MARA 202-01
Information Technology, Records, and the Information Age
Fall 2009 Greensheet

Lori Lindberg
Phone: 408-924-2729
Office: Clark Hall 418J
Office Hours: By Appointment

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
Course Calendar
ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

This course has an ANGEL site. Students will be instructor-enrolled in ANGEL prior to the first week of class.

Course Description

Overview of impact of information technologies on records and recordkeeping; evolution of record media, communications and computing technologies; records systems and network development; databases; records information models, structures and standards; digital archives technologies. Not repeatable.

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

Course Objectives

Student Learning Outcomes
At the completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. explain the evolution of record media and related technologies and the role of record media in the utilization and management of records
  2. articulate the major technological opportunities and challenges in recordkeeping
  3. assess the importance of technological context to the authenticity and reliability of records and the maintenance of such over time

This course satisfies the following MARA Core Competencies:

  • Understand the evolution of information recordkeeping systems in response to technological change
  • Have expertise in the basic concepts and principles used to identify, evaluate, select, organize, maintain, and provide access to records of current and enduring value
  • Understand the system of standards and structures endorsed and utilized by the recordkeeping professions, particularly in the area of digital assets management
  • Be conversant with current information technologies and best practices relating to records preservation and security

Course Requirements

Course Assignments
The course requires a number of assignments designed to introduce students to the technology issues and concerns that affect records and recordkeeping throughout the ages. Details for the technology profile, context assignment, and paper will be given at the first class meeting and requirements for each will be posted under your Course Documents on Blackboard. Students accumulate 100 points to determine the course grade. See Grading below for details.

  • Technology profile (30 points, due Week 6, 9/22). From a list provided by the instructor, research and report on the development of a particular technology, its implementation and use in records creation and recordkeeping, and its impact on the same
  • Context assignment (30 points, due Week 9, 10/13). Based on a series of scenarios provided by the instructor, identify the records, their medium (-a) and storage location(s), and describe their context based on the taxonomy of contexts as outlined in lecture and readings
  • Exploratory paper (20 pp.) (30 points, due Week 14, 11/24) on a social aspect of technology (software, hardware, website, programming) and its effect on records and recordkeeping
  • Class participation and discussion (10 points)

Course grades are determined by the accumulation of 100 possible points, distributed as outlined above under Course Assignments.

Late Assignments
Assignments turned in after the due date will be deducted one letter grade from that earned if the assignment were completed on time.

Top of Page

Course Calendar

Week 1: From clay tablets to silicon: the evolution of record media

  • Yates, Chapters 1-2.
  • Barry, R. (2003).Technology and the transformation of the workplace: Lessons learned traveling down the garden path. In B. Dearstyne (Ed.), Effective approaches for managing electronic records and archives. Methuchen: Scarecrow Press.

Week 2: Getting from here to there: figuratively and physically

  • Yates, Chapters 3-4.

Week 3: Ways of seeing: from the naked eye to the infrared port and the webcam

Week 4: Can you hear me now? Audio technology

Week 5: It all began with the abacus: the rise of modern computing.

  • Yates, Chapters 5-8

Week 6: Ways of knowing: organization of data for information and knowledge. Technology profile due.

Week 7: Ways of knowing, continued.

Week 8: Structuring the recordkeeping enterprise: arrangement, description and the role of metadata.

Week 9: Finding common ground: standards in recordkeeping. Context assignment due.

Week 10: What technology hath wrought: electronic records.

Week 11: Electronic recordkeeping systems.

Week 12: Modeling the electronic recordkeeping infrastructure.

Week 13: Maintaining the record: systems for preservation.

Week 14: Regulating the record: policy, warrant, and mandate. Paper due.

Week 15: Preserving the record

Textbooks and Readings

Required Textbook:

  • Yates, J. (1993). Control through Communication: The Rise of System in American Management. The Johns Hopkins University Press. Available through Amazon: 0801846137. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Yates, J. (2008). Structuring the information age. The Johns Hopkins University Press. Available through Amazon: 0801890861. 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;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA) — 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 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.
  • 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

General Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities of the Student

As members of the academic community, students accept both the rights and responsibilities incumbent upon all members of the institution. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with SJSU's policies and practices pertaining to the procedures to follow if and when questions or concerns about a class arises. See University Policy S90-5 at More detailed information on a variety of related topics is available in the SJSU catalog at In general, it is recommended that students begin by seeking clarification or discussing concerns with their instructor. If such conversation is not possible, or if it does not serve to address the issue, it is recommended that the student contact the Department Chair as a next step.

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drop, grade forgiveness, etc. Refer to the current semester's Catalog Policies section at Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at The Late Drop Policy is available at Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for dropping classes.

Information about the latest changes and news is available at the Advising Hub at

Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material

University Policy S12-7,, requires students to obtain instructor's permission to record the course and the following items to be included in the syllabus:

  • "Common courtesy and professional behavior dictate that you notify someone when you are recording him/her. You must obtain the instructor's permission to make audio or video recordings in this class. Such permission allows the recordings to be used for your private, study purposes only. The recordings are the intellectual property of the instructor; you have not been given any rights to reproduce or distribute the material."
    • It is suggested that the syllabus include the instructor's process for granting permission, whether in writing or orally and whether for the whole semester or on a class by class basis.
    • In classes where active participation of students or guests may be on the recording, permission of those students or guests should be obtained as well.
  • "Course material developed by the instructor is the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be shared publicly without his/her approval. You may not publicly share or upload instructor generated material for this course such as exam questions, lecture notes, or homework solutions without instructor consent."

Academic integrity

Your commitment, as a student, to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University. The University Academic Integrity Policy F15-7 at requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 at requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at to establish a record of their disability.

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