Bard College at Simon's Rock: the Early College
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Information Studies

Information Studies is a series of 1-credit, half-semester courses taught by librarians that provide opportunities for students to develop transliteracy and resilience.

Transliteracy blends disparate literacies—information, digital, media, communication, and visual, as well as the traditional literacies of reading and writingnecessary to successfully navigate dynamic information and technology environments. A resilient posture toward technology and information-seeking may be the most important skill a young person can acquire in the 21st century, reaching across different disciplines and beyond academia.

Courses can be taken individually based on interest, or as a complete program over the course of two years. The curriculum sits at the intersection of liberal arts and technology, with courses designed with students’ needs and interests in mind, combining theoretical readings with hands-on activities using emerging technologies. Check the current course guide to find out which of these courses are currently being offered:

LR 106: The Dao of Research
Research is a path, not a destination. This course leads students along that path, marking significant milestones, such as understanding the variety and utility of various search tools; learning the importance of reference management; discovering how technology can both assist and frustrate research; and incorporating research successfully into the writing process.

LR 107: Digital Storytelling
Digital storytelling is an emerging modality that uses digital media as its medium. Questions to be raised include: how is technology influencing the ways in which stories are created and shared? How do we define a digital story? How are digital stories used effectively on the personal, local, and global level? Students will create original digital stories in response to these questions.

LR 110: Beyond Google
This course will consider the intersection of information and technology, a space where so much of our time is spent. The course will address such questions as: How do we break down the mass of ‘information’ that confronts us every time we open a browser? Do we understand the implications of the use of information gathered about us? What are our rights and responsibilities as netizens?

LR 112: Reading Images
We are inundated with images every day: from photographs to film stills, advertisements, memes, political cartoons, and so much more. We also create our own images, adding to the proliferation of visual media. How much attention do we give to what images are really telling us? Visual literacy involves “reading” an image, interpreting and deriving meaning from it, as well as using it for communication.

LR 114: Reading Critically: Cultivating Food Media Literacy [the focus of this course changes periodically]
Drawing on sources from across the print and digital realm, this course examines the intersection of information and food. What are the social constructs around food that are created or perpetuated by the food industry, government, and media? How has technology changed our access to culinary and nutrition information, and what decisions do we make based on this knowledge?

LR 115: Information Design
This course focuses on the effective design of information for communication, covering electronic media, images, and the combination of numerical and textual data with images. We will address such questions as: How does seeing translate into knowing and understanding? How can we use design to improve communication? What are the fallacies that are perpetrated through information design?

LR 117: Synthesizing Research: The Literature Review
A literature review is a crucial part of any significant research project, because comprehensive knowledge of current and historical questions, arguments, and conclusions is the foundation a researcher needs. In this course, students focus on bibliographic research in an academic area in which they plan to conduct future study, culminating in a literature review.

LR 120: Critical Issues in Digital Privacy
This course encourages students to think critically about the role of privacy in their own digital lives by providing skills and tools to become informed users of technology. We examine digital privacy scenarios in a range of settings and pay particular attention to how historical and philosophical ideas about privacy inform our understanding of digital privacy today.

LR 122: Information Privilege
Access to information is vital to participation in work, society, and civil life. The instantaneity and burgeoning growth of the internet may be leading to a false perception of democratization and equality of access which permits information privilege to be largely ignored. This course examines a range of factors that can limit information accessfrom a baseline of internet availability to geography, economics, education, race, ethnicity, age, ability, and more.