LIS 7380 Syllabus (Fall 2014)

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St. Catherine University

Master of Library and Information Science Program

LIS 7380 G01: Older Adults and the Web (14599)
Fall 2014

As of 4/30/14; subject to change.

Credit hours: 3 semester hours
Classroom: CDC 5
Time: Saturdays (bi-weekly) 12:00-5:00pm
Contact hours: 45 (15 interactive lecture, 10 discussion, 20 project work) 
Prerequisites: LIS 7010, 7030, 7040, 7050, or by permission of the instructor
Instructor: Joyce Yukawa
Office: CDC 48; Hours: one hour before/after class & by appointment
Contact: jyukawa[at]stkate[dot]edu
Please check the MLIS website syllabus for required readings for the first class.


An introduction to issues and practices related to the online information seeking of older adults and the implications for the information professions. Topics include: the impacts of aging on society; older adults' information seeking behavior and computer and web use; best practices for teaching older adults; library services and advocacy for older adults; and engaging older adult volunteers. A major component of the course is service learning – active, engaged learning integrated with socially responsible practice. Students collaborate with a library, residential center, or other community organization to create a project or service to benefit older adults. Students will use research skills in an evidence-based assessment of their work in the service-learning project. 3 credits. Prerequisites: LIS 7010, 7030, 7040, 7050, or by permission of the instructor.



  1. Class wiki: The main course website is a private PBworks wiki that has complete course information, as well as project pages. Registered students may request access at:
  2. D2L: Most assignments will be submitted in the D2L site. Grades and instructor comments will be provided in the D2L site.


The course goals are to enable students to:

  1. Develop a future-oriented vision for older adult services, advocacy, and volunteer engagement based on an understanding of the dynamics of older adult population growth.
  2. Appreciate older adults for their experiences, strengths, and the challenges they face in using new technologies. 
  3. Gain professional experience and project management skills.
  4. Achieve a sense of accomplishment and enrichment through community service and collaborating with community partners.


This course helps students meet the following MLIS Program student learning outcomes (SLOs):

  • Identify and analyze information needs and opportunities of individuals and organizations. (SLO 1)
  • Demonstrate critical thinking by integrating relevant models, theories, research and practices. (SLO 2)
  • Demonstrate information technology fluency. (SLO 6)
  • Demonstrate awareness of diverse groups and how to serve them effectively. (SLO 9)


  • Leadership
  • Diversity
  • Research
  • Technology
  • Ethics



Student Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, the student will be able to:

Method of Assessment

Outcome measurement tool


Examine the demographics of aging to assess the social and technological implications for libraries and information centers.

Discussion; Learning Blog; Workshops


Differentiate the information seeking behavior of older adults in the Third and Fourth Ages.

Discussion; Learning Blog; Workshops


Apply knowledge of the differing sensory, motor, and cognitive challenges older adults experience using computers and the internet to improve services and create new solutions to meet the needs of older adults.

Discussion; Learning Blog; Workshops


Apply knowledge of accessible and assistive technologies to develop effective, low-cost solutions to improve the online information seeking experiences of older adults.

Discussion; Learning Blog; Workshops


Demonstrate best practices for teaching older adults how to use computers and the internet. 



Create, plan, and implement a program or set of deliverables as part of a service-learning project.

  • Assess needs.
  • Create vision & scope for the project.
  • Determine requirements for project deliverables.
  • Determine specifications for project deliverables.
  • Create work breakdown structure and implementation schedule.
  • Design, plan, and produce project deliverables.

Project Brief, Project Deliverables, Project Report presented to the community partner


Evaluate performance on the service-learning project.

Project Completion Report



Instructional/facilitation methods include lecture, group discussion, field observations, a major service-learning project, and a variety of evaluation methods. 

Service-Learning Project

Service learning is an experiential teaching/learning approach that emphasizes active, engaged learning integrated with socially responsible practice. It involves dynamic, interactive learning through a mutual arrangement and mutual benefit between the student and the student's community. Service learning is not volunteering. It involves the engagement in a service activity that relates directly to course content, and learning of course content is directly enhanced by the service-learning experience.

