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SLIS 5600 Introduction to Information Access & Knowledge Inquiry
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Dr. Elizabeth Figa

(c) 2013 Elizabeth Figa, PhD
Elizabeth.Figa@unt.edu

The 5600 course and its content are copyrighted and may not be reprinted, revised, reformatted, or refactored for distribution or publication in any form or venue without permission of the author or the University of North Texas.

Welcome to the 5600 Class!

Excellent reference or information professionals have a great number of skills and talents, including an understanding of user needs, knowledge of information creation and preservation methods, information retrieval and access skills, communication and intermediation skills, information seeking skills, and instruction and management skills. These skills are coupled with knowledge of professional issues and concerns and relevant theoretical topics. The structure of the class will enable each student to develop skills in all of these course components.

SLIS 5600 Introduction to Information Access & Knowledge Inquiry. 3 hours. Official SLIS Course Description

Epistemological foundations of information use. Basic principles and techniques of information access and knowledge inqueries. Survey of research in information seeking behavior and user interaction. Introduction to systems of access, search, retrieval and navigation skills, as well as reference collection management and services collection management. Study of evaluation methods for all formats of resources, services and user satisfaction.

Please note: As one of the core courses required of all students in the School of Library and Information Sciences, the 5600/4600 course has several different faculty who teach it, and the core content has been considered and approved by the entire SLIS faculty. Regarding expected time expenditure: In general terms, a student can expect 3 - 4 hours of reading/homework time outside of class for every hour spent in class -- in other words, the general expectation level of SLIS is that you will spend approximately 9 - 12 hours per week completing reading and homework for this course.

Course Overview And Objectives

Please note the following objectives of the School and note the highlighted objectives that the 5600/4600 Information Access and Retrieval course will ideally help the student achieve:

** = Directly addressed
* = Indirectly addressed

SCHOOL OF LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SCIENCES OBJECTIVES (from the Graduate Catalog)

The master's program objective is to prepare students to understand the principles, analyze the problems, and design and implement practices related to recordable information, including its creation, communication, identification, selection, acquisition, organization, description, storage, retrieval, preservation, analysis, interpretation, evaluation, synthesis, dissemination, and management.

Specifically, students should:

  1. understand the critical impact of electronic technology and networks on information practices; **
  2. be able to manage change in a technology-driven and knowledge-based environment; *
  3. plan, manage, and implement information systems in the networked environment for the creation, organization and dissemination of information;
  4. develop and implement conceptual and technological systems and structures for the organization of information in any format for effective access; *
  5. understand human information behavior in order to design and implement information systems and services that meet user needs; **
  6. evaluate, synthesize and present information for client use; **
  7. demonstrate communication skills necessary for personal and professional growth and interaction in appropriate professional contexts; **
  8. manifest a commitment to the philosophy, principles and legal and ethical responsibilities of the field; **
  9. recognize the impacts of information policies, practices, and information itself on diverse populations in a technological and global society; *
  10. demonstrate additional knowledge and competencies appropriate to their individual interests, specializations and career goals; *
  11. understand the importance of professional development, continuing education, and participation in professional organizations; **
  12. and relate the methodologies and content of other disciplines to the information field and understand the contribution of the information field to other disciplines. *

Course Access

This course is presented entirely online via Blackboard Technology. The course begins the first official day of classes in the semesters in which it is offered. Registered students will be uploaded into the student database and can access the course using their UNT EUID and PASSWORD beginning on the first day. Course modules will be timed and are explained in the full course syllabus and course calendar. An important note about course access: At times, the overnight uploads of the student database, which is done by Student Records and the Blackboard Divisions, takes longer than anticipated or has technical problems. Please do not be alarmed if you do not have access to the Storytelling course the first or second day of class or if your access is suddenly problematic. Your faculty and teaching assistants anticipate access problems and we will work with the uploaded data to ensure every student has access as soon as possible. If you are registered for the class and experience access problems, please consult the Blackboard Student Resources page. If you need further assistance, please send an email to Elizabeth Figa or one of the teaching assistants at the email addresses listed below. Please be patient with us -- your access to the course is our highest priority! You will not get behind in the course the first few days and you can read ahead in your text.

Telephones/Pagers

Telephones and pagers should be turned off during the Web Institute live class periods. Thank you.

Contact Information

Elizabeth G. Figa, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
University of North Texas
School of Library and Information Sciences
UNT Discovery Park, Room E295L
3940 N. Elm St.
Denton, TX 76207-7102
Work: (940) 565-2187
Fax: (940) 565-3101
Email: elizabeth.figa@unt.edu
WWW: http://courses.unt.edu/efiga/Figa/

Required Course Materials

Students should order the required text in advance!! See below for ordering the text.

Required text:

Reference and Information Services: An Introduction. 4th Edition. By Richard Bopp and Linda Smith, Editors. Libraries Unlimited. 2011.

Ordering Suggestions:

Required Style Manual:

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). (2009). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. 

Required Course Readings:

Each weekly module will have other required and additional article readings which are listed in the "Readings Due this Week" section of the modules. Use of the UNT electronic resources library is necessary and all readings can be retrieved electronically.

Required Course Technology

Reliable Internet access is required. Please do NOT take this course if you do not have access to reliable high-speed Internet in order to perform your stories.

Blackboard is the course management software used at UNT; please see the Blackboard Vista Browser and Computer in order to ensure your computer system meets the minimum requirements to work with Blackboard Vista, and to check your Java.

