Course Syllabus

LIR10 Course Information/Syllabus

 Kathy Thornley photo

Kathy Thornley
Instructor home page

Course Outcomes and Objectives About your Instructor
Communication Required Textbook
Hardware/Software Lectures/Assignments
Participation/Attendance Grading
Online Preparedness Expectations
Important Dates Tips

Welcome to LIR10: Introduction to Information Literacy!

Course Description: 

An introductory course to learn and apply the skills needed to conduct research efficiently and effectively.

Course Dates:

1/16/24 - 3/17/24

Instructor Contact: 

Kathy Thornley:
Expect replies within 24 hours except on weekends/holidays.

Online Office Hour:

Mondays, 3-4pm on Zoom. Link provided at the bottom of every module.

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Course Learning Outcomes and Objectives:

Student Learning Outcomes:

As a result of successful completion of this course, students will:

  1. Analyze the role of information in a technology driven, democratic society
  2. Select and investigate a college-level research topic
  3. Discover and differentiate relevant sources using a variety of search methods and tools
  4. Evaluate characteristics of credible and authoritative research, including differing viewpoints
  5. Incorporate sources and responsibly create content that can be shared

Course Outline:

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Weekly Student Learning Objectives:

See corresponding [Student Learning Outcomes] in brackets

Week One
  • Explain what information literacy means and why it's important
  • Become acquainted with the course and online learning
  • Select a topic appropriate for academic research (for the Final Project) [2]
  • Identify SRJC Library services and features [1,3]
  • Describe different types of information sources

Week Two

  • Conduct background research using online reference sources [2,3,4]
  • Develop draft research questions [2]
  • Analyze research questions using a criteria checklist [2]
  • Use library search tools to find a book or ebook [3]
  • Identify essential components of publication information (bibliographic records)

Week Three

  • Explain the types and characteristics of different periodical information sources
  • Identify characteristics of scholarly sources and discuss appropriateness in research [1,3,4]
  • Develop a search strategy [3]
  • Find and summarize relevant articles using SRJC Library SmartSearch (for Final Project) [3]
  • Distinguish between primary and secondary sources [1,3,4]
Week Four
  • Identify characteristics of popular sources and discuss appropriateness in research [1,3,4]
  • Recognize and discuss bias [4]
  • Evaluate articles for credibility using the CRAAP Test (for the Final Project) [4]
Week Five
  • Apply search strategies by using Google to find a website
  • Evaluate a website using the CRAAP Test [4]
  • Recognize and analyze value of Google Scholar as a source for research [1,3,4]
Week Six
  • Discuss the role of information in a technology driven, democratic society [1]
  • Explore fake news, misinformation, and satire
Week Seven
  • Recognize and discuss plagiarism issues [5]
  • Identify citation elements and describe the purpose of citing sources [5]
  • Cite sources in MLA format to create bibliography on selected research topic  [5]
Week Eight/Nine
  • Final Project: apply skills of locating and evaluating relevant sources, completing an informed bibliography on a selected topic.

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About Your Instructor

My name is Kathy Thornley and I've been teaching at the JC in various departments since 1988. I currently teach Adobe Photoshop and History of Graphic Design in the Computer Studies department and LIR10 Intro to Information Literacy in the Library Resources Department. I also work a few hours each week on the Library Research desk assisting students with their research needs and helping them locate relevant and credible materials for their papers.

I was born and raised in England and still have an accent to prove it. I have a Masters Degree (MLIS) in Information Studies from UC Berkeley. 

I have always loved books, libraries, research... anything to do with the publishing world. Whilst I am very attached to my print books, I would also confess a great love of technology and computers. I really enjoy a good search on Google, and learning a new piece of software. 

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Communicating with Your Instructor and the Class

Although we may not meet face-to-face during this course, there are several ways we can communicate:

Instructor Contact Information:

Kathy Thornley: (e-mail or Canvas "mail" is the best way to contact me!).
Note: You can find Canvas mail by clicking the HELP button at the bottom of the blue Canvas sidebar and selecting Ask Your Instructor a Question.

Question and Answer Forum:

There will be a course-long class forum where you can ask questions about the class, assignments etc. Participation in the questions forum is not required but you should post any class-related questions here so I can reply to all students at once.

Individual E-mail:

You are welcome to send me a message or e-mail any time you need to discuss a private concern or individual question. My e-mail address is: Kathy Thornley -- Canvas mail is also a good way to contact me. You can expect a reply to your e-mail within 24 hours (except on weekends) but I usually respond much faster than that. Make sure you put LIR10 in the subject line. I teach multiple classes each semester so may well miss your important message if you don't identify which class you're from. Also remember to sign your full name at the bottom of your message!

Virtual Office Hours:

I will be available for "virtual office hours" on Monday from 3-4pm. I have set up a video "conference" link that will allow us to talk face to face using Zoom.


