LIBR 202-23
LIBR 202-24
Information Retrieval
Spring 2010 Greensheet

Ellee Wilson
Office Hours: Most weekday evenings by e-mail, and by phone as pre-arranged.

Course Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements 
Course Calendar

ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore
LIBR 202 Resources
Online Resource
Supplemental Readings
Inmagic Download

This class is an online-only class using ANGEL with recorded lectures provided via Elluminate. Enroll at the ANGEL course site on January 24th. Class will start promptly on Tuesday, January 26th.

You will need an access code which will be sent to all registered students via the MySJSU Messaging system on January 22nd.

Order Peter Morville's Ambient Findability book ASAP as we will be reading it during the first week of class.

Course Description

Principles of information retrieval and their application to information systems and services. Emphasizing models of user information seeking behavior, human information processing, and their relationship to retrieval models in information systems. Enrollment in the Angel class is mandatory.

Class activities will be carried out in Angel, with some text/voice lectures via Elluminate. This class emphasizes group work and class participation. Students should be prepared to engage with their fellow students on a frequent basis to complete assignments. It is crucial to your success to be responsible to your fellow classmates.

Course Prerequisites:

Course Objectives

Student learning outcomes

  • Students will be able to design, query, and evaluate a database information retrieval system, using an appropriate user model
  • Students will be able to articulate fundamental concepts of information-seeking behavior  and employ them in the design and evaluation of systems
  • Students will be able to define a set of terms reflecting fundamental concepts of information retrieval and use them in discussions of their projects for the class.
  • Students will understand metadata, both structure and representation, and be aware of dominant standards such as the MARC record, LC Classification, Dublin Core, and NISO 39-19.
  • Students will understand principles of good interface design and be able to evaluate interfaces using those principles.

LIBR 202 supports the following SLIS Core Competencies:

  • Design, query and evaluate information retrieval systems
  • Understand the system of standards and methods used to control and create information structures and apply basic principles involved in the organization and representation of knowledge
  • Describe the fundamental concepts of information-seeking behavior

These additional SLIS Core Competencies are also supported by the course:

  • Use the basic concepts and principles related to the creation, evaluation, selection, acquisition, preservation, and organization of specific items or collections of information
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the use of current information and communication technologies, and other related technologies, as they affect the resources and uses of libraries and other types of information providing entities

Course Requirements

Complete LIBR 203: Online Social Networking: Technology and Tools
This is a mandatory 1 unit course that introduces students to the various e-learning tools used in the SLIS program, including Blackboard, Elluminate and Second Life. This course must be completed by all new SLIS students within the first 4 weeks of their first semester. If you have questions about this course, e-mail Debbie Faires or Dale David.

For more information, see

Assignments and Exams
Course work will consist of weekly readings, two major group assignments, one major individual assignment, several short writing assignments, and one exam. The two group assignments will emphasize database design and application, and will use Inmagic software. The third major assignment will be an introduction to metadata. In the writing assignments you will discuss the readings and assignments in response to questions submitted either to a discussion forum or to the professor. The exam will be take home questions that you will write out answers in your own words. Any sign of plagiarism will be cause for loss of credit for that question.

Though the class is designed to support a variety of learning styles, collaboration and sharing ideas is a requirement for all coursework. Optional realtime class discussions with the professor will be available during the semester for questions.

Students must be willing to work in a group setting, take responsibility as group members, and be available to engage in your group at least every day.

Incompletes will not be given and late assignments are not accepted. If something major comes up that disrupts your ability to complete assignments on time, notify the professor immediately.

Course Calendar

Assignment Focus Format Pts % Due Date
WA1-Introduce yourself forum    2  1.39   Feb 01
Draft of A1-SoP group       Feb 06
WA2-Respond to Ambient Findability forum    4  2.78   Feb 08
WA3-Review a concept expose    4  2.78   Feb 15
A1-Database design Final Report group  28  19.44   Feb 28
WA4-Exercise on Pre-coordinate terms expose    4  2.78   Mar 02
WA5-Exercise on Post coordinate terms expose    4  2.78   Mar 08
A2-Draft of thesauruses group       Mar 13
WA6-Discuss A2 concepts forum    4  2.78   Mar 15
A2-Draft of Evaluation Criteria group       Mar 25
A2-Vocabulary design Final Report group  28  19.44   Apr 09
WA7-About metadata and IR forum    4  2.78   Apr 18
WA8-On your metadata assignment forum    4  2.78   Apr 24
A3-Assignment proposal individual       Apr 24
Exam - Open book, take home -
completed in one week
individual   36  25.00   May 03
A3-Explore a Metadata topic individual   20  13.88   May 15
WA9-Review the course expose     2  1.39   May 17
Total    144  100  
Assorted extra credit offered during
the semester

Textbooks and Readings

You will need the book by Morville the first week of class, and we will start the Meadow book shortly thereafter. Please order the two textbooks from any online bookstore. If you order from the School’s site,, the School receives a referral fee which we use for student scholarships and events. We will also be reading from the 202 Supplemental Readings on electronic reserve as well as articles from online journals via the library.

Required Textbook:

  • Morville, P. (2005). Ambient Findability: What we find changes who we become. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly Media. Available through Amazon: 0596007655. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Taylor, A. G. & Joudrey, D. N. (2009). Organization of information 3rd ed. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. Available through Amazon: 159158700X. 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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