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IL and the GER

Research, plus sample tutorials and initiatives from other universities, on how Information Literacy (IL) can be integrated into the General Education Requirements (GER), compiled by Susan Herzog, Information Literacy Librarian, Eastern Connecticut State University.

Strategies for Engaging Faculty in Thematically-Integrated Liberal Arts Curriculum Reform, 2006 Association for General & Liberal Studies National Conference
Indianapolis, IN

October 20, 2006


LAPC Meeting
5/11/06

Information Literacy Working Group
Approved 4-06

Information Literacy enhances the pursuit of knowledge at the University by preparing students to think critically and use information effectively in their academic, professional, and personal lives. The information literate student determines the nature and extent of the information needed, can locate it using a variety of media and technologies, and can evaluate information in order to use it proficiently.

• We believe that departmental faculty and library faculty share the responsibility for helping students develop information literacy skills.

• We believe that course-integrated instruction, connected with a real academic need, is more effective than stand-alone information literacy courses or disconnected tours and library orientations. Course-integrated information literacy instruction is customized to achieve the faculty member’s course objectives.

• We believe in implementing Information Literacy Across the Curriculum (ILAC) similar to the concept of Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC).

• We believe in a planned curriculum with distinct, sequenced information literacy content that allows practice and reinforcement without duplication.

Learning Objectives:


An information-literate student at Eastern Connecticut State University is able to:

1. Define the task or research topic and determine the nature and extent of the information needed;

2. Develop and implement an effective search strategy appropriate for an information need;

3. Refine the necessary information effectively and efficiently;

4. Evaluate information and its sources critically and incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base and value system;

5. Assess the search strategy;

6. Employ principles consistent with the ethical and legal uses of information;

7. Effectively navigate the body of knowledge within his/her major discipline.

8. Organize, synthesize and communicate information; and

9. Apply these skills within his/her major discipline.

We propose an incremental approach; ideally, the first three steps occur during the student’s first year at Eastern (or second, at the latest), in order for students to acquire research and critical thinking skills early in their academic career.

Step I: Liberal Arts Thematic Clusters (FYP)

During the freshman year, all students will attend an information literacy session during the Liberal Arts Thematic Clusters. The fifty-minute Information Literacy Scavenger Hunt is customized for each cluster. This active learning exercise includes a brief introduction to the Library web site, catalog, and databases. Students use the web site, the Reference Desk and 1st floor service desk to guide them in their search for books from the Reference collection, circulating books, an eBook, a current periodical, a bound journal, microfilm, microfiche and a video. Students bring back the items they find and demonstrate what tools they used to find their assigned materials. This session provides students with a more in-depth appreciation of the wide range of library resources and empowers them to use the Library with the help of the web site and the reference librarians.

Step II: English 100/200*

English 100/200 classes come to the Library as they begin to write papers. This session provides students with an introduction to finding journal articles in a full-text database. Students learn how to choose keywords for a given topic and revise those keywords if their search results prove insufficient or overwhelming. Students learn to differentiate between books and periodicals as well as popular and scholarly periodicals. Students learn how to find a journal title using CONSULS and how to locate the article. Students learn how to print, save and e-mail their articles and where to find examples of MLA citations online.

Students are given an overview of plagiarism and resources to help them avoid plagiarism. In addition, students learn the advantages of using library databases, rather than the Web, and that the sole purpose of the Reference Desk is to help them with their research. Students select a PIN Code and learn how to access the databases from off-campus and how to reserve a book via CONSULS. Many English 100/200 classes elect to schedule a second, hands-on session that enables students to get research assistance for their individual topics from the librarian as well as their professor.

Step III: Information Literacy Tutorial

The Information Literacy Tutorial consists of two components:

1. a web-based, interactive information literacy tutorial, which allows students to proceed at their own pace, at any time, either at home or in the library.

2. a web and/or CD-based video demonstrating research techniques.

The tutorial and video comprise three modules that guide students to appropriate information resources and show them how to use those resources efficiently and effectively. While some of these lessons have been covered in class, the Information Literacy Tutorial insures that all students receive the same grounding in library research and serves as a reinforcement of prior learning. The tutorial would be introduced in English 100 and could easily be integrated into the IT requirement and completed in a computer lab.

