SI 501: Contextual Inquiry and Consulting Foundations

The University of Michigan School of Information was founded on the premise that information professionals can and should "connect people, information, and technology in more valuable ways." We recognize that the successes of our institutions, projects, programs, and products rely not only on high-quality information and robust technology but also on users and context. In today's economy, where choices are abundant and finances are constrained, learning to accurately discern and respond to one's users is both beneficial and useful. This course builds skills in user-centered analysis via the basic principles of contextual inquiry, a user-centered design process. Working with a real-world client and in cross-disciplinary teams, students advance their skills and learn new strategies to manage project timelines, workloads, and responsibilities; conduct interviews; observe work practices and information usage; abstract, analyze, and synthesize qualitative data; and present their conclusions and recommendations. Each client experience allows students to examine how information and human behavior influence actions in some process or service within an organization. View syllabus

Credit Hours: 3
Advisory prerequisites:
Required prerequisites:

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