School of Library and Information Studies

LIS 598 Emerging and EvolvingTechnologies

LIS 598: Emerging and Evolving Technologies
Course Outline

Winter 2016; Mondays 9:00-11:50am, RS 3-01


Instructor: Michael B. McNally
RS 3-03
Office hours
: By appointment


Calendar Description:

This course will cover an introduction to different emerging and evolving technologies that are (or can be) used in the Library and Information Science (LIS) and other domains. Includes an introduction to different aspects of Open Source Software (OSS); Social Media such as wikis, blogs, mashups and social networking; and other emerging technologies and concepts such as cloud computing.


Course Objectives:

  • To introduce students to concept, theories and practical use of social media (i.e., Web 2.0) tools and technologies such as  blogs, mashups, wikis and social networking;
  • To introduce students to concepts and theories of Open Source Software (OSS) domain;
  • To understand the benefits and challenges in the use and adoption of Open Source Software;
  • To explore other emerging tools & technologies, and to provide an overview of issues and use of such tools and technologies.


Measurable Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs):

  • After examining literature, learning from discussion and lecture presentations, students will be able to critically understand various facets of OSS;
  • Through presentations, discussion and literature review, students will be able to understand and present different aspects of tools and technologies relevant in different work settings;
  • Drawing from reported research, published information, and discussion on Open Source Software, student will be able to critically analyze and recommend the appropriate OSS product(s) for specific use.


Content: Social media, user-generated content, makerspaces, mashups, APIs, social discovery, cloud computing, open source software (history, communities, user support, business models, licensing and legal issues, evaluation and selection, case studies)



This course will be delivered via assigned readings, handouts given in the class, power point slides, lectures, discussions, in-class exercises, group work, assignments, project work and seminar presentation by guests and/or students.


Course Relationships:

Pre- or co-requisite: LIS 501 and/or Consent of the Instructor


Required Texts:

There is no required text book for this class. This course requires weekly readings and details of all the required readings are listed below. The readings are carefully chosen and available online or electronically through University of Alberta Libraries.  Students are expected to prepare for, and actively participate, in every class. Regular attendance and contribution to the class are essential.


 Assignments and Weighting:

Social Media/Emerging Technology Evaluation Assignment            20%

OSS Topic Presentation and Discussion                                           30%

Software Review and Recommendation                                           40%

Class Participation                                                                             10%


School of Library and Information Studies Grading Statement:

Grades reflect professional judgements of student achievement made by instructors. These judgements are based on a combination of absolute achievement and relative performance in class. The instructor should mark in terms of raw scores, rank the assignments in order of merit, and with due attention to the verbal descriptions of the various grades, assign an appropriate final letter grade.


Academic Integrity:

The University of Alberta is committed to the highest standards of academic integrity and honesty. Students are expected to be familiar with these standards regarding academic honesty and to uphold the policies of the University in this respect. Students are particularly urged to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Code of Student Behaviour (online at and avoid any behaviour which could potentially result in suspicions of cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation of facts and/or participation in an offence. Academic dishonesty is a serious offence and can result in suspension or expulsion from the University.

Students should also be mindful of the SLIS Copyright Policy (


Inclusive Language and Equity:

The Faculty of Education is committed to providing an environment of respect for all people within the university community and to educating faculty, staff, and students in developing teaching and learning contexts that are welcoming to all. The Faculty recommends that students and staff use inclusive language to create a classroom atmosphere in which students’ experiences and views are treated with equal respect and value in relation to their gender, racial background, sexual orientation and ethnic background. Students who require accommodations in this course due to a disability affecting mobility, vision, hearing, learning, or mental or physical health are advised to discuss their needs with Specialized Support and Disability Services.


Recording of Lectures:

Recording of lectures is permitted only with the prior written consent of the professor or if recording is part of an approved accommodation plan.

Policy about course outlines can be found in Section 23.4(2) of the University Calendar.