INFO 200-10
Information Communities
Summer 2019 Syllabus

Professor Steven J. Tash
Office: TBA
Phone: 949-683-7151 (text accepted)
Office Hours: text or email accepted 
Virtual office hours. Telephone and in-person advising by appointment.

Syllabus Links
Canvas Login and Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning June 3, 2019, 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.

Note:  All INFO 200 students receive a complimentary student membership in a professional association, see: Complimentary Student Memberships in Professional Associations (

Course Description

Examines information users and the social, cultural, economic, technological, and political forces that shape their information access and use. The different resources and services that information professionals provide for their user communities will also be addressed as well as ethical/legal professional practice. INFO 200 meets SJSU's graduate writing assessment requirement.

Note: iSchool requires that students earn a B in this 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.

Mission of the School

The School of Information (iSchool) at San Jose State University educates professionals and develops leaders who organize, manage and enable the effective use of information and ideas in order to contribute to the well-being of our communities.

Getting Started

iSchool utilizes a content management system called Canvas for class communications, submitting assignments, and grade records. This course will be available on Canvas. 

Weekly class sessions run from Monday through Sunday of each week. Weekly material and assignments will be visible in Canvas from the beginning of the semester for students' semester planning. Assignments are generally due Sundays at 11:59 pm Pacific Time. NOTE: Set your calendars up to consider Pacific Time for due dates as Canvas will consider your assignment late if you submit after time/day set.

Summer 2019 Session (June 3-August 9, 2019).  Canvas site usually remains open 30 days after the close of class so remember to make copies of your work, blog comments, etc. for your portfolios.

Course Requirements

More detail on each assignment will be provided at our Canvas course site.

Complete INFO 203 Online Learning: Tools and Strategies for Success. This is a mandatory 1 unit course that introduces students to the various e-learning tools used in the iSchool program.  For more information, see INFO 203 Online Learning (

NOTE: Please memorize and/or write down code given to you to set up a blog for INFO 203. The same code will be used in INFO 200 Blog development and registration.

Writing Requirement
If the instructor finds that a student's writing is unacceptable, the instructor will require the student to sign up for online writing tutoring. The student will ask the tutor to confirm with the instructor that he or she is attending sessions.

The iSchool offers the services of a writing tutor who can work with students on issues such as grammar and style. Check out the link below:
Writing tutoring (

There is also a page listing "Writing Resources for Students"
A foundation of good academic writing is understanding how to read this type of material. See our collection of  Academic Reading Resources, including a paper by our own Anthony Bernier, "On Reading Academic Literature (Strategically)."  

Blog Reports
Students will research and explore various topics related to their community group and report their findings on their blog.  You will use the blog you created in INFO 203 for this class. You will also join a group on the Community Site to share and interact with classmates. Blog Site: Professor Tash Community Blog Summer 2019 (CLOs 1, 4, 567).

In order for me as your instructor to read, issue comments and grade each blog post I must have you submit your blog URL at the Canvas Assignment page site as well. Yes, this means you MUST submit your blog posts TWICE(once at Canvas Assignments and again at Community Site).

I expect at least a 300-word minimum for every blog report post. ALL BLOG POSTS except 1 & 7 MUST include media images/graphics, active web links, and/or other social media app link (i.e. YouTube Video, etc.). You are expected to write at least six classmate blog posts (150-word minimum) during the semester term. These will be submitted via 7 Blog posts as they come through your activity stream link.

Context Book Review/Reflective Essay
Students will read one book selected from a list provided @canvas course site, and write a 750-1000 word reflection relating the topic and focus of the book to libraries or information environments, technology and the focus of our course. Publish the report as a post on your blog. MUST Use images, video, or other media to enhance your artifact. More than one student can select the same title.   This will be posted as a BLOG entry @your student blog site within Canvas Assignment & at our course community blog site. PLEASE PICK OUT A BOOK FROM SUGGEST BOOK LIST BY END OF FIRST WEEK!!!! The due date comes up quickly so please check King library online, Interlibrary loan, local libraries, etc.

Commenting, Engagement and Participation in Course Blogging Community

Students will demonstrate active participation and engagement through their blogs (including introductory and final reflective posts (i.e. blogs 1 & 2), commenting on classmates' blogs. A minimum of six well-articulated classmate comments is required. Once you join the class community site, your classmate comments will show up on an activity link that you will submit at end of term WITH your blog 7.

I use a community blog site(details on Canvas Course site).  Note: You are REQUIRED to join this group (click on the blue button that says "join group").  Submit your INFO 203 Blog URL here. You are to post ALL your blog postings HERE AS WELL as AT OUR CANVAS ASSIGNMENT page.

Information Sources Survey

Using the search strategies covered in units 5 and 6, locate and describe one research-based and one community-based information source that would be of interest or value to your chosen information community.  The review should be 4 to 5 pages in length min., double-spaced, and in APA format. In addition to your text, your review must Contain a Title Page and an Abstract page. The body should contain an Introduction, Discussion, and  Reference list. (CLOs 1,5)

Literature Review
Using LIS databases and other pertinent information sources, locate 10 to 12 secondary sources about your information community.  At least 8 of these sources must be scholarly, peer-reviewed studies (books and articles) of your community’s information behavior and needs.  The remaining sources can be professional or popular in orientation but still must provide useful data regarding your information community.  

