MARA 211-11
Access, Storage, and Retrieval of Records and Information
Fall 2021 Syllabus 

Connie "CJ" Rodriguez

Office Hours: By appointment via telephone or online

Syllabus Links
Canvas Login and Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore


Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning August 19 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

Overview of archival and contemporary records and information access, storage, and retrieval. This course examines records and information classification retrieval systems, storage operations, archival reference service, and outreach, legal and ethical access considerations, and user communities.

Course Requirements & Assignments

Assignments - Dates, and assignments are subject to change with notice

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

  • Class Participation and Discussion - 15 points (15% of final grade)
    Participation in 5 weekly general discussion boards
    Due: Weekly as assigned
    (Supports CLOs #1-7 and Core Competencies C H E G H)
  • Assignment #1 – 25 points (25% of final grade)
    A critical essay (10-15 pages) analyzing how Federal, State, City Regulations, or ISO Standards impact Information Governance and RIM Programs.
    Due: Sept 12, 2021 (11:59 pm Pacific Time)
    (Supports CLOs #15 and 7 and Core Competencies C D G)
  • Assignment #2 – 30 points (30% of final grade)
    Record / Archival Plan and Case Study
    Due: Oct 18 (11:59 pm Pacific Time)
    (Supports CLOs #23, and 4 and Core Competencies D E G H)
    1. Part 2A - Filing System Assignment. Using the recordkeeping scenario and forms provided by the instructor, devise a basic filing system for the records as outlined in the scenario. Due: Sep 26, 2021 (11:59 pm Pacific Time)
    2. Part 2B: Information Access Assignment. Devise a fundamental access system for the records, as outlined in the scenario. Due: Oct 3, 2021 (11:59 pm Pacific Time)
    3. Part 2C: Active File Facility Assignment. Design a basic storage facility for the records, with equipment and manpower considerations, as outlined in the scenario. Due: Oct 10, 2021 (11:59 pm Pacific Time)
    4. Part 2D: Active File Operation Assignment. Describe workflows that will be incorporated into active records retrieval and management processes, as outlined in the scenario. Due: Oct 17, 2021 (11:59 pm Pacific Time)
    5. Part 2E: Records Storage and Retrieval  Assignment. Evaluate present storage needs and anticipate future ones based on information provided in the scenario. Due: Oct 24, 2021 (11:59 pm Pacific Time)
  • Assignment #3 – 30 points (30% of final grade)
    Information Governance Plan and Case Study - A critical extended essay or report (15-20 pages) designing an Information Governance Plan that ensures efficiencies in information access, storage, and retrieval.
    Due: Dec 6, 2021 (date extended), (11:59 pm Pacific Time)
    (Supports CLOs #1-7 and Core Competencies C H E G H)

Course Calendar

Module Dates

Module Topic

Module Activities

Module 1

Aug 19 - 22

Introductions; Course Overview; Course Learning Objectives and Outcomes


Review Module 1 Lecture



  • Appendix A – Sampling of Records Management Laws and Regulations Outside of the United States – pages 413-416


  • Appendix B - Glossary – Become familiar with the records management terms listed in this appendix.– pages 417-439


Module 2

Aug 23 - 29

The Origins and Development of Records & Information Management

  • History of records keeping and the technology evolution.


Review Module 2 Lecture


Read: Chapter 1

Module 2 General Discussion Board - Student Introductions; Due: Aug 29, 2021, (11:59 pm Pacific Time)



Module 3

Aug 30 – Sep 5

Building an Information Governance Program on a Solid RIM Foundation

  • Overview of Archival and Records/Information/Data Management access, storage and retrieval fundamentals; terms, definitions, concepts; and the legal environment.


Review Module 3 Lecture


Read: Chapter 2


Sept 6

Labor Day – No Class


Module 4

Sep 6 - 12

Records & Information Creation and Capture, Classification, and File Plan Development

  • Records creation and capture, controlled language and taxonomy, record indexing and analysis, file plan development and record classification, and Metadata
  • Understanding information users and user information seeking behavior


Review Module 4 Lecture


Read: Chapter 3

Assignment #1 Analysis of Impacts Federal, State, City Regulations, or ISO Standards Have on RIM Programs.

Due: Sept 12, 2021, (11:59 pm Pacific Time)

Module 5

Sep 13 - 19

Records Retention Strategies: Inventory, Appraisal, Retention, and Disposition

  • Records inventory and appraisal of paper and electronic records, data mapping, assigning value to records, records retention schedules and disposition.


Review Module 5 Lecture


Read: Chapter 4

Module 5 General Discussion Board; Due Sep 19, 2021, (11:59 pm Pacific Time)


Module 6

Sep 20 - 26

Records and Information Access, Storage, and Retrieval

  • Business process mapping, workflow diagrams, access controls, structured and unstructured data, data warehouses and data lakes, search and retrieval, and metadata standards.


Review Module 6 Lecture


Read: Chapter 5

Module 6 General Discussion Board; Due Sep 26. 2021, (11:59 pm Pacific Time)


Assignment #2A - Record Storage Case Study -

Filing System Organization

Due: Sep 26, 2021, (11:59 pm Pacific Time)

Module 7

Sep 27 – Oct 3

Inactive Records Management: Records Centers and Archives

  • Archives and Records Center planning and design, protecting records from being damaged, and media vaults.


