Units & Lessons
Unit 1 - Information Definition, Valuation, and Assessment
This lesson investigates information science as a discipline separate from library science, computer science, data science, and information systems. It looks at its history and its current place in the computing field and provides a working definition of information science.
This lesson introduces the Shannon Model of information and the Shannon-Weaver model of information transmission. It shows how the amount of information in a message can be quantified.
This lesson presents different approaches for determining the value of information, including a way to assess the value of "perfect" information. Introduces the concept of uncertainty and risk and the influence they have on the value of information. Shows how to use decision trees to calculate expected value of information to aid decision making.
This lesson presents different approaches for collecting information in order to make decision and to drive the modeling and valuation of information.
Unit 2 - Information Representation, Organization, and Storage
To understand the information in a particular application domain, models are often constructed. This lesson describes different information and data modeling approaches, including entity-relationship modeling, taxonomies, partonomies, and ontologies.
This lesson explains how information is stored in a relational database. It starts by defining the relational model and then demonstrates how to map ontologies onto relational structures to construct a relational datastore. Additionally, this lesson introduces non-relational organizations of data and related storage architectures, including XML.
This lesson explains how information is retrieved from data stores. It addresses retrieval approaches and retrieval specification languages, including SQL, XPath, and XQuery.
This lesson presents different approaches for processing information in order to prepare the information for analysis. Includes an introduction to programming R and processing of XML. Connect databases to R.
Unit 3 - Information Technology
This lesson covers essential information transmission technologies, infrastructure, and application protocols. It explains physical transmission media, including wired and wireless technologies. In addition, the lesson covers application level protocols and essential networking infrastructure components.
This lesson looks at the different types of information systems that are common in business and government organizations and their strategic value. In particular, it looks at the information requirements and the type of information tracked by such systems. The unit also covers the approaches used to construct information systems and common implementation methodologies.
Unit 4 - Information Management
This lesson looks at ways to protect information and assuring the privacy and confidentiality of information. It also addresses the ethical issues surrounding information protection.Much information is private and sensitive and must be guarded. This unit shows different approaches for protecting information including encryption, firewalls, and passwords. The unit also addresses social engineering and other security threats.
This lesson addresses the issue of data and information quality and how to ensure that data has sufficient quality. It elaborates on data provenance, data governance, information dissemination, and information management policies. Additionally, it addresses the ethical issues in data management.
Unit 5 - Information Use
This lesson looks at an application of information science in prediction, forecasting, and machine learning. The lesson shows several forecasting methods and how to judge "goodness" of fit and the predictive power of models, including simple time series models and simple regression models.
This lesson investigates the role of processes and how they move information and interface with information systems. In addition, the lesson looks at the analysis of processes using time studies and Little's Law. It also shows how to visualize business processes using flow charts, data flows, and other visual artifacts. Additionally, the lesson shows how business processes need to be aligned with information flows.
This unit introduces the key concepts of automated classification using machine learning and predictive analytics.
Unit 6 - Information Visualization and Publication
This lesson addresses the key concepts in explanatory information visualization. It shows how to construct useful visualizations that communicate insight and allow for decision making. The lesson explains how to properly use color, pre-attentive attributes, and whitespace. It demonstrates how to construct common charts and graphs in Excel.
Information Publication and Dissemination
Information is only of value if it is accessible to others. This lesson looks at venues for information publication, including print and web visualization and reporting. This unit also introduces the concept of Information Architecture, particularly in the context of website and report design.