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Best Practices in Information Literacy Invitational Conference

 
Austin Peay State University (APSU) Executive Summary

Program Description
Information literacy opportunities are offered to the APSU community through course-integrated instruction, course-related instructional sessions, faculty workshops and one-on-one assistance for both students and faculty.  Information literacy is a major library strategic planning goal and is tied to the University Strategic Plan.  As a result of the development of an Information Literacy Action Plan for APSU during the Institute for Information Literacy Immersion Program ’00, an Information Literacy Initiative was set into motion during Spring 2001.  APSU’s Woodward Library is one of 23 academic libraries selected to participate in the national IMLS/ACRL Assessing Student Learning Outcomes in Information Literacy: Training Academic Librarians Project.  Our local project involves assessing students in two Humanities 1010-1020 Writing, Speaking and Researching across the Curriculum courses, which library faculty have team-taught since 1988.  Two library faculty are currently engaged in team-teaching an online Multimedia Literacy course.  Portions of all five of the ACRL Information Literacy Standards for Higher Education are addressed in this course, which will be highlighted in a forthcoming Library Trends issue on Teaching and Assessing Information Skills edited by Hannelore Rader.  APSU Librarians have been instrumental at the state level, both in providing Internet training to K-12 teachers and librarians and to public librarians, as well as serving on taskforces related to the development of the Tennessee Board of Regents Virtual Library, which supports online courses.  Please note that all APSU User Education Program documents may be accessed through the APSU Instructional Services webpage (see http://library.apsu.edu/library/3_9.htm).

Program Uniqueness and Success
The APSU Library User Education Program is unique because it has achieved a high level of support from the faculty, administration and librarians.  APSU librarians and faculty have a long history of collaboration.  APSU librarians are dedicated to providing information literacy opportunities to the APSU Community and have found innovative ways to accomplish them.  The success of information literacy in the Heritage Program, the invitation to develop and team-teach an online multimedia literacy course and the funding of the multimedia lab all indicate program success.  A good foundation for future assessment is being laid as a result of Immersion Program training and participation in the national IMLS/ACRL Assessing Student Learning Outcomes in Information Literacy Project.  Regular outreach regarding information literacy occurs.  In all, much is being accomplished with limited resources.  The APSU Team wishes to build on the success of the present program and create a true campus-wide information literacy program which meets the needs of all APSU students, both those living on-campus and those engaged in distance learning. 
Contact Person
: Lori Buchanan, User Education Librarian and Professor 


Best Practices in Information Literacy Invitational Conference

Austin Peay State University 
Program Description 

Links to all local information literacy-related documents appear in the online version of this description found at http://library.apsu.edu/library/3_9ILI.htm.

  I.  Program and Team Members

Woodward Library User Education Program (soon to evolve into APSU Information Literacy Services)

Team members who will attend conference if invited:
Bruce Speck, Vice President for Academic Affairs, currently leads the work of the Liberal Arts Concept Development Committee, plans to begin a campus-wide focus on pedagogy, and expresses an interest in integrating information literacy (IL) throughout the curriculum.  Dr. Speck holds a PhD in Rhetoric and Composition, has coordinated a Writing Across the Curriculum Program and has written about principles of effective teaching.
Ted Jones, Associate Professor of Mass Communication, teaches HUM 1010-1020; wrote a dissertation about presentation styles and information technology use in distance education; collaborated with Lori Buchanan and DeAnne Luck to develop an online Multimedia Literacy course.  This course will be highlighted in an article, entitled “Integrating Information Literacy into the Virtual University: A Case Study”, submitted for a forthcoming Library Trends issue on Teaching and Assessing Information Skills edited by Hannelore Rader.
Deborah Fetch, Director of Library Services, recently led the APSU Library Faculty through development of a new Library Strategic Plan, which lists as its first goal, “To integrate information literacy into all students' educational experience”; collaborated with Lori and DeAnne in a statewide effort to educate K-12 teachers and librarians about the Internet.
DeAnne Luck, Electronic Resources Librarian and Library Webmaster, teaches HUM 1010-1020 and conducts 10% of all instruction.
Lori Buchanan, User Education Librarian, trained in the Institute for Information Literacy Immersion 2000 Program; currently participates in the national IMLS/ACRL Assessing Student Learning Outcomes in Information Literacy Programs: Training Academic Librarians Project; coordinates HUM 1010-1020 IL instruction; conducts 30-35% of all instruction.
Additional APSU team members:
Elaine Berg, Document Delivery & Distance Education Librarian conducts 15% of instruction and teaches HUM 1010-1020.
Anne Berwind, Head of Information Services, teaches HUM 1010-1020.
Sean Hogan, Instruction Librarian (new), teaches HUM 1010-1020, conducts 40% of instruction, & oversees Library Instruction and Computer Room.
Chuck McCann, Media Services Librarian (new), oversees Multimedia Lab.

