Information Landscapes : Mapping the (In)Visible

The Evergreen State College Library, Sponsored Group Contract, 2005-2006

Covenant

Successful participation in Information Landscapes requires commitment to the content of the program's academic syllabus and the conditions of this covenant. The conditions spelled out in this covenant include the academic goals, focus and direction of the program, academic supervision and relationships, conditions for the award of credits, and the responsibilities of faculty, library staff, and students in building and maintaining a humane and dynamic learning community.

ACADEMIC GOALS:

•  To use learning materials from history, cultural geography, library and information science, and academic computing to explore the impact of computers on the liberal arts and higher education in ways that lie outside the competence of these disciplines alone.

•  To integrate academic learning and insights with the acquisition of technical computer skills in a single, dynamic exploration of how web presentation of information shapes knowledge and the acquisition of knowledge.

•  To maximize the engagement and personal responsibility that students take in structuring their own learning and academic development.

•  To increase students' general educational level through acquisition of knowledge and improvement of their reading, writing, analytical and information technology skills.

INTELLECTUAL FOCUS:

The primary intellectual focus of this program is on using the college library and its various work divisions as a laboratory to explore and assess the quality of web based information and knowledge in critical, cultural, and epistemological terms.

LEARNING DIRECTION:

The direction of our learning in this group contract is forward, from simple ideas and skills toward the more complex. In our study of history and cultural geography, we begin at certain points in the past and move across time in our discussion and study toward the present. In our study of library and information technology, we increase the sophistication of our critical analysis of computer-based information as we deepen our own computer skills.

ASSIGNMENT CATALOG:

Landscape Project Students will choose an area of the library for study and observation, such as Government Documents, Archives, Reference, etc. There they will explore and map the terrain of knowledge and services managed in their area. Academic emphasis will be placed on the translation of traditionally linear modes of library and information organization into web friendly forms of navigational logic. Students will express this translation in a series of spatial and linguistic maps that remap their areas of study from a variety of perspectives and across a number of themes.

Project Development Blog Students will collect their project research and development steps in their blogs. Minimum requirements for the blog include online strings for analytical research, creative themes and ideas, images/map scans, and seminar paper postings.

Project Website Each student will develop an individual website to integrate and formally present his or her Information Landscape. The website will represent the final map of the student's chosen area of information and ideas.

Mid-term and Final Presentations Individuals present initial web project designs and postings in Week 5. Follow-up presentations in Week 10.

Seminar Papers Reading reaction papers 1-2 pages due each week in seminar. This short but serious assignment reviews reading content, focuses thoughts for discussion, and practices formal writing skills. Typewritten, double-spaced with all due attention to grammar and spelling. NOTE: You must also post your paper on your blog by seminar time each week.

AWARD OF CREDITS:

Students receive credit for fulfilling program requirements and meeting college-level performance standards. At Evergreen, it is possible for a student to attend regularly yet receive reduced credit because of unsatisfactory performance or missing work. Assessment and award of credit will be based on faculty, field supervisor, and self-evaluations of student written and oral work, participation in seminar and group projects, internship work performance, and portfolios. Students who accumulate more than two unexcused absences from class or work per quarter, or who exhibit a pattern of absence from any scheduled activity, can expect some loss of credit. Students with any pattern of missing assignments may lose credits. In instances of excused absences (pre-notification of faculty or field supervisor for illness, etc), students must initiate negotiations for make-up activities.

FACULTY RESPONSIBILITIES:

•  To prepare for and lead workshops, exercises, seminars, and lectures that present for student assessment and integration the materials and themes of the academic syllabus.

•  To convene and assist students in learning academic content and applying their learning to their work in class discussions, formal assignments and internship duties.

•  To read, comment upon, and return in a timely fashion students' written work turned in for review.

•  To schedule, assign and supervise student to observe public service areas appropriate to their skills and interests.

•  To warn students in the 5 th week of the quarter if they are in danger of losing credits.

STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES:

•  To accept personal responsibility for reporting to class and to work when scheduled.

•  To complete required readings and syllabus assignments, as well as assigned work tasks, competently and on time.

•  To respond to field supervisor and library patron requests in a timely and respectful manner.

•  To demonstrate substantial progress in learning syllabus content in the completion and quality of assignments.

•  To demonstrate substantial progress in applying academic syllabus content to the completion and quality of work assignments.

•  To initiate negotiations with faculty and/or field supervisor for any make-up activities that may become necessary due to unavoidable absences or delays.

COMMUNITY RESPONSIBILITIES:

•  To prepare for, attend, and participate fully in all scheduled classes and group meetings, when not ill or absent for professional or agreed-upon activities.

•  To read and respond to group contract related emails and attend group meetings.

•  To provide notice as soon as possible when absence or delay becomes unavoidable.

•  To refrain from drug or alcohol use in any on- or off-campus internship activity.

•  To maintain absolute academic honesty.

•  To adhere to the college Social Contract and provide classroom and work environments free from any kind of harassment, intimidation or discrimination.

•  To discuss fully, promptly, and openly any disagreements or complaints within the community mutually and with care and respect.

•  To engage any serious grievance or violation of the Social Contract through the Student Code of Conduct- Grievance Appeals Process (WAC 174-120-010).

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