INLS385-002 Fall 2017

The basics

To quote from the SILS course descriptions, this course is about:

Basic concepts in the way that information, people, and technology interact to influence organizational effectiveness. Principles of problem solving, teamwork, leadership, and organizational change/innovation.

But what does that mean?

What it means is that we are going to consider the ways information is used within organizations. But to do that, we will have to consider the cultures of organizations and how they behave. In the process, we will consider the role of information technology within organizations, but it won't be our primary focus.

Our primary focus will be on understanding organizations and how they think, ...

... how information flows within organizations, and how that understanding can provide us with a way to deal with innovation and change in organizational contexts.

We consider theoretical foundations for practical applications and we will look at lots of examples, perhaps some you may never have considered.

Plan to read a lot, think even more, and to share the results of your reading and thinking with your peers. We want to develop the capacity for critical thinking about information use and, in the process, begin to develop some personal problem-solving skills that may be put to good use in any organization.


Method of transmission of information

Most of the class will be a mix of lecture, question and answer, discussion, and in class activities. Plan to bring your laptops with you to reach out for information you might want to introduce in class.

You will have multiple written assignments and a final in this class. Your written products may be either blog postings or something in a medium of your choosing. You may choose to store your work in a website/portfolio of your own design. Should you not choose to use blog postings or a website/portfolio, plan to store your written work in your Sakai dropbox.


One limitation

No one is permitted to record any of the class sessions, either with video or audio recorders, unless you first discuss it with the instructor and receive written permission to do so.


Special mention

In a previous semester, I asked the students to reflect on the class by suggesting a new way to approach the topic. Every one of the students took on the topic with thoughtfulness and thoroughness. This class is built upon their thinking. However, this particular semester is following, for the most part, the plan suggested by Kate Meyer and Marla Sullivan. Their work inspired the spring 2013 class and its organization, and continues to inspire this semester's version of the class.

Additionally, much of this semester's class is influenced by the INLS385 classes taught by Dr. Mohammad Jarrahi. His voice will be heard through the organization of this particular semester's class.


PDF version of the syllabus