responsible for your own learning experience. I do not make you succeed. YOU make you succeed. You also make you fail. Understanding the contents and expectations explained in the syllabus is critical for a student’s success in the class.

Course Requirements:

  • Students are required to attend all online classes or to watch the recordings of them asynchronously, and participate actively in class discussion about the assigned materials and about other materials students have found in their own research that enhance or contradict the assigned material.
  • Students will learn from each other as well as from the instructor, and therefore, class discussion is an important part of this class and will be included as part of the final grade. These discussions will take place during Zoom sessions and on the discussion boards.  Comments should be thoughtful and insightful, adding to our mutual learning process, and should NOT recapitulate what others have said. And while you do need to keep on top of the discussion boards, it is fine if you have a lot to say about one topic, and post more than the required number, and then have less to say on the next one, and do fewer. I will be looking at the average numbers over the semester. But if you regularly don’t post or post too few, I will notice. Please note that Canvas allows me to access statistics for students, and I’ll be able to count easily the number of your original posts and responses to others’ posts. When responding to discussion questions, please do include the name of the person whose post you are responding to.
  • Students will be discussing their own individual processes in learning, behavior, motivation, and philosophy. Comments that make this more difficult for other class members are completely inappropriate. Your postings on all of the discussion boards should be professional, polite, and informative. Flaming will not be tolerated at any level.  Inappropriate behavior will influence your final grade.
  • Students are required to turn in all assignments on time, and in the format described. Grades for assignments turned in late without permission will be lowered. When necessary, asking for extra time at least 24 hours before the deadline is a wise decision. Material turned in late with permission will not be penalized.
  • If you are unable to turn in an assignment when it is due, please contact me BEFORE the due date to discuss an alternate date. Exceptions will be made on an individual or team basis, if the request is reasonable and made at least 24 hours prior to the due date. When asking for extra time, please explain the need for it and the date you agree to turn in the work. Extensions longer than one week will not be granted. Only one extension per assignment. Please plan ahead to avoid late submissions. I understand that emergencies happen, and we all have our personal lives to cope with, however, planning ahead is wise. You will not be penalized for turning in work early if you do not need the extra time.  


1. Reading and Participation

A.  Read texts and articles as assigned (Supports CLOs 1-7). Students will be expected to locate other sources to share with their classmates and to support the assignments below. Your final grade will depend partially on whether you choose to find sources outside the required and recommended readings in this syllabus and how frequently you choose to share them in class discussion.

B.  Class participation is essential in this course.
It is defined as:

  • responding to questions from me and from other class members pertaining to the lecture and the outside readings in Zoom sessions or on discussion forums
  • bringing up questions about the lecture and readings that require clarification, that you wish to dispute, or that you agree with in Zoom sessions or on discussion forums
  • being an active participant in your own learning process
  • researching beyond the materials of the course, and sharing the ones you find most useful or most intriguing with the class via the discussion boards.

Comments and questions should be relevant to the topic under discussion, and take into consideration both that humor can enhance learning, and that this is a graduate classroom and some level of analytical thought is expected.

To some extent, my perception of your level of class participation is qualitative, however, after more than 20 years of paying attention to who contributes and who doesn’t, my evaluation of you in this area is not without quantitative support. More detailed standards for class participation are given on the website.

You will learn from each other as well as from me. However, you do NOT have to agree with me in order to speak. I am not always right, by any means, and welcome your dissension as well as your agreement. I want to learn WITH you.

It is important for each of us to remember that no question is dumb, no response silly or invalid, and no idea unworthy of consideration. This pertains to all comments, whether they are made by you, by me, or by someone else in the class.

