LIS 525 (2008 Winter) - Assignments

Reports and prepostings are due by 9 am on Tuesdays. There are no reports or prepostings due in the first week. Comments should be submitted by the end of the day on Wednesdays. For more details on postings, see LIS 525 - Discussions Online.

You should submit only 7 of the elective reports.

  1. Comment (due January 9). Briefly introduce yourself. What other related courses have you already taken? What do you hope to get out of this course?

  2. Preparation. Choose one person or collective body associated either with the development of the Internet or with technological developments that led up to or anticipated the Internet. Some examples might include Samuel Morse, the World Wide Web Consortium, Al Gore, Netscape. To avoid duplication, post the name of your chosen person or body on the discussion board for this week.
    Report (elective) (due January 15). In not more than 500 words, briefly explain who the person or body was or is and then outline their main contributions or importance in the context of the history and origins of the Internet. (9% of final mark.)
    Preposting (due January 15). What was the most interesting thing that you found out about the person or body that you chose?
    Comment (due January 16). Post a comment on a person or body investigated by one other student.

  3. Preparation. Think about the service for which you intend to produce your consultant's report.
    Report (required) (due January 22). In no more than 100 words, define the Internet information service for which you intend to produce your consultant's report. Indicate in a preliminary way what kind of information is to be provided and to what kinds of users. The service may be real, or fictitious but realistic. (2% of final mark.)
    Preposting (due January 22). Post the text of your report.
    Comment (due January 23). Comment on some aspect of the preliminary proposals of two other students.

  4. Preparation. Try out the network tools (ping, NSLookup, TraceRT).
    Report (elective) (due January 29). Submit the lab assignment on network utilities. (9% of final mark.)
    Preposting (due January 29). Briefly outline your results for applying one of the network tools to one site outside of UWO.
    Comment (due January 30). Comment briefly on the usefulness of a network utility, either one covered in the lab or one you know from other experience.

  5. Preparation. Gather information about an ISP or hosting service. Find out about its reliability (record of downtime, opinions of customers, redundancy features), bandwidth (speeds guaranteed, number of different services, number of backbone connections), cost (payment plans, availability of local number for dial-up), and support (person-to-person contact, home page that leads to useful content).
    Report (elective) (due February 5). In no more than 500 words, review the strong and weak points of the ISP that you investigated, with reference to major evaluation criteria. (9% of final mark)
    Preposting (due February 5). State briefly the main reasons why you would or would not select the ISP or hosting service that you investigated.
    Comment (due February 6). Comment on the posting of one other student.

  6. Preparation. Consider bandwidth and storage needs for your service and how you would connect to the Internet.
    Report (elective) (due February 12). In no more than 500 words, address in a preliminary way the following questions to be covered by your consultant's report: (9% of final mark.)
    Preposting (due February 12). In a short paragraph, summarize how much bandwidth and storage space you think you would need for your service and how you would plan on connecting to the Internet.
    Comment (due February 13). Comment on the posting of one other student.

  7. Preparation. Consider your service's requirements for personnel, hardware and software, and special services from your hosting service.
    Report (elective) (due February 19). In no more than 500 words, address in a preliminary way the following questions to be covered by your consultant's report: (9% of final mark.)
    Preposting (due February 19). In a short paragraph, summarize your service's requirements for personnel, hardware and software, and special services from your hosting service.
    Comment (due February 20). Comment on the posting of one other student.

  8. [Research Week]

  9. Preparation. Experiment with analyzing a log file.
    Report (elective) (due March 4). Examine the sample log file on the SharePoint site (http://faculty.fims.uwo.ca/craven/lis525/Shared%20Documents/access_log or http://faculty.fims.uwo.ca/craven/lis525/Shared%20Documents/access_log_r). Run Webalizer on the file and look at the summary output. Now go into the file itself (for example, load it into a spreadsheet or database package) and try to identify three different visits. Look up the host and domain name for each of the three visitors. In your report, give all the log file entries for each of the three visits, plus the host and domain name of the visitor. Then address the following questions (up to 500 words). How did you determine what constituted a visit? What can you find out about the visitor? Was there a referring page, and, if so, was there a particular query identified that brought the visitor to the site? Is there evidence that the visitor read certain pages in detail, skipped over certain pages quickly, or backtracked? Did any errors occur during the visit (e.g., due to a bad link)? Do the data suggest any question about user interaction with the site that you might like to test against the whole log? (9% of final mark.)
    Preposting (due March 4). Pick an entry from a log file and comment briefly on what it tells you.
    Comment (due March 5). Comment on the posting of one other student.

  10. Preparation. Read on current legal issues relating to the Internet.
    Report (elective) (due March 11). Find a legal case involving the Internet that has been reported in the news. Gather information about it. Include in your report (up to 500 words) who was involved in the case, what the specific case was about, what its implications were for managers of Internet information services, what judgement was arrived at, if any, and the main arguments on both sides. (9% of final mark.)
    Preposting (due March 11). Comment briefly on an interesting legal case or issue relating to the Internet.
    Comment (due March 12). Comment on the posting of one other student.

  11. Preparation. Look at one or more existing Web sites and try to get an idea of how they make themselves known to potential visitors.
    Report (elective) (due March 18). Choose a site of interest to you. Try a number of search engines and directories to see how easily you can get pointed to this site when starting with an appropriate subject query. In not more than 500 words, summarize your results briefly and then discuss what methods of publicity seem to you to have been used for that site. (9% of final mark.)
    Preposting (due March 18). Briefly note one method that an existing site has used to draw visitors.
    Comment (due March 19). Comment on the posting of one other student.

  12. Preparation. Consider policies, budget, security, promotion, and evaluation of your proposed service.
    Report (elective) (due March 25). In no more than 500 words, address in a preliminary way the following questions to be covered by your consultant's report: (9% of final mark.)
    Preposting (due March 25). Note briefly what your answers would be to two of the questions posed for the report above.
    Comment (due March 26). Comment on the posting of one other student.

  13. Preparation. Consider what kinds of instructions might be required for content providers for your service. Look at any sets of instructions that you can find for existing sites.
    Report (elective) (due April 1). Prepare a Web page of instructions (about 500 words of visible text) for content providers for a Web site of your choice. The information on this page might relate to site policies or provide instruction on how to use some particular technology, such as a specialized editing product. Mount the page in your user area on publish.uwo.ca and e-mail the URL to the instructor. (Although you may use some standard wording from existing sets of instructions, this Web page should be an original creation.) (9% of final mark.)
    Preposting (due April 1). If you submit a report for this week, post the URL of your set of instructions; otherwise, post the URL of an existing set of instructions that you have found elsewhere on the Web.
    Comment (due April 2). Comment on some aspect of two of the sets of instructions for which URLs have been posted.

  14. Preparation. Finish your consultant's report.
    Report (required) (due April 8). Submit the final version of your consultant's report. (17% of final mark.)
    Preposting (due April 8). Post a final comment on your project and a comment on some other aspect of managing Internet information services.
    Comment (due April 9). Comment on the posting of one other student.

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Last updated October 4, 2007.
This page maintained by Prof. Tim Craven
E-mail (text/plain only): craven@uwo.ca
Faculty of Information and Media Studies
University of Western Ontario,
London, Ontario
Canada, N6A 5B7