CSC 2500: Survey of Information Science
Course Syllabus
Spring 2008


Course Description: 

Brief introductions to several areas in which problems in information use are important. Examples are business, law, biology, medicine, electronic commerce, and libraries.

Prerequisites:

None

Textbooks:

Objectives:

Outcomes:
On completion of this course, each student will be able to do the following:

Course Structure and Practice:

The course description lists several of the possible topic areas for us to explore during the semester.  During the first class, we will discuss our interests and choose the topics to be presented during this semester.  We will identify a specialist in each topic that is selected.  Each week one of these specialists will visit and talk to us about that area.  One member of the class will serve as host and discussion leader for each of our guests. 

Each of our guests will provide us with one or more papers to read on the selected topic.  We will all read the paper and come prepared to make a significant contribution to the discussion of that work.  To support careful reading and understanding of the assigned readings, each student will prepare a concept map of that paper.  These will be collected, graded, and returned. 

Spring 2008 Schedule


Evaluation:

Grading will be based on the following:

Item
Percent of course grade
Concept  maps
20%
Participation in discussions
30%
Semester project
40%
Occasional quizzes on reading material
10%


Each student will host one or two of our guests and will lead the discussion of that guest's readings.  All students will read the assigned material and will prepare a comprehensive concept map of the reading(s).  The student host is not presenting the paper to the class, but is making sure that a good discussion happens.  That means coming with some questions prepared in case they are needed to get the discussion started or to restart it if it fades out.  While everyone will have read the paper and will come prepared for discussion, the student host has a special responsibility and will need to have given extra attention to the papers for that week.  (The discussion of each week's readings should last at least 45 minutes.  It is the responsibility of the host to be sure that the discussion continues and that everyone gets a chance to speak.  It is the responsibility of each student to speak about each reading.  If I have to call on individuals in order to get them to enter the conversation, that will count against the participation grade.)

Semester Project

Each student will do a semester long project.  This may be a software development project in an area related to some aspect of information science or it may be a research paper on an appropriate topic.  We will discuss appropriate projects during the first class.  Each project, whether software development or research paper, will be presented at the end of the semester.