Please read, think, and share your thoughts with the other members of this class. Share your ideas, your questions, and your insights, so we can all learn and grow together.  The discussion boards are there to help you do this.  If you find a chapter/article that you feel would be useful to others, please share it on the appropriate discussion board.  Please note that Canvas makes it quite easy for me to follow how many people posted how often, so please contribute on a regular basis.   20% of final grade. Due on May 14 at 1159 pm. (Supports CLOs 1-7)

B.  Reflection/final paper

Write a final paper (which may be informal in style, i.e., written in first person) or create a final project summarizing what you have learned during this course, and synthesizing it into your own coherent theory base, discussing your ideas on each of the groups of theories covered in the class. Some of the other topics you will want to include are:

  • Your own answers to the questions discussed during the first class session and listed in the Introduction section of the class outline.
  • Your own process of acquiring/processing information, including the theory or theories you base your understanding on.
  • How has your process of information processing changed or developed throughout your life? What influences or events have caused these changes?
  • How do you acquire and use information? How is this affected by your age, roles, education, companions, self-perception/image, emotions, physical attributes, environment, and relationships? What are your strengths and weaknesses? How do you predict your information processing will change in the future, and why?
  • How will you as an information professional use the material you learned in this class? How and why has your understanding of the information profession and yourself as an information professional changed since the semester began? 
  • What were the most valuable parts of the class?  The least valuable?  How could the latter be changed to improve them?  Do you interact with those around you in a different way, based on what you learned in this class?  How has this changed your life?   20% of final grade. Due May 14 at 1159 pm. (Supports CLOs 1-7)



Please feel free to be creative about this--everyone learns differently, and learning is the most important thing! If you choose to do a project for any/all of these assignments, you will be required to include written material discussing its origins and evolution, why you think it shows your learning and understanding of the topic, and a list of resources or references you used to complete it. Remember, you will need to make sure that you have shown me your enhanced learning, knowledge, or wisdom about the topic at hand, no matter what format you use to submit your work.  THIS MAY MEAN THAT YOU SUBMIT YOUR WORK IN TWO HALVES—THE PROJECT ITSELF AND THE BACKGROUND ON HOW IT WAS CREATED AND WHY IT IS IN THE FORMAT IT’S IN.  BE SURE YOU INCLUDE YOUR OWN PERSPECTIVE OR THEORY AND HOW YOUR INTERPRETATION SUPPORTS THE PROJECT.

You might create a website/wiki/blog, a presentation of some kind, or some other kind of creative endeavor. While I have never gotten a song or a poem (I’m not sure either would be able to express the complexity of the topics below.), I have gotten lengthy fiction pieces which have explained the theoretical concepts while telling the story. (However, the student that wrote a picture book instead of a more complex piece didn’t get an A.) Of course, a formal research paper is also quite appropriate.  If you have any questions/concerns/doubts about what kind of format/product is appropriate for these three assignments, please don’t hesitate to contact me, either using email or the FAQ discussion boards.

Everyone will submit their work on the appropriate forum so your colleagues can learn from and comment on it. You are responsible for reading/viewing/etc. all submitted assignments/presentations/projects and commenting on each of them at least once. Comments should be substantive, responding to the content and format of the work, not just “attaboy.” Obviously, you do not have to agree with the opinions expressed in others’ work, but your perspective/ideas should be presented objectively and include the rationale behind your disagreement.


The general topic areas/groups are listed below under each assignment. You may also use your texts for ideas on areas you might want to investigate. Please note that you are limited to 20 pages of text for each of these assignments (not including references), so your topic should not be too broad. You will want to be able to cover it in some detail and specificity. Please don’t hesitate to ask me if you would like my ideas about the broadness or narrowness of your topic. You may choose all your topics at the beginning of the semester, and tweak them later as you learn more about what areas we will be covering. For instance, you might choose to compare two theorists for one of the assignments, and then later decide you want to focus only on the one that you are most interested in or agree with. Or disagree with, for that matter. Or focus only on one aspect of a theory or theorist. Just as long as you let me know how you are tweaking things, that’s fine.  Since this class is so small, each member must choose a different specific topic to discuss in their papers/projects.  This means that you might want to call dibs on something you are excited about researching, so someone else doesn’t get it first.


