Syllabus

Prof. Maura Smale

Tue/Thu 10:00-11:15am
Spring 2010
Rooms: A540/A441 (Library)

Email: msmale@citytech.cuny.edu
Phone: 718.260.5748
Office: A539 (Library, Atrium Bldg)
Office Hours: Tue/Thu 11:15am-12:30pm and by appointment

Course Website: https://lib1201.wordpress.com

Course Description
In this course we will explore issues in research and documentation for text (in print and online), images, sound, and multimedia. You will investigate where information comes from and how it is organized in both traditional and emerging media. We will examine the ethics of information use and determine how to critically evaluate sources. Throughout the course, you will create and present research and documentation projects using traditional and emerging media and technologies.

Course Goals
To introduce you to the theory and practice of research and documentation for all information and media, including:

  • Cultural, economic and political factors that affect information and media
  • The organization of information in multiple formats
  • Developing methods for finding information that is relevant to you
  • Critically evaluating information and its sources
  • Copyright, fair use, and ethical use of information and media
  • The role of documentation and citation in scholarly, professional, and public work

Learning Outcomes
For the successful completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Describe the ways that information is produced and organized in a variety of formats
  • Create and articulate a relevant, manageable research topic for your assignments
  • Successfully search for and acquire appropriate information about your research topic in a variety of media and formats
  • Critically evaluate and select information sources for your assignments and projects
  • Use information ethically and responsibly with an awareness of copyright and fair use
  • Synthesize information on a topic from a variety of sources and present your analysis in writing and orally
  • Collaborate with a group to complete, modify, and document a process online
  • Apply documentation methods and citation styles appropriately in your own work

Course Policies

Attendance: You are expected to attend every class during the course. The City Tech attendance policy allows a student to be absent during the semester without penalty for up to three (3) class sessions. Additional absences will lower your grade in this course.

Etiquette: Please silence your cellphone during class, and do not text or IM unless requested to by the professor. Eating and drinking are not permitted in the library computer classroom. Please be respectful of the opinions of others during class discussions and blog interactions.

Contacting the Professor: I encourage you to speak with me if there is anything you find unclear about the readings or assignments, or if you have concerns about your work in the course. Email is the best way to contact me. Please use grammatically correct language and punctuation in your email messages to me, and avoid text/IM abbreviations.

Office hours/student conferences: My regular office hours are during the hour following our regularly scheduled class (see above). If this not convenient for you, please make an appointment to speak with me at another time.

Deadlines: All assignments are due on the dates listed in the Course Schedule below. Failure to submit work on time will result in a lower grade for the assignment.

Plagiarism: We will discuss academic honesty and plagiarism at length in this course. In brief: plagiarism will not be tolerated. Don’t do it!

NYCCT Statement on Academic Integrity: Students and all others who work with information, ideas, texts, images, music, inventions, and other intellectual property owe their audience and sources accuracy and honesty in using, crediting, and citing sources. As a community of intellectual and professional workers, the College recognizes its responsibility for providing instruction in information literacy and academic integrity, offering models of good practice, and responding vigilantly and appropriately to infractions of academic integrity. Accordingly, academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York and at New York City College of Technology and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension, and expulsion.

Further information (including penalties for plagiarism at City Tech) can be found in the Student Handbook: http://www.citytech.cuny.edu/files/students/handbook.pdf

Additional Resources for Student Support:

The College Learning Centers provide tutoring and writing support; I encourage you to take advantage of their services. There are Learning Center two locations: Atrium G18 and Voorhees 217. For more information: http://websupport2.citytech.cuny.edu/learningcenters/

If you need access to a computer here on campus, visit one of the student Computing Centers. (Our classroom is not available for use during non-class times.) For campus computer lab hours and locations: http://cis.citytech.cuny.edu/SSLabs.htm

I hope that you will become very familiar with using the City Tech Library for research during this course. If you need additional research support, please don’t hesitate to speak with a librarian at the Reference Desk or visit the library website: http://library.citytech.cuny.edu

Assignments and Grading

Your grade in this course will be based on:

  • Participation in class discussions and in-class assignments: 15%
  • Blog posts/comments: 20%
  • Research topic proposal: 5%
  • Annotated bibliography: 10%
  • Research paper: 20%
  • Online documentation project: 15%
  • Class presentation: 15%

Participation in class discussions and in-class assignments: You are expected to have completed all readings/viewings for each class and be prepared to discuss them. Please write down and bring at least one question about one of the readings to every class. In-class assignments will include individual and group exercises in developing research topics, formulating search strategies, evaluating information, creating metadata and documentation, and others.

