INFO 281-05
INFO 281-15
Seminar in Contemporary Issues—Exploring the Digital Content Services Lifecycle
Fall 2018 Syllabus

Christy Confetti Higgins
Phone: 720-201-6451 (You can IM me)
Office: Virtual, IM me via Zoom anytime
Office Hours: As needed

Syllabus Links
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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning August 21st at 6 am PT unless you are taking an intensive or 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 into the Canvas site automatically.


This seminar will introduce students to the lifecycle of acquiring, deploying, and managing digital content services. This includes audience analysis, user input, negotiating with vendors, evaluating access models and privacy, looking at digital content platform features based on audience needs (ex. mobile, languages, offline access), measurement, feedback, contract terms, funding, and communication and deployment strategy.



Final Course Assignment – Digital Content Service Strategy 

This assignment provides a foundation in digital content service acquisition, measurement, and management.

Students will choose an audience and identify a digital content need during week 1. Through the course, they will identify a digital service and audience needs, and create a final project that outlines their overall service strategy which will address audience analysis, user input, negotiating with vendors, evaluating access models, privacy, digital content platform features based on audience needs, measurement, feedback, contract terms, funding, and the communication and deployment strategy.


Each weekly discussion will include a “Consider this…” scenario type question to get students to really think about the audience and how different the strategy can be based on audience needs and the key messages needed to engage their audience with their digital content service.

Each weekly discussion will also include “Your thoughts….” comments/questions section based on the specific reading/video for that week.

There will be a total of 6 discussions. 

Course Calendar

Each week we focus area of content to watch and review. There will be a total of 6 discussions throughout the 4 weeks. Final project is due the last day of class.


  • 40 points for discussion
  • 60 points for final assignment
  • Late work will miss 1 point for each day late





Class Participation and Discussion

(CLOs: 1, 3, 5, 6)

40 points (40% of final grade)

Participation in weekly discussions; participate in discussions; there will be 4-8 discussions and will vary in length (ex. Read this article and share thoughts, ask questions).


Final Project

(CLOs: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6)

60 points (60% of final grade)

Completion of final project – various options on the delivery of the project








Course Overview & Introduction to Final Project


Overview of the key pieces of the digital content acquisition and management lifecycle; discuss choosing an audience to focus on and digital content service to use as the case throughout the class for the final project.


Discussion #1 and 2:


Discuss selecting an audience and introduction on yourself and why you want to take this class.


Reading: As assigned and outlined in reading modules in Canvas


1.5 and 2

Focus: Strategic Thinking, User Needs, Product Features, Access Models


Details on these components of the lifecycle and the skill of strategic thinking.


Discussion #3 and #4


Discuss thoughts on strategic thinking and a specific product or access feature for your audience.



Reading: As assigned and outlined in reading modules in Canvas


2.5 and 3

Focus: User-Centered Design, Vendor Negotiations,  Funding, Contract Terms


Details on these components of the lifecycle and the skill of understanding users.

Discussion #5


Discussion related to vendor relationships.

Reading: As assigned and outlined in reading modules in Canvas


3.5 and 4

Focus: Building Business Relationships, Communications, Deployment,  Measurement, and Feedback


Details on these components of the lifecycle and the skill of vendor relationship management.


Discussion #6


Discussion related to writing engaging headlines for digital content services communications.


Reading: As assigned and outlined in reading modules in Canvas



FINAL projects due


Format can vary: turn in document, video, PPT – whatever format to showcase your audience, digital content service, and plan. Students should share their product in the Discussion area for others to comment on and learn from. 


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 200, INFO 202, INFO 204, other prerequisites may be added depending on content. 

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Think strategically about the elements of managing digital content services.
  2. Create a communications and deployment strategy for a digital content service.
  3. Understand at a foundational level various negotiation strategies when purchasing a digital content service.
  4. Evaluate the impact of a digital information service.
  5. Summarize what it means to understand the needs of an audience and deliver a digital content service that meets their needs.
  6. Think through common features and functionality of digital content services (ex. mobile access, access models such as Single Sign-On, ability to share content, etc.).

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 281 supports the following core competencies:

  1. D Apply the fundamental principles of planning, management, marketing, and advocacy.
  2. I Use service concepts, principles, and techniques to connect individuals or groups with accurate, relevant, and appropriate information.


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 or Informatics) — 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.

Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 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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