Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Information Literacy: Valuable for Both Lower- and Upper-division Undergraduates

Here's a message I shared on the Information-literacy and instruction listserv.  Thought it might be good to share on my blog:

Information literacy should not be placed solely in the lower-division, undergraduate courses.  They should be integrated into the upper-division courses, where students should be learning about the resources, evaluation methods, and legal uses of information specific to their field of study.

One of my colleagues who recently served on the Curriculum Council succeeded in pitching the idea of information literacy.  In fact, with the recent campus move to update and improve our general education requirements, the committee added an information-literacy component to the list of desired student learning outcomes.  According to the GenEd Revision Committee, each Idaho State University student ought to "locate relevant sources and use them critically and responsibly."

Now we need to create a one-credit course to help students fulfill this objective.  We are working to collaborate with departments, so that appropriate courses already in the catalog may include information-literacy components.  Hopefully, we can teach the teachers and help them teach their students to become information literate in their fields.  In other words, we like the idea of courses in the major requiring information-literacy components.

We are also working to get a librarian on the correct committee that oversees the GenEd program to ensure that any courses designated as an IL course do indeed incorporate IL components.

If you have ideas on creating IL courses, becoming embedded in upper-division courses, and working with departments, please continue to share on this listserv.  I've been searching the archives.

For any who are interested, below are some links to our GenEd revisions and outcomes:
Thank you for letting me share what I consider a success, though it is just the beginning for us.

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