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Developing An Online Information Literacy Course

Developing An Online Information Literacy Course

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Developing An Online Information Literacy Course

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  1. Developing An Online Information Literacy Course Nancy O’Hanlon Ohio State University Libraries Wuhan University, China March 2007

  2. Goals for Presentation • Provide an overview of information literacy instruction. • Discuss the online courses taught by librarians at Ohio State University. • Describe the course development process. • Provide examples of course assignments and tools for assessing student learning.

  3. Information Literacy Defined • Determine the extent of information needed. • Access information effectively and efficiently. • Evaluate information sources critically. • Incorporate information into knowledge base. • Use information effectively. • Access and use information ethically. (ACRL, 2000)

  4. How Standards Are Applied • Standard 2: The information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently. • Performance indicator: Constructs and implements effectively-designed search strategies. • Outcome: Identifies keywords, synonyms and related terms for the information needed

  5. Information Literacy in China • “While learning about computer literacy and media literacy are necessary preconditions of information literacy, they are insufficient for the Internet Age.” • Abilities needed have “grown larger, more complex, and more important as the volume of available information has mushroomed . . .” (Feicheng Ma & Cuihua Hu, 2003)

  6. U.S. Student Characteristics • Rely heavily on the Internet for information. • Ignore library information sources and services. • Act on the “principle of least effort.” • Use unsophisticated searching techniques. • Accept Web information uncritically. (Manuel, 2005)

  7. Methods for Teaching • On demand: individual use of tutorials. • Integrated into other courses (for example, Literature, History, Psychology). • Stand-alone information literacy course offered by Libraries.

  8. About Our Courses • No formal information literacy requirement for undergraduates at OSU. • Some instructors teach research skills, but may not involve librarians. • Offering our own credit courses advances the goals of our instructional program.

  9. Three Courses Offered • Internet Tools and Research Techniques (2 credits) • Advanced Online Research (2 credits) • Online Research Strategies for Career Exploration (1 credit) • See:

  10. Why Teach Online? “The student is on stage, guided by the task design created by the faculty member, accessing whatever resources might be needed, and acquiring useful knowledge from the experience.” (Boettcher, 2007)

  11. Student / Instructor Benefits • Student convenience and flexibility. • Auto-grading features of course management system (CMS).

  12. Enrollment Data

  13. Reasons for Enrollment From Autumn 2006 student survey: Why did you enroll in this course? • 60% I needed a one hour course • 13% I am interested in the course topic • 17% It was recommended by my advisor • 10% Other

  14. Enrollment and Access • Separate registration process. • Opportunity to give important information to students. • Course management system (CMS) controls access to assignments.

  15. Required Skills • Basic proficiency using Web browser and e-mail. • Ability to follow written directions. • Ability to manage time.

  16. Course Development Process • Work backward from goals and specific learning objectives. • What course content and activities will help students meet these objectives? • Can it be delivered entirely online?

  17. Student Learning Styles • Librarians love text. • Many students respond to images. • Others prefer “hands on” style. • Provide something for everyone in the online environment.

  18. Creating the Syllabus • State course goals and learning objectives. • Describe course assignments. • Discuss grading practices, policies. • Example

  19. Presenting Instructional Content • Tutorials • ExampleSearching 101 [net.TUTOR] • Readings • Example“The InfoDiet” • Movies • ExampleSearch Engine Advanced Features

  20. Incorporating Active Learning • Active learning utilizes a variety of techniques: small group discussion, hands-on projects, and teacher driven questioning. • In an online class, use: • Worksheets • Case study assignments • Discussion Forum or Chat Room in CMS

  21. Types of Online Assignments • Computer-graded • Test • Worksheet • Instructor-graded • Research assignment • Capstone

  22. Measuring Success: Testing • Many types of questions • Question “bank” minimizes cheating • Automatic and personalized feedback

  23. Measuring Success: Capstone • This assignment replaces the final exam. • Students to apply what they have learned during the course to a real world problem. • Model provided for students. • Example

  24. Program Evaluation • CMS for feedback from students. • Survey data report • CMS course data reports. • Assignment report • Question overview report • Question detail report

  25. Training New Instructors • Course taught by a variety of librarian instructors on several OSU campuses. • CMS allows us to create one course offering and copy it for use by others. • Course designed for minimal interaction of student/instructor, few grading requirements. • Short learning curve for new instructors.

  26. References ALA. Association of College & Research Libraries. 2000. Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. Available at: Boettcher, J. 2007. Ten Core Principles for Designing Effective Learning Environments: Insights from Brain Research and Pedagogical Theory. Innovate 3 (3). Available at: Manuel, K. 2005. What Do First Year Students Know About Information Research? And What Can We Teach Them? Paper presented at ACRL 12th National Conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Available at: Ma, Feicheng and Hu, Cuihua. 2003. Information Literacy, Education Reform and the Economy – China as a Case Study. White paper prepared for UNESCO Meeting, Prague, Czech Republic. Available at:

  27. Questions? Thank you for your attention.