Information Cultures


Course Description

  • Course Name

    Information Cultures

  • Host University


  • Location

    Sydney, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Information Sciences, Information Technologies, Telecommunications

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    58125 User Experience Design

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Students are introduced to the conceptual and methodological tools they need to actively engage with the organisations and communities they will work with in the information, communication and creative industries. They develop a critical understanding of the complex interrelationship between people, information, knowledge and culture and of the central role of theory and research in effective professional practice. The subject introduces students to theories and empirical research from a range of disciplines including information behaviour, communication theory, philosophy and sociology, as well as to a range of research methodologies for exploring and analysing both individual and collective information/knowledge behaviour and practices. Students apply their theoretical and methodological learning to the development of a practice-based pilot research project. In doing so, students develop an appreciation of the importance of practice-based research as the basis for research-based professional practice. Students make further contributions to their ePortfolio.
    Subject objectives
    a. Explain a range of theories of information behaviour
    b. Critically analyse and synthesise theoretical literature
    c. Communicate effectively through writing and other media
    d. Apply appropriate research methodologies in ethical practice-based research
    e. Collaborate in team-based research projects
    f. Constructively reflect on their learning
    Teaching and learning strategies
    These focus on interactive and constructive approaches to learning. Each session provides a range of learning experiences that are designed to integrate formal input, personal and professional experiences, discussion, reflection and action. Included in the learning activities are lectures/presentations by the Subject Coordinator and/or guest lecturers, class discussions and exercises designed to develop students' understanding of the theoretical and methodological approaches they will be introduced to. Students learn to communicate effectively by participating in discussion in class and online. Students learn to collaborate in team-based research project by negotiating and implementing a research plan and collaborating in the writing of a final report. Assessment incorporates both individual and group-based work designed to develop students' understanding of how to apply their learning in a range of professional and research contexts.
    Theoretical approaches to understanding the complex interrelationship between people, information, knowledge and culture relevant to professional practice in the information, communication and creative industries:
    Students will critically review a range of theoretical approaches drawn not only from information/knowledge research but also a variety of other disciplines including philosophy, communication, cognitive science, education/learning theory, and sociology of knowledge. Theoretical works will be supplemented by examination of a range of empirical studies & case studies.
    Research methodologies appropriate for exploring & analysing both individual and collective information/knowledge behaviour and practices:
    In concert with their examination of the above conceptual frameworks, students will critically examine a range of related research methodologies appropriate for their application in their professional practice, such as Sense-Making, cognitivist, ethnographic, phenomenological and discourse analytic approaches. They will be introduced to a range of research methods, including various approaches to interviewing, participant observation & focus groups. Different approaches to the analysis of empirical research findings will also be examined.
    Assessment task 1: Reflective Blog
    a, b, c and f
    Weight: 20%
    250-500 words every week for the first five weeks.
    Depth of critical engagement with the ideas and issues
    Depth of reflection
    Format and style of blog entries
    Assessment task 2: Critical Analysis Report
    a, b, c and f
    Weight: 35%
    1500-2000 words
    Selection of readings
    Depth of analysis
    Relevance of key ideas
    Practicality of the implications
    Clarity of expression
    Accuracy of citation practices
    Assessment task 3: Pilot Research Project (Group)
    a, b, c, d, e and f
    Weight: 45%
    2500-3000 words
    Relevance of theoretical and empirical literature
    Aptness of conceptual and methodological framework
    Aptness of research instrument
    Depth of analysis
    Implications of findings for professional practice
    Report format and clarity of expression
    Accuracy of citation practices
    Level of contributions to the team

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.