INFO 282-13
Seminar in Library Management
Topic: Using Social Media for Competitive and Company Research
Summer 2020 Syllabus

Sean Gaffney
Office Hours: By Appointment

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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning June 1, 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.

Course Description

This course introduces strategies and techniques for using social media tools to conduct business research, market research, and competitive intelligence on organizations. Beginning with a general discussion of both social media and business research, we will then discuss the use of specific social media tools.

Course Requirements


  • Discussions - 30% - There will be six discussion questions (5 pts each) related to readings, tools, and other topics. Each student is expected to post a response to the question and then respond to at least one other student. I find that we often learn as much from each other as we do from the lectures and readings. This assignment supports CLO  #1, #2#3, #4, #5
  • Short Papers - 30% There will be three 2 to 3-page papers (10 pts each) - Topics TBA. Supports CLO #2#3#4.
  • Final Project - 40% - Each student will conduct a competitor analysis using social media and other Internet tools (40 pts). This assignment supports CLO #1, #5




Start Date


Due Date

1 What is Competitive Analysis Monday, June 3, 2020 Discussion 1 Sunday, June 7, 2020
2 Business Intelligence on the Internet Monday, June 10, 2020 Discussion 2 Sunday, June 14, 2020
3 Conducting Research Using Social Media Monday, June 17, 2020 Essay 1 Sunday, June 21, 2020
4 Social Media Research Tools - Facebook Monday, June 24, 2020 Discussion 3 Sunday, June 28, 2020
5 Social Media Research Tools - Twitter Monday, July 1, 2020 Discussion 4 Sunday, July 5, 2020
6 Social Media Research Tools - LinkedIn Monday, July 8, 2020 Essay 2 Sunday, July 12, 2020
7 Social Media Research Tools - Instagram Monday, July 15, 2020 Discussion 5 Sunday, July 19, 2020
8 Social Media Research Tools - Other Monday, July 22, 2020 Essay 3 Sunday, July 26, 2020
9 Social Media Research Tools - Paid Tools Monday, July 29, 2020 Discussion 6 Sunday, August 2, 2020 
10 Putting It All Together - Reporting Monday, August 5, 2020 Research Project Friday, August 7, 2020 

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 282 has no prequisite requirements.

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Discuss social information tools from an overarching and strategic perspective, and explain how they fit into competitive and other intelligence work.
  2. Use social tools for information collection and supplementing of traditional competitive intelligence tools.
  3. Use social tools from a competitive intelligence standpoint, and understand the specific implementations of these tools.
  4. Describe how competitive intelligence communities are using these tools for professional purposes.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to conduct competitive work using social tools.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 282 supports the following core competencies:

  1. E Design, query, and evaluate information retrieval systems.
  2. H Demonstrate proficiency in identifying, using, and evaluating current and emerging information and communication technologies.
  3. J Describe the fundamental concepts of information-seeking behaviors and how they should be considered when connecting individuals or groups with accurate, relevant and appropriate information.


No Textbooks For This Course.

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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