Course Syllabus

LIR 10 - Introduction to Information Literacy

Instructor: Phyllis Usina  

Students come to this class with varied experience and skill levels. I focus on teaching methods for finding and evaluating the vast amount of information available to today's students. It is important to note that computer skills do not always equate to information literacy skills. Are you information literate? Ask yourself if you know how to access and use the Library's subscription databases. Can you limit the results of a Google search to just government pages? Can you judge the difference between a credible and non-credible website? How well do you cite your sources?

As you read my expectations below use the opportunity to determine if this is the right section of LIR 10 for you. This is a short 1-unit class, however, there is a considerable amount of work because it is short. Be prepared to spend 2-3 hours each week going over the class material plus additional time as needed to complete assignments. Taking an online course is an exciting way to learn and exchange ideas, however it can be frustrating if you do not manage your time well. Online courses are not easier than face-to-face classes. If you are unfamiliar with the technology or if you are not self-disciplined, you may find this class challenging. 

It is your responsibility to complete the Week 1 assignments before the end of the first week of class, failure to do so means you will be dropped as a no show.

Instructor Contact

You can contact me by email, by phone, during my office hour, or by appointment. While I attempt to respond daily please allow up to 48 hours (Note: I do not work on weekends).

Email:               Phone: (707) 527-4547

Office Hours: Tuesdays 8:00-9:00 pm - Office hours can take the form of Chat, responses to Forum, email, phone and face-2-face.questions. I can also be found at the Doyle Library Reference Desk and am always happy to schedule an appointment if that is what works best for your schedule.

Course Description

This introductory course will teach the skills needed to find, evaluate, use and communicate information found in Print, Web and other source types.

Completion of English 100A or higher and familiarity with basic computer operations, the Internet, and e-mail are recommended. Course Outline: (Links to an external site.)

This course may be taught in a format that combines multiple sections into one online course environment, or that allows students in one section to view or comment on the work of students in another section of the same course being taught by the same instructor. If you have any concerns about this, please contact your instructor for more details.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will demonstrate the academic research process including selecting a topic, finding and evaluating appropriate resources and adhering to proper guidelines for citation of sources. Students will be able to:

1.  Analyze a research need

2.  Find information effectively and efficiently by using a variety of search techniques

3.  Access needed information in multiple publication formats

4.  Evaluate the quality and relevance of information sources

5.  Recognize several ethical and legal issues related to the use of information

Course Web Site & Class Meetings

Students will use the Canvas course modules for assignment instructions, submitting assignments, discussing information issues with classmates', sharing resources, and viewing grades. Lessons are structured in Weekly modules. Weekly modules open on Monday mornings. The graded assignments for that week are due each Sunday. All Lesson materials remain open and available until the end of the semester.


This 6 week section will be taught entirely online. The online format offers you flexibility in scheduling however it requires extra self-discipline and motivation.

This class is highly condensed. You will need to schedule 3 hours per week to read the Lesson material, practice using tools and communicate in the Forum. This is equivalent to the amount of scheduled class time if we were in a face-to-face environment. In addition you may require extra time to complete Homework assignments. To learn more: Carnegie Unit (Links to an external site.)

Students must abide by the SRJC Student Conduct Standards. Violation of the Standards is basis for referral to the Dean of Conduct or dismissal from class or from the College. These Conduct standards also apply to acts of Academic Dishonesty. Any act of academic dishonesty, either intentional or unintentional, will result in a grade of "F" on that assignment. Collaborating on or copying of tests or homework in whole or in part will be considered an act of academic dishonesty and result in a grade of 0 for that test or assignment. Students are encouraged to share information and ideas, but not their work. See these links on Plagiarism:
SRJC Writing Center Lessons on avoiding plagiarism and SRJC's statement on Academic Integrity.

If you need disability-related accommodations for this class--such as a notetaker, test-taking services, etc.--please provide me with the Authorization for Academic Accommodations (AAA letter) from the Disability Resources Department  (Links to an external site.)(DRD) as soon as possible. You may also speak with me privately during office hours about your accommodations. If you have not received authorization from DRD, it is recommended that you contact them directly. DRD is located in the Bertolini Student Center, 3rd Floor (707-527-4278) on the Santa Rosa campus, and Jacobs Room 101 on the Petaluma Campus. Every effort is made to conform to accessibility standards for all instructor-created materials. Students should contact me as soon as possible if they find that they cannot access any course materials.


There are no textbooks to purchase for this course. The instructor provides materials for all weekly Lessons online.

  • Access to the library's subscription online databases and resources from off campus require use of your Student ID and Pin These are the same ones that you use to register for classes. Use the reminder link on the main campus page if you have forgotten either of these numbers.
  • The library's databases, Noodlebib and ArtStor, require two levels of authentication to access these resources from off campus. You will have to enter your Student ID and Pin number to access the databases but then you must also create a personal student account with your own passwords. The personal account is your student space in that online database where you can store personalized settings and citations.
  • Students have access to all of the resources on site at both of the SRJC Libraries. You will need an activated Student ID Card in order to check out library materials, calculator or use items on reserve. Go to the circulation desk of the SRJC Doyle or Mahoney libraries to activate your student ID.

