School of Library and Information Studies

LIS 539 Outline

LIS 539: Emerging and Evolving Technologies (Online)
Course Outline
Fall 2018


Instructor: Dinesh Rathi
Office hours
: via email


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 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;
  • To introduce students to concepts and theories associated with 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.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs):

  • After examining literature, and learning from discussion, students will be able to critically understand various facets of emerging and evolving social media tools; (PLOs#3, #7 and #9)
  • Through discussion and literature, and review of case examples, students will be able to understand and reflect on various aspects of different tools and technologies relevant in different work settings; (PLO#3, #7 and #9)
  • Drawing from reported research, published information, case examples and discussion on Open Source Software, student will be able to critically analyze, evaluate, and recommend the appropriate OSS product(s) for specific use context. (PLO#3, #7 and #9)

Program Level Outcomes (PLOs):

  • Demonstrate critical thinking, analytical capacities, and problem-solving skills. (PLO#3)
  • Conduct effective searches to locate, evaluate, analyze, and synthesize information sources, with respect for the culturally diverse composition of society and its information needs. (PLO#7)
  • Examine the impact, importance, and limitations of technologies in personal, professional, and social contexts as well as in library and information studies settings. (PLO#9)

This course will be delivered via assigned readings, handouts shared via eClass, online class discussion, assignments including group work, etc.

Introduction to various topics such as social media, creative space and content, cloud computing, open source software (e.g., OSS history, OSS communities and user support systems, OSS evaluation and selection, OSS related benefits and challenges), and other technologies such as augmented and virtual reality.

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

Required Texts and Reading List:
There is no required text book for this class. The course has weekly readings as listed in the Weekly Schedule.

Assignments and Weighting:

  • Social Media Assignment
  • Software Review and Recommendation
  • Temporal Study of Technology
  • Class Participation

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.

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.