KC7020 - Information Organisation and Access

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What will I learn on this module?

You will learn about the key principles of information organisation and retrieval, and put them into practice and demonstrate advanced information and data management skills in diverse environments. You will be able to critically reflect on the theory and practice as well as contemporary research into the issues and contexts of information organisation and interactive information retrieval. You will also develop creative, critical and reflective problem solving capabilities and a commitment to lifelong learning in the management of information and data in different contexts.
Topics include:
1) Information organisation and access
a) Context, concepts, approaches, tools, techniques and standards
b) Structured and unstructured information, web information
c) Research data

2) Interactive information retrieval
a) Indexing techniques
b) Information retrieval models
c) Information interactions in specific domains and contexts

3) Human information behaviour
a) Human information behaviour models
b) User interfaces
c) Usability an devaluation of information retrieval

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn on campus through a series of lectures, which will deliver theory and practical examples to enable you to explore the theory and concepts further through practical exercises during lab and tutorial discussion.

If you are learning at a distance, you will learn using online learning materials, in addition to discussion boards and online activities. This is facilitated by our University eLearning Portal which has been successfully delivering distance learning provision for a number of years. It is expected that you will draw heavily on your own working experience to contextualise the theory learnt.

Whichever mode of study you are undertaking there will be a significant amount of independent learning and to that end you will be encouraged to establish Action Learning Sets to work with your peers face to face or virtually.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported by feedback from tutors during practical and tutorials and also an open-door policy so that you can come and see us to discuss module questions on a one-to-one or small group basis face-to-face as and when the need arises. If you are learning at a distance, tutors can make use of the eLearning portal web conferencing software to talk to you face-to-face, in addition to simpler technology such as telephone calls. This allows you to make appointments to discuss, clarify or confirm anything concerning the module either virtually or face to face. In addition tutors will respond to questions via the module’s discussion board at the University’s eLearning Portal so that the whole group can benefit. The University Library also offers a series of Information and Research Skills events to all PGR students and you will be encouraged to attend these.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Have a critical understanding of the concepts of information organization, information seeking and information retrieval interactions
2. Have a comprehensive knowledge of how to identify, analyse and critically evaluate theories, conceptual frameworks and applications for the organisation of information of different forms, formats and contexts
3. Have a comprehensive knowledge of how to identify, analyse and critically evaluate theories, conceptual frameworks and models for interactive information seeking and retrieval

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
4. You will develop comprehensive and demonstrable skills and capabilities required for effective organisation and retrieval of networked information resources relevant for specific clients and contexts.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Understand and critically apply the principles of information organisation, storage and retrieval with respect to professional, legal and ethical issues.

How will I be assessed?

1. In the first assignment (30%) you will be required to critically analyse the current state of research and development in information organization in a specific context. Specific scenarios and context will be provided, and you will be expected to critically analyse various tools, techniques, standards, etc. used for organizing knowledge in the chosen contexts along with a discussions of their strengths and weaknesses. The discussions and arguments should be supported by relevant practical examples and research literature in the chosen scenario. (MLOs 1,2 and 5)

2. In the second assignment (70%) you will use a range of information systems and services, such as one or more library databases, digital libraries, search engines and other web information services in order to find information relevant to specific research or business contexts. Specific scenarios will be given with details of client contexts and information needs in specific research and business contexts that will form the basis of these searches. Through this assignment, you will demonstrate your critical understanding of :

• the indexing and retrieval features of the chosen information system or service;
• the role of user context and their information seeking behaviour;
• the usability of the chosen system or service; and
• the facilities as well as the challenges of accessing relevant information in a specific context in today’s digital information world.
(MLOs 1, 4 and 5)

Pre-requisite(s)

None

Co-requisite(s)

None

Module abstract

This module explores the organization and access requirements of a range of data and information resources in diverse settings. It covers a range of topics such as indexing, metadata, information architecture, information seeking and interactions. Through this module you will develop an understanding of the theory and practice of information organization and retrieval in networked information environments. You will be assessed by two assignments : in the first assignment (30%) you will be required to critically analyse the current state of research and development in information organization in a specific context, producing a report (1500 -2000 words). In the second assignment (70%) you will use a range of databases, digital libraries, search engines and similar information services, in order to find information relevant to specific research or business contexts. You will produce a report (2500-3000 words) with a portfolio of evidence of use of information systems and services used.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years distance learning

Department Computer and Information Sciences

Location Pandon Building, Newcastle City Campus

City Newcastle

Start September 2018

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