School of Library and Information Studies

LIS 598 Emerging Technology



                                                                     Spring 2014


               Dinesh Rathi                                                                  Michael McNally
       Email:                                                    Email:
       Phone: 780-492-8797 (O)                                                       Phone: 780-492-3834 (O)
     Office Hours: By appointment                                                 Office Hours: By appointment
Office Location: 3-06A Rutherford South                                   Office Location: 3-03 Rutherford South


Course Overview:

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. It 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.

The measurable Student Learning Objectives for this class are:

• After examining literature, learning from practical use and discussion, students will be able to critically  evaluate and select social media tools appropriate for variety use cases;
• 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.


This course will be delivered via assigned readings, group work, assignments, online discussion project work and seminar presentation by students.

Course Relationships:

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

Recommended Texts and Readings:

There is no required text book for this class. This course requires substantial reading and details of all the required readings are listed. The readings are carefully chosen that are relatively well written and all of the articles are available online. Students are expected to prepare for and actively participate in every discussion module.

Reading List:

Please see the reading list section. In addition, if required, additional reading references will be posted on the course website. The readings are assigned for each module and the students are expected to read at least two papers in each module (including “Must Read” paper) or as instructed from time to time.
This is a seminar course. We would request you to please read the papers and discuss.

Inclusive Language & Equity:

The Faculty of Education is committed to providing an environment of equality and 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 backgrounds. 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.

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

Grading Policy:

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. Also available on SLIS website.

General Assignment Information:

The assessment will be 100% coursework.



Social Media


Presentation - Each One Teach One


Project Work - OSS


Class Participation




Assignment Feedback Time:

A minimum 10 days is required to give feedback on assignments.