MARA 284-10
Seminar in Archives & Records Management
Topic: Information Assurance
Spring 2021 Syllabus


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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning January 27th, at 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

An overview of Information Assurance and Risk Management theories, principles, and techniques. This course examines the information assurance frameworks and risk management planning structures used to ensure that an organization’s information resources and assets are protected.

Course Calendar and Requirements

Course Grading

Grading will be based on a total accumulation of possible 100 points, distributed as follows:

  • Class Participation and Discussion - 30 points (30% of final grade)
    (Supports CLOs #1-2)
    Participation in weekly discussion boards
    Due: Weekly
  • Assignment #1 – 20 points (20% of final grade)
    (Supports CLOs #2)
    The Information Assurance/Security Risk Identification, Assessment, Response, Mitigation and Control Assignment
    Due: Feb 23 (11:59 pm Pacific Time)
  • Assignment #2 – 20 points (20% of final grade)
    (Supports CLOs #1)
    The History and Development of Security Technology Assignment
    Due: Mar 9 (11:59 Pacific Time)
  • Final Course Assignment - Research Paper – 30 points (30 % of final grade)
    (Supports CLOs #1-2)
    A critical extended essay of 12-18 pages on a topic relevant to the course proposed by the student and accepted by the instructor.
    1. Due: Topic Instructor Approval April 6 (11:59 pm Pacific Time)
    2. Due: Preliminary Citations April 20 (11:59 pm Pacific Time) 5pt
    3. Due: Final Paper May 16 (11:59 pm Pacific Time) 25pts

Course Calendar





January 25 – 31

Introductions; Course Overview; Course Learning Objectives and Outcomes. Introduction to Information Security


February 8 – 14

The Need for Security


February 15 – 21

Legal, Ethical, and Professional Issues in Information Security


February 22 – 28

Planning for Security

Assignment #1

Due: Feb 23 (11:59 PM Pacific Time)


March 1 – 7

Risk Management


March 8 – 14

Security Technology:  Access Controls, Firewalls, and VPNs

Assignment #2

Due: Mar 9 (11:59 PM Pacific Time)


March 15 – 21

Security Technology:  Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems, and Other Security Tools


March 12 – 28



March 29 – April 4

Spring Recess


April 5 – 11

Physical Security

Final Assignment Topic Approval

Due: April 6 (11:59 PM Pacific Time)


April 12 – 18

Implementing Information Security


April 19 – 25

Security and Personnel

Final Topic – Preliminary Reference List

Due: Apr 20 (11:59 PM Pacific Time)


April 26 – May 2

Information Security Maintenance


May 3 – 9

Information Security Terms


May 10 – 17

Course Review/Reflections/Conclusions

Final Assignment

Due: May 16 (11:59 PM Pacific Time)


Late assignments will not be accepted after 5 days past the due date. Late assignments submitted after the assignment deadline will receive a 10% point reduction for each day up to 5 days based on the total point value of the assignment. No points will be awarded after 5 days late.

Discussion board postings will not be accepted for credit after the module's discussion has ended.

All course materials must be completed by the last day of the class.

NOTE: Students should provide their initial discussion board posts by the first Thursday of each module by 11:59 pm (Pacific Time), to leave ample time for follow-up discussion. Please participate early and actively in the required discussions.

Details for all of the discussions and assignments will be provided in Canvas.

Assignments Due

Unless otherwise noted, each module begins on Monday and ends on Sunday. Assignments will be due by 11:59 pm (Pacific Time) on the due date.

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

MARA 284 has no prequisite requirements.

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Design, support, and evaluate an Information Assurance (IA) Governance Program for an organization.
  2. Identify and assess information security and privacy risks/vulnerabilities and select and evaluate appropriate technical and business solutions to mitigate the risk for an organization.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

MARA 284 supports the following core competencies:

  1. D Apply basic concepts and principles to identify, evaluate, select, organize, maintain, and provide access to physical and digital information assets.
  2. G Describe the legal requirements and ethical principles involved in managing physical and digital information assets and the information professional#s role in institutional compliance and risk management.
  3. H Describe current information technologies and best practices relating to the preservation, integrity, and security of data, records, and information.


Required Textbooks:

  • Whitman, M. E., & Mattord, H. J. (2018). Principles of information security (6th ed.). Cengage. Available through Amazon: 1337102067arrow 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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