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College of Professional and Global Education · School of Information

Applied Research Methods - Literature Review Research Methods
INFO 285

  • Fall 2023
  • Section 14
  • 3 Unit(s)
  • 08/21/2023 to 12/06/2023
  • Modified 07/24/2023

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. Kristen Radsliff Rebmann
Office Hours: By appointment.

Course Description and Requisites

Covers fundamental principles, processes, values and roles of research for professional application in information organizations. Students will become critical consumers of research products and learn the basic skills of evaluating, planning, designing, executing, and applying research. In addition to a general research methods class, which examines a variety of research methodologies, iSchool offers a number of applied or specialized sections of INFO 285 for students to choose from.


INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204.

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 285 supports the following core competencies:

  1. L Demonstrate understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods, the ability to design a research project, and the ability to evaluate and synthesize research literature.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

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

  1. Understand the difference between primary and secondary research.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of fundamental principles and processes of conducting research.
  3. Articulate the research method(s) covered in the course, appropriately apply them, and understand their strengths and liabilities.
  4. Understand appropriate data collection/analysis tools, and ethical concerns related to research.

Course Materials


Required Textbooks:

  • Onwuegbuzie, A., & Frels, R. (2016). Seven steps to a comprehensive literature review: A multimodal and cultural approach. SAGE. Available through Amazon: 1446248925

Course Requirements and Assignments

Kindle, paperback, or hardback editions of the textbook will work for this course.

Students will complete the posted assignments. All assignments address Competency L. Other competencies may be addressed depending on the topic student groups choose for their Research Manuscript. More specific information regarding all assignments will be made available on the course website.

Assignment Due Dates
Submit assignments by 11:59 pm Pacific Time on the due date. Due dates will not be changed under any circumstances. Please communicate with me if you are in a documented personal health or family crisis that might impact your work. Check the course site daily for announcements and discussion posts.

Course Calendar
A course calendar will be available from the modules section of the course site (in Canvas) at the start of the semester.

SJSU 2023-2024 Academic Calendar

Academic_Calendar-AY2023-24.pdf (

Assignment Due-Dates
Submit assignments by 11:59 pm Pacific Time on the due date. Due dates will not be changed under any circumstances.  Please communicate with me if you are in a documented personal health or family crisis that might impact your work.  Check the course site daily for announcements and discussion posts.

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 level work or undergraduate (for BS-ISDA);
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA, Informatics, 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




Discussion Forum Postings. Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.
Course Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4.

8/24, 8/31, 9/7,
9/14, 9/21, 9/28


IRB Certification. Week 7.
Course Learning Outcomes: 2, 4.



Quiz over quantitative and qualitative research methods. Week 8.
Course Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4.



(GROUP ASSIGNMENT) Draft #1: Research Manuscript. Week. 10.
Course Learning Outcomes: 2, 3, 4.



(GROUP ASSIGNMENT) Final Draft: Research Manuscript. Week. 14.
Course Learning Outcomes: 2, 3, 4.



Reflection Manuscript for Competency L. Final day of instruction.
Course Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4