Understanding Information and Information Environments
Information science is an interdisciplinary science with a wide range of interests and goals. A major element in the field is concerned with fundamental information processes such as the acquisition and collection of information, the classification and storage of information, the manipulation and retrieval of information, as well as the analysis, dissemination, usage, and maintenance of information. Another focus in the course relates to the concept of information itself. Although the importance of information has been recognized in many fields, as a concept, information is difficult to define. The course, therefore, not only tries to familiarize students with the history and evolution of the field of information science, the course also investigates the fundamental question: What is information? Students completing the course will recognize the aims and goals of fundamental information processes. They will learn to analyze, evaluate, and appreciate the value that information science provides. In addition, students may develop an understanding of information on a deeper (philosophical) level. This understanding may help them to understand today’s information society and modern technology from a more comprehensive information perspective.
By the end of the semester, students should:
(i) be familiar with the history and evolution of the field of information science,
(ii) understand fundamental information processes,
(iii) have acquired an understanding about the notion of information from various points of view, and
(iv) be able to reason about modern society and modern technology from an information perspective.