Introduction to Doctoral Studies in Information Science, Fall 2016

Course Coordinates:

Fridays, 9:30 AM – 12:00 NOON
ENVD 201 “The Garage”

Instructor:
Dr. Amy Voida
amy.voida@colorado.edu
ENVD 201
Office Hours: By Appointment

This syllabus will function as a collaboratively constructed contract among all of the stakeholders in this course. It is a living document that will evolve through in-class discussion as the dynamic needs of the students and their research emerge. Students are responsible for being in class, taking ownership of this course and their learning, and noting all changes to the syllabus as it evolves. The instructor is responsible for being attuned and responsive to the needs of the students and to the dynamic and often unpredictable nature of the research and learning process. This syllabus is a starting point for ongoing dialogue…

Course Description

Introduces students to practices associated with successful advancement in a doctoral program, rigorous scholarship in information science, and more expert and early participation in their scholarly community of practice.

Draft Schedule

Week Of
Bibliography Entries
(Total)
Daily Words (Total)
Readings Presentations Mock Program Committee
22 Aug N/A N/A  N/A  N/A  N/A

29 Aug

(CSCW Program Committee Meeting)

    “Risk” from Writing for Social Scientists   Workshopping Early Drafts: Pre-Submission Best Practices

5 Sep

GRFP Presentation from 10:00 – 11:30  in the Old Main Chapel

Class from 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM today only!

 

      Task/Time Management System Tutorials  
12 Sep  3 (3)  

Getting What You Came For Ch 1-5 (p. 1-47)

Getting What You Came For Ch 11-13 (p. 118-151)

Bibliographic System Tutorials  
19 Sep  3 (6)  1000 (1000) How to Write a Lot Ch 1-4 (p. 3-57)    
26 Sep  3 (9)   1000 (2000) How to Write a Lot Ch 5,6 & 8 (p. 59-107, 127-132)

Initial Research Presentations

 

 

3 Oct  4 (13)  1000 (3000)

Faculty papers

Faculty Research Presentations

Overview of Reviewing and the Conference Review Process Part 1
10 Oct  4 (17)   1000 (4000)

Faculty papers

Faculty Research Presentations

 
17 Oct  4(21)

 1000

(5000)

Getting What You Came For Ch 14-17 (p. 152-207)

  Overview of Reviewing and the Conference Review Process Part 2
24 Oct 4 (25)  1000 (6000)

Getting What You Came For Ch 18-20 (p. 208-265)

Student Panel Workshop on Reviewing
31 Oct  5 (30) 1000 (7000)

Getting What You Came For Ch 21-23 (p. 266-318)

Inspirations Papers

Inspirations Presentations

 
7 Nov  5 (35)   1000 (8000)

Inspirations Papers

Inspirations Presentations

 

14 Nov

 5 (40) 1000 (9000)

Inspirations Papers

Inspirations Presentations

  Reviews Due
21 Nov Thanksgiving (No Class)
28 Nov  5 (45)   1000 (10,000)  Getting What You Came For Ch 24 (p. 319-358)  

Workshop on Meta-Reviewing

5 Dec

(CHI PC Meeting; Course rescheduled for 12 December 10AM)

 5 (50)   1000 (11,000)    

Meta-Reviews Due (12 Dec)

Mock Program Committee Meeting

 

Texts

Students will need to purchase the following books for the course:

  • Peters, R. (1997). Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student’s Guide to Earning an M.A. or a Ph.D. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
  • Silvia, P.J.(2007). How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing.

Additional texts for this course will consist primarily of conference and journal publications that are all available online via university site licenses. You will need to be logged in to the university network or connected via VPN to access these articles for free.

Assessment & Evaluation

Bibliography Entries 20%
Daily Words (Writing Log)   20%
Presentations:  
 • Task/Time Management Tutorial 3%
 • Bibliographic Software Tutorial 3%
 • Initial Research Presentation 4%
 • Inspirations Presentations 12.5%
Mock Program Committee  
 • Reviews 7.5%
 • Meta-Reviews 5%
Class Participation 25%

 

Class participation will be evaluated on the basis of student self-assessment according to the following rubric:

0 points Not physically present OR Behaved in ways that were a distraction to the learning environment
1 point Not mentally present OR Was engaged in other activities not related to the discussion
2 points Was consistently engaged, listening to the discussion
3 points Contributed productively to the discussion one or two times
4 points Contributed productively to the discussion three or more times

 

Numerical grades will be converted to letter grades based on the following scale:

  B+       87 – 89.99 C+       77 – 79.99 D+       67 – 69.99 F          0 – 59.99
A         93 – 100 B         83 – 86.99 C         73 – 76.99 D         63 – 66.99  
A-        90 – 92.99 B-        80 – 82.99 C-        70 – 72.99 D-        60 – 62.99  

Assignments

All assignments are due by the date and time posted. There is no “late policy” in this class; there are deadlines. If you want to earn credit for your work, you should plan on meeting these deadlines. You may earn partial credit on assignments by submitting whatever you have finished at the time of the deadline.

