Research, Analysis and Information Design

This course is designed to provide you with practical skills for research, analysis, and information design to enable you to:

• Identify and apply effective research methods to unfamiliar topics

• Elicit critical information from subject matter experts

• Understand and apply information design principles based on the needs of your audience

You will learn to conduct user, context and task analyses to identify valuable information, as well as how to create a research plan to guide your research efforts.

This course is available at the following time(s) and location(s):

Campus Session(s) Instructor(s) Cost Seats available  
Online - Ellen Ashdown $525.00 26 Register
Online - - TBD $525.00 29 Register
Online - - TBD $525.00 30 Register

Instructional hours: 15

Schedule clarification: This course begins on the first date listed and ends six days after the last date listed. Between those times, you work at your own pace within the timelines set by the instructor.

What will I learn?

By the end of the course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Apply effective research methods to locate information on unfamiliar topics
  • Collect documents and information related to new products, processes or projects
  • Identify and elicit critical information from subject matter experts
  • Choose an appropriate writing style and document format
  • Explain how document design affects document acceptance and usage
  • Describe and utilize a variety of research and organization methods to:
    • learn about and characterize your audience
    • determine the type of information you have, whether it is valid and complete, and how useful it will be

How will I learn?

Prepare to spend 10 to 15 hours per week on coursework, including:

  • Weekly course modules accessed through Canvas
  • Reading
  • Online discussions
  • Case studies
  • Assignments
  • Online group work

Course materials will be available 24/7 and assignment deadlines will be posted well in advance, allowing you to set your own pace for learning.

English language requirements

To succeed in this course, you will need an advanced level of written and spoken English. If you are unsure whether your English language skills are sufficient, we recommend you complete the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with the following minimums:

  • Overall band score minimum 6.5
  • No band below 6.0
  • Writing band score minimum 8.0

Please note we can’t refund your registration fees after the course start date if you find your English language skills are not adequate.

If you have questions or concerns about your English language proficiency, we encourage you to contact your local IELTS Test Centre.

How will I be evaluated?

  • Assignments (30% each)
  • Group activity (5%)
  • Online discussion (5%)

Textbooks and learning materials

Recommended text:

The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed, (or later): 2010. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0226104201

Note: Courses use the author-date style from the Chicago/Turabian (17th ed.) citation guide.

Once you begin the course you'll be sent SFU library access information for this text. Alternatively, you may wish to download a 30-day free trial of the online version of Chicago Manual of Style

All other course materials are available online.

Hardware and software requirements

  • Microsoft Word 2010

We deliver this course using SFU's online course management system, Canvas. You will receive course details and Canvas access instructions on the first day of the course. You can check if your browser is compatible with Canvas here.

New to online learning? See About Online Learning for helpful videos and additional information.