 II. Brief Program History

In 1986, the User Education Program was formalized with the hiring of a User Education Librarian.  Humanities 1010-1020 Writing, Speaking and Researching across the Curriculum, which is part of the Heritage Program (alternative liberal arts core), was developed and first taught by a team of composition, communication and library faculty in 1988. 

A proposal to build a Library Instruction and Computer Room (24 computer stations and instructional equipment) was accepted and funded by the APSU administration in 1994.  This facility allows students to engage in instruction sessions which include active learning experiences, especially important with the advent of Library’s online catalog and networked electronic databases.

Between 1995 and 2001, the User Education Program continued to evolve as the Library integrated additional electronic resources and technologies.  Formal instruction and one-on-one instruction at the Information Desk continued to work in tandem.  Instruction also became a goal of the Library’s website, distance education and Ask a Librarian (email/live chat reference).

A pivotal point for the User Education Program came in 2000 during the Institute for Information Literacy Immersion Program, where the User Education Librarian received important training in instructional design, program development, information literacy standards and assessment, systems thinking & change and teaching, learning & technology.  The development of an institutional case study and an information literacy action plan at the Institute moved the program further down its evolutionary path.

Current Program Activities

§         creation of Information Literacy Initiative webpage containing key documents, examples of local partnerships and links to national sites;

§         promotion of information literacy through a Bibliobytes (electronic newsletter) six-week series;

§         participation in the national IMLS/ACRL Assessing Student Learning Outcomes in Information Literacy Programs: Training Academic Librarians Project, which includes development & implementation of a local assessment plan;

§         development of and team-teaching online multimedia literacy course;

§         refocus of team-teaching in the Heritage Program using assessment plan developed for national IMLS/ACRL Project;

§         facilitation of the local Information Literacy Initiative Team’s work-in-progress on Information Literacy Services Mission Statement, Program Goals and Objectives, and Articulation Across the Curriculum plan;

§         participation on team guiding implementation of Ask the Librarian (email and live chat) and on team overseeing library website design;

§         proposing (newly approved) multimedia lab, which will allow a team of librarians and faculty to assist faculty integration of multimedia and information literacy into their courses; and

§         collaboration with other Tennessee academic librarians to provide instructional materials for the Tennessee Board of Regents Virtual Library which supports online degree courses.

III. Best Practices Categories exemplified in the APSU Program

The APSU Program exemplifies best practices in the designated categories of Administrative & Institutional Support, Collaboration with Classroom Faculty, Staff, Outreach, and Assessment.

Administrative & Institutional Support

The User Education Librarian is responsible for the information literacy program.  Articulated support for information literacy is found in the Library’s Mission Statement and Strategic Plan.  The Strategic Plan states that the current program will evolve into Information Literacy Services, and lead the University in information literacy.

Collaboration among faculty and other University staff is recognized and rewarded through the annual retention, tenure and promotion processes.  The User Education Librarian and other library faculty are encouraged to serve on university standing committees with other faculty, administrators and staff, which leads to important relationships, as well as development of new knowledge and contributions to various efforts, such as academic technology, advisement, faculty development and governance.  More details about collaboration between classroom and library faculty appears below.

Staffing, continuing education and other resources for information literacy efforts have received high priority through the years.  Examples include the

§         addition of two new positions: instruction & media services librarians;

§         support for attendance at the Institute for Information Literacy Immersion 2000 Program; supplemental support for participation in the national IMLS/ACRL Assessment Project; support for participation in preconferences and workshops related to information literacy, leadership and staff development;

§         creation of the Library Instruction and Computer Room, which is now receiving its third equipment upgrade of computers and printers; contains a LCD projector and video networking system;

§         purchase of computer and LCD projector for distance instruction; and

§         creation of the University’s Multimedia Lab housed in Media Services.

Collaboration with Classroom Faculty

Communication about information literacy within the APSU community occurs through Bibliobytes (electronic newsletter), through regular updates to the Information Literacy Initiative webpage, and through faculty orientations to the Library services, collections and electronic databases.  An Information Literacy Initiative presentation was created and presented to faculty in March & April, 2001; a team of faculty and librarians who will lead information literacy efforts on campus was identified at this time.

