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Information Literacy- Educational Transformation


									Information Literacy:
Transformation, Standards,
and Best Practices
Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges

A Presentation by Craig Gibson
Associate University Librarian, Public Services

George Mason University
Signs of the Times

   The Age of Yahoo and Google: the
    preferred information providers and

   Pew Internet American Life Survey
Today’s Students and the
Information-Age Mindset
   Computers aren’t technology
   The Internet is better than TV
   Reality is no longer real
   Doing is more important than knowing
   Learning resembles Nintendo more than logic
   Multi-tasking is a way of life
Today’s Students (cont’d)

 Typing is preferred to handwriting
 Staying connected is essential

 There is zero tolerance for delays

 Consumer and creator are blurring

Source: Jason L. Frand, “The Information-Age Mindset: Changes in
   Students and Implications for Higher Education.” Educause
   Review 35, no. 5 (September/October 2000): 14-24.
Enter Information Literacy . .
   “Information literates . . . have learned
    techniques and skills for utilizing the
    wide range of information tools as well
    as primary sources in molding
    information solutions to their

       --Paul Zurkowski, Information Industry Association, 1974
Enter Information Literacy/Computer
Literacy Distinction . . . .

   “Information Literacy, as opposed to
    computer literacy, means:

       -raising the level of awareness of
       individuals and enterprises to the
       knowledge explosion, and

       -[showing] how machine-aided
       handling systems can help to
       identify, access, and obtain data . .
       needed for problem-solving and
              --Forrest W. Horton, 1983
The ALA (Classic) Definition

   “To be information literate, a person
    must be able to recognize when
    information is needed, and have the
    ability to locate, evaluate, and use
    effectively the needed information.”

       --ALA Presidential Commission on Information
              Literacy Final Report, 1989
Information Literacy and Liberal
Learning (Shapiro and Hughes)
   Information Literacy encompasses the
    following “literacies”:

    -tool literacy (software, networks)
    -resource literacy (information
    -socio-structural literacy (knowledge of
        how information is created and
        socially placed)
Information Literacy and
Liberal Learning (cont’d)
   “Literacies”:
    -Research literacy: ability to use IT-based tools to work
    within a discipline
    -Publishing literacy:ability to use electronic media to
    format and disseminate research and ideas
    -Emerging technology literacy: adaptability in using new
    -Critical literacy: evaluative abilities applied to all aspects
    of information technologies

          Jeremy Shapiro and Shelley Hughes, “Information
    Literacy as a Liberal Art,” Educom Review, 31:2
    (March/April 1996). Available online at
The “Intentional Learner”: Skills
needed for the 21st Century
   “Intentional learners are integrative
    thinkers who can see connections in
    seemingly disparate information and
    draw on a wide range of knowledge to
    make decisions.”
       --American Association of Colleges and
       Universities, Greater Expectations: A New Vision
       for Learning as a Nation Goes to College:
       National Panel Report, 2002.
Skills of the “Intentional
   “Interpreting, evaluating, and using information
    discerningly from a variety of sources”

   “Integrating knowledge of various types and
    understanding complex systems”

   “Resolving difficult issues creatively by employing
    multiple systems and tools”

   “Transforming information into knowledge and
    knowledge into judgment and action”
Why Information Literacy?
(In 2004)
   Educational reform

   Student engagement

   Faculty development

   Campus culture transformation
Educational Reform

   Connections with:

       --student-centered learning

       --learning for understanding rather
       than surface learning

       --capitalizing on learning beyond
       the classroom
Shulman’s Table of Learning

 Engagement and Motivation
 Knowledge and Understanding
 Performance and Action
 Reflection and Critique
 Judgment and Design
 Commitment and Identity

Source: Lee Shulman, “Making Differences: A Table of Learning.”
   Change (November/December 2002): 37-44.
Student Engagement

   Learning communities

   Undergraduate

   Internships

   Service learning

   Experiential learning
Faculty Development

   Information literacy is a catalyst to address
    larger teaching/learning issues (process vs.
    product, critical thinking, assessment)

   Connects with faculty concerns about
    plagiarism, ethical use of information

   Helps reposition debate about use of
    technology in the curriculum
Campus Culture
   Focus on learning rather than institutional
    inputs, traditional measures of quality

   Potential for collaborative
    leadership/involvement across campus

       --computing professionals
       --assessment staff
       --student services personnel
Higher Education and the
Challenge of Collaboration
   Most faculty and academics experience
    “pedagogical solitude” (Lee Shulman, Carnegie
    Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching)

    “We think of the key/Each in his prison thinking
    of the key”—T.S. Eliot
             From “BI” to Information
                                        Course content

                    Curriculum and
                    Academic Programs

Assessment                                Scholarly
             From “BI” to Information
                                        Course content

                    Curriculum and
                    Academic Programs

Assessment                                Scholarly
             From “BI” to Information
                                        Course content

                    Curriculum and
                    Academic Programs

Assessment                                Scholarly
             From “BI” to Information
                                        Course content

                    Curriculum and            instruction/multiple
                    Academic Programs         sessions

Assessment                                Scholarly
       From “BI” to Information
                             Service learning,
                             internships, student
                             life activities

 “Cultural Envelope” of
 Higher Education

Courses and Academic

    “One-shot” instruction
    sessions offered by
     From “BI” to Information Literacy
Curricular     “One shot        Courses and       “Cultural
Dimension      sessions”        Academic          Envelope” of
                                Programs          Higher Ed
Course         Specific tools   Sequencing of     Connections
content        supporting       information       with co-
               single           literacy skills   curricular
               assignment       possible          activities

