ISCI 1000 Syllabus (Fall 2018)

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St. Catherine University
Information Management Department

Fall 2018

ISCI 1000: Information, Technology and Digital Society (CRN 15436)


As of 10/23/18; subject to change.

Credit hours: 4 semester hours
Classroom: CdC 18 (CdC 19 on 10/8, 10/10, 12/5, 12/10)
Time: Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:20-3:50pm
Contact hours: 60 (Lectures, discussions, labs)
Prerequisite or co-requisite: None
Instructor: Dr. Joyce Yukawa
Office: CDC 48; Hours: one hour before/after class & by appointment
Contact: jyukawa[at]stkate[dot]edu


  1. Course Description
  2. Course Text
  3. Student Learning Outcomes
  4. Assignments & Course Requirements
  5. Assessment & Grading
  6. Other Requirements & Information
  7. Calendar

1. Course Description

This course is an introduction to the field of information science and informatics. It is designed to help students with the comprehensive digital information literacy requirements needed for higher education. It is intended to students with any major, to help gaining an overview of how information technology influences different fields and industries. Students will gain useful insights and learn about applications of how information and data is used in many sectors with an emphasis on both concepts and practice skills germane to effectively using the power built into computer and Internet applications. It is a foundational course for students entering the Information Science and Digital Technology major or minors in Information Systems and in Digital Humanities,

Topics will include the underlying designs and uses of digital devices and computer systems and the Internet as an integral part of any IT curriculum helping students prepare for other technology-intensive IS courses.

Prerequisite: None.

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2. Course Text

Required Readings

Required readings will be selected mainly from the following texts on reserve in the library.

  • Baase, S. (2008). Gift of fire: Social, legal, and ethical issues for computing and the internet. 3rd ed. Upper Saddle Ridge, NJ: Pearson. On reserve.
  • Bawden, D., & Robinson, L. (2013). Introduction to information science. Chicago: Neal-Schuman. Z655.B39 2013. On reserve.
  • Ding, W. & Lin, X. (2010). Information architecture: The design and integration of information spaces. San Rafael, CA: Morgan & Claypool publishers. On reserve.
  • Gardiner, E., & Musto, R. G. (2016). The digital humanities: A primer for students and scholars. New York: Cambridge University Press. On reserve.

Other required and supplementary readings are listed in the Calendar.

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3. Student Learning Outcomes

Course Learning Outcomes

The objective of the course is to have students understand the basic concepts, principles and implications of information systems and digital technologies and the role that information plays in society. Students also need to understand the complex relationships among technology, people, and social settings by gaining practical experience in using personal computers to perform some of the basic tasks and to engage in critical thinking when using technology.

Course Learning Outcomes

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

Method of Assessment
1. Describe and apply information and digital literacy in various contexts Discussion, Lab Exercises, Final Project
2. Articulate the underlying principles and foci of information science and informatics Discussion, Reflective Paper
3. Utilize information processes to solve problems and understand current issues in society Lab Exercises, Reflective Paper, Final Project
4. Demonstrate proficiency in the use of Internet-based tools and be able to evaluate and address issues related to the implications of these technologies; specifically,
  • Use the Internet effectively for searching, finding, evaluating and using information from digital platforms for problem-solving;
  • Produce html-based webpages to be used on the web to create and post webpages;
  • Discuss the potential issues and social and ethical implications of the Internet.
Lab Exercises, Reflective Paper, Final Project

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4. Assignments and Course Requirements

Lab Exercises (4) (16% of grade)

All the lab exercises are designed to provide opportunities to strengthen your tech knowledge, skills and digital literacy. Four of the lab exercises will be graded. Upload them to the D2L dropboxes by the due date.

  • Lab Exercise 1: TimelineJS Assignment (in pairs; minimum of 5 slides) - Each person submits a Word doc with their TimelineJS link to D2L by 9/24/18
  • Lab Exercise 2: Web Page Assignment - Submit your HTML & CSS files to D2L by 10/3/18
  • Lab Exercise 3: Search Assignment - Upload to D2L. Due 10/15/18
  • Lab Exercise 4: Excel Assignment - Upload to D2L. Due 10/22/18


Online Discussions (Yellowdig) (14% of grade)

Using the online discussion platform Yellowdig available in D2L, pin at least 3 posts spaced throughout the semester to share materials of interest relevant to the class. You will receive prompts for these discussions. You can link to news articles, videos, web pages, blog posts, or other online material, or upload your own material. Reply to the instructor's pin, or make sure that your pins for this assignment are categorized as "Discussion Assignment" in Topics. Comment on at least 6 of your classmates' pins over the semester. Include a hashtag with your name in all your pins and comments (e.g., #joyce). Pins are worth 2 points each; comments are worth 1 point each. You're encouraged to pin or comment freely whenever you're inspired. At the end of the semester, pins and comments beyond the requirements will be considered for up to 5 points extra credit. At the end of the semester, aggregate your original YD posts, print them as PDF, and submit the PDF to D2L. You don't need to aggregate your comments.