Step IV: Major-Designated Classes*


Information literacy instruction for major-designated classes is the result of collaboration between the library faculty and the departmental faculty, directly related to the discipline, and more specifically, related to the particular assignment. The purpose of the library component will be to complement the goals and research assignments determined by the departmental faculty member. This segment would consume one or more class sessions. (Three hours is the anticipated time allowance to cover this content.)

Students will learn how to choose the correct database for their topic and be able to name two aspects of a database that are important to consider when using it (time period covered, type of periodicals covered, full-text/abstract only). Students will be able to construct a fairly sophisticated search strategy using at least two of the following: truncation, Boolean operators, synonyms, subject headings or controlled vocabulary. Students will learn that the same search in two different databases will generate two different sets of results. Students will learn about discipline-specific resources in the Reference Collection and core information sources for their discipline. Students will learn the difference between primary and secondary sources as defined by their discipline. Students will learn how to examine the bibliography, footnotes, and references sections of sources they find to locate additional sources of information on their topic.

Assessment

The Information Literacy Working Group proposed a trial of a new comprehensive exam from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). ETS recently launched the ICT (Information and Communication Technology) Literacy Assessment, a simulation-based testing program that measures students' ability to define, access, manage, integrate, evaluate, create and communicate information in a technological environment.
The test is an outgrowth of work done by an international panel of experts ETS convened three years ago to study the growing importance of existing and emerging information and communication technologies and their relationship to literacy. In developing this new test, ETS partnered with seven leading colleges and universities to form the National Higher Education ICT Initiative. Guided by insights and exploration into information and technology literacy, the group identified the testing criteria for ICT Literacy Assessment.

*Faculty Development


The Information Literacy team proposes to work with departmental faculty (preferably under the auspices of a Faculty Development grant) who wish to integrate information literacy into new or existing courses. Faculty who prefer to lead their own information literacy sessions will be supported by the Information Literacy team as needed.

Information Literacy in the Disciplines


The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Instruction Section (IS) Teaching Methods Committee has gathered links and citations to information literacy standards and curricula developed by accrediting agencies, professional associations, and institutions of higher education. The discipline titles below are based on the National Center for Education Statistic's The Classification of Instructional Programs: 2000 Edition. Each discipline is separated into two sections:

1) Standards or Guidelines from Accrediting Agencies & Professional Associations and
2) Curricula, Articles, and Presentations.

The resources listed were identified by contacting accrediting agencies, conducting literature reviews, and searching the web. Suggestions for additional materials that meet the criteria for inclusion may be submitted for consideration to the Chair of the IS Teaching Methods Committee at any time. The web site and criteria will be revised and updated by the Teaching Methods Committee annually before the ALA Annual Conference.”

http://tinyurl.com/4xctz

Recommended Reading



Bruce, Christine.
(1997). Seven Faces of Information Literacy in Higher Education. Brisbane: Queensland University of Technology.

"Whilst there is growing advocacy for information literacy in higher education, comparatively little in known about how it is experienced by those who use information. The various faces of information literacy described here are drawn from the experienc e of higher educators in two Australian universities. They provide a picture of information literacy that is very different from the lists of skills and attributes that are usually found in literature on the subject."

Rockman, Ilene F. (Fall 2002).
Strengthening Connections Between Information Literacy, General Education, and Assessment Efforts
. Library Trends. 51 (2), 185- 198. Click on PDF Full Text to access the article.

"With internal and external public pressures for students to graduate with skills commensurate with the academic rigor of a comprehensive program of study, universities in the last decade have sought to restructure their curricular offerings to bring them more in line with current societal needs, to attract and retain students, and to help students progress toward graduation with critical reading, writing, thinking, and speaking well developed. Such restructuring would integrate the cocurriculum with the undergraduate experience; emphasize information literacy as an active learning process; inspire intellectual desire in students; promote the importance of continuous lifelong learning; and document to accreditation agencies, professional associations, legislative bodies, and other entities that undergraduate students are graduating with skills, knowledge, and abilities viewed as valuable assets in the workplace, in graduate school, and in society at large."

