INFO 203-14, -15, -16, -17, -18, 
Online Learning: Tools and Strategies for Success
Spring 2019 Syllabus

Cindy Runnels
E-mail Cindy Runnels
Office Hours: Available by appointment

Debbie Faires
418-A Clark Hall, SJSU
Office Hours: Available via e-mail.
Phone: 408-924-2498

Syllabus Links
Canvas Login and Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

Canvas Information: Enrolled students should receive course invitations via e-mail and within Canvas on January 3, the same day the course site will become available. Preparatory information will be sent via MySJSU before the end of the day January 2.

Course Description

This course introduces students to a variety of successful strategies in the use of new and emerging technologies found in today's online environment. It covers learning management tools, web conferencing, social software, university resources, and other topics that have been identified as being critical for new students.

Note: INFO 203 Must be completed within first 4 weeks of the semester. If 203 is not completed within the first 4 weeks of the semester, a hold will be placed; you will be placed on administrative probation, and you will be unable to register for any more classes in the iSchool.

Course Requirements

Course Calendar
The class is taught in a totally online environment and will involve synchronous and asynchronous activity. The course site will become available on January 3. Students who wish to begin working on the course may do so starting on that date. We strongly advise an early start and completion for this class. Students who are unable to begin early may start the course when all other courses officially begin (January 24).

Important deadlines for the class:

  • February 1:  Assignments for modules 1, 2, and 3 are due
    • Sign-ups for teamwork groups (module 5) must be completed
  • February 7:
    • Sign-ups for Zoom training (module 4) must be completed
    • Personal Skills Assignment Preparation: Team Check-In (Module 5) 
    • Assignment for module 6 (King Library) is due
  • February 14: Assignments for modules 4 (Zoom training) and 7 (APA Style) are due
  • February 21: All remaining assignments (modules 5, 8, and 9) must be successfully completed; late assignment submissions will not be accepted

Course Assignment Details
This one unit course consists of nine modules. Since this is a one unit CR/NC course, assignments consist of showing competency in various learning platforms and engaging in discussion related to readings and questions raised by the instructor. Each module is linked to the Course Learning Outcome (CLO) it supports.

  • Learning Management System (supports CLO #2)
    Students will work within the Canvas learning management system and will:

    • use the Canvas tutorials for information on how to use this learning management system
    • use the discussion area to read and appropriately contribute posts and replies
    • access the list of class members
    • update personal preference information such as e-mail address and password
    • send a message to another student in the class using the messaging tool and understand etiquette related to use of this tool
    • submit an assignment
    • access grades, comments, and files returned by the instructor

  • Social Networking Platforms and Principles (supports CLO #1)
    Students will learn principles of social networking and will:

    • set up a blog on the iSchool's WordPress server, write a post (including a hyperlink), reply to another student's blog post, and identify the links for the blog, a specific blog post, and the blog's RSS feed
    • investigate a variety of social networking platforms (optional: join and participate)
    • establish an account to enable participation in Google Docs, a collaborative online environment

  • Technology Tools and Literacy (supports CLO #1 and CLO #4)
    Students will:

    • verify they have the required computing hardware and application software that meets or exceeds the iSchool technology requirements
    • verify they have the required technology literacy skills
    • access a resource protected by the Restricted Materials login
    • open .docx and PDF files
    • evaluate and apply principles of cybersecurity

  • Web Conferencing: Zoom (supports CLO #3)
    Students will successfully connect to a live Zoom session and will:

    • use audio tools to interact
    • use the following tools: microphone, raise hand, chat, emoticons, polling, and selected whiteboard tools
    • learn how to use student rooms in Zoom for group meetings

  • Personal Skills (supports CLO #4)
    Students will:

    • inventory their personal readiness for online work
    • recognize personal skills needed for success as an online student
    • use an online tool that enables team collaboration
    • work with a team to develop a list of ground rules for successful collaboration

  • King Library Resources (supports CLO #4)
    Students will use the King Library website and will:

    • access library resources including licensed databases
    • demonstrate an understanding of the use of library databases by completing the Library Online Tutorial for School of Information Students (LOTSS) tutorial and scoring at least 70% on each of the three quizzes
    • demonstrate an understanding of issues related to academic integrity by completing the plagiarism tutorial

  • APA Style(supports CLO #4)
    Students will:
    • locate and utilize APA style resources including the APA style manual (6th edition is required for this class)
    • properly format an academic journal reference in APA style

  • Success as an iSchool Student (supports CLO #4)
    Students will:

    • apply the program learning outcomes in planning a successful degree program
    • identify and use student advising and support resources to help achieve learning outcomes
    MySJSU (supports CLO #4)
    Students will:

    • identify where to find help for important tasks in MySJSU
    • update e-mail address

Earning Credit:
This one unit Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) course is required for all incoming students. In order to obtain a grade of CR:

  • all activities listed in the course content that require a demonstration of competency (including all module assignments) must be successfully completed
  • all reading and discussion items must be successfully completed; evaluation criteria are listed in the grading rubrics for each assignment
  • all assignments and activities must be completed by February 21

Students in this course must meet the school’s technology requirements as listed here:

Course Communications
The instructor and the peer mentor for this class will respond to emails and discussion questions within 24 hours. Assignments will be returned with feedback within 72 hours of submission.

Communication in the class discussion forums should comply with the Guidelines for Acceptable Communication in INFO 203 Discussion Forums.


In addition to the required textbook (see "Textbooks" section further down this page), online readings include:

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 203 has no prequisite requirements.

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Employ appropriate social networking software for collaboration with colleagues.
  2. Utilize a learning management system to organize coursework.
  3. Use the tools of web conferencing software to work synchronously with colleagues.
  4. Use a variety of tools and strategies to ensure success while taking coursework via an online environment.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 203 supports the following core competencies:

  1. H Demonstrate proficiency in identifying, using, and evaluating current and emerging information and communication technologies.
  2. M Demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for professional work including collaboration and presentations.


Required Textbooks:

  • American Psychological Association (2009). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) American Psychological Association. Available through Amazon: 1433805618. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain


This is a Credit/No Credit course. Incompletes will only be awarded in the case of serious medical or family issues (with appropriate documentation supplied).

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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