School of Library and Information Studies

LIS 598 Human-Information Interaction

LIS 598: Human Information Interaction

Course Outline
Winter 2017

Instructor: Dr. Adam Worrall
Phone: (780) 492-0179
Office: 3-15 Rutherford South
Office hours: Tuesdays: 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m, Thursday: 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m or by appointment 

Calendar Description:

An examination of individual and collaborative information needs, uses, and practices in context. Students will develop an understanding of the crucial interaction between people and information.

Course Objectives:

By the end of the course, students will be able to

  • identify key theories, concepts, models, and trends for understanding the relationships and interactions between people and information;

  • critically assess information behaviour research and recognize its application to professional practice in various contexts and settings, and its application in designing more effective tools, systems, or services;

  • understand the complexities of information seeking, including the recognition of information needs, actions toward resolving needs, the role of intermediaries (both technological and human), and the acquisition and use of information;

  • demonstrate awareness of the factors that may predict or influence an actor’s search for, use of, and perceptions of information, information products, services, and systems; and

  • explore the ways in which information is created, structured, disseminated, and used in a variety of contexts, and how the use of information is affected by those contexts.

Measurable Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs):

After critical engagement with the literature and readings, class lectures, and class discussions, students will:

  • Develop an appreciation of the complexities of human information interaction for a variety of constituents and contexts.

  • Demonstrate their ability to identify and evaluate information resources that meet the diverse needs of users and demonstrate their understanding of the role of professionals in mediating resources and services.

  • Demonstrate their understanding of the applicability of human information interaction theories, concepts, and models to professional practice.







Introduction and basics of HII




Key HII concepts (1)




Key HII concepts (2)




Factors in HII

Key Concepts Exploration due



Barriers, enablers, influences, mediators to/of HII




Key HII models




Winter Term Reading Week - no class




Key HII theories, paradigms

Information User Interview due



Key HII research methods




Users (1)

Information Environment Analysis due



Users (2)




HII in context (1)




HII in context (2)




Case Study discussions and wrap-up

Applied Case Study due

* Donates a week where pairs of students may lead a discussion.


Written and oral introductions to topics, readings, class and group discussions, in-class demonstrations, in-class small group activities and hands-on exercises, and individual and paired presentations will be used throughout the course. Where possible, guest speakers and/or special presentations will also be included.

Course Relationships:

Prerequisite: LIS 501 Foundations in LIS

Required Texts:

There are no required textbooks for this class. Copies of required and recommended readings from scholarly journals and books will be provided by the instructor.

Assignments and Weighting:

Key Concepts Exploration


(due January 31; completed in pairs)

Information User Interview


(due February 28)

Information Environment Analysis


(due March 14)

Applied Case Study


(due April 11)

Case Study Discussion


(take place April 11; in small groups)

Paired Discussion Leading


(due Week 4-6, 8-13; completed in pairs)

Class Discussion and Participation


(throughout the term)


Late Assignments:
Assignments must be handed in by the date specified unless you have made prior arrangements with the instructor. Late assignments will not earn full credit; ten percent (10%) will be deducted for every day (24 hours, including weekends) an assignment is late to a maximum of three days. Assignments submitted more than three days (72 hours) after the due date will not be accepted. In most cases unexpected downtime for cloud services, including Google Apps at the University of Alberta, is not an accepted excuse for a late assignment submission. Exceptions to this policy will be rare and given at the instructor’s discretion; if you require an extension due to constraints, emergencies, and crises that will result in you submitting an assignment late or incomplete, please email the instructor as soon as possible and in advance to make those arrangements.

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 Student Accessibility 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.

SLIS is mindful that the University of Alberta was established on Treaty #6 territory.