Mastery courses

Mastery courses are special types of courses that require students to demonstrate synthesis of the major theories, methods, and approaches to inquiry and/or schools of practice necessary for entry into a particular career in the information professions. Mastery is defined as a student’s ability to do a task, solve a problem, produce an outcome, design a product, deliver a service, etc. at the level comparable to or exceeding a well-launched beginner in a field, profession, or discipline.

Mastery courses require a high level of independence from students. Instructors assume the role of mentor, facilitator, or advisor, and the courses are driven by problem analysis, information gathering and sharing, creative solutions for a project, or a combination of these elements.

MSI students are required to complete one mastery course or the Master’s Thesis Option Program (MTOP). Each mastery course has 5-8 prerequisite courses that must be taken in advance of the mastery course.

Fall 2019 Mastery Courses 

UX Research and Design (699-001)
This course will require you to demonstrate mastery in application of design theories, concepts, and principles to defining valid problems, uncovering user needs, articulating service requirements, documenting UX research results, proposing, refining, and prototyping design solutions, and communicating with stakeholders effectively. You will have opportunities to integrate methods and theories about user experience design in this course by engaging in a whole process from identifying design issues to developing design solutions. You will work on a single project end-to-end during the semester. You will either work on a project individually or in pairs. For the most part, you will choose and design projects from scratch, though projects for real-world clients will be allowed as long as you meet the course requirements.

Syllabus

UX Research and Design (699-002)
User Experience Research & Design is an interdisciplinary approach to technology that emerged out of earlier research and design methods and fields including but not limited to Participatory Design, Human-Computer Interaction and User Interface Design. It is often understood as a reaction to and intervention into engineering approaches to technological development. User Experience Research and Design as such can mean a variety of approaches and range of activities – often what is meant is highly dependent on the specific culture of an employer or the institution. Across various instantiations it is always though some form of blend of social scientific, technical, creative, and critical thinking skills, and this course will reflect this interdisciplinary commitment.
 
 
Developing Social Computing (699-012)
The mastery course provides students in opportunity to develop and demonstrate mastery in user research, application design, and system implementation by creating novel social computing applications. This course will challenge students to build on prior coursework in human-computer interaction and programming to apply and adapt their existing skill sets to identify and solve the problems that arise in the design of a new social computing systems, including the areas of user experience, technical implementation, and stakeholder communication. It is intended for students who want to go beyond prototypes to understand the full experience of creating and launching a new system.

This course is intended to be very advanced in nature, and assumes that students will approach the course with a solid design, user research, and technical foundation. This course will result in at least 3-4 items for a student's portfolio.

Syllabus

Winter 2019 Mastery Courses

UX Research and Design (699-001)
This mastery course provides you the opportunity to develop and demonstrate mastery in user experience (ux) research and design. This includes the application of design theories, concepts, and principles in order to:
  1. Identify and articulate a meaningful user experience challenge or problem,
  2. Conduct ux research with appropriate methods to uncover user needs, document UX research results and articulate user experience requirements,
  3. Developing, refining, prototyping, and validating user experience design solutions, and
  4. Effectively communicating with stakeholders.

You will have opportunities to integrate methods and theories about user experience design in this course by engaging in a whole process from identifying design issues to developing design solutions. You will work on a single project end-to-end during the semester. You will ideally work on a project in teams of 2–3 students. For the most part, you will choose and design projects from scratch, though projects for real-world clients will be allowed as long as you meet the course requirements.

Syllabus

UX Research and Design (699-002)
User Experience Research & Design is an interdisciplinary approach to technology that emerged out of earlier research and design methods and fields including but not limited to Participatory Design, Human-Computer Interaction and User Interface Design. It is often understood as a reaction to and intervention into engineering approaches to technological development. User Experience Research and Design as such can mean a variety of approaches and range of activities – often what is meant is highly dependent on the specific culture of an employer or the institution. Across various instantiations it is always though some form of blend of social scientific, technical, creative, and critical thinking skills, and this course will reflect this interdisciplinary commitment.
 
