retrieving & analyzing
information

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Assignments & Grading Rubric

Description Due date Points possible
In-class participation

We will be reading a variety of works and watching several videos in support of the diverse topics we will discuss in class. You are responsible for reading/viewing all of these. Your participation in class is critical to the success of this class. Contributing your ideas, reactions and questions to the topic at hand will nurture your skills and comfort at presenting your thoughts orally. In addition we all benefit from a dialogue that includes diverse and even occasionally conflicting perceptions.

Plan to attend class and arrive on time. You will be penalized for excessive absences and tardiness (more than 2). Be courteous to your classmates and course instructor by not conversing with others during class lectures. Turn off cell phones and other devices that might disrupt class. Use laptops and other devices to support current course activities only. During the 1 hour and 15 minutes you are in class, your attention should be completely devoted to the course.

Your participation grade is based on my perception of your participation in and out of class. Class participation consists of doing the following: attending class, arriving to class on time, being prepared for class, making observations about the readings, asking questions, taking notes, actively working on in-class exercises and actively listening.

If an unexpected problem arises for you during the course of the semester (serious illness, etc.), please let me know so that we can discuss an appropriate schedule for you. If you need to miss class because of a religious holiday, then we can certainly make alternative arrangements for this as well.

Every class 10 points
Discussion questions

At least three times during the semester you should submit a discussion question related to a specific required reading. These thoughtful and well-written questions should be questions/challenges/points-to-ponder related to the reading that we could discuss in class. For example, do you agree or disagree with the certain points - why? You are encouraged to integrate ideas from other classes or your own personal experiences - how do they relate to things we are discussing in our Retrieving & Analyzing Information class? Will you think about things differently based upon the reading - is so, how? The comments/questions should be well thought out and may even be provocative. But they may also express tentative and exploratory thoughts - we won't hold you to any hard and fast opinions.

These discussion questions should be posted to the forums section in our class Sakai account by 9:00 PM on the day BEFORE the reading/media is to be discussed in class for the first time. I also encourage you to read questions/observations posted by your colleagues and respond appropriately. Please make sure to identify yourself by name (to ensure proper credit) and note which reading you are responding.

Instructions for posting your questions in Sakai

  1. https://www.unc.edu/sakai/
  2. Log in with your onyen/password
  3. You should automatically be enrolled in our class, INLS151.002.FA15
  4. From the left navigation bar select Forums
  5. You should see entries/topics for each of our readings. Select which you want to respond to and paste/type your question.
  6. Discussion questions are due by 9:00 pm the evening before we will discuss the material in class

3 quality questions in total (2 pt possible for each) 6 points
Homework Assignments

Throughout the course of the semester, five homework assignments will be given. I will distribute and discuss each assignment during class with details on due dates. There will be a total of 5 homework assignments, each worth up to 3 points.

  • Homework #1: Analysis of selected research article (DUE: FEB 8 BY CLASSTIME)
  • Homework #2: Database overview report (DUE: WED FEB 22 BY CLASSTIME)
  • Homework #3: Scholar Profile Report/Introduction (DUE: WED MARCH 30 BY CLASSTIME)
  • Homework #4: Archives visit reflection piece (DUE: WED APRIL 13 BY CLASSTIME).

    For this assignment, please craft a one-page reflection piece about the Wilson Library field trip experience, what are your thoughts after examining the material, questions you have, anything about the library itself or handling historical material, and/or the collection of historical material, etc.

    If you missed our field trip you may do the field trip on your own:

    • Head to Wilson Library, go up to the top/4th floor to Archives + Manuscripts. They are open Monday-Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. 9 am to 1 pm on Saturdays, and 1 to 5 on Sundays.
    • At the service desk inside you will need to register as a user (fill out small form + photo ID)
    • You will then fill out a request form to see a box from the Federal Writers' Project Papers (see info below). If you are uncertain, just ask, the staff there should be able to help you with anything. Matt Turi is the librarian that led our class, but he may or may not be available to help when you are there.
    • They will show you the reading room where you can examine the documents. Read at least three life stories some are more interesting than others.
    • Before they let you examine the documents, they will require you to place all your stuff (backpack, pens, gear) into an adjacent and secure locker room. I believe they allow you to take in a phone if you want to take photos; they also provide paper and pencils inside the reading room so you can take notes.
    • The whole trip will probably take you about an hour. You may also want to stop in the NC Gallery on the main floor of the library; they've got some really interesting exhibits from the library's collections.
    • Look through this online finding aid before your visit to see if there are particular papers that sound interesting to you; write down the folder number(s)
15 points
Mid-term exam

Due by Wednesday, March 9 at 5:00 pm via email 10 points
Data to Story Project

Through this multi-step project you will:
  1. Explore, manipulate and carefully examine an existing structured data set to identify a topic(s) of interest to you and your team partners. We will be utilizing the General Social Survey GSS, a nation-wide, bi-annual, personal interview survey that collects responses to core demographic, behavioral, and attitudinal questions. It is frequently used to track societal and opinion trends in the U.S.

  2. Analyze the data to identify/uncover some interesting information, comparisons or findings. We will focus on only two or three variables and look for interesting relationships and possible correlations. From selected data, we will create a few charts/graphs that effectively communicate the relationship(s) between the variables.

  3. Based upon the selected data, your team will search for background and contextual information, scholarly research material, historical or archival material, and popular/consumer news coverage in order to develop some sort of story. You will log your search strategies, parameters, processes, and results (both successful and dead-ends) throughout this information search.

  4. After evaluating the material your team collects, you will select items that are most relevant, trustworthy and supportive of your overall story. You will document these sources in an annotated bibliography in APA format describing how you evaluated the material and why you decided to include each item.

  5. To share your team's interesting news-type story and findings (you are welcome to approach any aspect of the topic) each team will craft and present a visual presentation in the form of a PechaKucha (presentation format that is based on a simple idea: 20 slides x 20 seconds). We'll discuss details in class.


  • Project outline/plan/timeline: 5 points possible
    Due Wed, March 2
  • Information search log: 10 points possible
    Due Wed, April 6
  • Annotated bibliography: 10 points possible
    Due Mon April 18
    (was April 18)
  • PechaKucha presentation: 10 points possible
    In class April 18, 20, or 25
  • Contribution to team: 4 points possible
[Teams of 1, 2, 3 or 4 may be self-formed or assigned; concept approval required by instructor]

Total 39 points
Final exam

The Final Exam is cumulative. The Final Exam is scheduled for THURSDAY, MAY 5 AT 4:00 PM in our regular classroom. I expect you to be there. If you do not attend you will receive an F, no questions. If you anticipate some problem with taking the exam on this day or in this location (e.g., you have a conflict with another scheduled exam or you typically take your exams in the LDS office), then you need to let me know at least 2 weeks in advance. You will need to provide documentation of why you cannot take the exam during the regularly scheduled period and we will make alternative arrangements.

Thur May 5 at 4:00 pm 20
100 TOTAL

Grading Rubric

  • A = 94-100 points
  • A- = 90-93 points
  • B+ = 87-89 points
  • B = 84-86 points
  • B- = 80-83 points
  • C+ = 77-79 points
  • C = 74-76 points
  • C- = 70-73 points
  • D+ = 67-69 points
  • D = 64-66 points
  • D- = 60-63 point
  • F = 0-59.9 points