For the past thirteen years, information literacy concepts which help students develop lifelong learning skills were integrated in the HUM 1010-1020 (Heritage Program) course syllabi constructed by librarians, composition and communication faculty.  Revamping information literacy instructional materials covering the search protocols and evaluation criteria learning outcomes targeted for assessment in the IMLS/ACRL Project was a major focus during Fall, 2001.  Heritage course-integrated library instruction experiences traditionally influence the course-related instruction provided in other sessions requested by faculty.

As a direct result of the Initiative presentations to faculty and the work of librarians in the Heritage Program, Lori Buchanan and DeAnne Luck were invited by Ted Jones to develop and team-teach a new online Multimedia Literacy course.  All three will receive extra monetary compensation for development of this online course.

Collaboration between classroom faculty and librarians to integrate information literacy concepts into courses resulted in a Psychology Research Guide webpage, as well as webpages providing specific examples for citing online and print sources in APA format and MLA format.  Additional examples of collaboration with faculty may be found on the Information Literacy Initiative webpage.

Librarians and faculty have partnered in developing assignments, courses, pedagogy, and an alternative core curriculum.  Continuous improvement occurs as a result of reviewing student perception essays and instructor feedback.  A review/revision process by the librarians occurs each semester.  See Assessment section for additional information.

Staff

APSU librarians possess broad experiences and depth of expertise in teaching information literacy, as evidenced in the collaborations discussed above.  The User Education Librarian has 18 years of instructional experience.  She received additional training during the Information Literacy Immersion Program and through participation in the IMLS/ACRL Assessing Student Information Literacy Learning Outcomes Project.  The new Instruction Librarian took over management of the day-to-day operations of the Library Instruction and Computer Room, which serves as a student lab when not in use as an information literacy classroom.  In addition, he teaches 40% of the information literacy sessions.  His assumption of these duties frees the User Education Librarian to devote more time to facilitating program development.

Defining APSU librarian characteristics related to instruction include

·        five APSU Librarians, with 60 years of combined teaching experience;

·        a new Media Services Librarian possessing graphic design experience;

·        a Library Webmaster with six years of experience in website design and construction (she currently serves as the Tennessee Library Association Webmaster);

·        a partnership with Distance Education Staff to create the University’s Multimedia Lab in which librarians, faculty and other specialists will collaborate to assist faculty integrating multimedia & information literacy within the curriculum.

Outreach

APSU Librarians utilize Bibliobytes (electronic newsletter to faculty), Woodward Words (electronic newsletter to students), and InnerAction (APSU campus electronic newsletter) to reach members of the campus community.

Information Literacy articles also appear in campus and local news media. 

Information literacy is discussed in academic department meetings and faculty/staff development sessions, as well as in the Library’s annual report and web pages.  Special information literacy workshops are arranged.  The new multimedia lab will provide an additional way to reach faculty.

APSU Librarians work with local school classes.  They helped in a statewide effort to train Tennessee K-12 teachers and librarians and public librarians in use of the Internet.  Four APSU librarians currently work on Taskforces of Tennessee academic librarians collaborating to design information literacy related materials for the Tennessee Board of Regents Virtual Library.  This Virtual Library will help meet the needs of Tennessee’s online students.

Assessment

Sporadic assessment of library skills, mostly obtained through student perception surveys, occurred at APSU prior to 2000.  The Heritage courses included some additional assessment techniques.  Last year, the User Education Librarian developed a renewed interest in assessment during Immersion Program training.  The APSU Information Literacy Action Plan states a need for formalized assessment of APSU student information literacy learning outcomes. 

The local Assessment Project Report required for the IMLS/ACRL Assessment of Student Information Literacy Learning Outcomes Project was completed recently.  This plan targets summative assessment of information literacy objectives related to the search protocols and evaluative criteria learned by students in the two Heritage courses.

Multiple assessment methods, including pretest/posttest questions, two assignments with checklists/scoring rubrics, peer & self-evaluations, and research logs, were developed and used to assess the same competencies several times.  The research log entries are being posted in the Blackboard (online) environment, using knowledge the librarians gained in teaching the online Multimedia Literacy course.  Integration with course and curriculum assessment may be done on an informal basis in Heritage; however, those librarians team-teaching the Multimedia Literacy course with Ted Jones are working with him to integrate assessment of information literacy learning outcomes with course and curriculum assessment.  All assessment results will be used in the upcoming SACS accreditation visit.

