It's back to school time, which means for some people it's back to or off to library school (or information school, depending on your place).
Here's a spot to collect a syllabus for any class that's interesting, to see what it is that people are being taught in school these days (and if you are lucky, to help shape that!) It's incomplete but I hope to add to it.
LIS 753 is an introduction to the fundamentals of the Internet, including its origins, evolution, current state, and future. Critical Internet issues such as privacy, copyright, and other related topics will be examined. Students will have a basic understanding of Web content languages and the Internet as a result of this course. Pre-requisites are 701 and 703.
INLS 490-154: Introduction to Information Retrieval System Design and Implementation (Chirag Shah, UNC)
Tools for organizing and accessing information have become indispensable. It is critical, therefore, to understand their design and operational foundations. In this course students will have an opportunity to learn about search engines, web crawling, and some Web 2.0 technologies based on hands-on experience and with a focus on techniques that can be used to access, retrieve, organize, and present information. Students will work with practical developmental tools and learn relevant concepts through experimentation. For instance, students will employ an open source search engine and learn about indexing, retrieving, and ranking techniques.
Instead of a fixed syllabus, the instructor is providing an annotated list of suggested readings. Each student is still expected to spend four hours each week reading in preparation for each weekly class meeting, but the student teaching teams chose each week's readings for the entire class from the instructor's list. Students are encouraged to add and/or substitute their own texts (which can include links to videos and other media) -- but must justify their addition/substitution in the context of the class theme -- identity and presentation of self, community, roots and visions of social cyberspace, networks -- social and technical, collective action, public sphere, social capital, virtual community and real life. Entire class theme categories can be added and/or substituted, but must be justified to the instructor in advance.
The catalog description for this course is as follows:
This course focuses on the historical and contemporary state of personal and public interaction with popular media in the context of technological developments and the impact of these developments on society and culture. Students completing this course will study journal articles, survey the research literature, and write papers on the historical trajectory of information consumption from the emergence of mass-produced paper- based texts to the development of the World Wide Web.
This has always struck me as an impossibly broad description. The advantage to this is that it allows some flexibility in what we focus on, and in previous versions of this course, I have successfully turned the planning of the course—to a greater or lesser degree—over to the participants in the seminar. (See the end of this document for a statement on the philosophy surrounding this approach to organizing the course.) Therefore, this initial syllabus is really only a temporary skeleton, to be fleshed out collaboratively on our first meeting. It is hosted on Google Docs, and we will be editing it on our first meeting. What is listed here initially is the “immutables”—things that due to the structure of the university, my own standards, or the description of the course must remain fairly strictly defined.