For Fall 2014, all students will collaborate with librarians at Anoka County Library (ACL) to assist ACL in planning outcomes based programs for new or enhanced services for older adults. A special dimension of this service-learning relationship is that it is founded on developing and maintaining a sustainable partnership. The goal of improving services to older adults is being addressed in phases over time, guided by the needs and desires of ACL administration and librarians. Student teams design and develop the deliverables during their respective semesters in the course. Building on the needs assessment, project work, and recommendations of the Fall 2012 and Fall 2013 classes, the Fall 2014 student team, in collaboration with ACL, will develop a targeted service or set of deliverables to benefit older adults. 

Students and the librarian who is ACL’s project manager for the service-learning project will determine the project goals at the first class meeting. The student team will then determine how the goals will be achieved through identifying deliverables, developing a project plan, and determining roles and responsibilities. This opportunity to apply knowledge and skills in an actual library situation provides real goals and limitations as the conditions for creative problem solving. Each student will develop an individual service-learning plan as a component of the overall project plan. It is expected that students will work an average of 4 hours per week on project work. Based on the experiences of previous students in this course, project work may include research, online and face-to-face meetings with Anoka County Library staff, observing and interacting with older adults at Anoka County Library, contacting other community members and organizations, and working individually and as a team on project deliverables for the targeted service.

The service-learning component is intended to enrich the lives of students by providing real-world experience to make course content relevant and enabling students to gain professional experience. Through participation in the service-learning component as it is integrated with course content, students should be able to articulate educated viewpoints and propose plans of action as advocates for older adults using the computer and the internet. Additionally, there will be personal mutual enrichment among students, ACL staff, and older adults as a result of the experience.

Project components:

  • Project Brief (project plan) (10 points)
  • Literature Review and Presentation on an issue relevant to the service-learning experience (20 points)
  • Project deliverables for an older adult service for Anoka County Library (30)
  • Final Presentation of findings to the Anoka County Library Board (10 points)
  • Project Completion Report (10 points)
  • Blog: Reflections on service-learning experiences (15 points)

Some possible topic areas for literature review are:

  • Diversity of needs of the older adult population (55+)
  • Attitudes of older adults toward computers
  • How novice users conceptualize computer and internet tools
  • Issues of ICT or digital literacy affecting older adults
  • Computer systems and applications for older adults
  • Peer teaching of older adults
  • Older adults, libraries, and community engagement
  • Outcomes based assessment



  • Schull, D. D. (2013). 50+ library services: Innovations in action. Chicago: American Library Association (ALA Editions). ISBN-13: 978-0838911198
  • Other required readings are listed on the class wiki.

Recommended (some required readings taken from the following):

  • Berkun, S. (2008). Making things happen: Mastering project management. O'Reilly Media. ISBN-13: 978-0596517717. On reserve. 
  • California State Libraries. [n.d.] Transforming Life After 50: A resource for libraries.
  • Mates, B.T. & Reed, W. R. (2011). Assistive technologies in the library. Chicago: American Library Association. ISBN-13: 978-0838910702. On reserve.
  • Rothstein, P. M., & Schull, D. D. (2010). Boomers and beyond: Reconsidering the role of libraries. Chicago: American Library Association. ISBN-13: 978-0838910146. On reserve.
  • West, J. (2011). Without a net: Librarians bridging the digital divide. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited. ISBN-13: 978-1598844535. On reserve.

Please go to the class wiki for course announcements and course learning resources, including course documents, websites related to course content, etc.  Please check your email daily for notification of updates to the class wiki.


Table 1. Grading Scale



















All assignments will be due at the beginning of the class period. Late assignments will be accepted for up to 3 days after they are due, with a 5% reduction in grade per day late. In case of emergency, please contact the instructor prior to the due date. In the case of an excused absence, make-up of course requirements (e.g. exams, quizzes, practical exam, papers, etc…) must be scheduled at a mutually convenient time. It is the student's responsibility to arrange a make-up schedule with the course instructor(s) PRIOR to the absence. In the case of an unexcused absence, make-up of course requirements that were missed must be completed by the student within three (3) school days of their original date. If not completed within this timeframe, the total point value of the course requirement is forfeited.

