INF 180J, Fall 2010

There are two sections of this class taught by Patricia Galloway, which will be taught sequentially through the semester; the first chronologically is unique number 27700, and is taught on Friday from 9:00-12:00, August 27-September 24. The second, unique number 27705, is at the same time, October 22-November 19.

Instructor: Patricia Galloway
Telephone: 512-232-9220
Office: UTA 5.436
Office Hours: Tuesday, 9-11 AM; by appointment

TA: Jamie Swim






Introduction: Orientation followup questions
Technology skills survey (in class:)
Guest: Terry Giles, Academic Awards Coordinator: Support resources at UT and the iSchool.

None: come as you are, bring what you know
Technology skills survey at:


Curation: Enhancing memory (data, information, knowledge)
Class exercise: Subject documentation, collection plan (divide into teams)

Archives collection policy: Northern Michigan Archives
Library collection policy: Umass-Amherst
Digital collection policy: LANIC
Questions to consider while reading:
1) What do these three policies have in common?
2) What are the sources of their materials?
3) What are their governing constraints?
4) How do they differ?


Organization: Enhancing intellectual control and findability
Class exercise: competing searches (divide into 3 teams)

Archives cataloging: ISAD(G) (use this for reference) and
Book cataloging: RDA and
Online resources cataloging:
Questions to consider while reading:
1) What are the implications of each approach to organization?
2) What is the target object of each approach?
3) How hard are traditional organization methods for users?
4) Will full-text search really replace everything else?


Interaction: Enhancing access
Class exercise: info-seeking vs info-finding gap analysis (divide into teams)

Information-seeking theories: Marti Hearst, Search User Interfaces, Chapt. 3:
Questions to consider while reading:
1) What does “better” mean?
2) How do we understand user needs?
3) Is theory enough?


Ethics and policy: Guaranteeing access
Class exercise: Elevator speech: what is information studies? (divide into teams)

Native American Protocols:
Questions to consider while reading:
1) What is ideal?
2) How do we decide?
3) Why do we have the right to decide?

Course description:

INF180J is a 1 credit hour course that introduces students to the field and its major concerns though an exploration of the three aspects of Information Studies articulated in the School’s vision statement (see Venn diagram below). Students will read selected readings designed to provide an introduction to the major issues of the information domain and to take part in class exercises and discussions related to the readings. The course is required for all students in the MSIS program and should be taken in their first or second semester to gain the most benefit. It is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis. In addition, students will also hear about the resources available to you at the School, including library resources, technology, placement, and other services provided by the School, and student organizations.

vision circles


Course objectives

Students are required to:

INF 180J Course Policies


You are responsible for reading and following these course policies, many of which are common to all courses at the University of Texas.Please ask any questions you may have as soon as possible.

The University of Texas Honor Code – see the UT site for this


Please note that matters of academic integrity are taken seriously in our School. Students who use, quote, or otherwise employ the ideas, words, and insights of others without appropriate attribution will fail assignments and, possibly, the course. When in doubt, ask immediately. Asking is the sign of an intelligent, thoughtful response to our complex world of layered information resources.

University Electronic Mail Notification Policy

All students should become familiar with the University's official email student notification policy. It is the student's responsibility to keep the University informed as to changes in his or her e-mail address so that you are sure that the email the Registrar has for you is one that you habitually check; and you should also be sure to rerad emails on the insider list that is used for communication in the School. Students are expected to check email on a frequent and regular basis in order to stay current with University- and School-related communications, recognizing that certain communications may be time-critical. It is recommended that email be checked daily, but at a minimum, twice per week. The complete text of this policy and instructions for updating your email address are available at
In this course email will be used as the primary means of communication with students.

Documented Disability Support

The University of Texas seeks to provide appropriate academic adjustments for all individuals with disabilities. This University will comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations and guidelines with respect to providing appropriate academic adjustments to afford equal educational opportunity. It is the responsibility of the student to register with and provide medical verification and academic schedules to Services for Students with Disabilities at the beginning of each semester or as soon as the need arises. The student must contact the faculty member in a timely manner to arrange for appropriate academic adjustments. Students who require special accommodations need to get a letter that documents the disability from the Services for Students with Disabilities area of the Office of the Dean of Students (471-6259- voice or 471-4641 – TTY for users who are deaf or hard of hearing). This letter should be presented to the instructor in each course at the beginning of the semester and accommodations needed should be discussed at that time.  Five business days before an exam the student should remind the instructor of any testing accommodations that will be needed. See this Web site for more information: .

Technology requirements


You are required to have access to whatever technology is necessary for you to function well in this course. That includes Internet access that allows you to access the course website and sufficient memory to handle course requirements. You can use any of the computer labs on campus but any other arrangement is acceptable so long as your own needs for connectivity, printing, and information access are met. The School’s IT department and labs exist to provide for your requirements.



Much of this course includes in-class application of readings and lectures via participatory exercises and discussion, therefore attendance is mandatory. Religious holidays and observances, however, sometimes conflict with class schedules. If you miss an in-class work assignment or other project due to the observance of a religious holiday you will be given an opportunity to complete the work missed within a reasonable time after the absence. It is the policy of The University of Texas at Austin that you must notify each of your instructors at least 14 days prior to the classes scheduled on dates you will be absent to observe a religious holiday.

There is an established makeup procedure for you to make up the one class that you missed. (If you miss more than one we will need to discuss possible other options.) For the date that you missed, write up a 3-4 page analysis of your insights into and questions about the readings for the day that you missed. This analysis should indicate the kind of contribution that you'd have made to that class had you attended. Build from the readings for that day and, if you like, add anything else that interests you. The whole process should not take more than the 3 hours you missed and its focus is on content rather than form. There's no need to word-smith this—just share what you would have shared. Email that to the instructor asap and the absence will be erased.


Feedback is an important part of any learning as well as any teaching. Please let me know immediately if you have questions, concerns, or simply want to confirm your understanding of the material. I will provide you with feedback on your progress via comments in class, written commentary on assignments, grades. If any of my feedback is unclear in any way, please let me know.


I will make every effort to answer emails within 3 working days, but our TA, Jamie Swim, will keep specific virtual office hours so that you can be guaranteed a quick answer if you send an email before or during those hours. If you have not heard from me within those time limits, please let me know by an alternative form of contact so we can make sure there are no technical problems involved.

Maintain work files

Students are responsible for maintaining their own files of work, both submitted and returned, until official University grades are received. Although this may not be so relevant for this course, it is a wise measure for all courses. You are encouraged to keep these materials until graduation, in case you need it to support your other work or (especially) job applications and recommendations.