School of Library and Information Studies

LIS 598 Human Information Interaction Outline

LIS 598: Human Interaction Information
Course Outline
Winter 2018


Instructor: Dr. Tami Oliphant
Phone: 780-492-2033
Office hours:


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 roles 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;
  • 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):

  • Drawing upon course readings and class discussions, students will develop an appreciation of the complexities of human information interaction for a variety of constituents and a variety of contexts.
    starting point discussion, interview with an information user, and analysis of an online information context
  • Through critical engagement with the literature and class discussions, students will 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.
    online discussions, applied case study, analyzing an online information context
  • Students will demonstrate their understanding of the applicability of human information interaction theory, concepts, and models to professional practice.
    Measures: applied case study, interview with an information user, and analysis of an online information context


  • Key theories, models, and concepts associated with human information interaction
  • Information needs, seeking, sources, and use
  • Online and offline collaborative information practices
  • Information search process; Sources and preferences
  • Cognitive, affective, and motivational factors in human information interaction
  • Credibility and relevance from the user’s perspective
  • Strategies: Analytical searching and browsing
  • Incidental information acquisition, serendipity, passive acquisition
  • Situational influences on information seeking
  • Individual differences in information seeking
  • Barriers and enablers to information seeking
  • Human and technological intermediation
  • Users: Children and young adults
  • Users: Health consumers; Health practitioners
  • Users: Scholars and students
  • Users: Social role and demographics
  • Context: Everyday life
  • Context: Occupations
  • Research methodology and methods


A combination of lectures, readings, online discussions, hands-on exercises, and a group project will be used throughout the course.

Course Relationships:

Pre/corequisite: LIS 501

Required Texts: There is no required textbook. Weekly readings from a variety of sources will assigned throughout the course.  All readings will be available on eClass at the beginning of the term.

Assignments and Weighting:



Due date

· Class participation


throughout the term

· Discussion contributions


throughout the term

· Starting point paper


January 23-25

· Online information context analysis


February 13-15

· Interview with an information user


March 15

· Applied case study


April 12

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.