What is INLS385-002 all about?

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 use your laptops 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 will be submissions to the appropriate Sakai assignments space.

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.

However, if we have a Zoom session, each class Zoom session will be recorded and a link to the stored file will be made available to everyone in the class.

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 Moran 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.

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There are no assigned textbooks,

... but plan to read a lot, and to save many of the readings to your personal professional reading collection.

Readings will not be for memorizing things, but rather to frame your thinking for the session to come. Read them, think about them, and, where useful, comment on them on the Sakai forums.

We will have a three level plan for readings

  1. something about the topic of the day, easy to digest, perhaps in a visual form
  2. something to think about, relevant to the topic under consideration
  3. articles or book sections that are about research on the topic, research we might not talk about in class, but that might be worth your individual exploration

We will also have a daily video that may broaden our horizons.

How will we find the readings?

Readings will be made available electronically, through the class schedule and the specific session pages.

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The several tasks for this class are each worth the following percentages

Value Added

25% of your course grade will be based upon the value you add to your colleagues' class experience. The value you add to your peers' experience in this class is based on three things:

  1. Attendance - You are expected to attend all classes. You should be ready to start at 1100. If you need to miss a class, let me know so we can expect that you won't be with us.
  2. Deportment - Be courteous to your classmates. Use your information tools to support current course activities only. Pay attention. Try not to pursue other interests during the class session.
  3. General Participation - which means being prepared for class, making observations about the readings, asking questions, actively working on in-class exercises and actively listening, writing at least one forum posting every two weeks, and commenting on a colleague's forum posting at least once during the semester. Everyone will get the chance to participate.
Module Reports

50% of your course grade will come from four module reports.

We often do not realize what we have learned until after due deliberation. Writing a module report provides you an opportunity to reflect on the readings and lectures, and reading the reports you write provides me a chance to assess to what extent you have met the learning objectives.

  1. 10% of your course grade will come from a group module report discussing the individual in the organization
  2. 15% of your course grade will come from a group/personal module report discussing organizational culture
  3. 15% of your course grade will come from a group/personal module report discussing organizational leadership
  4. 10% of your course grade will come from a personal module report discussing technology effects
There will be a final exam. It will be an in-class submission of a semester long project.

25% of your course grade wil come from the Final Exam

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One of the important things we hear from employers of IS grads is that our grads have the ability to express themselves clearly and coherently in written and verbal formats. Accordingly, our evaluation tools for INLS385 are written and verbal formats.

But what kind of standard will be applied?

Subjective assessment draws upon the instructor's professionally developed awareness of quality in academic or other work. This may be essential for assessing with validity, because some outcomes require sensitivity to context and thus cannot be assessed in a fixed way across contexts. Objective assessment, in contrast, relies on quantitative scales that could apply to description of student work or performance. [IUPUI]

Therefore, grading the evaluation components for INLS385-002 is necessarily a subjective effort and a grade will generally mean the descriptors in the table below.

points what it means grade
95> Mastery of course content at the highest level of attainment that can reasonably be expected A
A totally acceptable performance
demonstrating an adequate level of attainment
A marginal performance in the required exercises
demonstrating a minimal passing level
<60 For whatever reasons, an unacceptable performance F
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Reasonable Accomodations

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill facilitates the implementation of reasonable accommodations, including resources and services, for students with disabilities, chronic medical conditions, a temporary disability or pregnancy complications resulting in barriers to fully accessing University courses, programs and activities.

Accommodations are determined through the Office of Accessibility Resources and Service (ARS) for individuals with documented qualifying disabilities in accordance with applicable state and federal laws. See the ARS Website for contact information: https://ars.unc.edu/ or email ars@unc.edu.

If you feel this will apply to you, feel free to discuss it with the instructor.

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Counseling And Psychological Services

CAPS is strongly committed to addressing the mental health needs of a diverse student body through timely access to consultation and connection to clinically appropriate services, whether for short or long-term needs.

Go to their website: https://caps.unc.edu/ or visit their facilities on the third floor of the Campus Health Services building for a walk-in evaluation to learn more.

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Any student who is impacted by discrimination, harassment, interpersonal (relationship) violence, sexual violence, sexual exploitation, or stalking is encouraged to seek resources on campus or in the community.

Please contact the Director of Title IX Compliance (Adrienne Allison - Adrienne.allison@unc.edu), Report and Response Coordinators in the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office (reportandresponse@unc.edu), Counseling and Psychological Services (confidential), or the Gender Violence Services Coordinators (gvsc@unc.edu; confidential) to discuss your specific needs.

Additional resources are available at safe.unc.edu.

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What it means to us

Faculty and students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill adhere to their Code of Student Conduct.

We can learn much from each other and we will do that. I expect each of you to help each other.

We'll discuss what we expect in terms of cooperative, collaborative, shared work and the honor code.

Honor Code

It shall be the responsibility of every student at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to obey and support the enforcement of the Honor Code, which prohibits lying, cheating, or stealing when these actions involve academic processes or University, student or academic personnel acting in an official capacity.

Campus Code

It shall be the further responsibility of every student to abide by the philosophy of the code; namely, to conduct oneself so as not to impair significantly the welfare or the educational opportunities of others in the University community.

Faculty Responsibilities

I have a role to play as well, and I will fulfill these responsibilities.

What it means to us

The system rests on several central tenets:

The university community, including faculty and students, share a commitment to the pursuit of truth, and the dissemination of knowledge to succeeding generations of citizens devoted to the high ideals of personal honor and respect for the rights of others.

These goals can only be achieved in a setting in which intellectual honesty and personal integrity are highly valued; other individuals are trusted, respected, and fairly treated; and the responsibility for articulating and maintaining high standards is widely shared.

Both students and faculty must play active roles in fostering a culture in which honor is prized and acting to remedy violations of community norms relating to academic misconduct, injuries to members of the University community, and conduct that adversely affect University operations and resources.

The principles of academic honesty, integrity, and responsible citizenship govern the performance of all academic work and student conduct at the University as they have during the long life of this institution.

Your acceptance of enrollment in the University presupposes a commitment to the principles embodied in the Code of Student Conduct and a respect for the most significant Carolina tradition.

Your reward is in the practice of these principles.

Your participation in this course comes with the expectation that your work will be completed in full observance of the Honor Code

You are encouraged to work together with your fellow students and to share knowledge and learning.

However, academic dishonesty in any form is unacceptable, because any breach in academic integrity, however small, strikes destructively at the University's life and work.

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What this faculty stands for

In support of the University's diversity goals and the mission of the School of Information and Library Science, SILS embraces diversity as an ethical and societal value.

SILS believes in diversity

We broadly define diversity to include race, gender, national origin, ethnicity, religion, social class, age, sexual orientation, and physical and learning ability.

As an academic community committed to preparing our graduates to be leaders in an increasingly multicultural and global society we strive to:

The statement represents a commitment of resources to the development and maintenance of an academic environment that is open, representative, reflective and committed to the concepts of equity and fairness.

Remember, on occasion you may have felt yourself to be a member of a minority group, picked on by a majority group. Here at school, you may find those roles reversed. Do not fall prey to the temptation to use your new majority sensibility to get back at those who may have picked on you in the past, when you were in a minority group. Treating others as you would have them treat you is always a good rule to follow.

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