Shapiro,
Jeremy J. and Hughes, Shelley K. (1996) Information Literacy as a Liberal Art: Enlightenment proposals for a new curriculum. Educom Review. 31 (2), 31-35.

"What does a person need to know today to be a full-fledged, competent and literate member of the information society? As we witness not only the saturation of our daily lives with information organized and transmitted via information technology, but the way in which public issues and social life increasingly are affected by information-technology issues - from intellectual property to privacy and the structure of work to entertainment, art and fantasy life - the issue of what it means to be information-literate becomes more acute for our whole society. Should everyone take a course in creating a Web page, computer programming, TCP/IP protocols or multimedia authoring? Or are we looking at a broader and deeper challenge - to rethink our entire educational curriculum in terms of information?"

Characteristics of Programs of Information Literacy that Illustrate Best Practices: A Guideline
, Best Practices Initiative Institute for Information Literacy

"The Characteristics of Programs of Information Literacy that Illustrate Best Practices: A Guideline attempts to articulate elements of exemplary information literacy programs for undergraduate students at four-year and two-year institutions.

The characteristics identify and describe features notable in information literacy programs of excellence. The characteristics are not, however, descriptive of any one program, but rather represent a metaset of elements identified through examination of many programs and philosophies of undergraduate information literacy."

Information Literacy@J. Eugene Smith Library

http://library.easternct.edu/library1/user_education.htm


Information Literacy in a Nutshell
:
Basic Information for Academic Administrators and Faculty


The Information Literacy IQ (Institutional Quotient) Test

Information Literacy: An Overview

Western Washington University Libraries
by Robin Angeley and Jeff Purdue


"The Role of the University in Information Literacy

To embrace a successful across-the-curriculum information literacy model, a close collaboration of faculty, librarians, and administrators is necessary, with essential support needed from the higher administrative levels. Moreover, it cannot be overemphasized that information literacy is not an end product, but rather a means for achieving already agreed upon campus-wide initiatives, such as improving the freshmen year experience, general university required courses, and student retention."

White Paper on The Information Literacy Imperative

Mansfield University


"We have already taken significant steps in developing a strong information literacy program for our students by taking the following actions:
  • Recognizing the need for Information Literacy to be included in the curriculum as demonstrated in the General Education - 2000 Model.
  • Making available library faculty who are committed to working with classroom faculty in a collaborative environment to develop a program.
  • Utilizing the North Hall Library, which is designed to be an efficient and enjoyable environment in which to access and use information.

Now, we must integrate these elements into a cohesive package so we ensure our students will graduate knowing how to access, filter, and apply information to solve problems. This is the litmus test for information literacy and I look forward to working with all the campus groups to develop our program."

Sample IL Tutorials

Discipline-Specific:

Information Competence for the Discipline of Black Studies

"Information Competence for the Discipline of Black Studies is an online learning tool for faculty members in the department of Black Studies at California State University Long Beach. The purpose is to help the faculty to become familiar with issues and concerns surrounding information literacy from a Black Studies perspective, and to facilitate the development of strategies for integrating information literacy into the Black Studies curriculum.

The tutorial consists of an introduction, three substantive modules, and suggestions for further opportunities for learning and collaboration. A pre- and post-test self-assessment instrument is included. Each of the four modules includes links to additional material relevant to the topic, and an assignment that encourages critical thinking and the development of dialogue between classroom faculty and librarians."
PRIMO Site of the Month

General


Finding Articles Online Tutorial


"The Finding Articles Online Tutorial focuses on demonstrating the skills needed to search the WebSPIRS family of databases. When students have completed the tutorial, they will know how to select databases, form practical keyword searches, locate print and electronic journals, print and e-mail citations and abstracts, and limit searches to a single journal." PRIMO Site of the Month

InfoPathways Tutorial

"InfoPathways is a generic online information literacy course which takes students through searching, finding, using, evaluating and presenting information in relation to their university studies. It is an introductory level course." PRIMO Site of the Month

Information Literacy Tutorial
Penfield Library, SUNY Oswego

"It is time to start your research project, and your librarians are here to help! This instruction module is designed to introduce you to a variety of useful library resources and services and to prepare you to research your topic. Research can seem a little overwhelming at first, but we think you will feel much better prepared after you have completed this step-by-step module."


