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


Course facts

Instructor: Jenny Schmidt, jschmidt@ohlone.edu. Dates: 8/28/17 - 10/6/17.

Deadline to drop without a "W:" 9/3/2017

with a W: 9/26/2017

Units: 1
Grading: credit/no credit; online quizzes 50% and bibliography with annotations 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.

Student learning outcomes

A student will be able to;
1. Develop effective research strategies.
2. Locate, retrieve, evaluate, and use information ethically and legally.

Successful completion of this course fulfills the General Education Area VII: Information Competency Requirement.


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. 2nd ed., Libraries Unlimited, 2017. 

This book is available full text in EBSCO eBook Collection , Ohlone Library database (available from off campus also). A quick way to find it is to search for Lanning. In addition you can buy it at the Ohlone College Bookstore. The ISBN number is 1440851387.

This course is delivered using Canvas 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.


Communicating with the instructor

I respond to mail sent within Canvas 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.

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: Module one pages, and chapter 2, p 13 - 30. 

Week two: evaluation of sources.

Finding reference articles.
Selection criteria for evaluating sources.
Reading: Module two pages, and, chapter parts that deal with evaluation; chp 5, p 76 – 81; chp 6, p 95 – 100; chp 7, p 112 – 115. Reread p 25 - 27 from chp 2 ("Background Sources").

Week three: finding and selecting books.

Library of Congress Subject Headings.
Search words.
Online catalog.
Finding books in the library.
Reading: Module three pages, and, chp 8, p 127-128 ("Keyword Searching"), and chp 5, p 71 - 76.

Week four: finding and selecting periodicals.

Boolean searching.
Narrowing and broadening a search.
Online periodical databases.
Applying selection criteria to periodicals.
Reading: Module four pages, and, chp 4, p 43 - 65 and chp 6, p 71 - 76.

Week five: searching the Internet.

Limitations and complexities of general Web searches.
Useful sources on the Web.
Types of Web search tools.
Review of your search.
Reading: Module five pages, and, chp 7, p 107 – 112, and chp 8, p 123 – 130.

Week six: writing the bibliography.

Review of citations and evaluatation.
Plagiarism and writing a citation.
Final assignment due.

Reading: Module six pages, and chp 9, “Citations, Citation Style, and Citation Help,” p 134 – 137 and chp 10, “Intellectual Property and Fair Use,” p 149 - 151.



Each week includes the following required assignments:

  1. Read the module pages.
  2. Read the textbook assignment.
  3. Complete the online quiz.
  4. Read and participate in the course's online discussions. 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 a bibliography with evaluations.

The bibliography must focus on a question of your choice (please include this in the bibliography). For example, you could do your bibliography about a topic that you are working on for another class, or another topic that interests you.  It's probably best to choose a subject that is likely to have writings that are serious and in-depth.

The bibliography is not; an essay, or, a typical annotated bibliography where the annotations are summaries of the sources.

Plagiarism is not permitted at Ohlone. Do not copy and paste.  The evaluations must be in your own words.

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

  • There should be at least 8 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, and not periodical articles.)
  • Each source should be evaluated. The evaluation should use all of the evaluation criteria discussed in week two; authority, purpose, perspective, currency and relevance.  These evaluations should be lengthy and should explain why you are recommending the source for your topic question.
  • The sources chosen should be, overall, appropriate to the topic: relevant, timely, and trustworthy.
  • The citations should be in correct Modern Language Association citation (8th ed.) format. The bibliography should be in alphabetical order.

There is an example bibliography on the course home page.

How to approach what you learn

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.

Please contact librarians@ohlone.edu with your questions, comments, and suggestions. Terms and Conditions of Use & Disclaimer. Copyright © 2017 Ohlone College. All rights reserved.