Incomplete Grade

A grade of incomplete is given only when unusual circumstances deem it appropriate.  Ordinarily, such circumstances would involve matters that are not wholly within your control, such as illness.  If you wish to receive an incomplete grade you must complete a Petition for Incomplete Grade form (available online) no later than the last day of the term in which course requirements are due.  You must be making satisfactory progress in the course and you must have completed 75% of the course at the time the petition is filed.  Incompletes are awarded at the instructor’s discretion.  If granted, the normal deadline for completion of the work is no more than eight weeks after the last day of classes in the session or sub-session in which the course is offered.  The instructor may establish a due date after the normal deadline if you request it and special circumstances warrant it.  The instructor will submit an alternate grade that will automatically be recorded if you do not complete the requirements for the course by the deadline.  If you complete the course requirements in the time allotted, the instructor must submit the final grade by the deadline.  Extensions to the due date originally agreed to by you and your instructor must be approved by the appropriate academic dean.

Assignments and Grading


Percentage of Grade

Project Plan


Literature Review (18) & Presentation (2)


Project Deliverables


Final Presentation


Project Completion Report


Service-learning Blog


Class Participation






St. Catherine University defines attendance as participating in the faculty and student interaction required by the course.  The manner of participation used for attendance is defined by the format of the course. For online courses, attendance means following the communication requirements and due dates on the syllabus. For in-class learning, attendance means that (1) students are expected to arrive at class on time and stay for the duration of the class; and (2) students, whether present or not, are responsible for in-class content. For hybrid courses, students must follow both the online and in-class attendance requirements. For individualized study (e.g. independent study, directed study, research credits), communication during the first week is required to establish attendance. Failure to attend, for any reason, may be taken into account in the evaluation of the student's work. Each instructor will include the attendance/participation policy in the course syllabus.

It is not required that attendance be reported throughout the semester. However, it is required that registered students attend the first day of class, or first week for online/individualized study/off campus courses that do not meet on a specific day.  Regular class attendance (for in-class), or online communication (for online learning) is expected of all students. 

Students who do not attend the first day/first week of class will be withdrawn from the course by the Registrar’s Office. Faculty who elect to take attendance have the option to request course withdrawal for students who do not attend the class for 14 consecutive calendar days.  Under all other circumstances, the student must initiate withdrawal from a course. Even if a student does not attend class meetings or does not log into the online course, the student remains financially responsible for paying tuition for the course, up to the date of formal withdrawal. The academic calendars on the University's website contain the add, drop and withdrawal deadlines.


St. Catherine University is committed to equal access for all and recognizes that disability is an aspect of diversity. The University’s goal is to create learning environments that are usable, equitable, inclusive and welcoming.  If there are aspects of the instruction or design of this course that result in barriers to the learning environment, accurate assessment or your achievement, please contact the Resources for Disabilities office as soon as possible.  Access Consultants can be reached in the O’Neill Center at 651-690-6563 to discuss academic adjustments or accommodations.


Regular attendance is very important. It is very difficult to keep up without attending every class. If you will miss class, you should notify the instructor in advance.

You are responsible for checking your St. Kate's email account for messages from the instructor. Check your email at least once a day.

St. Catherine University expects each of its students to uphold the Student Code of Conduct, which includes civility, respect for differences, and academic integrity and honesty. Appropriate credit must be given to original creators of all works used. Major violations are cheating and plagiarism. Cheating includes copying others’ works, collaborating without authorization, and accessing others’ computer files without authorization. Plagiarism includes intentionally or unintentionally using someone else’s words, works, thoughts, or expression of ideas without giving proper credit. Please see the St. Catherine University Academic Integrity Policy.


LIS 7380 Older Adults and the Web advances the attainment of the University’s “Goals of a Liberal Arts Education”, specifically as this course prepares students to explore the nature of critical thinking in library and information science. Specific liberal arts goals addressed in this course include: Ethics and Social Justice, Diversity and Global Perspectives, Critical and Creative Inquiry, Discipline-Based Competence.