Penn State General Education Integrative Studies Seed Grant
$10,000, C. Weisser and L. Kvasny, 2017
My teaching and learning activities have focused on the social impacts of ICT in society. I want to raise students’ consciousness of both the opportunities and problems that arise from our society’s growing reliance on ICT. It is imperative that students, our future technology professionals, understand the ethical, moral, social and legal aspects of these emerging technologies. I have taught across a diverse range of courses - from technical to humanistic views of computing, from first year undergraduate to graduate level courses. However, I most enjoy teaching at the undergraduate level and I provide the best quality of instruction in the courses that focus on the human dimension of computing.
In 2014, I was awarded the Penn State Teaching Fellow Award, administered by the Alumni Association. The year before, I was awarded both the Faculty Achievement Award and the George J. McMurtry Teaching and Learning Award from the College of IST at Penn State. In 2004, I was also selected to participate in the Multicultural Teaching Academy hosted by the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State.
$10,000, C. Weisser and L. Kvasny, 2017
$10,000, Penn State Alumni Association and Student Award for Teaching Excellence, L. Kvasny, 2014
This course is designed to help students learn how to be successful in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) at Penn State University. This involves two elements. The first is learning how to be successful in college in general. The second is learning about the field of information sciences and technology, and what is expected of you in the College of IST. We will explore numerous aspects of IST including the Problem-Based Learning approach, resources for academic support and career planning, and involvement in student organizations. This course may be used to fulfill the First-Year Engagement requirement.
This course examines the use, analysis and design of information systems and technologies to organize, coordinate, and inform human enterprises. As a first year experience course, course size is limited to 25 students and meets two additional goals. First, the course engages students in learning and orients them to the scholarly community from the outset of their undergraduate studies in ways that will bridge to later experiences in their chosen majors. Second, the course facilitates students’ adjustment to the high expectations, demanding workload, increased liberties, and other aspects of the transition to college life. This course may be used to fulfill the First-Year Engagement requirement.
Popular culture refers to people’s capacity to classify, codify and communicate their experiences symbolically. The content of popular culture is determined by everyday interactions, needs and desires, the cultural 'moments' that make up our everyday lives. In modern societies, popular culture has been crucially shaped by the development of new technologies of sound and image broadcasting and recording, and the growth of mass media industries including film, broadcast radio and television, print and electronic news, and book publishing. Popular culture is the result of continuing interactions between these media industries and technology, and those who consume their products. This course introduces theoretical approaches to analyze technologies (films, advertisements, music, news, television, magazines) in popular culture, focusing especially on postmodern theories of technology as a cultural and aesthetic medium. This course may be used to fulfill the General Education - Arts (GA) requirement for non-IST majors.
The primary objective of Online IST 210 is to provide an introduction to the storage, retrieval, manipulation, analysis and display of information. This course includes an introduction to data structures, physical storage devices and access, database models and database management systems architecture, database analysis and design, query languages, user interface design, database administration, and policy and social concerns in data and database management. Through an extended partnership with IBM, the Online IST 210 course is being supplemented with several IBM branded training modules to aid in the understanding of DB2.
This introductory course will combine theory and practice to help students develop a rich understanding of the constantly evolving new media landscape. Students will read texts authored by some of the most formative thinkers in our field examining the impact of new media, and apply these core concepts to the use of digital tools by individuals and institutions such as media, business, and government. Students will actively use microblogging, social networking and other Web 2.0 tools to produce and consume content, interact with peers, and reflect critically on this experience. This course will emphasize awareness of current events and technology trends, as well as critical thinking skills and the ability to frame and explore socio-technical issues through written, visual and verbal communication.
The ways that people communicate and utilize information is being changed dramatically by new information technologies. Information and the technologies that are employed to create, organize, transfer 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 information environment is changing the ways we interact, communicate, and function on the job and in our daily lives. Emerging technologies also raise new economic, cultural, legal, ethical, and social issues that are of grave importance to society. IST 431 examines factors in the overall context of this evolving information environment that are influencing the design, development and use of information systems and technology. This course also examines the impacts of new information technologies on people, organizations, and societies. IST 431 is a required course in the Information Context: People, Organizations, and Society degree option.
This special topics course employs a service learning approach to the design, delivery, and assessment of information technology solutions in a wide variety of environments such as communities, governments, corporations, and schools. Service learning is a praxis-oriented pedagogical approach that combines academic learning with action. Students will read and discuss relevant theories, and engage with partnering organizations to gain a richer understanding of the context in which their hands-on learning experience will take place. Students will design, develop, and deliver an information technology solution to meet some need that is based upon their theoretical understanding of and engagement with the context. Finally, students will reflect upon their learning experience, and design a tool for assessing the impact of their solution.
This course prepares honors students for conducting a thesis based upon a Social Informatics (SI) perspective. Conducting SI research means connecting what people do, the information and communications technologies (ICT) they use, and the contexts in which these actions are framed. A significant portion of our reading and discussion will draw upon empirical studies of computerization. This course, therefore, serves as a good introduction to SI - the body of research and study that examines social aspects of computerization, including the roles of ICT in social change and the ways that the social organization of ICT is influenced by social forces and social practices.
The overarching goal of this 6-hour introductory course is to introduce and provide hands-on practice with three contrasting research perspectives of IST: Social Informatics, Human-Centered Design, and Computational Informatics.
This course is a study of major methodological, normative, and theoretical issues in the philosophy of science and technology. A significant part of this course involves relating issues and problems customarily associated with the philosophy of science and technology with current research in information science and technology (IST).
This course examines social theories used in the study of the human context within which information and information technology (IT) exist.
This course is concerned with the human context within which information and information technology (IT) exist. It examines the interaction between the human (or groups of humans) and IT, and research issues that arise from this interaction. The course introduces relevant theories and theoretical frameworks that are used to foster better understanding of this interaction between humans and IT. The human context is examined at multiple levels of analysis: individual, organizational, industry, societal and global.
This course is a continuing seminar which consists of a series of individual lectures by faculty, students, and external speakers.