I post regular announcements with reminders and updates about what's going on in class. Please make sure you have an updated email address in your JC cubby and check the settings for your notifications in Canvas to make sure you receive any important communications via Canvas announcements.

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There is no textbook for this class! All information will be provided through weekly lecture pages and short videos.

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Hardware/Software Requirements

To take this class in an online format you should have the following:

  • Relatively powerful (reliable) computer: either a PC running a recent version of Windows or Mac OS with a functioning microphone and webcam. It should be able to display web pages and stream short videos from the web.
    If you need a more powerful computer, laptops are available to borrow for a semester on a first-come, first-served basis. Please email SRJC Library Access Services Department: or text 1-877-889-9596 

  • Internet Connection: You will need a decent, reliable Internet connection that allows you to read Canvas pages, complete quizzes/assignments, and particularly to view the online videos.

  • Web Browser: Chrome is the browser recommended for optimal working in Canvas. If you choose to use a different browser, make sure it's a recent update.

  • Internet Plug-ins/extensions: Make sure you have commonly-used Internet plug-ins installed with your browser particularly Acrobat Reader.

  • E-mail Account: Use just ONE e-mail account that you check frequently. Make sure the e-mail account does not get so full that messages are bounced. Do not change e-mail accounts in mid-course unless it's absolutely necessary!
    • You can obtain an e-mail account either by signing up for a JC Student account or by getting a free online account through Gmail or similar service (Yahoo accounts have had some issues in the past so I recommend you avoid them!). For more information on JC Student E-mail Accounts please visit: SRJC Information Technology Student Email Support

  • Basic Computer Competency:
    • You should be able to manage basic operations on your computer including: creating folders, organizing files, saving files, uploading/downloading files
    • You should have basic competency in: using a web browser (like Chrome), and creating, formatting and saving basic word documents using Google Docs or equivalent.

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Weekly Lectures and Assignments

Reading/Watching the Weekly Lecture/Video Pages:

You are expected to read completely through any Canvas lecture pages, and watch any video presentations. The instruction pages are activated on a weekly basis at noon on Wednesday. Please check the Modules to review the starting and ending dates for each week. I will send out a weekly update message via Canvas Mail or Announcements with an overview of a particular week's topic/assignments. 


The assignments/activities for each week are listed on the Weekly Schedule in the Modules. The due date and points for each assignment/activity are clearly identified. Click on the link for each assignment to read detailed instructions on what you are expected to do. Make sure you complete the assignments on time. Assignments are assigned/opened on a Wednesday at noon and are due MONDAY at 11:59pm for discussion posts and the following TUESDAY night at 11:59pm for everything else. Deadlines are clearly marked.

Be sure to read my feedback and comments on your assignments by clicking on the Grades page and the rubric/comment icons next to each assignment.

Late Work Policy:

The due dates for assignments are clearly marked and are due consistently on the same day/time each week. You should start assignments early in the week to avoid missing a deadline. I have so many students that keeping track of late assignments is a real headache. Here is my policy:

  • Assignments will be accepted one week after the deadline (except the final week of class).
    The only exception I make to this late policy is a true emergency beyond your control. You should contact me before the deadline to indicate you're unable to turn in your assignment.
  • Late assignments will lose 5% per day until the assignment closes. This is an automatic deduction through Canvas.
  • Submission links for assignments/discussions deactivate at the one week late deadline and are not accessible after that.
  • Final project must be submitted on time.
  • Nothing will be accepted after the final day of class.

I'm sorry to have such a strict late work policy but I have too many students to manage very late assignments.

Expectations for Written Assignments:

Since this is a college-level course, written assignments (including discussion forums) should have detailed answers and must be completed using full, grammatically-correct sentences without spelling errors. Type your assignments or discussion postings in a word editing program (e.g MS Word/Google docs) and use a grammar/spell checker if you're not confident about your writing/spelling abilities.

  • Assignments written in "texting" lingo (e.g. "these tutorials r gd lol") will receive an automatic 50% penalty.
  • Assignments generated using ChatGPT or any other AI equivalent are not acceptable.

Forum Participation/Discussion:

We will have regular graded class discussions about the topics presented each week. Your posts should be well-written (grammatically-correct)! No texting lingo/spelling allowed! Discussion posts are due by Monday, any replies/answers due by Tuesday. No late discussions accepted.

IMPORTANT: Any language, quote or image shared in the discussions must be appropriate for a college class. Please... no political, controversial or adult-only material. Posts containing inappropriate material will be deleted and the student will receive 0 points.

Final Project:

You will create a final project by building it from the beginning of the course from your selected research topic. The project requires you to review your research journey and demonstrate what you have learned over the course of the class. You will answer a variety of questions about your research and a "missing link" resource, and also create a bibliography containing 2 citations (book and website article) in MLA citation style.

Extra Credit Opportunities:

There may be one or two extra credit opportunities during the course!