  • You will post your topic choice on the discussion board for that topic. This posting will have your name, assignment number (2,3,4) and topic in the subject line.
  • You will also (in the same post) state the topic/scope of your research. I will need to approve each topic.
  • When you get my okay—this may be informal in tone—you can start to work.
  • When you discuss your theory/theories in your work, you should present the ideas/theories they are based on/depend on, and show how your thinking differs from them. Since you are working alone, you will present only your own thinking on the topic—you don’t have to agree with anyone else.
  • SUBMISSIONS: You will submit your finished work for Assignments 2, 3, 4 on the appropriate discussion forum to share your work with your colleagues and receive feedback at the same time you submit it to the appropriate dropbox for grading.
  • In the same dropbox, you will also submit a self-evaluation, detailing your process in creating your work, your goal for the work, and how successful you believe you were in achieving that goal.
  • FORMAT OF SUBJECT LINE WHEN SUBMITTING TO DROPBOXES: Last name, Assignment #, Project/Paper, Topic. OR Last name, Assignment #, Self Evaluation, Topic.



2. Read material on information processing theory and write a reaction paper on several different aspects or theories of human information processing, discussing what you like or don’t like about them, what makes sense or doesn’t, and how they could be applied. It is not necessary to summarize any of the material from assigned reading or class notes. Relate this information to your own conceptualizations of data, knowledge, information, and wisdom, as discussed during the first class meeting. Discuss your understanding of how knowledge is created, processed, and used to create your own reality, including the role played by memory. Formulate this into your own theory of human information processing. You may or may not choose to create a diagram or illustration for your theory. 20% of final grade. Due March 11, 11:59 pm. 
(Supports CLOs 1-7)

3. Read material on developmental theory and write a reaction paper explaining your own theory of development, and how it applies to changes in information processing during development and information use throughout life. Focus on the aspects of the subject you consider to be the most important, and include your own conceptualization of development throughout life or during one stage or span of years within an individual’s life. Include in your discussion your understanding of how your perception of development impacts your performance as a librarian or information provider in a specific setting. If you choose to focus on only one stage of life, you need to briefly describe your own conceptualization of the other stages in order to put your discussion in an appropriate setting and allow me to understand your personal theory of development. 20% of final grade. Due April 8 at 1159 pm. (Supports CLOs 1-7)

4. Read material on communication theory, including behavior as communication and write a reaction paper explaining your own theory of communication, and how it applies to at least two specific client groups in a library setting. Be sure to include all aspects and channels of communication, and clearly show the importance of clear and open communication to an information professional. Focus on the aspects of communication that you consider to be the most important to a librarian or information professional on a daily, based on your experience in this field as a professional or as a customer. 20% of final grade. Due April 29 at 1159 pm.  (Supports CLOs 1-7)

Please note that I do not “give” grades to students—students earn the grades they receive. Students who earn failing grades indicate a failure on their part and on mine as well.



Expectations for Success Applied to All Assignments

  • This Syllabus is the course contract. Please read it and understand it.
  • 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 and 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.
  • There may be a few additional readings that I will choose from newly-published articles relating to this course's subject matter.
  • Title pages: All course assignments must have a title page.
  • Prepare all assignments in MS Word, either single or double-spaced;
  • All pages must have a header with your name and the page number (assignment pages must be consecutively numbered);
  • Students must proofread written assignments (including discussion forum postings) for correct spelling, grammar, and usage. I encourage you to access the iSchool Writing Resources site. You are also welcome to peer edit each other's work.
  • Use the following file name convention when you attach your work to the assignment drop-boxes: YOURLASTNAME_KEYWORD-FOR-ASSIGNMENT;
  • Students should use the Manual of the American Psychological Association, (6th ed.) as the standard for all bibliographic citations.
  • Students and faculty are bound by the U.S. copyright regulations and need to cite the sources of the intellectual property of others, including information, images, or ideas that do not belong to us. Follow the regulations located in the Fair Use of Copyrighted Materials policy at;
  • If you submit work with words, images, or ideas that are not their original ideas, words, or images, you must cite the sources of those words, images, or ideas. It is important for students in library science courses to develop a respect for the work of others and to be responsible users of the work of others. Although the work of students does have some fair-use protection, you are never safe in using words, images, or ideas of others in a course in which we share our work with one another. Not only will you need to remember this when you are posting to the discussion forums, you must also practice responsible use of resources in your projects that you will be sharing with your colleagues.

