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College of Professional and Global Education · School of Information

Seminar in Archives and Records Management - Digital Curation
INFO 284

  • Fall 2023
  • Section 02
  • 3 Unit(s)
  • 08/21/2023 to 12/06/2023
  • Modified 07/31/2023

Canvas Information

This course will be available on Canvas beginning August 21st, 6 am PT.

You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.

Contact Information

Dr. Darra L. Hofman

Please contact me by email or through Canvas; I will endeavor to respond within one business day. If I do not respond within a day, please resend, as I may have overlooked your email.  Please also feel free to text or phone should you require urgent assistance (Phone Number available in Canvas).
Office Hours: Virtual office hours, Tuesdays, 10 am - to 12 pm PT or by appointment. Telephone advising by appointment.

Course Description and Requisites

This course will provide an introduction to issues related to the management of digital objects throughout their lifecycle, from appraisal and acquisition to preservation, description, and access. Students will be introduced to the principles governing digital curation and will examine examples of digital curation in practice as applied to a range of digital object types and formats.


INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204, other prerequisites may be added depending on content.

Classroom Protocols


Students are expected to participate fully in all class activities. It is expected that students will be open-minded and participate fully in discussions in class and debate in a mature and respectful manner. Use of derogatory, condescending, or offensive language including profanity is prohibited. Disagreement is healthy and perfectly acceptable. Expressing disagreement should always include an explanation of your reasoning and, whenever possible, evidence to support your position. In accordance with San José State University's Policies, the Student Code of Conduct, and applicable state and federal laws, discrimination based on gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or disability is prohibited in any form.

Program Information

Course Workload

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course-related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group; contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Goals

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes) Supported

INFO 284 supports the following core competencies:

  1. F Use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital information items.
  2. H Demonstrate proficiency in identifying, using, and evaluating current and emerging information and communication technologies.
  3. N Evaluate programs and services using measurable criteria.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify the decision making process behind selection for preservation.
  2. Describe the evolution of digital curation theory and practice.
  3. Summarize the causes of deterioration of various types of information objects.
  4. Identify key concepts and standards in digital preservation, including the OAIS model and repository development.
  5. Define the principles of a workable preservation policy in libraries, archives, and corporate DAM settings.
  6. Identify and apply disaster planning, prevention, response, and recovery strategies.
  7. Locate and evaluate tools, research and other resources on preservation.

Course Materials


Required Textbooks:

  • Oliver, G., & Harvey, R. (2016). Digital curation (2nd ed.). Neal-Schuman. Available through Amazon: 0838913857

Course Requirements and Assignments



Percentage of grade

Discussion boards, exercises, and quizzes 

Discussion boards, exercises, and quizzes make up 30% of the available points for this course. There are ten exercises worth; each is worth 3% of the available points – three points are given automatically. Full marks for discussion board participation require one substantive post and two substantive responses. You will receive FULL marks for any completed attempt of these exercises – they are NOT marked for correctness. 



Final Project Check-In

Students will submit two curated objects - migrated to a preservation-friendly format, full metadata, and otherwise in compliance with the rubric - from the final project. Feedback on check-in should be integrated into Final Project.

Due by 11:59 pm PT on November 13



Digital curation case study: Donor/client interview

Based on a supplied scenario, prepare for the acquisition of a digital collection through an information-gathering exercise.

Due by 11:59 pm PT on October 23



Digital curation case study: Digital curation proposal

Review the information gathered during the digital curation donor/client interview assignment and develop a digital curation plan for the digital collection outlined in the supplied scenario.

Due by 11:59 pm PT on November 6



Final project

Identify a potential digital curation project. Determine the project challenges and requirements. Develop a functional plan and work agreement designed to guide the project. Complete the project as described in the work agreement. Submit a project report describing your work and evaluating the success of the project.

Project proposal due by 11:59 pm PT on October 2.

Project due by 11:59 pm PT on December 8.

Project report due by 11:59 pm PT on December 9.



(20% for
the project, 10%
for the
project report)

Grading Information

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100A
94 to 96A minus
91 to 93B plus
88 to 90B
85 to 87B minus
82 to 84C plus
79 to 81C
76 to 78C minus
73 to 75D plus
70 to 72D
67 to 69D minus
Below 67F

In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate or undergraduate (for BS-ISDA) level work;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA, Informatics, or BS-ISDA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation. You must repeat the class if you wish to stay in the program. If - on the second attempt - you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Graduate Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). Undergraduates must maintain a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

Per University Policy S16-9 (PDF), relevant university policy concerning all courses, such as student responsibilities, academic integrity, accommodations, dropping and adding, consent for recording of class, etc. and available student services (e.g. learning assistance, counseling, and other resources) are listed on the Syllabus Information web page. Make sure to visit this page to review and be aware of these university policies and resources.