Blog posts/comments: Short blog posts about course readings and comments on your classmates’ blog posts will be assigned throughout the course. See details in the course schedule (below), and Blog Guidelines handout.

Research topic proposal: Choose a research topic on a subject relevant to the course content, and write a 100 word proposal (including thesis statement). After approval by the professor, this topic will stand as your research topic for the annotated bibliography and research paper.

Annotated bibliography: You will select a minimum of 5 sources in a variety of media formats on your research topic and create an annotated bibliography (100 words minimum per source).

Research paper: Write a research paper on your approved topic. Papers must be 5-8 pages in length (not including illustrations or References), typed, double-spaced.

Online documentation project: In small groups assigned by the professor, students will build a small website and collaboratively document their process on a wiki.

Class presentation: Each student group will give a 20 minute class presentation describing their process on the documentation project and presenting the finished online documentation wiki.

Additional details and requirements for each assignment will be handed out in class and posted to the course blog.

Required Text

Badke, W. B. (2008). Research strategies: Finding your way through the information fog. New York: iUniverse, Inc.

This text is available for less than $20 in the City Tech bookstore, and I strongly recommend that you purchase it. We will read almost the entire book in this class, and it should also be useful to you for other courses that require research. The book is also on reserve in the library: CALL NUMBER: Z710 .B23 2008

Additional materials to read/view are assigned for each class, see Course Schedule (below). Most of these materials are available online (at no cost to you) in library databases or on the internet; the rest are on reserve in the library. Links to materials available online are posted on the course blog.

Recommended Reading

There are no assigned readings from these books, but you may find them helpful to consult during the semester (they are on reserve in the library).

Devine, J., and Egger-Sider, F. (2009). Going beyond Google: The invisible web in learning and teaching. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc.
CALL NUMBER: ZA4237 .D4 2009

This book reviews expert searching of “deep” web resources, and may be useful as you research your paper and project topics.

Riedling, A. M. (2006). Learning to learn: A guide to becoming information literate in the 21st century. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc.
CALL NUMBER: ZA3075 .R54 2006

This book is similar to our textbook, and offers another set of guidelines for research and writing.

Course Schedule

All readings and assignments are due at the beginning of class on the date listed below. Please write down and bring at least one question about one of the readings to every class, and come to class prepared to discuss all of the day’s assigned readings.

Th 1/28  Introduction to the course; brief history of media; the lifecycle of information

The Information Landscape: Media and Production

Tu 2/2  Traditional print media: journalism, academic/government/research agency publications
Reading: Read Badke Ch. 1
Assignment: Write one blog post responding to today’s reading

Th 2/4  Digital text: online versions of print media, “born digital” content
Reading: Pavlik pp. 1-8, Harrington and Meade pp. 6-9 (Executive Summary)
Viewing: Common Craft blogs and wikis videos
Assignments: Write one blog post responding to today’s reading; Comment on at least one blog post written by one of your classmates

Tu 2/9  Alternative media: print (zines, pamphlets, etc.) and electronic (blogs, wikis, etc.)
Reading: Eland, Gunderloy
Assignment: Find one blog or wiki on any topic that interests you, read it, and write one blog post in response

Th 2/11  Non-text media: sound, images, multimedia
Reading: Pavlik pp. 79-84, Malitz, Elton
Assignments: Write one blog post responding to today’s reading; Comment on at least one blog post written by one of your classmates

Tu 2/16   Web 2.0 and participatory media
Reading: Web 2.0 (Wikipedia), Baker
Viewing: Common Craft social networking and social media videos
Assignment: Find one source in any format on a topic covered in this course that interests you, read it, and write one blog post in response

