INFO 285-10
Applied Research Methods: Youth Services
Spring 2020 Syllabus 

Anthony Bernier, MLIS, MA, Ph.D.
School of Information
San Jose State University
Phone: 510.339.6880 (h)
Office hours: by arrangement

Syllabus Links
Course Learning Outcomes 
iSchool eBookstore

Mission of the School
In support of the University's mission, the School of Information educates information professionals who excel in virtual and physical environments and who contribute to the well-being of our global communities

Getting Launched

The iSchool utilizes a content management system called Canvas for class communications: submitting assignments, grades, even e-mail.

Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning 23 January, 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.

Our class formally begins on 23 January.  Weekly units end and all assignments are due on> Sundays at 11:59 PM (Pacific) unless otherwise indicated.

Course Description

This course prepares students to become analytical consumers of research through introducing the fundamental principles of identifying, assessing, and applying current scholarship to youth services and program evaluation. 

285 Waiver Option: If a student has taken and passed a graduate-level research methods course within the last 5 years (as documented by an official transcript), the student can petition the Coordinator of Admissions and Academic Advising to waive the INFO 285 requirement.

Please send an electronic copy of the transcript (scanned as a pdf file) to the Coordinator of Admissions and Academic Advising.

A waiver, if granted, does not reduce the total units required for the MLIS degree. It simply means that you are not required to take INFO 285 as one of your MLIS classes.

Course Requirements

  • Zoom Class Sessions (3 synchronous sessions):
    Mandatory synchronous participation for all three, three-hour, sessions (dates and times listed below). If you cannot commit to these meetings consider another section of INFO 285;
  • Institutional Review Board (IRB) Certification: Ethics Training Workshop Requirement
    Complete the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) online workshop: (see details in Course Outline).

    You may complete this short online workshop at any point during the semester. It requires about two hours. When you have finished the course, you will be given a "certificate," that you should submit as proof of completion via the appropriate Canvas Drop Box;
  • Discussion Board Topics (6 throughout the term): 
    Based on relevant readings and other course experiences, these interactive posts demonstrate, articulate, and share your experience and learning
  • Briefs (4 throughout the term):
    Content-based and skill-enhanced writing assignments (1-2 pages);
  • Short Papers (2 throughout the term):
    Brief critical engagements on selected topics (3-5 pages);
  • Research Study Evaluation:
    Discover and evaluate a recent scholarly youth studies monograph (3-5 pages);
  • Term Project:
    A comprehensive evaluation of an actual library youth service (15-20 pages)

All assignments are must be turned at 11:59 PM (Pacific) on the day they are due. Late submissions will be reduced by 20% of the total points possible for that assignment.

Course Calendar and Grading

Deliverable Grade Weight Supported CLOs Due

3 live (synchronous) Zoom sessions:

(attendance is required)

4 points each 1, 2, 3, 4

6-9 PM (Pacific)
on each of the following dates:

  • Monday 17 February (Week 5)
  • Monday 16 March (Week 9)
  • Monday 6 April (Week 11)
Online Discussions: (6) 3 points each 1, 2, 3, 4
  1. Week 5
  2. Week 6
  3. Week 8
  4. Week 13
  5. Week 14
  6. Week 15
Ethics Workshop (online) 5 points 4 Not later than Sunday 19 May 
11:59 PM Pacific (Week 16)
4 Brief papers (1-2 pages): 5 points each 1, 2, 3, 4
  1. Week 2
  2. Week 3
  3. Week 4
  4. Week 11
2 Short papers (3-5 pages):  5 points each 1, 2, 3, 4
  1. Week 7
  2. Week 10
Research Study Evaluation (3-5 pages) 10 points 3, 4
  • Week 15
Term Project 25 points 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Sunday 17 May,
    11:59 PM Pacific (Week 16)

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.

Holiday Observances
Only University-recognized holidays will be observed for this class. See the SJSU Academic Calendar on the University’s website for specific details. 

Recommended Style Manual
Scholarly research in LIS requires the effective communication of findings and evaluation of the writings of others. An important aspect of this scholarly communication is understanding and demonstrating facility with standard LIS citation formatting. Thus, if you have not done so already, I strongly encourage you to invest in a copy of the: American Psychological Association (2009). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) Chicago: American Psychological Association. (Available through our SOI eBookstore or free at: APA Manual, 6th edition.) 

Special note on Style Manual:  APA has just published a 7th edition - I would advise getting a copy of it, especially if you are early on in your program - but we will continue to use 6th edition for Spring term 2020.

Please consider purchasing your textbooks from the SOI e-Bookstore (a project of Amazon Affiliates program) because it generates revenue exclusively for SOI student scholarships: SOI eBookstore

Other articles and resources will be assigned throughout the term and available either through the King Library’s full-text databases, the web, or furnished to you through our class Canvas site.

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 285 has no prequisite requirements.

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Understand the difference between primary and secondary research.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of fundamental principles and processes of conducting research.
  3. Articulate the research method(s) covered in the course, appropriately apply them, and understand their strengths and liabilities.
  4. Understand appropriate data collection/analysis tools, and ethical concerns related to research.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 285 supports the following core competencies:

  1. 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.


Required Textbooks:

  • Dimitriadis, G. (2008). Studying urban youth culture. Peter Lang. Available through Amazon: 0820472697. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Dresang, E. T., Gross, M., & Holt, L. E. (2006). Dynamic Youth Services Through Outcome-based Planning And Evaluation. ALA. Available through Amazon: 0838909183. 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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