The literature review (excluding the reference list) should be a minimum of 2,000 words in length and no more than 2,500 maximum, double-spaced, and in APA format. The literature review will assess the current research on the community by identifying the most influential authors and publications, major theories and findings, and continuing gaps but keep in mind you are looking for research pertaining to your community's information behavior and needs. (CLOs 1,2,3)

Research Paper
The goal of this assignment is to give you experience in writing a graduate-level research paper.  You will be required to identify an information community to examine, locate and critically evaluate the scholarly and professional literature relating to that community’s information-seeking behavior and needs, gather additional data about your users’ information practices and preferences from community-based resources, and report on the results.  This assignment will also introduce you to the APA Publication Manual (6th ed.), the style manual used in most SLIS classes. You will be graded on the extent of your research, your description and critical analysis of your research findings, the evidence you provide in support of your discussion, the clarity and quality of your writing, and your mastery of APA formatting.  Successful completion of this paper satisfies San José State University’s Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). The text of your paper (excluding the title page, abstract, and reference list) should be a minimum of 3,000 words in length and no more than 3,500 maximum.  The reference list should have at least 20 sources, the majority of which should be peer-reviewed, and the formatting should follow APA style. (CLOs 1,2,3,4)


Assignment Points Due Date(See Canvas Assignments Page)
5 Reflective Blog Posts 20 points

Blog Post #2 due Sun June 16 @11:59 pm PST
Blog Post #3 due 6/23/19 @11:59 pm PST
Blog Post #4 due 7/14/19 @11:59 pm PST

Blog Post #5 due 7/21/19 @11:59 pm PST
Blog Post #6 due Wednesday 7/31/19 @11:59 pm PST

Context Book Review Essay(blog posting at your blog site) 10 points Due Sunday 6/30/19 @11:59 pm PST

Information Sources Survey



10 points Due July 7@11:59 pm PST


Literature Review  20 points Due Sunday 7/28 @11: 59 pm PST
Research Paper 30 points Due Sunday 8/4/19  @11: 59 pm PST
Commenting, Engagement,
and Participation in Course
Blogging Community & INFO 200 Community Blog Postings + Classmate Postings
10 points(5 pts each)

Blog Post #1 due Sunday, June 9, 2019, @11: 59 pm PT
Blog Post #7 due 8/8/19 @11:59 pm PT-Also submit your INFO 200 Community Blog Activity Link at the same time as your post#7. Activity link will be used to make sure you commented on the classmate and/or community postings. submit to CANVAS AND Community Blog site.

Distance Learning
Distance education is constantly evolving and an on-going learning process for both students and instructors. Each semester this course is updated to reflect new technology to make distance education more dynamic for the student. Online classes are a two-way learning process between the instructor and the students.


This course satisfies the Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR).

INFO 200 gives students graduate-level writing experience, including a literature review and research paper. Graduate-level academic writing is formal and logical. It involves the avoidance of bias, the inclusion of evidence, and the development of strong arguments. Scholarly writing uses concise, precise, and clear language, is cohesive, and utilizes a logically organized flow of ideas. Successful completion of the research paper satisfies San José State University's Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). If the instructor finds that a student's writing is unacceptable, the instructor will require the student to sign up for online writing tutoring. The student will ask the tutor to confirm with the instructor that he or she is attending sessions.

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 has no prequisite requirements.

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Define the concept of community within a framework of information creation, use, and exchange.
  2. Locate, synthesize, and properly cite research and professional literature relating to specific information communities.
  3. Describe the various theories and research devoted to information use and behavior.
  4. Articulate prominent issues related to diversity, special populations, emerging technologies, and ethics within the context of various information communities/environments.
  5. Identify various resources and services that information professionals utilize to serve their communities.
  6. Identify and describe current and emerging technologies that impact the creation, use, and exchange of information within communities.
  7. Engage and exchange across open social platforms via various media: text, audio, video.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 200 supports the following core competencies:

  1. A Demonstrate awareness of the ethics, values, and foundational principles of one of the information professions, and discuss the importance of intellectual freedom within that profession.
  2. C Recognize the diversity (such as cultural and economic) in the clientele and employees of an information organization and be familiar with actions the organization should take to address this diversity.
  3. I Use service concepts, principles, and techniques to connect individuals or groups with accurate, relevant, and appropriate information.
  4. J Describe the fundamental concepts of information-seeking behaviors.
  5. L Demonstrate understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods, the ability to design a research project, and the ability to evaluate and synthesize research literature.
  6. M Demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for professional work including collaboration and presentations.
  7. O (for students entering from Spring 2015) identify ways in which information professionals can contribute to the cultural, economic, educational, and social well-being of our global communities.


Recommended 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

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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