Foundations of Theories and Methods of Information Sciences and Technology Research
Provides the foundation to the research and theories of how technologies are used to meet society’s, groups’ and individuals’ information needs. IST 504 Foundations of Theories and Methods of Information Sciences and Technology Research (3) This course provides an overview of the diverse fields that comprise the information sciences. The course has three broad objectives. First, the course serves as an overview to the theories, models, findings, research methods and research-related issues that frame the multiple fields of the information sciences. Second, the course provides students with skills of critical evaluation of literature. Finally, the course provides students a means to begin formulating researchable topics and questions. The course is designed as a fundamental course for research-oriented graduate students in the information sciences. The specific focus is a critical treatment of the research relative to the questions asked, views of a technology’s affordances and potential uses, the implementation of the research, and conclusions drawn. Through reading of contemporary and classic literature, ongoing debate, reflection and synthesis, and active analyses, students will explore fundamental assumptions, theories and directions in the contemporary research in the various fields of the information sciences. The emphasis of this course is on defining and developing conceptual linkages between human and social behavior, information and the use of computing technologies. Assessments will be based on a number of short summary papers and an extensive synthesis of literature organized around a conceptual framework. Because this is an interdisciplinary subject, students should be prepared to read outside their primary research/interest area and be ready to embrace and integrate new knowledge from related fields into their primary field.