Bibliography Entries
Research is a distributed dialogue among researchers. In order to contribute to that dialogue, you must read what other researchers have written. Reading should become a habit. Good researchers don’t wait for a convenient block of time to read; they make time to read. Schedule yourself time to read and always take notes about what you’ve read. This will save you a massive amount of time down the road when you are writing (see next assignment). Each set of notes about a given paper will become an entry into your personal annotated bibliography. Each entry should include the following information:

  • A full reference to the text (in whatever format is most relevant to you, e.g. APA)
  • A link to the text online (wherever possible; this is particularly valuable for supporting collaborations around research)
  • A  summary of the main points of the text in your own words. (Not a restatement of the abstract!)
    • What was the problem the researchers were trying to solve? Why was this problem important? (Articulating the problem from their perspective can help you to understand where they are coming from, as well as possible biases or blind spots.)
    • How did the researchers go about trying to solve the problem? (Articulating this is useful for understanding what parts of the problem they think are most important to solving (first), which usually implies that there were other parts of the problem they haven’t yet addressed.)
    • What did the researchers learn? What were their results?
    • What are the implications of these results? (May be for other researchers, for designers, etc…)
  • A brief discussion of some of the ways this text connects to your own research, life experiences or other things you have read. (This is where you really start thinking like a researcher. If you don’t take time to make connections now, while your head is really in the minutia of the paper, you’ve wasted a big opportunity and likely created more work for yourself down the road. Note: Every time you read a paper, you are likely to make different connections. This is okay… great, actually… it shows that you are growing and evolving as a researcher.)
  • A list of references (writ broadly… could be texts, ideas, people, projects, etc…) that you might want to explore further. (In rare instances, you will just not have anything to list here. Not every paper is inspirational. But if you find yourself skipping this section too many times, you need to rethink how creatively you are engaging with what you are reading.)

You will start out reading 3 papers per week and writing bibliography entries for these papers. Over the course of the semester, you will work up to reading and summarizing one paper every day (5 per week).  The compilation of these reading summaries will become your own personal annotated bibliography.

You will choose the specific papers (50 over the course of the semester) based on your own interests. This is an opportunity to explore the huge diversity of domains and disciplinary inspiration that are part of the domain of information science and its related disciplines. Following are some sources/strategies for identifying papers to read:

  • Revisit the references that you listed in bibliography entries for papers you’ve already read.
  • Search by keyword in the ACM Digital Library for topics that interest you. This is where many (but certainly not all) of the highest quality papers are published in HCI.
  • Skim Georgia Tech’s published reading lists for its qualifier exams; these are a treasure trove of ideas.
  • Identify papers related to presentations given by faculty, your peers, colloquia speakers.
  • Search the websites of other researchers you’ve come to appreciate (many researchers post pdfs of or links to their papers on their websites).
  • Ask your advisor for recommendations.
  • Ask other students in the program for recommendations.
  • Ask me for recommendations.

You should not have to pay to access any conference or journal publications for this course. Most everything you find should be available for free online via university site licenses. You will need to be logged in to the university network or connected via VPN to access these articles for free.

Based on the bibliographic software tutorials (see description of presentations), you should identify some system for managing your bibliography moving forward. This will help you immensely over the course of your Ph.D. For the logistics of this course, however, you will need to copy and paste your bibliography entries into a file bearing your name in the “Bibliography Entries” folder in Google Drive.

Daily Words (Writing Log)
Researchers write. Period. As a Ph.D. student, your success will be determined by your ability to write publication-quality papers. Research that hasn’t been written up might as well have never happened. Writing doesn’t happen magically. Good writing doesn’t happen in binges the week before the deadline. In this class, you will write every day. A little at a time. 200 words per day. Schedule it so that it happens.

All writing should be research related. But the genre of the writing is up to you. Since you have to write papers, anyway, my first recommendation is almost always to identify part of a paper that you can write and write it. Some ideas include the following:

  • Write up a methods section for a study you have done (or even better, for a study you want to do)
  • Write segments of a literature review (synthesize a set of readings about a related topic and reflect on what they tell you as a whole; what do these papers, together, suggest is an important next step for future research?)
  • Write the motivation for a paper (what research topic do you think is interesting and why should a reader care?)