Participating in this national assessment project affords APSU librarians the chance to build an information literacy program using the necessary building blocks which include

§      implementing a formal instructional planning process;

§      incorporation of the new Information Literacy (IL) Standards;

§      articulation of IL skills taught from freshmen through graduate years;

§      integration of IL concepts within the appropriate disciplines; and

§      inclusion of assessment for IL learning outcomes.

As a result, program-level formative assessment is occurring.

APSU is progressing toward the best practices level for Mission, Goals & Objectives, Planning, Articulation with the Curriculum, and Pedagogy.  Elements which already exist or are under development include

§         working definition of information literacy (IL);

§         institutional and library mission statements supportive of IL;

§         IL Case Study/Action Plan to use as a starting point for discussion;

§         established IL Initiative Team made up of librarians and faculty who will plan a program, write a mission statement and goals & objectives, and implement the integration of information literacy into the curriculum for traditional and distance education environments;

§         familiarity and understanding of the new ACRL IL Standards for Higher Education and the ACRL/IS Objectives for Information Literacy Instruction: A Model Statement for Academic Librarians;

§         emphasis on students learning in context of their courses’

§         use of teaching methods most appropriate to the local environment;

§         incorporation of active and collaborative learning activities;

§         building on the existing knowledge that students possess;

§         relating IL to on-going course work; and

§         experimentation with a wide variety of methods.

Most Problematic Category

Articulation with the Curriculum was initially identified as a desirable objective by the User Education Librarian for inclusion in the Library’s Strategic Plan.  However, because of the number of objectives already in the Strategic Plan, the Library Faculty decided to exclude articulation for now.  In APSU’s context, “articulation” means integration of information literacy learning outcomes which progress in complexity and carry throughout students’ academic careers, rather than a single one-shot session.  APSU instruction is “articulated” with the curriculum in that librarians teach specifically to the assignments at hand.

The majority of the User Education Program’s course-related sessions are presently generated through faculty requests. Therefore, it is anticipated that a well-structured plan needs to be written, meetings with academic departments scheduled, and careful communication with individual faculty occur, in order to redirect instruction and fully embrace articulation. 

IV. Evidence of Program Success

Between 1986-87 and 2000-01, the number of instruction sessions grew  from 57 sessions to 131, representing a 130% increase.    A new surge in the number of instruction sessions is presently occurring, with Fall, 2001 sessions (96) outpacing Fall, 2000 sessions (76) by 26%.  The number of students reached has increased by 153% in the past 15 years.  Within the last year, several new partnerships with faculty were formed.  The success of information literacy in the Heritage Program, the invitation to develop and team-teach an online multimedia literacy course and the funding of the multimedia lab all indicate program success.  The APSU Team wishes to build on the success of the present program and create a true campus-wide information literacy program which meets the needs of all APSU students, both those living on-campus and those engaged in distance learning.

V. Program Uniqueness and Conference Contribution

The APSU Library User Education Program is unique because it has achieved a high level of support from the faculty, administration and librarians.  The Program’s librarians have a long history of collaboration with faculty.  APSU librarians are dedicated to providing information literacy opportunities to APSU students and have found innovative ways to accomplish this.  Regular outreach occurs.  A good foundation for future assessment is being laid.  Much is being accomplished with limited resources.

The APSU team is poised to contribute to this conference by sharing our experiences with

·        active, ongoing, evolving curriculum development with faculty;

·        joint classroom teaching experiences that contribute directly to how information literacy is being taught and learned;

·        using virtual reference and online environment technologies to engage in real-time communication with and extend immediacy of library services to students, faculty and administrators;

·        adapting, through innovative thinking and the use of technology, to do “more with less” and to evolve distance learning models;

·        contributing as generalists to the learning/collaboration process while maintaining library-related specialties;

·        participating in evolving methods of scholarship by working with faculty on information access through new technologies;

·        promoting the interface of librarians and technology as a gateway to the multimedia world of information;

·        working on committees and forming collegial networks of expertise with faculty to solve curriculum issues; and

·        experimenting with a virtual university model.

 VI. Questions to Consider at the Invitational Conference

A.  What strategies may be employed to help evolve a User Education Program driven by faculty requests into an Information Literacy Program in which faculty and librarians work together to make sure the articulation of student information literacy skills is fully achieved?

B.  How do we ensure that our distance students, especially online degree students, achieve information literacy competencies?  What can we do beyond providing links within online courses to the Library’s website, to pages within the Library’s website, to customized pages developed with the course content and assignments in mind?  How can we encourage faculty to be open to working with librarians to include information literacy concepts within their courses?

 


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Last Updated: 24-Jun-2013 | Questions or comments to librarian@apsu.edu