Information & Society Course Syllabus

Fall, 2011
Teacher: Meghan Stigge [[]]

Course Description: In this course, students will explore information and communication in modern society, including print and electronic formats. Students will explore topics relating to the importance of and evaluation of information, finding and using a variety of sources and media, use of internet-based communication, and take on personal interest projects using these skills.

Instructional Methods

Methods: This course is taught using a variety of instructional methods including direct instruction, class discussion, small group work, and project work.

Main Topics (Scheduling may flex)

Week 1 Types of information sources
Week 2 Source authority and credibility
Week 3 Set up of accounts- RSS, bookmarking, first blog post on personal interest topic
Week 4 Discussion topics: Information ethics
Week 5 Discussion topics: Freedom of information
Week 6 Discussion topics: Privacy in a digital world
Week 7 How is information organized, including the internet
Week 8 Search engine optimization/content farms, social recommendations
Week 9 Advanced searching, understanding URLs and how the internet works, fact/opinion/point of view
Week 10 Communication and presentation
Week 11 Beginner website design, easy HTML
Week 12-end of sem. Final project work

Of note

  • Students will be setting up accounts on various online tools such as blogs, Google RSS feed readers, bookmarking tools such as Delicious, and possibly others. Students will not be using their full recognizable names for these accounts.
  • School rules and policies will be in play according to the student handbook
  • Students should contribute to the learning environment and treat each other with respect


Various types of assessment will be used, but the main focus will be on project work and engagement in the learning process. A grade is not the goal in this class- learning is the goal.

There will be a few quizzes, project grades, assessment of engagement in class discussion and personal learning network building through online accounts. Group project work will include peer evaluation but will not outweigh instructor evaluation. For major grades such as presentations and final project work, students will evaluate themselves in conjunction with instructor evaluation.


Every class period is important in the learning process. Students are responsible for checking the absentee folder to complete necessary steps and assignment work within one calendar week of the absence. (If a student misses a Wednesday block, makeup should be completed by the following Wednesday.)

Absentee makeup work can be found:

Incomplete assignments

Incomplete assignments mean incomplete learning. Assignments will always be accepted within the semester, and will be graded at 50% of the original grade.

Cheating / plagiarism

The first instance of cheating or plagiarism will receive zero credit. Students will have the option to redo the assignment for ‘incomplete assignment’ credit. Further instances will be referred to disciplinary action with administration.

I am excited to learn alongside you all this semester! Students and parents should not hesitate to contact me with any questions, concerns, suggestions, or feedback. Today’s digital world is moving much more quickly than society has figured out how to deal with, which is why you have made a great choice to participate in this class. Much of what we explore will not have a hard and fast answer, which is why learning engagement is the key in this course. Here is to a great semester!

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