INF 380C - Information in Social and Cultural Context

Summer Session 1 2015
Unique ID: 80275
Syllabus:   Syllabus
Prof:  Galloway, Patricia
Room: UTA 1.208
Days:  Mon Wed Thur
Time: 12:00 pm - 3:00pm

Graduate Standing.

Examines the role of information in human activities, particularly in relation to particular social and cultural contexts. Examines how individuals, groups, organizations, institutions, and society at large create, find, use, understand, share, transform, and curate information.

Three lecture hours a week for one semester.

Effective Fall 2014, MSIS students must earn a grade of B or better in the MSIS core courses (below) in order for the courses to apply to the master's degree. A grade of B- does NOT satisfy this requirement.

Through the activities in this class we will examine the role of information in human activities, particularly how it shapes and is shaped by the social and cultural context. Students will consider how creating, finding, using, understanding, sharing, transforming, and preserving information impacts and is affected by the social and cultural contexts of individuals, groups, organizations, institutions, and society at large. There is no essential piece of information or theory that every student must learn in a core class in the iSchool, but it is important that students have a general understanding of the ways in which information scholars study information and information technologies in social and cultural context.

Specific Learning Objectives:

• Learn a common language and conceptual framework that can connect the diverse areas of specialization within the information field, and express your ideas in class discussions in ways that can be understood by other information professionals.
• Understand the role of information in human activities and the role of social and cultural contexts, and demonstrate your understanding through completing course readings, submitting discussion questions via Canvas, and successful participation in small group and class discussions.
• Examine how groups, organizations, and institutions create, find, use, understand, share, transform, and curate information, and connect them to individuals on the micro side and society at large on the macro side, through completing your course readings and projects.
• Demonstrate your ability to work with others and independently, effectively and professionally, by successfully completing the group and individual components of classwork as well as by successfully participating in small group and class discussions and maintaining professional courtesy with class members.

Class Structure: We will begin with a class on June 4 for which no readings are assigned; instead we will discuss the class and the topics in it and get to know what ideas we already possess about them as a class. During the following weeks the class will proceed in five blocks of three classes. Each "first class" (on a Monday) will be based on a thorough discussion of the book that students will have read before coming to class. The following two classes for the week on Wednesday and Thursday will be based on a discussion of sets of 3-4 assigned articles related to the theme of the book. Class will convene for the scheduled 3 hours for each class, with a break about halfway through. The five blocks (which may change slightly and/or be rearranged) are:

• Information and Identity
• Information Infrastructure
• Information Institutions
• Working in Information
• Information as Problem

You will need to purchase the five books but all other readings will be available on Canvas or online through the library. I am choosing the books for their readability as well as their importance, and I will communicate with registered students as soon as I have made my final decision on the titles.

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