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College of Professional and Global Education · School of Information

Records Creation, Appraisal and Retention
MARA 210

  • Spring 2023
  • Section 10
  • 3 Unit(s)
  • 01/25/2023 to 05/15/2023
  • Modified 11/09/2023

Canvas Information: Courses will be available January 25th, 6 am PT.

You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.

Contact Information

Jason Kaltenbacher
Office Hours: By appointment. Appointments can be via telephone or online.

Course Description and Requisites

Overview of records creation and management processes and documentation of those processes. Topics include electronic records content management, digitization, physical records document control, legal compliance.


Demonstrated computer literacy through completion of required new student online technology workshop.

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

MARA 210 supports the following core competencies:

  1. C Describe the evolution of systems that manage data, information, communication, and records in response to technological change.
  2. D Apply basic concepts and principles to identify, evaluate, select, organize, maintain, and provide access to physical and digital information assets.
  3. E Identify the standards and principles endorsed and utilized by data, archives, records, and information professionals.
  4. H Describe current information technologies and best practices relating to the preservation, integrity, and security of data, records, and information.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

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

  1. Articulate the roles of context and function in identifying and analyzing records for purposes of creation and retention.
  2. Perform environmental and functional analyses of an organization for the purposes of establishing context for the records of the organization.
  3. Communicate the issues surrounding the creation and capture of records in an age of electronic media.
  4. Apply the tool of functional analysis to identify and define records series for the purposes of records retention.
  5. Identify regulatory requirements for records creation and retention, evaluate the potential need for records in legal actions; and determine operational requirements for the retention of records.
  6. Apply the fundamentals of archival appraisal to the records of an organization.
  7. Create records retention schedules and document the associated analysis and appraisal.

Course Materials


Required Textbooks:

  • Franks, P. (2018). Records and information management (2nd ed.). ALA Neal-Schuman. Available as free eBook through King Library

Course Requirements and Assignments

Assignments, lectures, discussions, assignments, and rubrics will be posted to the Canvas course management system. Links to additional materials will be provided in Canvas as well.

Here is a brief summary of the assignments and points earned:

  • Student Introduction post to discussion board - 2 points
  • Discussion based on material covered - 2 points each X 9 = 18 points
  • Electronic Records Exam - 10 points (CLO #3)
  • Archival Appraisal Quiz - 5 points (CLO #6)
  • Retention Policy: Project Plan Assignment - 5 points (CLO #7)
  • Retention Policy: Functional Analysis & Records Survey Assignment - 10 points (CLOs #2, 4)
  • Retention Policy: Records Series Classification Assignment - 10 points (CLO #4)
  • Retention Policy: Records Retention Schedule Assignment - 20 points (CLOs #2, 4, 5, 7)
  • Final Exam - 20 points (CLO #1)

Total number of points for this class is 100.

NOTE: For modules with required discussion board postings, students should provide their initial post by Wednesday at midnight (Pacific Time), to leave ample time for follow-up discussion. Please participate early and actively in the required discussions.

Details for all of the discussions and assignments will be provided in Canvas.

Assignments Due
Unless otherwise noted, each module beings on Monday and ends on Sunday. Assignments will be due by 11:59 pm (Pacific Time) on the due date.


  1. Course grades are determined by the accumulation of 100 possible points, distributed as outlined above under the course calendar.
  2. This class follows the standard iSchool Grading Scale.
  3. Late assignments will not be accepted after 5 days past the due date. Late assignments submitted after the assignment deadline will receive a 10% point reduction for each day for up to 5 days based on the total point value of the assignment. For example, a 20-point assignment would have a daily 2-point reduction; a 10-point assignment would have a daily 1-point reduction; a 5-point assignment would have a daily 0.5-point reduction. No points will be awarded after 5 days late.
  4. Discussion board postings will not be accepted for credit after the module's discussion has ended.
  5. All course materials must be completed by the last day of the class.

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

Week/Dates Objectives & Readings Assignment

January 25-29

Course Introduction  

Module 1:

January 30 - February 5

Introduction to the concepts of records creation, appraisal, and retention; lifecycle of records

Read: Introduction, Ch. 1 & Ch. 2. in the Franks text
Student Introduction; Due: February 5

Discussion; Due: February 5

Module 2:

February 6-12

Electronic records, part 1: creation of electronic records; unique characteristics; electronic records management; metadata

Read: Ch. 5 & 7 in the Franks text
Discussion; Due: February 12

Module 3:

February 13-19

Electronic records, part 2: electronic content management systems; the capture, storage, and tracking of electronic records

Readings will be provided in class
Discussion; Due: February 19

Module 4:

February 20-26

Records retention schedules

Read: Chs. 3 & 4 in the Franks text
Electronic Records Exam; Due: February 26

Module 5:

February 27 - March 5

Digitizing and microfilming paper records, preservation, and active use

Readings will be provided in class
Discussion; Due: March 5

Module 6:

March 6-12

Contextual Analysis

Readings will be provided in class
Retention Policy: Project Plan Assignment; Due: March 12

Module 7:

March 13-19


Functional Analysis; conducting a records survey; classifying records series

Readings will be provided in class
Discussion; Due: March 19

Module 8:

March 20-26


Retention analysis: regulatory requirements for records creation and retention

Readings will be provided in class
Retention Policy: Functional Analysis & Records Survey Assignment; Due: March 26
March 27 - April 2 Cesar Chavez Day + Spring Break + Weekend (NO CLASS)  

Module 9:

April 3-9

Retention analysis: identifying potential records for legal action

Readings will be provided in class
Discussion; Due: April 9

Module 10:

April 10-16

Retention analysis: determining operational value for the retention of records

Readings will be provided in class
Discussion; Due: April 16

Retention Policy: Records Series Classification Assignment; Due: April 16

Module 11:

April 17-23

Retention analysis: archival appraisal of records

Read: Ch. 11 in the Franks text
Archival Appraisal Quiz; Due: April 23

Module 12:

April 24 - April 30


Vital records policy; continuity planning

Read: Ch. 8 in the Franks text
Retention Policy: Records Retention Schedule Assignment; Due: April 30

Module 13:

May 1-7



Implementing records management policies and strategies

Read: Ch. 9 & 14 in the Franks text
Discussion; Due: May 7

Final Exam made available to students on Monday, May 1 - Two weeks to complete

Module 14:

May 8-15 (Extended)

Course Wrap-Up Discussion; Due: May 15

Final Exam; Due: May 15

**No Class: Monday-Sunday, March 27 - April 2, 2023 (Cesar Chavez Day & Spring Break)