 
User-Centered Agile Development (699-003)
This is a mastery course for students interested in pursuing a career in software development with a UX focus. Students will work in groups of 3-4 on a semester-long project, integrating UX research and design methods with agile software development, with the goal of producing a Minimally Viable Prototype at the end.
 
 
Big Data Analytics (699-004)
The big data analytics mastery course will require students to demonstrate mastery of data collection, processing, analysis, retrieval, mining, visualization, and prediction. Students will synthesize methods from information retrieval, statistical data analysis, data mining, machine learning, and other big-data related fields. Students will work on semester-long projects that deal with industry-scale data sets and solve real-world problems. Aligned with best industry practices, students will be expected to work in a fast-paced, collaborative environment and to demonstrate independence and leadership. Students must be able to create and use tools to handle very large transactional, text, network, behavioral, and/or multimedia data sets.
 
 
Digital Curation (699-005)
This mastery course is designed for students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in digital curation through completion of a client-based project with a specific outcome. Working in small teams, students will work with a client on a digital curation problem, such as:
  • data rescue & digital forensics
  • assessing and improving metadata capture for a web archive
  • modeling information packages for a new collection of digital content
  • analyzing and improving an existing collection
  • designing and implementing new systems/tools for access to a digital collection

Syllabus

Big Data Analytics (699-007)
The big data analytics mastery course will require students to demonstrate mastery of data collection, processing, analysis, retrieval, mining, visualization, and prediction. Students will synthesize methods from information retrieval, statistical data analysis, data mining, machine learning, and other big-data related fields. Students will work on semester-long projects that deal with industry-scale data sets and solve real-world problems. Aligned with best industry practices, students will be expected to work in a fast-paced, collaborative environment and to demonstrate independence and leadership. Students must be able to create and use tools to handle very large transactional, text, network, behavioral, and/or multimedia data sets.
 
 
Capstone Project- Librarianship & Archival Practice (699-008)
This is a project course in which you will synthesize your previous coursework in accomplishing real-world professional goals. It differs from other UMSI courses because the focus is on application of that synthesized knowledge, not on acquiring new knowledge. This course provides an in-depth capstone experience to those pursuing careers in librarianship and/or archival practice. Based on skills, experiences, and knowledge developed in prerequisite courses, you (alone or with a partner) will assume primary responsibility for planning, carrying out, and evaluating a significant project of approximately 100 hours that aligns to one or more of these professional themes: collections: projects related into materials selection, processing, metadata, cataloguing, weeding, and/or outreach; instruction, programs, or events: projects about the planning, facilitation, project management, marketing, and/or evaluation of formal and informal learning activities or community events; and community engagement and partnerships: projects that assess community needs, identify service gaps and opportunities, seek and nurture new relationships with partner organizations or communities. Work will be conducted in collaboration with a mentor within a professional organization. In very rare cases, projects may be proposed to be conducted without a mentor in the field. Class meetings provide opportunities for feedback from peers and the instructor and engagement around current issues facing the information professions. To maximize the growth and impact of your project during this semester, you will work with the instructor in the semester leading up to the course to identify relevant prerequisite courses and select a project focus.
 
 
Library and Archives Assessment (699-009)
This course provides opportunities to gain mastery in assessment activities in libraries, archives and cultural institutions. Students will assess how existing services, collections, programs, and space/facility contribute to the mission/purpose of the organization. Project tasks will typically include developing an assessment plan, creating a literature review, developing or deploying assessment tools, collecting empirical data or utilizing existing data set, and analyzing/interpreting the evidence. The final report and presentation should show the current value and impact status of a library/archives as well as recommendations to communicate the new value and impact of the library/archives by creating, expanding, changing library services, collections, programs, and space/facility. Students will work closely with one partner librarian or archivist in a professional organization. Although the project will be conducted in collaboration with a partner librarian or archivist, students (alone or as a pair) will be responsible for planning, carrying out, adjusting, and completing the project.