Presentation Title

From Information Literacy to Critical Thinking: Reaching and Teaching Millennials on a Community College Budget

Location

Room 100 (Auditorium)

Type of Presentation

Panel (1 hour and 15 minutes presentation total for two or more presenters)

Target Audience

Higher Education

Abstract

To be successful in the academic setting, college students have always been asked to develop their writing and research skills. Today, in a world where advancements in technology, communication, and information access have exploded, students need to be able to do more than find information. They need to take that information and ask pertinent questions about it, challenge the reasoning behind assumptions and conclusions, think outside the box in meaningful, innovative, and creative formats, and put two and two together in ways that have legitimate real world applications.

In 2013, our school, Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory NC, proposed a concise and specific Quality Enhancement Plan. It reads as follows: “The purpose of this QEP is to enhance students’ critical thinking abilities through improving information literacy skills.” This presentation will explore methods and approaches used by two CVCC faculty members to move students from a foundation of information literacy to becoming active critical thinkers. Additionally, these efforts take place in a community college setting where funding and resources are much more limited than at the university level. For this reason, a wide variety of approaches are used to engage students of various learning styles, and to encourage them to buy into not only the “what” of information, but also the “why”, the “how”, and most importantly, the “therefore…”. We believe the role of college faculty, as well as college librarians, is not to simply facilitate the acquisition of knowledge by students, but to inspire and motivate students---motivate them to move beyond knowing and become active in doing. Based on what employers have repeatedly told us, we would argue that highly-developed critical thinking skills are ultimately far more valuable to the individual, to the potential employer, and to society as a whole than any traditional job training. It is through teaching students to consider, examine, question, challenge, and research with a critical eye that they become more than place-holders in a constantly changing economy. They become more productive employees, better informed citizens, and better human beings.

Presentation Description

In the fall of 2013, all faculty and librarians at Catawba Valley Community College were told to implement a Quality Enhancement Plan. This plan advocated information literacy through critical thinking and very little funding was provided. This session details the successes and struggles that two faculty members had along with the methods used to reach millennial students.

Keywords

Critical thinking, real-world application, millennials, technology, learning styles, lifelong learning.

Publication Type and Release Option

Event

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Sep 15th, 1:15 PM Sep 15th, 2:30 PM

From Information Literacy to Critical Thinking: Reaching and Teaching Millennials on a Community College Budget

Room 100 (Auditorium)

To be successful in the academic setting, college students have always been asked to develop their writing and research skills. Today, in a world where advancements in technology, communication, and information access have exploded, students need to be able to do more than find information. They need to take that information and ask pertinent questions about it, challenge the reasoning behind assumptions and conclusions, think outside the box in meaningful, innovative, and creative formats, and put two and two together in ways that have legitimate real world applications.

In 2013, our school, Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory NC, proposed a concise and specific Quality Enhancement Plan. It reads as follows: “The purpose of this QEP is to enhance students’ critical thinking abilities through improving information literacy skills.” This presentation will explore methods and approaches used by two CVCC faculty members to move students from a foundation of information literacy to becoming active critical thinkers. Additionally, these efforts take place in a community college setting where funding and resources are much more limited than at the university level. For this reason, a wide variety of approaches are used to engage students of various learning styles, and to encourage them to buy into not only the “what” of information, but also the “why”, the “how”, and most importantly, the “therefore…”. We believe the role of college faculty, as well as college librarians, is not to simply facilitate the acquisition of knowledge by students, but to inspire and motivate students---motivate them to move beyond knowing and become active in doing. Based on what employers have repeatedly told us, we would argue that highly-developed critical thinking skills are ultimately far more valuable to the individual, to the potential employer, and to society as a whole than any traditional job training. It is through teaching students to consider, examine, question, challenge, and research with a critical eye that they become more than place-holders in a constantly changing economy. They become more productive employees, better informed citizens, and better human beings.