Pedagogy       Lecture,         Learning          Students as
               demo, active     communities,      leaders,
               learning         experiential      mentors,
                                learning          connections
Assessment     Immediate        Program- or       Pervasive
               formative        campus            culture of
               feedback         learning goals    assessment
Scholarly      Limited          Disciplinary      Understanding
conventions/   opportunity to   conventions,      of multiple
discourse      discuss          conversations     conversations
The Information Literacy
Curriculum and Standards

 Student learning
                     Local/Regional Consortia

      National Standards
Information Literacy
Competency Standards
   Developed in 1999/2000 by multi-
    association Task Force, including AAHE
    and ACRL

   Librarians, higher ed administrators,
    assessment specialists involved

   Endorsed by AAHE (2000) and CIC
    (Council of Independent Colleges—2003)
The Information Literacy
Standards: Content and Structure
   Five Standards

   Twenty-two
    Indicators “

   Each performance
    indicator organizes
    more specific
    learning outcomes
The Five Standards: The information
literate student      ...
   Determines the extent of the information

   Accesses needed information effectively and

   Evaluates information and its sources critically
    and incorporates selected information into his
    or her knowledge base and value system
The Five Standards (cont’d)

   Uses information effectively to accomplish a
    specific purpose

   Understands many of the economic, legal, and
    social issues surrounding the use of information
    and accesses and uses information ethically and
Information Literacy is
Everyone’s Responsibility

   Standard One: Determine the extent
    of the information needed
                  Faculty members’

                   Consultation with librarians
                   about resources
Information Literacy is
Everyone’s Responsibility

   Standard Two: Accesses needed
    information effectively and efficiently
                    Librarians as
                    to students and faculty

                     Faculty and librarians
                     collaborate to help students
                     refine search processes,

                       Computing staff help with
                       network access and
                       management issues
Standard Three: An
   “The Information literate student evaluates
    information and its sources critically and
    incorporates selected information into his or
    her knowledge base and value system.”
Standard Three

   Performance Indicator #2: “The information
    literate student articulates and applies initial
    criteria for evaluating both the information
    and its sources.”

Outcome #c.: “Examines and compares information from
  various sources in order to evaluate reliability, validity,
  accuracy, authority, timeliness, and point of view or bias.”
Student Learning Outcome (for
Communication course

   “The student will identify the political
    perspectives in three opinion journals
    selected for citing in the assigned
    paper in order to create a structured
    and balanced argument.”
Role of the Information
Literacy Standards
   Curriculum Planning Template

   Adaptability for local institutional needs

   Integration with assessment initiatives

   Collaborative relationships across campus

   Structured, developmental information
    literacy programs (vertical reach, horizontal
Pedagogies allied with
Information Literacy
   Active Learning
   Project-based Learning
   Problem-based Learning
   Internships
   Inquiry Learning
   Service Learning
Faculty Development
   What campus-wide initiatives most
    concern faculty at your college?

   What strengths and deficits of your
    students can you identify that information
    literacy would address?
Faculty Development
Implications: concerns about . .
   Plagiarism/ethical conduct

   Ineffective student research

   “Hit or miss” instruction about
    information resources

   Technology use in the curriculum
How Information Literacy gets
included in Campus Culture . . .
                    Mission statement,
 Library            planning, funding, staff
                    development, shift from BI
                    to Information Literacy

 Faculty            Curriculum committees,
                    syllabi, assignments,

 Information        Blending IT Skill
 Technology Staff   Workshops/Training w/
                    Information Literacy

  College           Mission, strategic planning,
  Administration    funding, Teaching/Learning
Best Practices for
Information Literacy
   Mission Statement: reflects priorities of all
    stakeholders in the college

   Goals and Objectives: creates measurable
    learning outcomes

   Planning: articulation of learning outcomes
    across various levels of the curriculum
Best Practices (cont’d)

   Administrative and Institutional
    Support: assignment of responsibility
    for leadership; encourages
    collaboration; and rewards

   Articulation with the Curriculum:
    sequences and integrates
Best Practices (cont’d)

   Collaboration: fuses information literacy
    concepts and disciplinary content

   Pedagogy: encourages diverse
    approaches to learning

   Staffing: professional development
    essential to redesign courses and
Best Practices (cont’d)

   Outreach: clear message regarding
    the benefits of information literacy
    communicated to the college

   Assessment/evaluation: establishes
    the process for ongoing improvement
    of the program
Best Practices at St. Olaf’s
College: A Snapshot
   Campus colloquia on information
    literacy/research skills

   Collaboration with Academic Computing

   Hands-on workshops for Faculty

   Faculty work with departments to establish
    sequences of developmental research
Best Practices at St. Olaf’s
   Discussion of information literacy within a
    disciplinary context across campus

   All first-year students experience course-
    integrated “library instruction” linked with
    research assignment

   Libraries’ web page redesigned to enhance
    information literacy instruction
A Few Notable Information
Literacy Programs
   California State University system:
    Information Competence Project

   ACS (Associated Colleges of the South):
    Information Fluency Project

   Florida International University (partnership
    with Academy of Teaching)

   Earlham College (pioneer in course-
    integrated instruction)
Summing up . . . Information
   Connects all constituencies across campus

   Weaves information resources and
    practiced skill with them into the curriculum;
    promotes curricular revitalization

   Challenges students to become engaged
    and thoughtful as they prepare for their
    professions and for citizenship

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