Review Module 7 Lecture


Read: Chapter 11 (Chapter sequence is purposefully flip-flopped)

Assignment #2B - Record Storage Case Study -

Information Access Recommendations

Due: Oct 3, 2021, (11:59 pm Pacific Time)


Module  8

Oct 4 - 10

Electronic Records and Electronic Records Management Systems

  • Electronic records management, systems, and standard, data migration, cloud environments, .


Review Module 8 Lecture


Read: Chapter 6

Assignment #2C - Record Storage Case Study –

Active File Facility Design

Due: Oct 10, 2021, (11:59 pm Pacific Time)

Module 9

Oct 11 - 17

Developing and Emerging Technologies and Records Management

  • Social media and policy development, trend spotting, internet of things platforms, and blockchain.


Review Module 9 Lecture


Read: Chapter 7

Assignment #2D - Record Storage Case Study –

Active File Operations Plan

Due: Oct 17, 2021, (11:59 pm Pacific Time)

Module 10

Oct 18 - 24

Vital (Essential) Records, Disaster Preparedness and Recovery, and Business Continuity

  • Vital record identification and programming, vital records scheduling and dispersal, disaster recovery process, and business continuation planning.


Review Module 10 Lecture


Read: Chapters 8

Assignment #2E Record Storage Case Study -

Records Storage & Retrieval Profile

Due Oct 24, 2021, (11:59 pm Pacific Time)


Module 11

Oct 25 - 31

Monitoring, Auditing, and Risk Management

  • Performance and compliance monitoring of on-site Records Centers and off-site storage vendor’s operations; determining if outsourcing record operations is the way to go, or is the Cloud the answer for your organization? 


Review Module 11 Lecture


Read: Chapters 9


Module 11 General Discussion Board;

Due Oct 31, 2021, (11:59 pm Pacific Time)

Module 12

Nov 1 - 7

Information Economics, Privacy, and Security

  • Business assets, asset privacy and security, privacy legislation, cybersecurity, and ransomware.


Review Module 12 Lecture


Read: Chapter 10

Module 12 General Discussion Board;

Due Nov 7, 2021, (11:59 pm Pacific Time)


Module 13

Nov 8 - 14

Long-Term Digital Preservation and Trusted Digital Repositories

  • Data Storage Technologies; Cloud Storage; Digital Curation and Stewardship; Archival Record Retrieval; Archival Description; Descriptive Standards and Tools; Finding Aids; Bibliographic Records, Encoded Archival Description (EAD), OAIS Model,  PREMIS, and other standards; and Digital Repository Software.

Review Module 13 Lecture


Read: Chapters 12


Nov. 11

Veteran's Day – No Class


Module 14

Nov 15 - 21

From Records Management to Information Governance: An Evolution

  • Archival Outreach: Public Programming; Advocacy; Community Engagement; Accessibility and Access; Serving Underrepresented Populations; Community Archives


Review Module 15 Lecture


Read: Chapter 14 (Sequence is purposefully flip-flopped)



Module 15

Nov 22 - 28


Lifelong Learning: Education, Training, and Professional Development


Review Module 15 Lecture


Optional Read: Chapter 13 (Chapter sequence is purposefully flip-flopped)


Nov 25 - 26

Thanksgiving Holiday – No Class


Nov 29 – Dec 6 (Extended)

Course Wrap-Up and End of Semester

  • Course Review/Reflections/Conclusions

Assignment #3 - Information Governance Plan and Case Study

Due: Dec 6, 2021 (date extended), (11:59 pm Pacific Time)

**No Class: Monday, Sept. 6, 2021 (Labor Day)

**No Class: Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2021 (Veteran's Day)

**No Class: Thursday-Friday, Nov. 25-26, 2021 (Thanksgiving Holiday)


Late assignments will not be accepted. Only in extreme circumstances, and with advance consultation with the course instructor, late assignments may be accepted. However, 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, under the Rubrics section.

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

Demonstrated computer literacy through completion of required new student online technology workshop

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Devise classification methodologies and taxonomies for records and information.
  2. Apply the fundamentals of information access and retrieval concepts to archives and records information management repositories.
  3. Analyze and conduct a records and information storage assessment.
  4. Compare, contrast and apply different methods of evaluating use and users of records and information and the varying factors that contribute to open or restricted access and retrieval of records and information by users.
  5. Understand how archival description, finding aids, and description standards and tools/applications assist in information retrieval and use.
  6. Demonstrate fundamental understanding of the importance of legal compliance and ethical considerations as they apply to the use of records and information and their applicability to and impact on various user communities.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

MARA 211 supports the following core competencies:

  1. C Describe the evolution of systems that manage data, information, communication, and records in response to technological change.
  2. D Apply basic concepts and principles to identify, evaluate, select, organize, maintain, and provide access to physical and digital information assets.
  3. 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.
  4. H Describe current information technologies and best practices relating to the preservation, integrity, and security of data, records, and information.


Required Textbooks:

  • Franks, P. (2018). Records and information management (2nd ed.). ALA Neal-Schuman. Available as free eBook through King Libraryarrow 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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