Course Overview and Goals
Description: This course focuses on information behavior, that is, how members
of varied groups need, seek, give, and use information in different contexts.
The course introduces the theoretical frameworks and research methodologies that
underpin the study of information behavior. It focuses particularly on how
findings from studies of information behavior can be used to inform and improve
the design of information systems and services. The course provides theoretical
and practical frameworks for professionals who wish to design and evaluate
information systems and services based on user-centered approaches.
The course for this spring quarter is a special offering that will focus on
studying the information behavior of health-care consumers and health-care
professionals, such as nurses, physicians, medical students, and medical
In this course
1. Critically examine a number of paradigms or frameworks for studying
2. Understand a number of the basic concepts used by information scientists to
study the relationships between people and information
3. Understand the factors that may predict or influence a user's search for, use
of, and perceptions of information, information products, services and systems.
4. Be introduced to research methods that can be used to study information
5. Get familiar with patterns of information behavior of specific groups.
6. Have the opportunity to consider how findings from information behavior
studies can inform the improvement and design of information systems and
7. Be introduced to a number of information scientists who have shaped the
discipline's views on the study of information behavior.
8. Critically evaluate the assumptions underpinning normative patterns of
9. Learn how practitioners can accommodate contemporary theoretical perspectives
when serving the information needs of their clients.
LIS 500 is
the normal, official prerequisite, but it is not necessary for this quarter's