Discussion pin due dates in Yellowdig: 10/10, 10/29, 11/12
Discussion summary due in D2L: 12/12/12

Reflective Paper: Impact of Digital Media (30% of grade)

The positive and negative impacts of digital media on individuals, groups, institutions, and society as a whole are dynamic, pervasive, and sometimes unexpected. Critical thinking and analysis are essential for understanding, preparing for, and dealing with unexpected consequences. For this assignment, you will write a paper that sheds light on how a specific aspect of digital media is influencing our lives. Choose an issue that is focused and personally meaningful to you. We will brainstorm possible topics in class. Examples of topics include: pros and cons of internet sabbath, the Internet of Things (IoT), fake news, gender issues, social media addiction, cyberbullying, internet activism for a particular cause, online support groups, filter bubbles, virtual reality, and the influence of social media on the 2016 US presidential election. The Pew Research Center Internet and Technology (see also Topics) has done recent surveys and articles that might give you some ideas.

The paper should include a succinct statement of the issue, background information, major debates surrounding the issue, and possible action to ensure a positive future. You're encouraged to incorporate examples from your own experience to support your points. The paper should be 10-12 pages, double spaced with 1" margins, and include at least 10 citations to reliable, respected sources. Use APA style for formatting pages and citations.

You will do this paper in three stages.

  1. Identify a general topic.
  2. Prepare an outline or draft (as complete as possible) for feedback from the instructor. Submit your draft to the D2L dropbox. The instructor will provide feedback within a week. Provide clarification, address the feedback, and ask any questions of the instructor via email as soon as possible.
  3. Submit your final paper to the D2L dropbox.

Paper topic due: 9/17/18
Draft due date: 10/24/18
Final paper due date: 11/28/18


Tableau Project (15% of grade)

Using data from the Committee to Protect Journalists on journalists killed throughout the world (Excel file available in D2L), demonstrate your knowledge and skills in data visualization using Tableau. Examine the data, determine your audience and the story you want to tell them, and create an effective story using Tableau Sheets, Dashboards, and Stories. Include at least 3 Sheets and 1 Dashboard in your Story.

Due date: 11/19/18. Save your workbook as a Tableau Packaged Workbook (*.twbx) & upload to D2L.


Final Project: Scalar Book of Reflective Paper (15% of grade)

The final project is the opportunity to express the ideas of your Reflective Paper in a different medium for a specific audience. While your Reflective Paper is written for an academic audience in the form of a scholarly paper, Scalar allows you to use multimedia and internet resources, as well as different forms of expression, to make the points made in your Reflective Paper in a more engaging and vibrant way. You may want to target a different audience than an academic one.

Your book should include:

  1. Title page with splash image
  2. Pages of text and media
  3. Table of Contents
  4. A path to guide readers 
  5. A reflection page that summarizes in about 400 words what you think are the main differences in communicating your ideas through a Scalar Book vs. an academic paper 

Stages of the project:

  • Determine your audience. Will it be your peers, the general public, youth, professionals in a particular field, or other?
  • Identify the aspects of your Reflective Paper that could be effectively told using Scalar.
  • Recommended: Create a story board that sketches out the story as Scalar pages.
  • Write or rewrite the aspects of your paper that you want to include in your Scalar Book, as appropriate for your audience. Don't just copy and paste text from your paper into Scalar unless this is appropriate for your audience.
  • Identify, locate, retrieve, and evaluate multimedia and online materials to illustrate those aspects.
  • Using Scalar, organize the information and use the features of the Scalar appropriately to tell the story of the ideas in your Reflective Paper.

On the last day of class, you will present your Scalar project.

Resources: Scalar 2 User's Guide

Due date: 12/12/12


Class Participation (10%)

Active class participation is essential to the atmosphere of this class because we learn from each other and participation acts as a model for collaboration. Full points (10 points) will be given if all the following criteria are met: Completing all assignments on time, perfect attendance, regularly contributing to class discussions, regularly contributing in small group exercises, encouraging others to participate in asking questions and making relevant comments during class discussions and lectures. The scale goes down to one (1) point for the following: five or more absences, incomplete assignments, no contributions to class discussions, little contribution to small group work.