Formatting details for papers and projects
You must include these sections/topics in each paper or project:

  • Introduction (introduce yourself or your team members and briefly state what you will be discussing/demonstrating in the paper/project, including the sequence of the sections of the paper/project)
  • Discussion of theories and other materials you consulted when creating the paper/project, either from assigned readings or outside readings you consulted on your own
  • Explanation/discussion of your own theory/theories, including a complete explanation of how it/they were created and how they will be applied in your professional and personal lives
  • Conclusion (a synthesis/analysis/summation of the above ideas presented in your work, clearly showing your conclusions, with the new knowledge you have acquired during your work

Writing Standards for Assignments

  • Students will produce assignments that meet writing and research standards appropriate for students in a Master’s program of study. It is critical to proofread your work before turning it in.
  • Graduate level writing standards do not tolerate spelling or grammatical errors of any kind. Proofreading your work is advised.
  • You are welcome to consult the SJSU Writing Center if you have problems with grammar and construction. Students are also encouraged to refer to a writing handbook. Many are available online.
  • APA style is mandated for citations included within the text of the paper and reference/bib page(s). The manual is available in print and online.
  • See class rubric under Content on the Canvas class site for description of criteria/expectations for each grade level.

All assignments must include:

  • Cover/Title page (name, course name and section number, school name, date, instructor’s name. If you are doing a project instead of a paper, please have this information available at the beginning of your project.)
  • Page Numbers (except on the Title Page) when writing a paper.
  • Reference Page/Works Cited in full accordance with APA formatting
  • Citations/Quotes in the body of the paper/project need to be formatted according to APA rules.
  • Material must be written using complete sentences, and not using abbreviations or acronyms without clarification of what the letters stand for.
  • Spelling, grammar, and syntactical errors are not tolerated in visual or spoken work.

Spelling and Grammar Errors
I may not read your entire paper for spelling and grammar mistakes; if, in my opinion, your paper or database contains too many errors, I will reduce your points substantially (generally 5-10 points), stop grading your paper for mechanics, and will go on for content and other elements that are required in the assignment. Please note that the SJSU Writing Lab is available for help with writing problems of all kinds. There are also numerous websites on grammatical errors and proper usage, some of which can also check your work for correctness.  (Some of these sites, and some of my pet peeves, are posted on the Modules page.

My mother was an English teacher, and corrected my grammar constantly when I was a child and a teen, and even as an adult, although by that time, I didn’t make many errors. As a result, I am very sensitive about grammatical errors. My particular red flags are misspelled homonyms, incorrect usage of linked pronouns (“She came to see you and I” when “you and me” is correct. This also includes correct usage of she/he and him/her.), incorrect use of possessives, and the use of “done” when “finished” or “completed” is more correct.

There is more information on this under Course Documents.

Discussion Posts
Discussion posts should adhere to the same spelling and grammar requirements that other written work must meet. However, a certain level of informality, as in spoken conversation, is appropriate.

