This offering of IRLS504 is a full semester-long course divided into weekly modules. For all sections, the lecture components, assignments, quizzes, readings, announcements and other activities as described further below will be available and delivered online through the D2L learning management system.
The sections differ, however, in the format of the primary discussion activities. Each week, study questions and discussion topics relating to course content and activities will be posted. Students are required to participate in regular discussion as suggested by the readings and study questions, vocabulary terms and other discussion items. There are two options for participating in the required discussion activities, as follows:
- Sections 001 and 902 will meet face to face each Wednesday beginning at 3:30pm in a classroom on campus to be announced. Primary discussion will take place in a traditional classroom environment. Attendance is mandatory.
- Sections 010, 901 and 905 will be assigned to online discussion sections. Primary discussion will take place via written threaded conversation using the Discussion tool of D2L. Participation is mandatory.
- All students will participate in secondary online discussion in D2L. Participation is mandatory.
Other than the manner of participating in primary discussion, no differences exist between the sections in terms of content, rigor or level of participation. The online course components are asynchronous, meaning the student is not required to log in at a particular time, but they are not self-paced and all sections will move as a group and complete assignments and activities according to a schedule. Late discussion and assignments will be penalized. Students in all sections are expected to login regularly, several times each week, in order to participate in class discussion and to retrieve materials and assignments in a timely fashion.
Students may switch sections to/from face to face or virtual only during the first week of the course. After that, students are committed to their chosen method for discussion.
Lead Instructor. The lead instructor for this course will be Dr. Bruce Fulton. The role of the lead instructor is to guide, manage and organize the course and to provide evaluation. However, much of the course content will be provided by guest instructors, including other SIRLS core and adjunct faculty and guest lecturers.
Module Plans. Each week, a Module Plan will be posted in D2L Content that is your guide for the lectures, topics of the week, terminology, readings, study questions for discussion, assignments and any other information and instructions.
Lectures. Lectures may take several forms, including written lectures, video or audio lectures, voice over PowerPoint slide lectures and other types of media presentations. Links to the lectures are provided in the Module Plan.
Readings. Most weeks, there will be two sets of lectures and readings (or other multi-media resources) listed in the Module Plans. The first set of readings and any lecture resources along with study questions should be viewed/read and prepared for Discussion 1 (see below). The second set of readings provides additional insight into the primary topics of the week, or introduces new topics and supplementary resources for greater understanding.
Discussion I focuses on the main topic(s) of the week. The study questions included in the Module Plans guide Discussion I, but discussion is not limited to those topics. Each student is expected to make at least five substantive contributions to Discussion I per week. A substantive contribution is one that adds intellectual information or ideas to what has already been said. Examples might be comparing or contrasting with another idea, bringing in new information, making an analytical comment of your own. Additional guidelines will be posted in D2L Content. Students should plan on making at least 2-3 "top posts" (original response to a question or discussion topic) and 2-3 substantive replies to fellow students' posts, for a total of five or more posts per module.
- Discussion I for the face to face sections takes place Wednesday of each week beginning at 3:30 pm in a classroom on campus TBA.
- Discussion I for the online sections takes place in assigned discussion groups on D2L and at least two of the five required substantive posts should be completed by Wednesday evening of each week.
Discussion II. All students, face to face and online sections both, continue in their groups online in D2L for the purpose of discussing the second set of resources. Each student is expected to make at least five substantive contributions to Discussion II per week, to be completed no later than the following Sunday Evening.
Each group will select a leader, which will rotate weekly among the group members. The discussion leader of the week will report back with a summary of key points from Discussion I and II in a designated discussion section of D2L. to be completed no later than the following Monday evening.
All students must read all discussions posts available to them. D2L tracks this. Points will be deducted from the discussion participation score for failing to read all posts from other students.
Quizzes. D2L includes a quiz engine, and nearly every week, there will be a quiz on the topics presented. These quizzes are mostly, but not always, terminology focused, based on the terminology listed in the module plan. Quizzes open on Wednesday of each week and close prior to the midterm and final exams. You are required to take the quiz at least once but you may take it as many times as you like. Wise students will use it as a tool to test and reinforce their understanding. The grades on the weekly quizzes will not count per se, but your record will be reviewed so the instructor can see how you are coming. Failure to take quizzes in the week in which they are first offered will adversely affect your grade. Some guest instructors may not use terms and quizzes, but that will be clear in their module plans.
Exams. There will be a mid-term exam consisting of terminology, short-responses, and an essay. There will be a final exam covering terminology, short responses, and an essay. Additional details will be released in class.
Assignments. In addition to weekly discussion, quizzes and exams, there are several assignment to be completed over the semester. Additional details on each of the assignments and due dates will be posted in a Course Documents folder in the D2L Content area. All students are responsible for all documents posted in the course documents section. A brief summary of assignments includes:
- Tour of a library or information organization and an interview with a librarian or other information professional.
- Term paper, based on an issue of your choice. Your paper must have a thesis.
- Job Search Small Group Assignment. You will research job postings on information jobs of your choice as the course progresses and complete a group project based on your job findings. Details of the group project will be provided in class.
- Report back assignments. Occasionally, you will be assigned to find or research something on the web and report back to your discussion sections. Details of these, and other miscellaneous assignments will be described in the module plan.
- EPortfolio Reflection. SIRLS uses an ePortfolio consisting of four very substantive reflections on your academic work in lieu of a final comprehensive exam. The ePortfolio will be explained in detail during the course of the semester. The first reflection due covers your 504 experience and must be completed by the end of the course. The ePortfolio reflection is not graded, however you will not be permitted to continue in the SIRLS program if you have not completed and received approval for the 504 reflection.
Dropbox. D2L provides a digital dropbox where some assignment submissions will be made. Assignment instructions will indicate whether they should be submitted to the dropbox. The D2L dropbox tracks when submissions are made and will lock out late submissions.