Th 2/18  NO CLASS OR OFFICE HOURS: Classes follow a Monday schedule

Current Issues in Information and Media

Tu 2/23  Access: personal, institutional, digital divide, etc.
Reading: Martin
Assignment: Write one blog post responding to today’s reading

Th 2/25  Preservation: paper, digital media, other formats, compatibility
Reading: Levi, Bee
Assignment: Comment on at least one blog post written by one of your classmates

Tu 3/2  Privacy: changing definitions, challenges of digital media
Reading: Marshall, boyd
Assignments: Write one blog post responding to today’s reading; Comment on at least one blog post written by one of your classmates

Th 3/4   Ethics: copyright, fair use, plagiarism, open access, open source
Reading: Isserman, Leland, Center for Social Media pp. 9-17 (and skim the rest)
Viewing: Faden
Assignment: Write one blog post responding to today’s reading

How Information and Media Are Organized

Tu 3/9  Metadata: information about information, taxonomies, folksonomies
Reading: Badke Ch. 4, Dye
Assignment: Find one source in any format on a topic covered in this course that interests you, read it, and write one blog post in response
Assignment revised, see 3/16 below.

Th 3/11  Search mechanics: what is a database, how does a search engine work
Reading: Badke Ch. 3, Liddy
Assignment: Find one source in any format on a topic covered in this course that interests you, read it, and write one blog post in response
Assignment revised, see 3/16 below.

Tu 3/16  Metadata for non-text media; metadata challenges (authority, bibliographic control)
Reading: Read: Goodin, Levinson
Assignment: Comment on at least one blog post written by one of your classmates
See new blogging homework schedule

Finding Information and Media

Th 3/18  The research process: needs assessment, preliminary strategies, topic development
Reading: Badke Ch. 2
Assignment: Find one source in any format on a topic covered in this course that interests you, read it, and write one blog post in response
Comment on at least one blog post written by one of your classmates

Tu 3/23  The research process: refining a topic, creating search strategies
Reading: Badke Appendix 1 pp. 177-195
Assignment: Find one source in any format on a topic covered in this course that interests you, read it, and write one blog post in response

Th 3/25  Searching: library catalogs
Reading: Badke Ch. 5 pp. 71-76, Library of Congress Classification Outline
DUE:  Research topic proposal

Tu 3/30 and Th 4/1  NO CLASS: Spring Break

Tu 4/6  Searching: article databases
Reading: Badke Ch. 5 pp. 76-95
Assignments: Find one source in any format on a topic covered in this course that interests you, read it, and write one blog post in response

Th 4/8  Searching: internet
Reading: Badke Ch. 6 (all) and Ch. 7 pp. 122-124
Viewing: Common Craft web search strategies video
Assignment: Comment on at least one blog post written by one of your classmates

Using Information and Media

Tu 4/13  Evaluation of sources in any format: why to evaluate
Reading: Fister, Grimmelman
Assignment: Write one blog post responding to today’s reading

Th 4/15  Evaluation of sources in any format: how to evaluate
Reading: UC Berkeley, Cornell
DUE:  Annotated bibliography

Tu 4/20  Rationale for documentation and citation
Reading: Read Hauptman pp. 7-13
Assignment: Comment on at least one blog post written by one of your classmates

Th 4/22  Documentation: standards, methods and styles for citing text and non-text media
Reading: Badke Ch. 9, browse Purdue OWL’s APA and MLA Style sections
Assignment: Comment on at least one blog post written by one of your classmates

Tu 4/27  Documentation: standards, methods and styles for practices and processes
Assignment: Find one example of process documentation in any format, read it, and write one blog post in response

Th 4/29  Documentation: practical applications
Reading: Edge, Robinson

Tu 5/4  Group project work
DUE:  Research paper

Th 5/6  Group project work

Presentation of Information and Looking to the Future

Tu 5/11  Future of information and media, wrapping up
Viewing: Sloan

Th 5/13  Group project work

Tu 5/18  Student presentations
NO CLASS: Classes follow a FRIDAY schedule. I will be available in our classroom during normal class time if you’re available and would like to use the time to work on your projects. I’ll also hold my usual office hours.

Th 5/20 Student presentations
DUE: Online documentation project
LAST DAY OF CLASS


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