LIS 510: Information Behavior









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Course Overview and Goals


General 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 researchers.


In this course students will:

1. Critically examine a number of paradigms or frameworks for studying information behavior
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 behavior.
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 services.
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 information service.
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 offering.