Required Software

You will need to :

  • have access to a computer for the class.
  • be comfortable using email and uploading files.
  • have access to and be comfortable using a word processing program.
  • have this software file loaded on your computer.

Important Dates

Due Dates: Assignments are due by 11:59pm on Sunday of each week. The start and end dates for the weeks are listed on the Home page and the Calendar.

The DROP dates for a short course are different than those listed in the SRJC calendar of dates for the full semester. Check your student portal to view the dates specific to this course.

Dropping the Class

If you decide to discontinue doing work for this course, it is your responsibility to officially drop it. You must contact the instructor if you fall behind or if you have circumstances that interfere with your ability to complete the work. It is strongly advised that you not miss more than one class/homework deadline. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO DROP THE CLASS WITHIN THE TIME FRAME LISTED OR RISK GETTING A FAILING GRADE. I WILL ONLY DROP STUDENTS WHO DO NOT COMPLETE AN ASSIGNMENT BY THE END OF THE FIRST WEEK.


For face-to-face courses, students who fail to attend the first class meeting may be dropped by the instructor. For classes that meet online, students who fail to log on and show participation by completing one assignment by 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time of the Sunday at the end of the first week of the class will be dropped by the instructor as a no show. 

Pass‐NoPass (P/NP)

You may take this class P/NP. Dates for this course are listed in your student portal. You must decide before the deadline, and add the option through your student portal. Once you decide to go for P/NP, you cannot change back to a letter grade. If you pass the course with a grade of C or better, you will get P. Note: most students who complete all assignments in my class get an A or B.


The instructor will send emails through the student protal and/or post announcements on the Announcements page in Canvas throughout the semester. Canvas notifies students according to their preferred Notification Preferences. It is important that you go to the Settings link in the Course Navigation Menu on the left and click on the Notifications to adjust settings to meet your needs.

The weekly Q&A Discussion is the place to ask for the assistance of your classmates and the instructor. Please keep all posts and e-mails directly related to class assignments.

I will check the Q&A Discussions and respond on Mondays and Thursdays. I can guarantee responses on those days. Otherwise I do my best to respond within 48 hours. 

Make sure you maintain a valid email address on file with the college. It is your responsibility to maintain an active e-mail account and update your information. 

Class Participation

IMPORTANT:  If you find a link that is not working please report it on the Question & Answer Forum. I will do my best to fix it as quickly as possible but it could be a day or two before I log in and see there is a problem.  If you do not get a reply from me right away and you need to submit an assignment do your best to find an alternate link or if you cannot then submit the assignment with that question blank and a note about the broken link. ***I will not dock anyone points on an assignment if a link is not working correctly.

You set the time you "attend" class each week and use the materials. I respond weekly by giving feedback and assigning grades in the class Gradebook. A success tip from former students is to set a regular "class time" for yourself each week to:

1. Read all parts of each of the weekly lessons. Most lessons are broken up into several separate parts. I will open the links for each week's lesson on Monday mornings. Lesson materials will stay open the entire semester.Each Lesson requires you to complete one or more activities and assignments. This shows your participation in class.

2. Check your Grades. Assignments will only be graded after the deadline at the close of that week. Your course Grades will be based on Weekly Activities, Assignments, Forums and Final Exam

3. Use the Question & Answer forum to ask ALL class related questions or comments and feel free to answer questions too. I always appreciate the help.

4. IMPORTANT NOTE: It will take me several days to grade the Assignments--THEY ARE NOT GRADED AUTOMATICALLY. I give grades and feedback in the Gradebook. I never give a zero so if you see a zero or no grade it usually means I haven't graded that assignment yet. If you are late for a deadline, there may be lost points.

5. The Final Exam is a short answer and multiple choice exam that requires you to analyze and reflect on the "Information Literacy" skills and concepts you have learned in the class and to complete an activity to show you can research an assigned topic.

Late Policy

All assignments are due at 11:59 pm weekly on Sunday nights. See the Home page or the Calendar for the due date. Late submissions may result in lost points.

Grading Policy

Click the Grades link in Course Navigation on the left to keep track of your grades.

Keep in mind that although you can turn in assignments at any time during the week outlined in the schedule, I ONLY grade assignments after the deadline for that week. For example the week starts on Monday and you turn in your assignment first thing Monday morning--I will not start grading the assignment until the following Monday. I post all grades and comments in the Canvas gradebook.

Your course grade is calculated on the accumulation of points. Here is a breakdown of points. Total 1000 point

6 Discussion Posts @ 20 points each = 120 points

5 Activities 1 @ 20 points + 4 @ 60 points each = 260 points

5 Assignments @ 100 points each = 500 points

1 Final Exam, 1 part @ 70 points + 1 part @ 50 points = 120 point

The total number of possible points is 1000.



Students who turn in all of the work in my class usually make an A or B. However you can take this class for Pass/No Pass if you prefer. To take the class P/NP, you must actively request P/NP through Admissions and Records. If taking Pass/No Pass you need at least 70% of the total class points including the Final which is required.

List of assignments

Note to students: the assignments listed below do not include all course content so I do not recommend using that list for access. To view all course content, go to Modules in the course navigation on the left.

Course Summary:

Date Details