Paul Jones & Megan Winget
Tuesday and Thursday, 11 - 12:15

304 Manning Hall

Course News

Course Description

This course is described in the SILS catalog as: "Contemporary topics of information science, information systems, information technology, information design, and information management. Assessment of future impact of new developments."

The overriding theme of this course will be the concept of "innovation," as it pertains to design and development of new forms of communication. We are in a period of immense growth on the web, with new products and services appearing which weren't possible or even imaginable only five years ago. This course will give students a deeper understanding of the product development cycle, including product and population research, storyboarding, and theoretical backing for market decisions.

By taking this course students will:

As a means to work towards those goals, students will:


Blogging (60 Points = 20%). We have set up a blog for this class. We'll spend class time in the first two classess setting you up and teaching you how to post to the blog. Each student in the class should submit at least two entries per week on the subject we're talking about that week. The topics are posted on the "schedule" next to the week number. We will discuss blog entries in class. (Blogging Rubric)

Class Participation (60 Points = 20%). This is a seminar. This means that participation is a very important part of the class. The class will only be as interesting as you, the students, make it. Please also see the art of participation for a more complete view of Megan's expectations. The upshot of the participation grade is that it is only possible to have a successful / interesting class if everyone takes part. Also, I'm hoping that you will take pity on your classmates. Take heed! Because every student will be responsible for leading discussion for a part of one class, it'll be a pretty painful experience for everyone if no one talks. (Participation Rubric)

Group Project (125 points total = 45%). In this class, you will be working in a group of no less than two people, and no more than four. The general scope of the group project is to analyze and redesign an information artifact choosing from: cell-phone, web application (like online journal or social networking site), or game. The group project consists of 5 sub-projects:

  1. form, and develop a webpage; = 10 points (DUE Thursday Jan 14) (handout)
  2. observe artifact usage and document its use; = 20 points (DUE Thursday Feb 9) (handout)
  3. redesign the artifact to make it more programmable or personalizable; = 20 points (DUE Thursday March 2) (handout)
  4. redesign the artifact to enable new forms of communication; =20 points (DUE Thursday March 30) (handout)
  5. redesign the artifact to enable new forms of play; =20 points (DUE Thursday April 13) (handout)
  6. (in lieu of a final exam) Make a podcast of your presentation =20 points (DUE Thursday April 27)
  7. present your products and findings =15 points (SCHEDULED Tuesday and Thursday April 25 & 27 - Last week of class) (presentation rubric)

Analysis (40 Points = 10%). Each student in the class is responsible for leading discussion for a set of readings.  This is not a straight presentation of the readings, as you should assume that everyone in the class has already read them. (!!!) The goal of this task to to get the class to critically discuss the readings, and not to make a presentation. (Analysis Rubric) I recommend taking a set of readings that relate to issues in your group project. For example if your group is redesigning a cell phone, the group members might want to do analyses on the cell-phone related classes.

    On the last day of class we will present our projects. We'll invite faculty and other students to come and watch. It's fun to show off.