INFO 281-13
Seminar in Contemporary Issues
Topic: Globalization and Information
Spring 2020 Syllabus

Dr. Christine Hagar
Office Hours:
Virtually, via e-mail.

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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning January 23, 6 am PDT 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.

Course Description

This interdisciplinary course provides students with a broad overview of the influence of globalization on the generation, organization, access, transfer, and use of information. It examines issues of globalization within the context of an information society and focuses particularly on political, economic, technological, and social-cultural issues. The course engages students in global conversations, helps prepare students to think globally, to be global citizens, and to play an active role in a multicultural world. It prepares students to pursue alternative career paths as information professionals.

Course Requirements


  • Participation & Engagement (Supports CLO1, CLO2, CLO3, CLO4 )
    Students are required to contribute to four class discussions and display an understanding and critical analysis of the readings and materials (20 points).
  • Reflective Blog (Supports CLO1, CLO2, CLO3, CLO4 )
    Students are required to write four blog posts. The posts may include reflections, ideas, comments on the weekly course topics, readings, guest speakers, current global events, news items, related to globalization and information, and the information society (20 points).
  • Globalization Information Resource (Supports CLO1, CLO2, CLO3, CLO4 )
    Students are required to create a Globalization Information Resource on a topic of their choice related to a globalization and information perspective (15 points). 
  • Final Paper (Supports CLO1, CLO2, CLO3, CLO4
    Students are required to: develop a final paper proposal on a topic of their choice, write the paper, and make a presentation to be shared with the class (Final Paper 25 points, Proposal 10 points, Presentation 10 points (total 45 points).

Further information about the assignments is given on the Canvas course website.

Course Calendar

Date Topic and Assignment Due Dates
Unit 1
Jan 23-Feb 2
Introductions, syllabus, course requirements
Unit 2
February 3

What is globalization? Historical context of globalization

Discussion Post #1 due February 9

Unit 3
February 10

Theoretical perspectives of globalization

Blog Post #1 due February 16

Units 4 & 5
February 17 & February 24

Political and economic perspectives of globalization

Discussion Post #2 due March 1

Unit 6
March 2

Global inequalities

Discussion Post #3 due March 8

Unit 7
March 9

Socio-cultural perspectives of globalization (1):
Knowledge production. Indigenous knowledge

Blog Post #2 due March 15

Unit 8
March 16

Socio-cultural perspectives of globalization (2):
Digital inclusion / exclusion. Information poverty

Globalization Information Resource assignment due March 22

Unit 9
March 23

Information systems

Blog Post #3 due March 29

March 30


Unit 10
April 6

Negative global flows and processes

Research Proposal due April 12

Discussion Post #4 due April 12

Unit 11
April 13

Global library initiatives (1)

Unit 12
April 20

Global library initiatives (2)

Blog Post #4 due April 26

Unit 13
April 27

Writing week 

Research Paper due May 3

Unit 14
May 4

Wrap-up: The future of globalization and the information society

Research Presentation due May 10

Grading and assignment due dates

Discussion: Participation & Engagement 20 pts Feb 9, March 1,
March 8, April 12
Reflective Blog Posts  20 pts Feb 16, March 15,
March 29, April 26
Globalization Information Resource (GIR) 15 pts March 22
Research Paper Proposal       10 pts  April 12
Research Paper  25 pts  May 3
Research Paper Presentation 10 pts  May 10

All assignments must be submitted by midnight (Pacific Time) on the day the assignment is due. Late assignments will be reduced by 20% of point value per day late. Please contact Dr. Hagar if a medical, family or personal emergency prevents you from submitting an assignment on time.

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 281 has no prequisite requirements.

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Critically analyse political, economic, technological, and socio-cultural issues of information in a global context.
  2. Explore the challenges of competing perspectives and expectations about the influence of globalization on information infrastructures, uses of information, knowledge, and power.
  3. Reflect on the roles and functions of libraries, information agencies and organizations, and information professionals in an increasingly global society.
  4. Experience cross-cultural communication by engaging in discussions with information professionals in different countries.
  5. Gain an understanding of globalization theory as it relates to information generation, organization, dissemination, and use.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 281 supports the following core competencies:

  1. O (For students entering from Spring 2015 onwards) Understand global perspectives on effective information practices that are supportive of cultural, economic, educational, or social well-being.


Required Textbooks:

  • Ritzer, G. & Dean, P. (2015). Globalization: A basic text (2nd ed.). John Wiley & Sons. Available through Amazon: 1118687124arrow 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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