This course requires that students have computing technology and equipment specifications as follows:

1. Hardware. See the Blackboard Vista Technology Requirements page for hardware components to support Blackboard.

2. Microsoft Office. You will need Microsoft Office or the ability to save documents in a compatible format (i.e., Rich Text).

Assignments

Please see the Assignments List & Info page in the course menu for details on these assignments.
1. Full participation in all class activities, exercises, discussions, etc. (weekly)
2. Reading Assignment Quizzes (weekly @ 23)
3. Information Quests (weekly @ 11)
4. Evaluation of Resources (weekly @ 11)
5. Library Observation Assignment
6. Mid-Semester Response Paper
7. Final Project: Current Trend Annotated Bibliographic Guide

The Web Institute
(Module 1 of the Course)

ATTENDANCE FOR ALL DAYS OF THE WEB INSTITUTE IS REQUIRED BY SLIS POLICY.

This schedule is subject to change.

About the Web Institute

The SLIS 5600/4600 Web Institute is a distributed learning course with: 1) an intensive two-day onsite component, and 2) the Web-based component of work done online via the Web for the remaining weeks of the semester. For more information, go to the LIS Web site, select Site Map from the sidebar menu, choose Prospective Student, and scroll to Web Institute.

Onsite Activities

The onsite portion will meet from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day. You will have one optional evening event during the Institute. The primary purpose of the Institute is to acquaint you with the course and train you in the architecture and inner workings of the tools and techniques of Blackboard Learn as it related to this course specifically. There is also a major social component which allows you to get to know fellow students and your teaching team.

Online Activities

The online portion of the course starts after the onsite component is completed and runs through the end of the semester. Access to course materials and interaction with faculty and students will be through Blackboard Learn. Through the Blackboard Learn SLIS 5600/4600 site, you will have 13 modules containing printed lectures, support materials, assignments, and related discussion with classmates and instructors.

The Course Content

The course is divided into 13 modules, each of which runs for one week's time. Assignments are due by midnight, Central Time, on Wednesday nights.

Some students print all the course materials in advance of module work and assemble them into a course binder. Materials from this course will be essential when you prepare for your Capstone Experience! Module content and assignments are subject to change at the discretion of the faculty.

CONSULT YOUR COURSE CALENDAR FOR DATES!

Unit 1

Module 1 | Web Institute

Chapters: Read before Web Institute

  • 1. History & Functions
  • 13. Selection & Evaluation of Sources
  • 17. Dictionaries

Content:

  • Intro to Info Access
  • Tech Talk
  • Series of other lectures & activities

Assignments:

  • In class activities

Module 2 | History, Source Evaluation, Dictionaries

Chapters:

  • Readings as assigned

Content:

  • Content as assigned

Assignments:

  • Discussion Post
  • Reading Quiz
  • Information Quest
  • Source Evaluation

Module 3 | Electronic Resources, Encyclopedias

Chapters:

  • Readings as assigned

Content:

  • Content as assigned

Assignments:

  • Discussion Post
  • Reading Quiz
  • Information Quest
  • Source Evaluation

Module 4 | Reference Interview, Indexes & Abstracts

Chapters:

  • Readings as assigned

Content:

  • Content as assigned

Assignments:

  • Discussion Post
  • Reading Quiz
  • Information Quest
  • Source Evaluation

Unit 2

Module 5 | Information Systems, Reference Services

Chapters:

  • Readings as assigned

Content:

  • Content as assigned

Assignments:

  • Discussion Post
  • Reading Quiz
  • Information Quest
  • Source Evaluation

Module 6 | Information Organization & Search Strategies, Bibliographies

Chapters:

  • Readings as assigned

Content:

  • Content as assigned

Assignments:

  • Discussion Post
  • Reading Quiz
  • Information Quest
  • Source Evaluation

Module 7 | Specific Populations, Handbooks & Manuals

Chapters:

  • Readings as assigned

Content:

  • Content as assigned

Assignments:

  • Discussion Post
  • Reading Quiz
  • Information Quest
  • Source Evaluation

Module 8 | Ethics, Almanacs & Yearbooks

Chapters:

  • Readings as assigned

Content:

  • Content as assigned

Assignments:

  • Discussion Post
  • Reading Quiz
  • Information Quest
  • Source Evaluation
  • Mid-Semester Paper

Module 9 | Government Documents

Chapters:

  • Readings as assigned

Content:

  • Content as assigned

Assignments:

  • Discussion Post
  • Reading Quiz
  • Information Quest
  • Source Evaluation

Unit 3

Module 10 | Evaluating Reference Services, Directories

Chapters:

  • Readings as assigned

Content:

  • Content as assigned

Assignments:

  • Discussion Post
  • Reading Quiz
  • Information Quest
  • Source Evaluation

Module 11 | Reference Instruction, Biographies

Chapters:

  • Readings as assigned

Content:

  • Content as assigned

Assignments:

  • Discussion Post
  • Reading Quiz
  • Information Quest
  • Source Evaluation

Module 12 | Access Services, Geographic Sources

Chapters:

  • Readings as assigned

Content:

  • Content as assigned

Assignments:

  • Discussion Post
  • Reading Quiz
  • Information Quest
  • Source Evaluation

Module 13 | Training & Continuing Education

Chapters:

  • Readings as assigned

Content:

  • Content as assigned

Assignments:

  • Discussion Post
  • Reading Quiz
  • Final Project: Current Trend Annotated Bibliographic Guide