Submitting your work

  • You will submit your work to the appropriate dropbox on the Canvas site before midnight on the due date
  • If you are working as part of the team, one member of the team will submit the team project/paper as described above
  • Specific information as to the content of the subject line is included in the information on assignments above
  • All members of the team will submit individual team evaluations of each member’s contribution to the team process and to the paper/project itself—described under information on working in groups above
  • Papers/projects must be posted to the appropriate forum when they are posted to the dropbox, so they can be read/viewed and commented upon by everyone in the class—more details on this above

Other questions concerning assignments, their content, format, or submission should be asked on the FAQ forum on the class website. I subscribe to this forum, and endeavor to respond promptly to questions posted there. However, if one of your colleagues has answered your question before I have posted my response, I may not make any additional comments if I think they are unnecessary.

Course Outline

Introduction to information psychology

  • What is information? Data? Knowledge? Wisdom?
  • What is information processing? Information transfer? Information use?
  • What are your own ideas about human nature, human groups, communication, behavior and development?
  • How do these ideas influence or control the way you--and each of us as individuals--perceive, process and disseminate information?

Information Processing Theories

  • How do we perceive, organize, store, retrieve and use information?
  • Discussion of “A Martian Odyssey”, “The Bridge,” and The Image, Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) with Bandler and Grinder
  • How do we create our own world, our own reality? How does it change with time and cultural changes?
  • Memory (STM, LTM, “CS”)
  • Inputs/outputs
  • Implications for individuals and groups
  • Impact of society, experience, emotions, physical attributes, philosophy of human nature

Developmental Theories

  • Piaget
  • Erickson
  • Information Processing Theory
  • Gibson
  • Vygotsky
  • Sheehy
  • Bly
  • Montessori

Other current theories on development and their impact on our society

  • Mooney, C. G. (2013). Theories of childhood, Second Edition: An introduction to Dewey, Montessori, Erikson, Piaget & Vygotsky. St. Paul, MN: Redleaf Press


Communication Theories

  • Theories of communication
  • Methods of communication
  • Verbal/nonverbal behavior
  • Attribution theory
  • Impressions
  • Managing communication
  • Behavior as communication
  • Roles and role theory
  • Stereotypes
  • Effect of ambiguity and change on communication
  • Managing behavior
  • Conclusions and wrap-up

Taking a Look Back—where we began, where we have come to



OUTSTANDING This paper completes the task set by the assignment and is excellent in nearly all respects. It is well argued and well organized with a clear thesis stated or implied. It is well developed with content that is specific, accurate, interesting and appropriate. It demonstrates the writer's ability to produce and synthesize complex ideas. Logical transitions contribute to its fluent style. It is virtually free from errors in mechanics, usage and sentence structure and shows evidence of excellent control of language. The writing style may demonstrate the writer’s creativity and uniqueness in tone or format. Its grade will most likely be an A or A+.

VERY GOOD This paper shares most of the characteristics of the outstanding paper. It may not be as carefully reasoned as the outstanding one, but shows no serious errors in logic. There may be minor weaknesses in paragraphing, but the content is effectively organized into coherent units. The paper is well written and is largely free from errors in mechanics, usage and sentence structure. Its grade will most likely be a B or B+.

SATISFACTORY This paper is generally competent. It may accomplish the assignment: less completely than the above papers, but it does come to terms with the basic task of the assignment. Compared to a very good paper, it may have a weaker thesis and less effective or complete development. It may insufficiently develop minor points, but it does give evidence of the writer's ability to convey ideas. It is organized well enough to allow the reader to move with relative ease through its discourse. This paper may contain some awkward or ineffective sentences and may show some problems with mechanics and usage but, these errors are not serious or frequent enough to consistently distract the reader from the content. Its grade will most likely be a C or C+.

MINIMALLY SATISFACTORY This paper may show difficulty managing the task of the assignment. The thesis may be vague or too obvious to developed effectively. It may lack adequate support for the thesis, and may be too brief to adequately cover the topic. There may be distinct weaknesses in paragraphing and organization, but the total effect is not chaotic. Errors in mechanics, usage and sentence structure interfere with its readability. Its grade will most likely be a C- or D.

