Presentation Title

Offering a Three-Credit Information Literacy Course

Presenter Information

Tony Doyle, Hunter CollegeFollow

Location

Room 211

Type of Presentation

Individual paper/presentation (20 minute presentation)

Target Audience

Higher Education

Abstract

Our library has offered a one-credit information literacy class every semester since 2007. Unfortunately, time prevents those of us who teach the course from doing full justice to the core concepts of the discipline: topic selection, keyword identification, Boolean strategies, peer review, as well as other important topics like citation analysis and copyright. The constraints of the single-credit format have prompted me to devise an expanded syllabus, and in May 2012 the library dean and I presented it to our curriculum committee here at Hunter College. The response was positive, but one member of the committee expressed skepticism about a three-credit, stand-along course on information literacy. We were sent back to the drawing board. A sabbatical intervened for me in 2012-13, but the dean and I plan to meet again with the committee early next fall to make our case, directly addressing the concern raised two years ago.

We have not embarked on formal assessment of the one-credit class. We have spent some time observing each others’ classes but have yet to formalizing this process. We hope soon to introduce routine peer observations, where teachers are evaluated according to the following criteria: (1) Does the teacher spell out what she is attempting to do in the class? (2) Does she succeed in doing it? (3) Is the material covered relevant to the course outcomes and syllabus? (4) How does the teacher engage the students? We intend to assess the three-credit course similarly. The one-credit course is not discipline-specific, nor will the three-credit course be. In both courses students choose a controversial current issue to work on. The one credit-course has not involved librarian-faculty partnerships, but we hope to establish such partnerships for the three-credit course.

I propose first to talk about the contrast between the syllabus of our current one-credit course and our proposed three-credit version, focusing both on the different material that the latter covers and on its main assignments. I will justify the choices I have made, both with regard to content and with regard to the major assignments. Then I will discuss the proposal process itself: persuading the library dean to support the expanded course and making our pitch to the curriculum committee.

Please find a link to the syllabus for the proposed three-credit course at http://libguides.library.hunter.cuny.edu/threecredit.

Presentation Description

Have you thought about establishing a three-credit information literacy/research methods course on your campus? Are you seeking ideas about content or major assignments? Would you like ideas for pitching the course to your dean or chief librarian and your curriculum committee? This presentation will address these questions in the light my experience in developing and proposing such a course, as well as my long experience teaching a one-credit information literacy course.

Keywords

credit course, library instruction, research methods, research skills, syllabus

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Oct 10th, 1:15 PM Oct 10th, 2:30 PM

Offering a Three-Credit Information Literacy Course

Room 211

Our library has offered a one-credit information literacy class every semester since 2007. Unfortunately, time prevents those of us who teach the course from doing full justice to the core concepts of the discipline: topic selection, keyword identification, Boolean strategies, peer review, as well as other important topics like citation analysis and copyright. The constraints of the single-credit format have prompted me to devise an expanded syllabus, and in May 2012 the library dean and I presented it to our curriculum committee here at Hunter College. The response was positive, but one member of the committee expressed skepticism about a three-credit, stand-along course on information literacy. We were sent back to the drawing board. A sabbatical intervened for me in 2012-13, but the dean and I plan to meet again with the committee early next fall to make our case, directly addressing the concern raised two years ago.

We have not embarked on formal assessment of the one-credit class. We have spent some time observing each others’ classes but have yet to formalizing this process. We hope soon to introduce routine peer observations, where teachers are evaluated according to the following criteria: (1) Does the teacher spell out what she is attempting to do in the class? (2) Does she succeed in doing it? (3) Is the material covered relevant to the course outcomes and syllabus? (4) How does the teacher engage the students? We intend to assess the three-credit course similarly. The one-credit course is not discipline-specific, nor will the three-credit course be. In both courses students choose a controversial current issue to work on. The one credit-course has not involved librarian-faculty partnerships, but we hope to establish such partnerships for the three-credit course.

I propose first to talk about the contrast between the syllabus of our current one-credit course and our proposed three-credit version, focusing both on the different material that the latter covers and on its main assignments. I will justify the choices I have made, both with regard to content and with regard to the major assignments. Then I will discuss the proposal process itself: persuading the library dean to support the expanded course and making our pitch to the curriculum committee.

Please find a link to the syllabus for the proposed three-credit course at http://libguides.library.hunter.cuny.edu/threecredit.