ICS 210: Information Systems in Society

Description: Lecture/discussion critically explores sociopolitical dimensions of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and the information professions. A-F only. Pre: departmental approval. (Once a year)


Course Learning Outcomes: The primary goal of this course is to help you understand how information systems and society co-evolve. We will investigate and discuss historical and current information systems—which include technologies, institutions and people—with an eye toward understanding on a social level both how they operate and why.

Program Learning Outcomes

Prerequisites: departmental approval.

Textbook(s): Lester, June and Wallace C. Koehler Jr. (2007). Fundamentals of Information Studies: Understanding Information and Its Environment (2nd edition). New York: Neal-Schuman.

Grading: Information flow assignment (10%) Information seeking journal (10%) Open mic session (20%) Midterm (20%) Final project (20%) Final exam (10%) Exercises and participation (10%)

Policies: My role in this course is to introduce you to a range of concepts related to information and its role in society, and to provide an environment where you can demonstrate your understanding and apply these concepts to situations that interest you. The format of the course will be lecture/discussion.

The issues covered in this course draw from a diverse set of fields and traditions which go beyond computer science. The textbook chapters provide an overall structure to the main course concepts, but we will explore additional applications of course-related issues in current events and other resources as well. Expect to find, read and discuss additional relevant material outside the textbook, and to share what you find with the class. Readings and lectures will not overlap completely, and may change throughout the term. You will be responsible for demonstrating understanding of all course content.

Come to class having read and understood the day’s readings—you can guarantee yourself an excellent participation grade if you come prepared with well-grounded questions. You will be expected to complete all readings and assignments professionally and on time, and to participate actively in class discussions, both in person and online.

You must complete all assignments to pass this course. Late assignments will be penalized five points up to 24 hours late, plus two points for every additional day past the due date, unless prior arrangements are made with the instructor.