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4) Special features of program relevant to this grant based on the checklist items which deal with “extent of your Information Literacy program”:

Potential Austin Peay State University (APSU) courses which could be targeted for this project include Psychometrics (3000 level) and Psychology Research Methods (3000 level), Social Work Practice Methods II (3000 level) and HIV and Social Work (4000 level), a graduate Health Research course (5000 level) and two freshman level courses.  Detailed collaboration with the Psychometrics instructor, who specializes in assessment, is described in the Librarian/Faculty Collaboration Section (6) below.

Thirteen years ago, APSU Library faculty worked with Composition and Speech faculty to develop the two Writing, Speaking and Researching across the Curriculum courses offered through the Heritage Program.  HUM 1010 covers writing, speaking and researching in the sciences, social sciences and history; HUM 1020, covers writing about literature.  Library instruction with graded library assignments is integrated with the documented essays and speeches that students write and deliver.  Librarians participate regularly in class discussion.  They work closely with the Composition and Speech instructors to integrate information literacy into the writing, speaking and researching processes that students learn.  Present course assessment includes student perception essays regarding the writing, speaking, and researching components, as well as instructor feedback and a review/revision process by librarians each semester.  The ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education and the ACRL Instruction Section Objectives for Information Literacy Instruction by Academic Librarians (First Draft) are being used to improve Heritage library instruction, which in turn, shapes course-related instruction found elsewhere on campus.

Both the Library’s Mission Statement and Goals and the University’s Mission Statement address information skills and lifelong learning.  Below are pertinent excerpts:

“Foremost among its functions is teaching and the provision of information literacy opportunities to all levels of the University community, in order to equip its members with the skills needed to be competent life-long learners.”  - Library Mission Statement

“Emphasize role of teaching and instruction in all venues and forms, including individual and technology-based instruction and formal course-integrated sessions.”–Library Goal 1

“Develop creative mechanisms enhancing the Library’s constituents’ information literacy, critical thinking skills, and life-long learning.”–Library Goal 2

“Curricula promote critical thinking, communication and information skills, leadership, and a commitment to lifelong learning.” –University Mission Statement

Faculty Orientation sessions are offered regularly for new faculty and academic department liaisons.  Workshops are scheduled with individual departments; currently, the User Education Librarian is preparing a faculty workshop about the Library’s electronic literature resources.  Using these electronic resources to enhance students’ information literacy skills will be discussed.  Also during Spring, 2001, a campus-wide information literacy workshop is planned for faculty.  Selected faculty will be invited to serve on a team to guide implementation of the Information Literacy Action Plan developed by the User Education Librarian during the August, 2000 ACRL Information Literacy Immersion Institute.  For more information about this Action Plan, which involves assessing learning outcomes, see the Institutional Support Section (5) below.


5) “Special aspects of institutional support that would be relevant to this grant”:

“The educational experience is complemented and expanded through creative use of technology, interdisciplinary programs, team teaching, cooperative learning, community service, international programs, and collaborative research between faculty and students.” – University Mission Statement   APSU library faculty have strong institutional support.  Their involvement in curricular initiatives (e.g. the Heritage Program), in technology planning and in collaboration with other faculty is encouraged and rewarded.  Professional development opportunities such as the ACRL Information Literacy Immersion Institute have been fully supported.

APSU librarians have a long history of working closely with other faculty and computing staff in various ventures, such as providing Internet training for Tennessee

K-12 teachers and public librarians.  We serve as members and leaders of the campus Technology Board, the Academic Technology Council, the Technology Funding Review Committee and the Campus Computer Lab Committee, which were all formed as a result of a strong grassroots movement in which several librarians were involved.  In addition, the Library’s Acting Dean serves as an academic adviser.

The APSU Library provides a full array of electronic based resources and online instructional materials via the Library’s Website at <http://library.apsu.edu>.  These resources are available anywhere at anytime.  Institutional support for the Library’s instruction program has been very strong.  In 1994, the User Education Librarian wrote a proposal seeking funding for a Library Instruction and Computer Room (LICR) in preparation for the advent of electronic information sources.  That same year, University administrators responded with over $110,000 to build and equip the LICR with 24 computers, 12 printers, a LCD projector and a video networking system.  In 1998, all computers, printers and the video networking system were replaced.  Funding for a laptop computer and portable LCD projector to provide distance instruction were recently approved.  A third replacement cycle for LICR computers and printers occurs next year.

