SIS Students Partner with DiscoverET.org in Academic Outreach Projects:

IS 520 (Information Representation and Organization)

 

Academic Outreach is a key component in library and information science education for it provides students practical learning opportunities in projects that are meaningful and responsive to local community needs. During fall 2005, Dr. Bharat Mehra had students in IS 520 (Information Representation and Organization) partner with community networking initiatives at DiscoverET.org, a web-based local community network, towards building relevant community information systems to serve underserved communities and individuals. David Massey, Executive Director at DiscoverET.org (formerly called Korrnet) served as client and co-evaluator of students’ projects in IS 520. Students applied information representation and organization principles such as intellectual works and their manifestations, metadata standards in various environments, metadata coding and crosswalks, digital library development, systems design, and subject access and classification systems, to real-life community-based academic outreach projects for DiscoverET.org. Topics of application ranged from a comprehensive assessment /evaluation of the DiscoverET.org’s  web-based information; development of community-based information for new subject categories like youth resources and international issues; analysis of existing communication and information-sharing interactive tools for the DiscoverET.org website; creation of relevant community-based information for an Air Quality Forum; and design templates incorporating Spanish language translation of existing web content and functionality.

 

The following are a sample of projects that were undertaken:

 

  • Provide a comprehensive assessment and evaluation of the existing informational organization and representation on the DiscoverET.org website and suggest recommendations for improvements and alternative design solutions. Do a case-analysis of existing content and representation scheme(s) for another selected community network and provide comparison-contrast analysis. Your analysis should include study of existing collection of website listings on various subjects and analysis of classification scheme(s) used for representation of information, amongst other aspects. Also, identify existing elements in the IR system that is used and include existing metadata schemes, menu options, and searching capabilities in your analysis.

 

TEAM MEMBERS: Sara McCormick, Reuben “Andy” Madson, Thomas Mosley, Connie Steigenga

 

  • For the DiscoverET.org website, create a new subject category on Youth Resources and present a representational and organizational scheme for select community-based information. Your project should include a comprehensive collection of website listings on the subject, a classification scheme for representation of information, and various design solutions for the presentation of content, amongst other aspects. Also, identify elements in an organizational plan for an IR system that includes metadata schemes, menu options, and searching capabilities. Do a case-analysis and critique of existing content and representation scheme(s) on selected websites/web portals on the subject site and provide alternative design solutions.

 

TEAM MEMBERS: Elizabeth Dunham, Ronda Y. Foust, Nadine Hawke

 

  • For the DiscoverET.org website, develop a representational and organizational scheme to present community-based information for an Air Quality Forum. Your project should include the following: 1) A case study of other air quality forums and what kinds of information, communication, and organization schemes they incorporate; 2) Provide examples of websites using various community-based air quality forums and evaluate the forms of interaction taking place in the different settings. 3) Build a collection of reports/documents representing various voices and commentaries related to air quality (TVA authorities, industry, local county Chamber of Commerce, EPA guidelines, Howard Baker Center); 4) Gather feedback from various local stakeholders (TVA authorities, industry, local county Chamber of Commerce, EPA guidelines); 5) Provide a summary of your study on existing forums on the topic, best practices, design options. Discuss various classification schemes for representation of information, and design solutions for the presentation of content, amongst other aspects.

 

TEAM MEMBERS: Jude Ferrara, Desiree Fox, Shannon Noble

 

  • For the DiscoverET.org website, develop a representational and organizational scheme to present community-based information that includes design templates incorporating Spanish language translation of existing content and functionality to reach out to growing Hispanic populations. Your project should include a comprehensive collection of additional website listings in Spanish, case-studies of other community networks having Spanish interfaces, a classification scheme for representation of information in the proposed design solution(s), and pros and cons for the various design solutions proposed. Also, identify elements in an organizational plan for an IR system for Spanish materials on the website that includes metadata schemes, menu options, and searching capabilities.

 

TEAM MEMBERS: Sarah Belisle, Jessica Minihan

 

  • For the DiscoverET.org website, create a scheme to present community-based information on International Issues. Your scheme should include the following: 1) a comprehensive collection of website listings that incorporate an international dimension under different subjects, for example, local companies and businesses that have an international flavor; 2) Training manual materials for developing sensitivity and awareness of international/cross-cultural issues in business, government, education, etc. 3) International demographics in various counties/businesses in Tennessee; 4) Local resources and information support systems for international constituents and to address international issues. Discuss various classification schemes for representation of information, and design solutions for the presentation of content, amongst other aspects. Also, identify elements in an organizational plan for an IR system that includes metadata schemes, menu options, and searching capabilities.

 

TEAM MEMBERS: Dorothy Ogdon, Patrick Wasley, Tim Lepczyk

 

  • Select one county in Tennessee and develop a representational and organizational scheme for presenting community-based information for the county. Your project should include a comprehensive collection of website listings for that county, a classification scheme for representation of information, and various design solutions for the presentation of content, amongst other aspects. Also, identify elements in an organizational plan for an IR system that includes metadata schemes, menu options, and searching capabilities. Provide a case-study for one selected county from the adjoining states or select from the following website: URL: http://www.discoveret.org/index.php?p=DirCountySearch

 

TEAM MEMBERS: Sarena Cleeton, Natalie Clewell, Jessica Gentry, Kelli Williams

 

·        Based on a study of the use of different kinds of existing and emerging community-based interactive communication and information-sharing tools (personal websites, e-mail, newsgroups, listserves, wikis, blogs, interactive calendars, etc.) develop a representational and organizational scheme for presenting community-based interactive communication and information-sharing interactive tools on the DiscoverET.org website. Do a case-study of the existing interactive communication and information-sharing tools used on the DiscoverET.org website and suggest forms of emerging tools that should be incorporated in the future. Provide examples of websites using the various community-based interactive communication and information-sharing tools and evaluate the forms of interaction taking place via the different tools in the different settings. Present the pro and cons based upon your analysis while you make recommendations for the DiscoverET.org website. Present summary reports for each community-based interactive communication and information-sharing tools that includes design options and implementation plan for application of the different tools.

 

TEAM MEMBERS: Alison Connor, Elizabeth Koerber, Carrie Snesko

 

This website provides a brief glimpse of students’ contributions in IS 520 during fall 2005. For questions and comments, please contact Dr. Mehra at bmehra@utk.edu.