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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Information Sciences And Technology (IST)

IST 110 (GS) Information, People and Technology (3) The use, analysis and design of information systems and technologies to organize, coordinate, and inform human enterprises.

IST 110 Introduction to Information, People and Technology (3)

Information, People and Technology presents the high points of an education in the College of Information Sciences and Technology. It opens an intellectual journey through the ideas and challenges that IT professionals face in the world. It will address major questions such as: How can we use technology to organize and integrate human enterprises? How can technology help people and organizations adapt rapidly and creatively? What can we do about information overload?

Three perspectives (or facets) address the core issues: information or the basic science of data encoding, transmission and storage; people or the interactions among technologies, institutions, regulations and users; and technology or the design and operation of basic information technology devices. Students completing the course will be confident users and consumers of information technology. Students will develop research and analytical skills to evaluate specific devices and understand how those devices function in larger socio-technical systems. Students will be able to predict and anticipate the impact of new technologies on human institutions as well as understand the potential impact of institutions on the use and design of information technologies.

The course employs an action-oriented approach. Students learn by doing—formulating and solving problems drawn from professional contexts, detecting and recovering from errors related to technology use, and locating, reading and studying materials that support their analysis and problem-solving. Students will accomplish this by participating in team-based learning. The course provides students with the opportunity to use, modify, and evaluate software to search for, frame, and express ideas with fluency. A variety of mechanisms are used to assess student performance. These evaluation methods typically include exams, quizzes, homework assignments, group projects, and peer and self-assessments.

IST 110 is the introductory course in IST, and, as such, serves as a prerequisite for 200-level (intermediate) IST courses. It is a required course for all majors and minors in IST, and meets requirements for a General Education or Bachelor of Arts Social Science (GS) course.

The course is delivered with significant student interaction with technology. At University Park, it is offered in multiple sections (typically 40-60 students per section), in the Fall and Spring semesters. At other Penn State campuses, it would be offered in class sizes typically ranging between 20-50 students.

General Education: GS
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Summer 2005

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


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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

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