By Meredith Farkas | October 26, 2010
I mentioned in my most recent post that our VPAA (Vice President of Academic Affairs) recently gave me the green light to form an information literacy committee chaired by myself and made up of faculty representatives from each of the six academic Schools and a representative from Academic Computing. It took me a while to wrangle representatives from each of the academic schools, but we’re finally holding our first meeting next Monday. I’m extremely excited! I feel like we at the library have spent the past few years really laying the groundwork for developing a University-wide information literacy plan. We’ve built relationships with faculty, increased our instructional role in many Schools, and started doing more with outcomes-based assessment. We’re now at a good place to start working at at a more macro-level (rather than professor by professor) to really integrate information literacy instruction and assessment into the curriculum.
The first meeting is going to be focused on figuring out how we’re going to determine whether, how, and where information literacy is being taught and assessed in each major. This involves not only defining what we mean by “information literacy” (and remember that I’m the only librarian on this committee, so it’ll probably be based more on how our General Education Goal 1 defines information literacy than the ACRL definition) but also figuring out how to look at each class being taught in a major to determine whether information literacy is being taught and assessed. It’s easy for me to get with my library colleagues and determine which classes we are teaching, what we’re covering and whether or not we do an assessment in the class, but much more difficult to determine when the faculty are doing the information literacy instruction. And I know in some areas, a lot of information literacy instruction is happening outside of the library while in other areas, pretty much nothing at all is happening.
What I’m looking for are some suggestions for how we could go about doing this inventory of information literacy instruction and assessment in each major. Have you done something like this at your institution? How did you determine whether information literacy was being taught or assessed in a class? If you haven’t done anything like this, do you have any ideas for how it might be done? I really want to make sure we do this inventory in a systematic way so that we get good data that will inform the creation of an information literacy plan. I’m just not yet sure what the best way is to go about it.
Your feedback would be greatly appreciated, whether it’s based on experience or just a wild idea that popped out of your head while reading this post. Thanks!!!