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5. Assessment & Grading

Grading Scale


Numeric Equivalent


A 93-100 Superior achievement of course requirements
A- 90-92  
B+ 87-89  
B 83-86 Better than satisfactory achievement of course requirements
B- 80-82  
C+ 77-79  
C 74-76 Satisfactory achievement of course requirements
C- 70-73  
D+ 67-69  
D 63-66 Less than satisfactory achievement of course requirements but acceptable for credit
F 0-62 Failure to achieve course requirements


Assignments and Grading



Lab Exercises (4) 16%
Online Discussion 14%
Reflective Paper 30%
Tableau Project 15%
Scalar Project 15%
Class Participation 10%
Total 100%

Assignment Due Dates & Absences

All assignments are due at the beginning of the class period. Late assignments will not be accepted without prior approval from the instructor. In case of emergency, please contact the instructor responsible for the assignment prior to the due date for an extension. Late assignments will receive fair penalty based on circumstances, e.g., docked 5% for each academic day it is late.

In the case of an excused absence, make-up of course requirements 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.

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6. Other Course Requirements & Information

SCU Attendance Policy

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.

Participation is being present in the moment. It's difficult to be present in more than one place at the same time. While I welcome the use of laptops, iPads, Kindles and other devices to enhance your learning, you should not use Facebook, Email, Twitter, chat, etc. during class except as directed. Violations of this expectation signals to me that you are not engaged in the course content; additionally, it distracts other students and the instructors.


Students need access to Internet, use personal computers which are available at the classroom and other computer Labs at the campus. Purchasing a computer is NOT required but you need a portable memory device: a memory stick is needed for assignments. You are encouraged to bring your laptops to class.


We will be using the D2L course management system for our class. Explore D2L if you are not familiar with it. Please check the Announcements and consult the Content area for class support material regularly. You will be posting information to the Discussion forum and depositing assignments in the Dropbox. Please complete a profile (link can be found on the left side of the page) with only as much information as you feel comfortable sharing. Please go to the D2L course site for course announcements and course learning resources, including course documents, websites related to course content, etc. Please check D2L daily.

While I welcome the use of laptops, iPads, Kindles and other devices to enhance your learning, you should not use Facebook, Email, Twitter, chat, etc. during class except as directed. Violations of this expectation signals to me that you are not engaged in the course content; additionally, it distracts other students and the instructor.

Professionalism and Academic integrity

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 and Le Guide (section "Student Conduct and Community Expectations") for a detailed description of expectations, policies and procedures.


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 on the lower level of Coeur de Catherine or by phone at 651-690-6563 to discuss academic adjustments or accommodations.

Students with disabilities needing academic accommodation should: (1) register with and provide documentation to the Student Disability Resource Center; (2) bring a letter to the instructor indicating the need for accommodation and what type. This should be done during the first week of class.

Religious Holiday Accommodation

With St. Catherine University’s ongoing commitment toward social justice and its openness to students of diverse religious backgrounds, the university acknowledges that students maybe absent from class and curricular-related activities because they are observing a religious holiday. Absence from classes or examinations for religious reasons (or observance) does not excuse students from responsibility for any coursework required during the absence. Students will provide faculty with reasonable notice (preferably within the first two weeks of the term) of their religious observance including the dates of religious holidays on which they will be absent. Faculty may expect a reasonable limit to the number of such requests from any one student. Faculty will work with students in advance to agree upon an appropriate plan and timeline for completing or making up any coursework that is missed due to religious observance. For the full policy, see the St. Catherine University Religious Holiday Accommodation Policy

Liberal Arts Goals

This course advances the attainment the University's "Goals of a Liberal Arts Education”, specifically as this course prepares students to explore the nature of critical thinking in Information Science. Specific liberal arts goals addressed in this course include: Critical and Creative Inquiry, Discipline-Based Competence, Effective Communication and Lifelong Learning.

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7. Calendar

Subject to change



Readings/ Resources



Section 1: Computer, Internet, and Web Basics

Week 1 Course Intro

(1) Wed 9/5

  • Course Overview
  • Digital Knowledge and Skills
  • van Dijk, J. A. G. M., & van Duersen, A. J. A. M. (2014). Ch. 2, "Defining internet skills." In Digital skills: Unlocking the information society. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. (St. Kate's Library e-book)



Week 2 Intro to Information Science, Information Systems, Digital Humanities

(2) Mon 9/10

  • Information Science & Information Systems
  • Bawden & Robinson, Ch. 1 "What is information science? Disciplines and professions." (Reserve)
  • McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. (2015). Ch. 2, "Introduction to information, information science, and information systems." In Nursing informatics and the foundations of knowledge. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett (PDF)
  • Brainstorm an IS concept map using
  • Discussion of Reflective Paper assignment


(3) Wed 9/12

  • Digital Humanities
  • Gardiner & Musto, Ch. 1 "Introduction to the Digital Humanities" and Ch. 2 "The Organization of Humanities Research" (Reserve)
  • Discussion of Final Project assignment. Introduction to Scalar and Tableau software


