INF 1001H
FALL 2016
Thursdays, 1:00-4:00
BL 205
Office: Claude Bissell Building, Room 711
Office hours: Thursdays 12-1 and by appointment
Teaching Assistant: Brian Griffin, Doctoral Candidate:

This course provides an introduction to the ways that information and information processes shape and are shaped by society. In particular, it examines the social, institutional, political, legal, and economic roles of information and knowledge in public life, including how forms of new media, new distribution channels and new delivery systems are affecting traditional means of creating and disseminating information. The course also discusses changes that stem from developments in the information environment at the individual, organizational and societal level. Focal issues include: the politics, ethics, and values of information; information as an economic phenomenon; the institutional structure of knowledge and cultural production; and the role of information professionals in all of these activities. The intent is to provide opportunity for students to:

  • Take a thematic approach to understanding the nature and role of information in both private and public spheres;
  • Create a contextual framework within which to analyze the major social issues and developments associated with information creation, dissemination and use;
  • Gain an appreciation of the myriad issues surrounding the uses, social impact, and policy implications of information and communication technologies, both historically and contemporaneously;
  • Acquire knowledge of current trends and controversies in critical information policy studies;
  • Develop research capacity in critical information policy studies through 1) research and analysis of a variety of secondary source materials (scholarly, policy, mainstream media and alternative/independent media) related to a specific topic of their choice and 2) written work which demonstrates a clearly enunciated and developed comprehension of the material.

Course Structure
The mode of instruction will include a minimum of a minimum of 2 contact hours per week consisting of lectures and some in-class exercises, from 1:00-4:00.

Course Technologies
Courseware: Blackboard. 
Blackboard is the proprietary course management software system supported by the University of Toronto. In this course, Blackboard will be used primarily as an information repository and clearinghouse for course reading materials and course management by the professor and TA. However, other uses of Blackboard may be announced during the semester. For this reason, each student is required to have a university- issued email address ( linked to Blackboard. Please be sure to check Blackboard periodically for new materials, announcements, updates and other important information. For assistance in accessing course material on Blackboard go to:
This is a course blog created and maintained by the professor and TA. Information such as current news items of interest relevant to course content will be posted here. Check the blog on a weekly basis. In some instances, a password will be created to allow students access to certain content on the site.

zone1001 on Slack
A Slack space will be set up by the professor in order for students to input weekly bibliographic sources in discrete channels.



Academic integrity:
Please consult the University’s site on Academic Integrity (

The iSchool has a zero-tolerance policy on plagiarism as defined in section B.I.1.(d) of the University’s Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters (

You should acquaint yourself with the Code. Please review the material in Cite it Right and if you require further clarification, consult the site How Not to Plagiarize (

Cite it Right covers relevant parts of the U of T Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters (1995). It is expected that all iSchool students take the Cite it Right workshop and the online quiz.  Completion of the online Cite it Right quiz should be made prior to the second week of classes. To review and complete the workshop, visit the orientation portion of the iSkills site:

Students Requiring Accommodations:
Students with diverse learning styles and needs are welcome in this course. If you have a disability or a health consideration that may require accommodations, please feel free to approach me and/or the Accessibility Services Office ( as soon as possible. The Accessibility Services staff are available by appointment to assess needs, provide referrals and arrange appropriate accommodations. The sooner you let them and I know your needs, the quicker we can assist you in achieving your learning goals in this course.

Please consult the iSchool’s Grade Interpretation Guidelines ( and the University Assessment and Grading Practices Policy ( These documents will form the basis for grading in the course.

Regular on-time attendance in class is an important part of this course. If you miss a class it is your responsibility to find out what you missed from your fellow students.

Writing Support:
As stated in the iSchool’s Grade Interpretation Guidelines, “work that is not well written and grammatically correct will not generally be considered eligible for a grade in the A range, regardless of its quality in other respects”. With this in mind, please make use of the writing support provided to graduate students by the SGS Office of English Language and Writing Support ( The services are designed to target the needs of both native and non-native speakers and all programs are free. Please consult the current workshop schedule ( for more information.

Guidelines for Assignments:

Citations should be complete, consistent throughout an assignment, and in a style suited to the topic. A humanities style is preferred for essays. Chicago Manual of Style, Turabian, or APA are acceptable. Please note: All references, notes, and citations to publications, web sites, e-resources, manuscripts, and records must be full and complete. It is the students’ responsibility to ensure accuracy and completeness.

All written assignments for this course (media analysis, reading response, keywords) must be submitted on Blackboard. A grading rubric for assignments will be distributed; grades will be assessed based upon content of material and stylistic qualities (spelling and grammar, etc.).

For the media analysis, reading response, and keyword assignments use the following format:

Typed, double space, 12 point font, one-inch margins, page numbers in the upper or lower right hand corner, name, student ID, and date flush left on the first page (no cover sheets, please).. Total word count should be indicated at the end of the assignment.

Extensions for assignments are granted at the discretion of the professor before the assignment is due.

Relationship of Course Objectives to MI Program Outcomes

The course aligns with various Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) of the MI (see Issues covered in the course will allow students to become “conversant with fundamental concepts, theories, practices, and the diverse horizons of information disciplines”, so that they “can respond to changing information practices and needs of society” (SLO 1); the course will allow them to develop social responsibility as information professionals through the development of “knowledge and values appropriate to their future exercise of economic, cultural, and/or social leadership” (SLO 2). Assignments will allow “students [to] develop the ability to contribute through research and publication, to the continuous expansion and critical assessment of the body of knowledge underlying the information”(SLO 3); “develop an understanding of the development of theory concerning information, where it is found, and how it is used” (SLO 4), and provide students the ability to “continue in life-long intellectual growth beyond graduation” (SLO 5).

Academic Dates:

  • Final date to drop fall session full (Y) or half (F) courses without academic penalty: Nov 2, 2016