Information Literacy Tutorial
University of Wisconsin-Parkside: About the Information Literacy Requirement

LOBO, The Library Online Basic Orientation
Select "Guest" login.
"LOBO is an introduction to library research tutorial developed by NCSU Libraries. Developed on the research process model, it includes modules covering the steps through which students progress as they search for information for research papers. Interactive components that illustrate complex concepts are integrated into the tutorial." PRIMO Site of the Month.

OASIS: Online Advancement of Student Information Skills

"OASIS is an online interactive tutorial designed to give undergraduate students a basic level of competence in the skills needed to find, use and evaluate information of all kinds. Successful completion of the tutorial (or an equivalent course at another institution) is required of all first year students by the end of their first year at San Francisco State University. The tutorial consists of 8 chapters, each of which is followed by a short quiz that students take online. Quizzes are automatically graded online and the results displayed on the student's monitor while quiz grades are recorded to their student record. PRIMO Site of the Month

Research: the Next Generation

"The tutorial from the University of Central Florida is a series of streaming videos of a librarian teaching basic search strategies, combined with screen shots of computer screens and images of library locations. This tutorial has two modules: Searching for Books and Searching for Journal Articles. Each module is chunked into short QuickTime video segments. The modules also include transcripts in Spanish."
PRIMO Site of the Month

Integrating Information Literacy Into the Curriculum


Developing Research & Communication Skills:
Guidelines for Information Literacy in the Curriculum
from The Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Information Competence, California State University (CSU)

"In April, 1995, California State University created the Information Competence Work Group. Our charge was to develop an information competence program for the CSU. The links shown below give you access to our reports and details about campus-based information competence projects."

The Information Literacy Initiative at Walter E. Helmke Library
Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne


"Establishing empirical standards for information literacy demands that librarians and the teaching faculty collaborate closely. The contemporary approach calls for librarians to develop programs and services that prepare instructors to integrate information skills and concepts into their own courses (Smith 1997; Lampert 2003). Librarians and instructors working together are best qualified to devise exercises and other disciplinary-specific assessment measures through which students demonstrate their attainment of agreed-upon information literacy proficiencies."

The Instruction Commons
Iowa State University


"Originally, the Instruction Commons program was a four-year grant project known as the Undergrad Commons. It was co-funded by the ISU Library and the Carver Charitable Trust. As the Instruction Commons, the scope of this program now includes all levels of the ISU curricula, including undergraduate, graduate, and special classes with a library research instruction component. The Instruction Commons is an information literacy program designed to integrate electronic resources and library research instruction into ISU classes. Librarians partnering with Iowa State University teaching faculty are providing a new approach to teaching ISU students about the effective use of networked electronic information and publications, along with more traditional print resources."


Integrating Information Literacy Into the Curriculum


PPT: "Information literacy cannot be effectively implemented as an add-on to a course or to a curriculum. It needs to be thoroughly integrated into the design of courses and reflected in objectives for both individual courses and the entire curriculum."

Integrating Information Literacy into the General Education Curriculum: Resources for Louisiana Colleges and Universities

"Because competence in research and the use of sources, or information literacy, is expected of every undergraduate student, academic institutions are incorporating it, together with other essential skills and understandings, into general education curricula. Two trends in higher education are driving these initiatives: assessment of demonstrated student learning outcomes; and institutional strategic planning and self-regulation accountable to accreditation standards. This directory accordingly provides resources to support such initiatives."

Assessment

A Framework for ICT Literacy

"In January 2001, Educational Testing Service (ETS) convened an international panel to study the growing importance of existing and emerging Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and their relationship to literacy. The focus of the panel's deliberations was to:

  • examine the need for measures of ICT literacy, and
  • develop a workable framework for assessing and studying ICT literacy.

ETS is pleased to make the final report of the International ICT Literacy Panel available online."

Measuring Literacy in a World Gone Digital
by Tom Zeller, Jr.
January 17, 2005

This New York Times article examines The Information and Communications Technology literacy assessment test from the Educational Testing Service.

Resources to recommend? Broken links? Please e-mail Susan.