UNACCEPTABLE This paper is seriously flawed, and fails to come to terms with the assignment.. It is likely to have no clear thesis or central topic. Further, it may display random organization, lack adequate support or specific development, include irrelevant detail or fail to fulfill the assignment. It may contain major and repeated errors in mechanics, usage and sentence structure.

A paper which is obviously "off-topic", regardless of the writing quality, may also be designated as unacceptable. In this case, the paper does not deal with the topic assigned and, therefore, does not fulfill the assignment. Its grade will be an F.


Students who are judged to have just adequate participation would...

  • Have all necessary materials.
  • Provide intelligent and informed responses to inquiries.
  • Participate in class discussions
  • Contribute to their team’s group process

Students who are judged to have good participation would also...

  • Consistently contribute to discussions as required, without need for the instructor to extract their participation.
  • REACT to other student comments and share their agreement with or questions about the topic at hand.
  • Make thoughtful and insightful comments about the readings or other students’ comments on them.
  • Participate on their team projects consistently, contributing to the positive team process of the team

Students who are judged to have excellent participation would also...

  • Ask questions or make comments which:
    • Clarify and synthesize discussion.
    • Relate their ideas or experience to lecture or discussion topics.
    • Contribute examples or counter-examples relevant to lecture or discussion topics.
    • Challenge what is being taught, with logic, example, thoughtful consideration and creativity.
    • Acknowledge and extend the ideas and contributions of others.
    • Respect the ideas and opinions of others, whether or not they agree with them.
    • Relate content from class materials, readings, and their own experiences to the discussions
    • ... And make jokes of any quality whatsoever.

Optional textbooks

Optional titles will enhance your participation and learning in this class. However, if money is a factor, you might want to consider using library copies of the optional texts or sharing with another class member rather than purchasing them immediately.

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 220 has no prequisite requirements.

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Articulate the elements of the major psychological theories and demonstrate how they apply to information theory and the information transfer process, including general systems theory, developmental psychology, behavioral psychology, and communication theory.
  2. Describe characteristics of various learning styles, and how to communicate most effectively with each of them.
  3. Describe the psychological elements of group behavior that affect the ability to provide effective programs and services to groups of information consumers.
  4. Describe how development, motivation, information sought, and cognitive style impact an individual's information seeking behavior, particularly in a multicultural environment, including psychological, communication and cultural issues.
  5. Discuss the role of the information professional in various kinds of information agencies and explain how a knowledge of psychology, communication, and behavior can enhance the individual's ability to deliver information services in various settings.
  6. Discuss their own personality type and how they describe their own interpersonal communication and information transfer processes.
  7. Understand and explain their own unique process of information transfer, and how their own learning and information transfer patterns and preferences are affected by their own system of philosophical beliefs, and how changes in this system can affect their process of information transfer.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 220 supports the following core competencies:

  1. J Describe the fundamental concepts of information-seeking behaviors.
  2. K Design instructional programs based on learning principles and theories.
  3. M Demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for professional work including collaboration and presentations.


Required Textbooks:

  • Boulding, K. (1956). The image. University of Michigan Press. Available through Amazon: 0472060473arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Flaxington, B. (2010). Understanding other people: Five secrets to human behavior. ATA Press. Available through Amazon: 0615272290arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Radford, M. L., & Radford, G. P. (2016). Library conversations: Reclaiming interpersonal communication theory for understanding professional encounters. ALA. Available through Amazon: 0838914845arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Recommended Textbooks:

  • Gall, J. (2003). The systems bible: The beginner's guide to systems large and small. General Systemantics Press. Available through Amazon: 0961825170arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Miller, P. (2016). Theories of developmental psychology (6th ed.). Worth Publishers. Available through Amazon: 1429278986arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Rueben, B. (2005). Communication and human behavior (5th ed.). Allyn and Bacon. Available through Amazon: 0205417906arrow 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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