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College of Professional and Global Education · School of Information

Information Technology Tools and Applications - Advanced - APIs
INFO 246

  • Spring 2023
  • Section 14
  • 1 Unit(s)
  • 04/10/2023 to 05/15/2023
  • Modified 05/22/2023

Canvas Information: Courses will be available April 10th, 6 am PT.

You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.

Contact Information

Jason A. Clark
Other contact information:
Office Location: Online
Office Hours: By Appointment

Course Description and Requisites

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), the machine user interfaces and rules underpinning our software and technology, continue to gain importance as a technical competency in our digital age. In this course, we will introduce the concepts and first principles of APIs with an eye toward implementation. Specific course goals include: identifying the features, types, and protocols of APIs; writing documentation for an API; analyzing common structured data formats that underlie APIs; creating statements for consuming data from an API and completing a prototype using an API to create or enhance a user interface.


INFO 202, 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 246 supports the following core competencies:

  1. E Design, query, and evaluate information retrieval systems.
  2. G Demonstrate understanding of basic principles and standards involved in organizing information such as classification and controlled vocabulary systems, cataloging systems, metadata schemas or other systems for making information accessible to a particular clientele.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

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

  1. Identify the features, types, and protocols of APIs.
  2. Write documentation for an API.
  3. Analyze common structured data formats that underly APIs.
  4. Create statements for consuming data from an API.
  5. Complete a prototype using an API to create or enhance a user interface.

Course Materials


No Textbooks For This Course.

Course Requirements and Assignments

  • Assignment 1 - First Principles of an API - Types and Protocols
  • Assignment 2 - Documenting an API
  • Assignment 3 - Data structures and API design
  • Assignment 4 - Constructing statements for API results
  • Course Project - User Interface Prototype or Sketch using an API

The course project will include the option of sketching out an app idea using an API or creating an HTML prototype to demonstrate an app using an API in action. Options here will be based on the student's interest and aptitude.


  • Percentage weight of grade given to each assignment
  • Extra credit options, if available
  • Grading policy on late or missed work
Assignments Percentage Due Dates Course Learning Outcomes
Project Blueprint 10% Week 2 CLO #2, #5
App Sketch 20% Week 3 CLO #3, #4, #5
Finished App Sketch or HTML Prototype 20% Final Day of Course CLO #3, #4, #5
Weekly Assignments and Readings 50% Throughout Course CLO #1, #2, #3

NOTE: Assignments are due every Monday at 8 pm Pacific Time.

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 1 (April 10) - Introduction to Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)

  • Lecture: Online - Monday, April 10
  • Readings: TBD - Will average around 3 articles per week
  • Course Discussion: Canvas Forum
  • Assignment: Weekly Readings Discussion Prompt, First Principles of an API - Types and Protocols
  • Course Project: Introduction and Guidelines

Week 2 (April 17) - Learning how to use and document APIs

  • Lecture: Online - Monday, April 17
  • Readings: TBD
  • Course Discussion:
  • Assignment: Project BluePrint, Weekly Readings Discussion Prompt, Documenting an API

Week 3 (April 24) - Best practices in structuring API data

  • Lecture: Online - Monday, April 24
  • Readings: TBD
  • Course Discussion: Canvas Forum
  • Assignment: Weekly Readings Discussion Prompt, Data structures, and API design
  • Course Project: Phase 1 App Sketch or HTML prototype DUE

Week 4 (May 1) - Asking for Data and Understanding API payloads

  • Lecture: Online - Monday, May 1
  • Readings: TBD
  • Course Discussion: Canvas Forum
  • Assignment: Weekly Readings Discussion Prompt, Constructing statements for API results

Week 5 (May 8) - APIs and User Interfaces

  • Lecture: Online - Monday, May 8
  • Readings: TBD
  • Course Discussion: Canvas Forum
  • Assignment: Weekly Readings Discussion Prompt
  • Course Project: App Sketch or HTML Prototype DUE on May 15.