Week 3 Computers & the Internet

(4) Mon 9/17
  • Computer Basics
  • Know your OS
  • Creating online identities
  • Reflective Paper: Upload tentative topic to D2L (ungraded)
(5) Wed 9/19
  • Internet & WWW
  • In pairs, create a simple timeline of computer or internet history using TimelineJS

Week 4 HTML & Structured Data

(6) Mon 9/24
  • HTML & Structured Data
  • Create a simple web page (e.g. resume) using HTML 
  • Lab Exercise 1: TimelineJS Assignment (in pairs). Upload a Word Doc with a link to your timeline.
(7) Wed 9/26
  • CSS
  • Style your web page using CSS


Section 2: Information Organization & Evaluation

Week 5 Information Architecture & Knowledge Systems

(8) Mon 10/1

  • Information Architecture & Navigation
  • Ding & Lin, Ch. 2 "Information Architecture and Web 2.0" & Ch. 4 "Organizational and Navigation Systems" (Reserve)
  • More work with HTML & CSS
  • IA exercise


(9) Wed 10/3

  • Ontologies
  • Bawden & Robinson, Ch. 5 "Domain Analysis" & Ch. 6 "Information Organization" (Reserve)
  • Explore ontologies
  • Lab Exercise 2: Web Page Assignment.Upload your HTML & CSS docs to D2L

Week 6 Information Behavior & Digital Literacy

(10) Mon 10/8

Rm 19

  • Information Literacy & Digital Literacy
  • Bawden & Robinson, Ch. 13 "Digital Literacy"
  • Lazer, D. M. J. (2018). The science of fake news. Science, 359(6380), 1094-1096. DOI: 10.1126/science.aao2998
  • Information evaluation: "Fake news" exercise


(11) Wed 10/10

Rm 19

  • Web Search Behavior and Strategies
  • Ding & Lin, Ch. 5 "User Information Behavior and Design Implications"
  • How to search on Google - also read the Expert Search Tips pages linked on this page
  • Search exercise
  • Discussion Post 1 in Yellowdig

Section 3: Using and Communicating Information

Week 7 Data, Databases, Excel

(12) Mon 10/15

  • Data and Database Basics
  • Data display exercise
  • Lab Exercise 3: Search Assignment. Upload to D2L.

(13) Wed 10/17

  • Working with Excel
  • Excel Basics - Data download, functions, formats & problem solving



Week 8 Visualization & Stories Using Quantitative Data

(14) Mon 10/22

  • Tableau intro: Sheets & Dashboards
  • Data Visualization: Charts & Graphs (Excel & Tableau)
  • Tableau exercise
  • Lab Exercise 4: Excel Assignment. Upload to D2L.

(15) Wed 10/24

  • Tableau: Stories
  • Apply to datasets
  • Tableau exercise
  • Draft of Reflective Paper. Upload to D2L.

Week 9 Interface and Narrative Using Qualitative Data

(16) Mon 10/29
  • Exploring Scalar 1
  • Explore Digital Humanities projects
  • Scalar exercise
  • Discussion Post 2 in Yellowdig
(17) Wed 10/31
  • Exploring Scalar 2
  • Scalar exercise


Section 4: Internet Issues

Week 10 Big Data & Project Work

(18) Mon 11/5

  • Workshop on Final Projects

(19) Wed 11/7

  • Big Data & Data Mining


Week 11 Dangers to Democracy

(21) Mon 11/12

  • Election Security & Voting Rights


  • Discussion Post 3 in Yellowdig

(22) Wed 11/14

  • Russian Information Warfare


  • .

Week 12 Artificial Intelligence & IoT (Thanksgiving Week)

(23) Mon 11/19

  • Artificial Intelligence


  • Final Project with Tableau. 

(24) Wed 11/21

  • Internet of Things

Class will meet asynchronously online. Complete your page in the Scalar book by 11/24 and your comments on others' pages by 11/25.



Week 13  Privacy & Surveillance

(25) Mon 11/26

  • Privacy & surveillance



(26) Wed 11/28

  • Protecting privacy



  • Reflective Paper. Upload to D2L

Week 14 Freedom of Speech

(27) Mon 12/3

  • Freedom of Speech 1
  • Gift of Fire, Ch. 3 "Freedom of Speech" (pp. 143-170)



(28) Wed 12/5

Rm 19

  • Freedom of Speech 2
  • Gift of Fire, Ch. 3 "Freedom of Speech" (pp. 170-196)

Week 15 Future

(29) Mon 12/10

Rm 19

  • Future trends



(30) Wed 12/12

  • Final Project with Scalar Presentations


  • Final Project with Scalar: Upload to D2L a document with a link to your Scalar project.

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