LIB 4900 - Francoeur - Spring 2018

Classroom Participation

Depending on your level of participation in class, you can earn up to 14.28 points each day. At a minimum, you should speak up in class at least once every day to ask a substantive question or to provide a useful comment or answer to a question in class.Additional points will be awarded based on your effort in classroom activities.

When we have reading assigned for the day, you will be expected to have brought in the reading in paper form. Not doing so will result in points being taken off. There will be quizzes on the reading before discussion of the reading begins. Your performance on these quizzes will also be part of your class participation grade.

Points: max of 200 per semester

Daily point breakdown (max of 14 points per class session)

  • points earned for:
    • showing up on time
    • asking a good question
    • responding in a substantive way to a question or something another person said
    • demonstrating familiarity with the assigned reading for the day
  • points taken off for:
    • being late (-7 points)
    • leaving early (-7 points)
    • being disruptive (including using phones and computers for activities not related to the class)
    • not participating in classroom activities
    • not demonstrating familiarity with the assigned reading for the day
    • not asking questions or making substantive comments

Blogging about Journal Articles

Find 6 peer-reviewed journal articles that discuss the results of a research study of an ICT that you are studying. Write a separate blog post for each article. Each post should have:

  • Proper APA or MLA style citation for the article
  • Description of the research question
  • Description of the methodology used
  • The extent to which this article takes a social informatics approach to the research study


All posts must be published before the start of class (e.g., the March 20 blog posts are due by 11:10 am on March 20).

  • 1st and 2nd blog posts: March 20
  • 3rd and 4th blog posts: March 27
  • 5th and 6th blog posts: April 10

Points: up to 10 points per blog post (60 total)

  • Citation - 1 point
    • Did you use proper APA or MLA style for your citation? Note that no other citation styles will be accepted (such as AMA).
  • Peer-reviewed or not - 1 point
    • If your article is a peer-reviewed journal article, you get the point.
  • Relevance of the article - 1 point
    • The closer this article hews to your research topic, the more likely you'll get the point. If your article is about the use of the ICT in some setting very different from a college library in the United States (say, the use of laptops in a research station in the Himalayas), I may not award the point.
  • Research question - 1 point
    • Did you clearly articulate what the research question was that the article was trying to answer?
  • Research methodology - 2 points
    • Did you clearly and accurately describe what method was used to conduct the study? Was it a case study? Were there focus groups? Surveys? Interviews? a meta-analysis of the existing literature?
  • Social informatics aspects - 3 points
    • Did you adequately critique the extent to which the authors of the article took into account the three key aspects of the social informatics perspective (how exhaustive was their description of the ICT? how deeply did they dive into a discussion of how organizational/social/institutional aspects may have shaped use of the ICT in question? how much did they explore the way differences among the users may have shaped their use of the ICT?)
  • Writing style - 1 point
    • Is the writing typo-free? Did you use complete, grammatically correct sentences? Is the writing clear?

Midterm Consultations

You will sign up to meet with me for a half-hour appointment. We will review your work so far and discuss what the rest of the semester will look like.

Due: Appointments to be held only from March 13 and April 13 between 8 am and 5 pm. Sign up here:\

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: I will be out of town from March 28-April 2.

Points: 50 points (if you miss out on your scheduled appointment or are 5 or more minutes late, we can still meet but there will be no points awarded)


Due: April 24

Points: Up to 40

Each student will submit a list of all the sources they are thinking of using for their project. There must be at least 10 sources on the list. Format in APA or MLA style (pick one and stick with it).

You will be graded on:

  • the relevance of your sources (this is the most important thing)
  • the quality of your sources (2nd most important)
  • correct formatting of your citations

Critical Literature Review

Due: May 8 by 11:59 pm (late assignments will lose 10 points per day).

Points: Up to 200

This assignment includes three parts:

  • Annotated bibliography
    • Must include at least 10 peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles. For each article, you need to:
      • Cite it in MLA or APA style (use the same style throughout this assignment)
      • Describe the research methodology used by the author(s)
      • Discuss the extent to which the authors considered the standard aspects of the social informatics perspective (information, technology, individuals, organizational/institutional context)
      • Explain in what specific ways the article is relevant to your topic
    • Must include a mix of at least 5 other sources (e.g., magazine or newspaper articles; datasets; books or book chapters; entries from encyclopedias; miscellaneous web pages). For each source, you need to:
      • Cite it in MLA or APA style
      • Explain in what specific ways the source is relevant to your topic
  • One-page essay about how you found your sources in which you:
    • Detail your strategies for finding sources. Tell me about how you decided which databases to search, what your search terms were. If you used bibliographies or reference lists, please mention this.
    • Describe what criteria you used when selecting sources.
  • One-page critical literature review
    • This is an essay in which you use the 10 journal articles you found to review the current theoretical issues in your topic area and to discuss the current state of what we know about it. Please make sure that you follow literature review conventions by specifying the articles in the text of your essay.

Each student will do their own work on this. While you and your teammate will of course be using the same sources in your assignment, the writing about those sources and how you found them (the three parts of the assignment) should all be individually written.

Please use Google Docs to turn in your work.

Group Presentations

First Presentation

Due: April 17

Points: Up to 100

Each team will do a 10-minute presentation in which they:

  • Present their research question
  • Explain a bit about their topic
  • Describe their methodology
  • Discuss how their search for sources has been going

Final Presentation

Due: May 15

Points: Up to 100

Each team will do a 20-minute presentation in which they:

  • Present their research question
  • Explain a bit about their topic
  • Summarize their literature review
  • Describe their methodology
  • Discuss their findings

Final Exam

May 22

Points: Up to 250

In this in-class exam, you will each be given a scenario describing some issue with an ICT. Your job is to describe in an essay how you would design a research study that takes a social informatics perspective to address some part of the problem mentioned in the article. You will need to explain in your essay:

  • what the research question is you'd be trying to answer
  • which methodology would you select to do your research and why

This is an open-book, open-web exam. While all written work in your essay must be your own, you may search for background information in your own notes, our readings, or any published sources you find online.

Subject Guide

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Stephen Francoeur
he / him / his
Newman Library
Room 421
Baruch College
151 E. 25th Street
New York, NY 10010

(646) 312-1620