Dear Tame the Web community,
As an information literacy librarian at a southern university, I have been charged with developing and teaching a one credit undergraduate information literacy course for business students. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, not so much. The problem is that I don’t want it to be just another information literacy course (no offense to information literacy courses). I want to take it out of the classroom, into the real world, out of the library databases and into free, quality information they will have to use once they get outside of college and into their jobs. And of course I want to inspire them to be curious about the world, information, the connectedness of it all and how it affects their lives.
The challenges are plentiful. One being that the course is only one credit. That means that I have about 6 weeks to help business students learn the concept of information literacy, the concept of research, how to use keywords, Internet searching, database searching in several rather unintuitive business databases, privacy, plagiarism, citing, evaluating information and seemingly everything else under the information literacy/metaliteracy umbrella.
In order to break this all down, here are things I feel I have to do to stay within the pre-determined course objectives and course description.
Things I have to do:
Teach business databases to ensure success in college research
Articulate the meaning of and need for information literacy skills
Keep the work for the course under 3-6 hours per week
Create both a face-to-face and online course
Use Moodle as a CMS
Things I want to do:
Incorporate social media/online communities (related to research) into the course
Use a scaffolded, creative, interesting course project that includes a final project with my current leading idea being to incorporate the job search and research necessary (company, industry, financial health and consumer/investor) to write a cover letter and prep for an interview
Develop students learning objectives that reflect metaliteracy principles
Create a vibrant online space where students feel connected, engaged and challenged
Basically, I want to make the course cool, practical and useful. I want the students to learn important concepts that will follow them their entire life and have a good experience doing it. Am I worried too much about the students liking the course? Maybe. Do I have a high standard because I have been in some pretty exceptional online learning spaces and want to replicate? Definitely yes.
But how do you do an online community that is exciting and challenging (but not too challenging) in an undergraduate environment in 6 weeks? How do you do that with students who may only be in the class because they are in desperate need of one extra credit to stay a full-time student?
So many questions and so little answers – at least so far. At this point, you may be wondering why this post is on Tame the Web. Michael has been kind enough to allow me to use his blog as a forum for my thoughts, fears, pressures, questions and ideas and because I am developing this course as an independent study course with Michael as my last class in a Post-Master’s Degree Certificate Program at SJSU SLIS.
So, I am reaching out and open to suggestions, ideas, examples, thoughts, hope and communication from my professional community. If you would like to get in touch, please feel free to leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am so looking forward to your thoughts on my slightly idealistic and currently messy potential information literacy course for business students.
Terri Artemchik is an Information Literacy Librarian at Coastal Carolina University’s Kimbel Library. She has an MLIS from Dominican University and is finishing up a Post-Master’s Certificate Program in Digital Services & Emerging Technologies from San Jose State University’s School of Library & Information Science.