In this class, you will post your ongoing writing log in a file bearing your name  in the “Daily Words” folder in Google Drive. Note: I highly recommend writing in a local  application first and copying the text over so that you have a backup. There are advantages to keeping all of your text in one searchable file or archive. I know many academics who do this successfully via a local or private WordPress blog. This way, each entry is dated and potentially tagged. Resources can be linked. But the entire blog is searchable. There are many options; just find a method that works for you.

Daily writing is all about process, not product. In this class, your daily words will *never* be evaluated on their ‘quality,’ only that you did it. 200 words a day. No judgement. No excuses. Just write.

Presentations
As researchers, we also have to become adept at talking about the work that we do. In this course, you will give four different presentations—three mini presentations at the beginning of the semester (about task/time management systems, bibliographic systems, and your research) and one more substantial presentation of your research interests (inspirations presentation) at the end of the semester. This final presentation will require that you synthesize content from your bibliography entries, your daily words, and the feedback you received from your earlier presentations.

Mock CHI Program Committee
Over the course of the semester, we will conduct (and host for other interested students) a mock conference program committee.  During your Ph.D., most of you will publish papers at conferences using variants of a common review process. This mock PC is an opportunity for you to learn about the processes and politics of publishing in your new discipline. For the mock PC, you will be responsible for writing both reviews and meta-reviews of papers, taking on the roles of both reviewers and associate chairs.

Class Participation
Your participation in class is the primary way in which you will demonstrate your engagement with the shared readings and presentations that form the dialogic content of this course.

Additional Policies

Disability Accommodations
If you qualify for accommodations because of a disability, please submit to your professor a letter from Disability Services in a timely manner (for exam accommodations provide your letter at least one week prior to the exam) so that your needs can be addressed. Disability Services determines accommodations based on documented disabilities. Contact Disability Services at 303-492-8671 or by e-mail at dsinfo@colorado.edu. If you have a temporary medical condition or injury, see the Temporary Injuries guidelines under the Quick Links at the Disability Services website and discuss your needs with your professor.

Religious Observances
Campus policy regarding religious observances requires that faculty make every effort to deal reasonably and fairly with all students who, because of religious obligations, have conflicts with scheduled exams, assignments, or required attendance. Please contact me via email or office hours by the end of the second week of the course with specific dates that present conflicts so that I have an opportunity make systemic adjustments to the course requirements that will benefit all students. See the campus policy regarding religious observances for full details.

Classroom Behavior
Students and faculty each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. Those who fail to adhere to such behavioral standards may be subject to discipline. Professional courtesy and sensitivity are especially important with respect to individuals and topics dealing with differences of race, color, culture, religion, creed, politics, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and gender expression, age, disability, and nationalities. Class rosters are provided to the instructor with the student’s legal name. I will gladly honor your request to address you by an alternate name or gender pronoun. Please advise me of this preference early in the semester so that I may make appropriate changes to my records. For more information, see the policies on classroom behavior and the student code.

Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination, Harassment and/or Related Retaliation
The University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) is committed to maintaining a positive learning, working, and living environment. CU Boulder will not tolerate acts of sexual misconduct, discrimination, harassment or related retaliation against or by any employee or student. CU’s Sexual Misconduct Policy prohibits sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, intimate partner abuse (dating or domestic violence), stalking or related retaliation. CU Boulder’s Discrimination and Harassment Policy prohibits discrimination, harassment or related retaliation based on race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, political affiliation or political philosophy. Individuals who believe they have been subject to misconduct under either policy should contact the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC) at 303-492-2127. Information about the OIEC, the above referenced policies, and the campus resources available to assist individuals regarding sexual misconduct, discrimination, harassment or related retaliation can be found at the OIEC website.

Honor Code
All students enrolled in a University of Colorado Boulder course are responsible for knowing and adhering to the academic integrity policy of the institution. Violations of the policy may include: plagiarism, cheating, fabrication, lying, bribery, threat, unauthorized access, clicker fraud, resubmission, and aiding academic dishonesty. All incidents of academic misconduct will be reported to the Honor Code Council (honor@colorado.edu; 303-735-2273). Students who are found responsible for violating the academic integrity policy will be subject to nonacademic sanctions from the Honor Code Council as well as academic sanctions from the faculty member. Additional information regarding the academic integrity policy can be found at honorcode.colorado.edu.

 

Creative Commons License
This Introduction to Doctoral Studies in Information Science syllabus by Dr. Amy Voida is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

If you re-use and/or adapt this syllabus for use at your institution, in addition to providing attribution please consider dropping me an email and letting me know. This information is extraordinarily useful for tracking the broader impact of my curriculum development. Thanks!

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