Disclaimer: this is a sample syllabus that may not be the same as the syllabus from your section of LS101.

Course facts

Units: 1
Grading: credit/no credit; online tests 50% and annotated bibliography 50% of total points
Type of course: six weeks, online
Computer access requirements: students must have regular access to a computer with access to the Internet and browser software such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox.

Successful completion of this course fulfills the General Education Area VII: Information Competency Requirement. After completing the Information Competency Requirement, a student will be able to;
  1. Develop effective research strategies.
  2. Locate, retrieve, evaluate, and use information ethically and legally.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be able to:

  1. State a research problem, question, or issue.
  2. Determine information requirements in various disciplines for the research question, problems, or issue.
  3. Use the World Wide Web to locate and retrieve information relevant to his or her research topic.
  4. Analyze and evaluate information.
  5. Apply the Modern Language Association citation style.
  6. Organize and communicate information.
  7. Learn basic research strategies that can be applied in any research environment.

Course requirements

Students will need to complete course requirements in an online environment and should begin the course with some computer literacy. They will also need to be self-motivated learners.


Lanning, Scott. Concise Guide to Information Literacy. Santa Barbara: Libraries Unlimited, 2012. Print.

You can buy this book at the Ohlone College Bookstore. The ISBN number is 9781598849493.

This course is delivered using Blackboard course management software. Information about this process is available at the Ohlone College Distance Learning Web site.

Students must login within the first two days of the course. Students who do not login will be dropped.

Communicating with the instructor

I respond to mail sent within Blackboard within two business days. If due to an unplanned absence I am unable to answer communications, I will post notice of this on the course home page. We have weekly discussions. You can come visit me at the Library reference desk; see the course home page for my hours. We can also chat; just email me to set up a time.
In addition I will have two check in chat sessions in week four and I would like everyone to attend one of these sessions. I will announce the times for these chat sessions sooner to the date.

Weekly topics & reading assignments

Week one: successful research and the library.

Overview of library and range of resources.
Introduction to the research process.
Selecting your topic.
Reading: Chapter 1 and chapter 2. Optional; pages 2 - 4 in Leslie Stebbins Student Guide to Research in the Digital Age: How to Locate and Evaluate Information Sources. This book is available full text in ABC-CLIO eBooks, an Ohlone Library database.

Week two: evaluation of sources.

Finding reference articles.
Selection criteria for evaluating sources.
Plagiarism and writing a citation.
Reading: page 61 of chapter 8 ("What is Evaluation"), and chapter 9. Reread page 14 from chapter 2 ("Reference/Background Sources"). Also; chapter 11 pages 84 - 87 ("Plagiarism up to and including "Citing Your Information"), and Ohlone Library's MLA Guide.

Week three: finding and selecting books.

Library of Congress Subject Headings.
Search words.
Online catalog.
Finding books in the library.
Reading: chapter 3, pages 25 - 26 ("Keyword Searching and Synonyms"), and chapter 4.

Week four: finding and selecting periodicals.

Boolean searching.
Narrowing and broadening a search.
Online periodical databases.
Applying selection criteria to periodicals.
Reading: chapter 3 and chapter 5.

Week five: searching the Internet.

Limitations and complexities of general Web searches.
Useful sources on the Web.
Types of Web search tools.
Reading: chapter 6 and chapter 8.

Week six: writing the bibliography.

Review of citations and annotation.
Final assignment due.


Each week includes the following required assignments:

  1. Read online course material.
  2. Read textbook assignment.
  3. Complete online quiz based on reading assignments and use of library sources.
  4. Read and participate in the course's online discussions. Instructors will post important news and information in the course bulletin boards. All work must be completed by end of day Sunday of that week.

Please note: I have very occasionally had to deal with students' posts that are disruptive. Please be aware that if I think that a post is not supportive and constructive, I will delete it in order to maintain a safe environment for everyone. Thank you.

Final project

The final project is an annotated bibliography due at the end of this course.

The bibliography must focus on a topic of your choice. For example, you could do your bibliography about a topic that you are writing a paper on for another class. You could also choose to explore research on an issue in your life that you need more information about.

The bibliography will demonstrate your research skills: you should aim to find the best research on your topic. Any reader should be able to use your bibliography to become informed about your topic.

The bibliography is graded as follows:
There are a total of 200 possible points. 50 points are given for turning it in. Then up to 30 points are awarded for each of the five elements below:

  • Plagiarism is not permitted at Ohlone. The annotations must be in your own words.
  • There should be at least 10 total sources.
  • There should be at least two of each of the following; reference sources, books, periodical articles, and Web sites. (The periodical articles must come from one of the Ohlone Library periodical databases. The Web sites should be freely available Web pages or sites.)
  • Each source should be annotated. The annotation should use at least three of the five evaluation criteria discussed in week two; authority, purpose, objectivity, currency and relevance, and, authority must be one of the criteria.
  • The citations should be in correct Modern Language Association citation format. The bibliography should be in alphabetical order.
  • The sources chosen should be, overall, appropriate to the topic: relevant, timely, and authoritative.

There is an example annotated bibliography on the course home page.

How to approach what you learn in this class

This course aims to show you the different types of resources, as well as the different types of search strategies, that are available to you. You do not have to use all of the strategies we learn each time you do research. Instead, you can use the methods like a tool box that you can open whenever you need to.

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