The latest instructional support from APSU administration resulted in the User Education Librarian participating in the ACRL Information Literacy ‘00 Immersion Institute in Seattle last August.  In the Case Study written prior to the Institute and the Action Plan developed during the Institute, the User Education Librarian focused on formalizing information literacy activities on the APSU campus and developing an implementation timetable.  The plan includes selecting a team of library faculty and other campus faculty to guide the process of

 

·        creating local student information literacy outcomes based on the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education

·        reviewing and modifying instruction to teach toward these outcomes, and

·        developing a means to assess these outcomes

Efforts are currently underway to implement this plan, including finalizing a definition of information literacy for the APSU Community.  Participation by the User Education Librarian in this grant project will build on the assessment training received during the Immersion Institute.  Moreover, this project’s training will greatly enhance current efforts by Library and other faculty to develop outcomes and assessment measures over the next two years in preparation for APSU’s Self-Study and SACS Accreditation Visit.

6) “Special aspects of collaboration between librarians and faculty on your campus as they would relate to this grant”:

I maintain contact with other faculty about new web sites, electronic resources, problem assignments and instructional opportunities through a variety of means, including Bibliobytes (the weekly Library electronic newsletter), workshops, electronic mail and phone calls. Collaboration between instruction librarians and other faculty occurs throughout the curriculum.  We teach Developmental English students how to use reference sources in understanding allusions, Psychometrics students how to find and incorporate test review information in papers, and Social Work students how to search for and evaluate  HIV web information pages.  Between 1986 and 2001, instruction has grown from 57 sessions to 136 sessions per year.  Eight new instructional sessions were designed during the 2000-2001 academic year.  We have set a firm foundation and have cultivated strong connections, which will ensure our successful participation in this project.

This past year, I worked with others to redesign the APSU Library’s Website <http://library.apsu.edu>.  The previous website was reviewed, information was organized in a new way and additional information was included.  This is a dynamic process in which high priority is given to the integration of instructional materials designed for use by distance learners, by faculty and during instruction sessions.  A recent Bibliobytes issue encourages faculty to “Stamp Out Student Information Illiteracy” by using these materials with their students.

Two years ago, I collaborated two other faculty members to create a web-based Psychology Research Guide <http://library.apsu.edu/guides/1_3_20.htm> for a Psychometrics (3000 level) course.  One faculty member is a psychology professor and an assessment specialist who also happens to serve on the American Psychological Association’s STP Task Force on Information Literacy Standards.  The other faculty member is a librarian who serves as Webmaster of both our Library Website and the Tennessee Library Association Website.  Initially, I met regularly with the psychology professor to brainstorm about what types of information to include in the Guide.  Once we decided on the types of information to include, we began writing content and searching for web-based sources we wanted to link within the Guide.  The Library Webmaster, loaded the web pages, created hyperlinks and designed a way to add the psychology faculty member’s comments to sample papers within the Guide.  The Guide has been used during instruction team-taught by the psychology professor and myself for three semesters.  This course is a potential target for ongoing assessment as part of this grant project.

Contributing to ACRL’s efforts to create baseline data supporting the merits of information literacy programs through this project will help us to design and implement assessment of information skills as we prepare for self-study and the SACS accreditation process.  Collaboration with faculty and campus leadership experiences will enable me to lead a campus project team.  The Immersion Institute provided me with training in instructional design/programmatic development, information literacy, assessment, systems thinking/change, and teaching, learning & technology, which enhances my ability to lead team’s efforts.  A strong desire to improve student learning outcomes in information literacy is evident in the Immersion Institute Action Plan process I outlined in Section 5) above.  Librarians are already involved in several potential target courses, which are taught by faculty who embrace collaborative opportunities with librarians.  

 


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