Course Schedule




Activities/Assignments Due

August 21 - August 27


Introduction to the Course

Discussion board participation due by 11:59 PM PT on August 27

August 28 - September 3


Introduction to Digital Curation

Discussion board participation due by 11:59 PM PT on September 3

September 4 - September 10


Models of Digital Curation

Discussion board participation due by 11:59 PM PT on September 10

September 11 - September 17


OAIS Reference Model

Quiz #1: OAIS Reference Model

Due by 11:59 PM PT on September 17

September 18 - September 24


Defining data; Intro to metadata

Intro to metadata exercise due by 11:59 PM PT on September 24

September 25 - October 1


Description and representation

Description and representation exercise due by 11:59 PM PT on October 1

October 2 - October 8


Designing Data

 Policy and law

Final project proposal due by 11: 59 PM PT on October 8

October 9 - October 15


Creating and receiving data

 Digitized Assets

Work on case study: interview

October 16 - October 22


Appraisal and selection


Research data

Appraisal exercise due by 11:59 PM PT on October 22

October 23 - October 29


Digital preservation


Web archives

Digital curation case study: Donor/client interview due by 11:59 PM PT on October 29

October 30 - November 5


Methods of preservation


Born-digital archives

Digital preservation exercise due by 11:59 PM PT on November 5

November 6 - November 12


Storing data for long-term preservation


Scholarly communication

Digital curation case study: Digital curation proposal due by 11:59 PM PT on November 12

November 13 - November 19


Digital repositories

Final Project check-in due by 11:59 PM PT on November 19

November 14 – November 20



No module and no assignment – Thanksgiving holiday


November 20 – November 26


Access, use, and reuse



Discussion board participation due by 11:59 PM PT on November 26

November 27 - December 6


Course wrap-up

Final project due by 11:59 PM PT on December 9

Final project report due by 11:59 PM PT on December 10

Weekly readings will be posted on the Canvas course site. Any readings assigned in addition to chapters from the required textbook will be available via Canvas or through openly available websites.

Grading and Related Matters

  • The course week runs Monday – Sunday; please participate in the discussion board and/or complete each week’s assignments by 11:59 PM Pacific Time on the posted Sunday.
  • Discussion boards and exercises are full points/zero points. If you submit an honest effort, you will receive full points. These exercises are NOT marked for correctness. An “honest effort” for discussion posts will be one substantive post and at least two replies to your colleagues’ posts.
  • Should you require an extension, please reach out to me as soon as possible. I am happy to work with you on due dates, including for reasons such as work or caregiving responsibilities if I am informed early enough to make adjustments and ensure that there is not an undue impact on your colleagues or your ability to integrate the learning from that assessment on further learning.
  • If you require accommodations to the required coursework, please let me know so that I can ensure your needs in the course are met.
  • Should you find yourself requiring support in mastering the course material, please reach out. We also have excellent resources, including writing and research support resources, available through the iSchool at:

Please take the time to review the University Policy on Academic Dishonesty (, which addresses both cheating (“the act of obtaining credit, attempting to obtain credit, or assisting others to obtain credit for academic work through the use of any dishonest, deceptive, or fraudulent means”) and plagiarism (“the act of representing the work of another as one’s own without giving appropriate credit, regardless of how that work was obtained, and submitting it to fulfill academic requirements”). If you find that you are uncertain as to how to properly credit someone’s work, do please reach out – we have excellent resources available, including iSchool writing tutors. If you find you are tempted to cheat again, please reach out. My goal is to empower you to succeed in this course, and I promise you will not be the first student to have struggled with the material.

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with AEC to establish a record of their disability. However, I will always offer any reasonable accommodation. Please also be assured that I will treat you and information about your disability and need for accommodation with the utmost respect, including respect for your privacy. In order to request an accommodation in a class please contact the Accessible Education Center and register via the MyAEC portal.

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Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge the land on which we are meeting today as the traditional home of the Puichon Ohlone-speaking people and the present-day Muwekma Ohlone Tribe. The Puichon Ohlone were missionized into both missions Dolores and Santa Clara. The present-day Muwekma Ohlone Tribe is comprised of all known surviving Native American lineages aboriginal to the San Francisco Bay region who trace their ancestry through the Missions San Jose, Santa Clark, and Dolores and the historic federally recognized Verona Band of Alameda County

In the Muwekma Ohlone language, Cocenyo: Muwekma means “the people.”

Without them, we would not have access to this gathering. We take this opportunity to thank the original caretakers of this land.

I would also like to acknowledge that I am a settler and live and work on Treaty 8 lands, lands where First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples, including the Seccani, the Dune-za, and the Cree, have lived, traveled, and gathered for thousands of years, and continue to live, travel, and gather. 

It must be stated, however, that a land acknowledgment is not land back. An article on land acknowledgments, for those who are interested: