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University Bulletin

Undergraduate Degree Programs

Information Sciences And Technology (IST)

IST 431 The Information Environment (3) Survey of social environment of information technology themes: Community, sovereignty, privacy, ethics, economics, and knowledge management.

IST 431 The Information Environment (3)

The ways that people communicate and utilize information is being changed dramatically by new information technologies. Information and the technologies that are employed by create, organize, transger, and utilize that information in a networked environment, using such global networks as the internet or internal networks such as intranets, have become a key component of the global economy. This global environment can change the way we interact, communicate, and function on the job and in our daily lives. The new technologies also raise new economic, legal, ethical, and social issues that are of grave importance to society. IST 431 examines the overall context of the new information environment and new technical issues relating to knowledge management in the global networked environment. IST 431 is a required course in the Information, Society and Public Policy Option.

There may be some overlap of material with COMM 405, COMM 483, COMM 485, PHIL 407, PHIL 423, PHIL 433 and PL SC 460m but none of these courses cover the same material, or approach it in the same manner.

Upon completion of this course, the student will gain an appreciation of the differences between "cyberspace" and the "real" world. The student will also understand that the implementation and modern information technologies has significant social and policy implications that demand appropriate policy issues in several different contexts (globa, national, local). The student will also be able to discuss the major themes in information policy studies (e.g., community, privacy, access, economic participation, security) and be able to relate these themes to the applications of particular technologies. They will be able to describe policy frameworks and issues, as well as the ethical and social implications of these choices.

Homework assignments; Socratic dialogue; analysis and write-up of case studies; assessment of group research projects and presentations; participation in on-line discussion groups; two mid-term and one final examination (objective and essay). The precise mix of evaluation components will be determined by individual instructors; a typical weighting might be exams (60%), written assignments and papers (20%), and collaborative projects (20%).

IST 431 will be offered every semester at University Park. At every other campus location where the Baccalaureate degree program is offered, the course will be offered 1-2 times annually depending on demand. Student enrollment at University Park will begin at approximately 50-75 in the first year and grow to 200 over a 3-4 year time period. At other locations, enrollment should range from 25-50 annually.


General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Fall 2004
Prerequisite: IST 210, IST 220

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.