LIS 505 (2004 Winter) - General information


Information Systems and Technology.

Time and place

Classes. Thursday mornings, 9-11:50 am, MC 15a.

Labs. Week 1: Tuesday, 4:30-5:30 (for those needing help with the basic exercise). Weeks 2-5, and 7-8: Monday noons, 12:00-1:00 (overflow Tuesday afternoons, 4:30 to 5:30, if needed). FIMS Lab A.


Tim Craven, MC 272, tel. 661-2111 ext. 88497.

Advisory. Prof. Craven has a chronic condition (presbylarynx) that makes his voice easily tired. Accordingly, no extended lecturing is planned for this offering of the course, and some other classroom activities may also have to be modified or rescheduled with no notice. No effect is anticipated on requirements relating to student reports or presentations.

Teaching Assistant

Yijun Gao,

Course Description

Information technology applicable in library and information science: computer hardware and software; networks, including the Internet; databases. Techniques for planning, construction, implementation, and management of information systems for libraries and information services. Practice using and evaluating selected software.

Classes and labs

Classes will be a mixture of students' showing presentations that they have prepared, discussions under direction of the professor (including, in some cases, viewing and critiquing of other electronic materials submitted by students), short unmarked quizzes to determine concepts that need further clarification, question-and-answer sessions, and demonstrations (especially of software to be covered in following week's lab).

Lab sessions will involve following instructions in handouts. The session in week one is for an exercise showing basic computer skills, which must be completed satisfactorily in order to take the course, as outlined in the Calendar ( The other sessions are intended to provide hands-on experience with various software packages.

Attendance at all classes and labs (except the lab in week 1), except for reasons of family emergency, serious illness, or religious obligation, is required.

Course documentation

Where appropriate (as with this general information handout) documentation will be provided in preprinted form. For other documentation, consult the course Web pages [ or, on the Intranet,].


Date and time Requirement % of final mark
February 11, 8 am Web page design assignment 7.7%
March 17, 8 am Microsoft Access query and report assignment 15.4%
Wednesday of assignment week, 8 am 6 out of 9 elective assignments @ 7.7% each* 46.2%
Wednesday of presentation week, 8 am Presentation assignment 15.4%
Class participation** 15.3%
Total 100%

*You may choose to do the last 6 of the elective assignments, but, if you do so, you waive the right to have a marked assignment returned by week 5 of the term.
**Class participation marks may be lowered for students who repeatedly arrive late or return late from class breaks, even if they otherwise attend all classes.

Letter grades will be assigned to each of the major components of course work An appropriately weighted average of these will be computed, assuming an equal-interval scale for the C- to A+ range. The result will then be translated into a numeric mark to meet the requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.


What is actually expected for each assignment is indicated in the "Assignments" file [505ass03.htm].

The assignment will form the basis for evaluating each submission. Criteria used in evaluating all submissions will be correctness, clarity of thought and presentation, and coverage of all parts of the assignment. You are reminded that intentional duplication of another student's work constitutes a violation of the policy on plagiarism.
"Plagiarism: Students must write their essays and assignments in their own words. Whenever students take an idea or a passage from another author, they must acknowledge their debt both by using quotation marks where appropriate and by proper referencing such as footnotes or citations. Plagiarism is a major academic offence (see Scholastic Offence Policy in the Western Academic Calendar). The University of Western Ontario uses software for plagiarism checking. Students may be required to submit their written work in electronic form for plagiarism checking."

In addition to letter grades, more specific comments (usually suggestions for improvement) may be added to printed reports where appropriate. Codes indicating certain good (, *) and bad (-, >, ) points will also appear, but these are basically mnemonics to assist in the marking process.

All submissions should be received by the professor by the time indicated (8 am on the day before the class). Web submissions should be mounted as instructed on the server specified. Printed reports may be submitted in person or slipped under the door of MC 272. Do not place printed reports in the FIMS drop box, since delivery is usually delayed. E-mailing is also permitted provided that you adhere to the guidelines given at Assignments received late will receive lowered grades or will not be credited, depending on the circumstances.


Professor to students: Marked printed reports will be handed back just before the class. E-mail feedback will be provided on electronic submissions. Discussion in seminars will provide considerable general feedback. Additional individual feedback (for example, on class participation) is available on request.

Students to professor: See the professor directly, or use the feedback session.


Week Lab Student presentations* Assignment Topics to read on**
1 Test of basic computer skills. Introduction to computers
2 PowerPoint. Software review e Operating systems. Applications software.
3 Excel. Graphics programs. Photo editing programs. OCR. Importance of terminology e Spreadsheets and graphs.
4 Arachnophilia. HTML editors. Cascading style sheets. XML. Web search engines. Internet. Internet in business. HTML.
5 Microsoft FrontPage. Graphics cards. Monitors. Printers. Keyboards. Library Web site critique e Input and output.
6 Desktop publishing. Electronic books. Screen recorders. Web page design assignment r Word processing and desktop publishing.
7 Microsoft Access tables Digital cameras. Digital video. Scanners. Document capture assignment e Database management.
8 Microsoft Access queries and reports Bibliography managers. Document delivery systems. Information retrieval software. Image database software. Microsoft Access table e Storage.
9 Modems. Handheld devices. Laptops. Sound cards. Inside a computer. Networking.
10 Removeable media. Backup. CD-ROM drives. DVD. Microsoft Access query and report r Systems analysis.
11 Ergonomics. Integrated library systems. Virtual reference software. Indexing software. Systems analysis and design techniques e Library automation.
12 Firewalls. Virus protection. Web filtering software. E-mail filtering software. Web OPACs e Security. RFPs.
13 Speech synthesis. Speech recognition. Handwriting recognition. Java and JavaScript. Mini RFP e Programming.
14 Adaptive technology. Groupware. Knowledge management systems. Expert systems. Other topics e Management information systems. Artificial intelligence.

* Which of these topics are covered will depend on who signs up for what.

** Non-credit quizzes and question-and-answer sessions will be given on reading topics in the week indicated or later, depending on class time available.


Last updated December 9, 2003.
This page maintained by Prof. Tim Craven
E-mail (text/plain only):
Faculty of Information and Media Studies
University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario
Canada, N6A 5B7