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Participation and Attendance

Participation is essential to an online class. You participate by raising good questions, contributing to the discussions and completing your assignments. If you do not put in the hours required by this course, it will be very obvious from the quality of your participation.

Attendance: You "attend" class each week by reading the weekly information pages, watching any videos, completing the assignments/quizzes on time and participating in the group discussions. Canvas keeps a student log of your activities that shows the extent of your activities on the class Canvas site.

According to SRJC attendance policy:

  • Students are expected to attend (participate) in all sessions of an online course.
  • Students may be dropped from any class when their absences exceed 10% of the total hours of class time.

Link to SRJC attendance policy online

If you fail to check-in to class on the first day you may well be dropped as a no-show student.

Students who do not attend (participate) in the class for an entire week without contacting me in any way (or responding to my attempts to contact them), may well be dropped from the class.

Ultimately, it is YOUR responsibility to drop a class. Failure to do so may result in an F grade.

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My philosophy about grading is that "every student starts with an A grade." It is up to you what happens to it during the course.

Your final grade will be based on the points accumulated from all the work completed during the class. Grading: >90% = A, 80%-89.5% = B, 70%-79.5% = C (or P/NP), 60%-69.5% = D, <60% = F. You should use the Canvas Grades page to keep track of your progress in this class.

Important Note about the Canvas Grades page! Ungraded assignments may show a 0 grade. Please do not assume that you have received 0 for assignments you have submitted. The number will change when I actually grade the assignment -- usually within 1 week. You should be able to check the status of an assignment to make sure you've submitted it.

This class can be taken for a Grade or Pass/No Pass. Be sure to check the deadline for switching to P/NP. 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.

To check your grades please click on the Grades link in the Canvas sidebar. Don't forget to click on the rubric and comment icons to read any feedback I might have given you!

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Online and Course Preparedness

This course is entirely Internet-based so you should feel relatively comfortable using your computer (software and hardware) and should be prepared to work independently. To participate in this class online you need to:

  • Have a reliable email and Internet connection
  • Feel comfortable with basic computer operations and navigating the World Wide Web.
  • Have a single, consistent, reliable e-mail that you check frequently!
  • Know how to send and receive e-mail. Use the same e-mail account for the entire class and make sure it does not become full of messages.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Canvas learning management system used by SRJC
  • Set Canvas notifications so you receive alerts on your phone about homework and due dates

You can also watch this short video introducing you to online learning and Canvas:

If you need reassurance that you are ready to take an online class, please check the following page: SRJC Distance Education New to Online Learning Information.

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Student Expectations and Resources

This 9-week class will be taught entirely online. The online format offers you flexibility in scheduling however it requires extra self-discipline and motivation. Make sure that you don't miss assignment deadlines or get behind. The assignments build on each other and are used to create your final project.

Your time commitment:

This class is a highly condensed version of the full-semester LIR10 course! LIR 10 is a 1-unit course given in a 9-week format. When this class is taught face-to-face, there are 2 hours of lecture per week for 9 weeks, and homework (reading, viewing and practicing skills learned) that takes place outside of class.

Higher education guidelines and SRJC standards suggest there should be 2 hours of homework for every 1 hour of classroom lecture.

This means that you should be prepared to spend a minimum of 6 hours per week on this class. Some students will be able to complete work in less time, while others will require time above and beyond the 6 hours/week suggested.

If you fall behind with your assignments, please e-mail me before you decide to drop the class. I'm very willing to help you out.

Student Conduct Standards:

Students must abide by the SRJC Student Conduct Standards. 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. You should click on this link to read the following information about students' rights and responsibilities.

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 quiz answers or homework.
SRJC's statement on Academic Integrity

Special Needs:

Every effort is made to conform to accessibility standards for all instructor-created materials. Students should contact their instructor as soon as possible if they find that they cannot access any course materials.

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 (DRD) as soon as possible.

If you have a health-related or mental health concern, you can contact SRJC Student Health Services.

All students enrolled in any credit course in the Sonoma County Junior College District are eligible to access services funded by the Health Fee. Professional visits and select supplies are provided free of charge. Cost of care obtained at other healthcare facilities, however, is the student's financial responsibility.

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Important Dates

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.

Click on this link for a list of important dates for this class.

The final day of class is Sunday, March 17, 2024

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Tips For Enjoying This Class


Get involved in class discussions and share your questions and discoveries!


Think outside the box. Explore new technologies and research tools.


With an online class you're pretty much on your own on the technical front. Remember to check your computer help and online support/tutorials before you contact me. I may not be able to help you solve problems with your home computer.


You create a great class atmosphere when you work cooperatively with your fellow students and with me. Your classmates will appreciate hearing your constructive comments. In addition, I like to receive constructive and positive feedback about how the class is going. If there's a problem I'd like to hear about it. You never know... maybe I can even fix it!


Stay up to date with your reading, videos, quizzes and assignments! Resist the urge to procrastinate!


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