Here is my quick information literacy update, but some of this information has changed a bit since yesterday. I’ll update again, probably this weekend.
1. The Council of Instructional Administrators (CIA) has a format that each Gen Ed (GE) area uses for listing outcomes and criteria. This formatted document is called the AAOT Outcomes and Criteria (Go to the OUS site “Criteria for Transferable General Education Courses” and scroll down to the document in blue)
2. Each GE area has a student based performance outcome (i.e., a statement that describes what the student will be able to do as a result of completing the AAOT) and a list of course criteria (i.e., a list of things a course must have or do in order to foster student achievement of the performance objective).
3. The CIA has a task force that is working on the AAOT Outcomes and Criteria document. They have asked that “we” put the Information Literacy proficiencies into the AAOT Outcomes and Criteria format.
4. Who is “we”…”we” are librarians and other faculty info lit educators in Oregon…many of us were the Oregon Information Literacy Summit group. At the last Summit (Fall, 2008), a small group was charged with creating a more formal structure for the Summit group so that we are better able to communicate about things like this, and our more formal name is the Information Literacy Advisory Group of Oregon (ILAGO). ILAGO has a website (http://www.libraryinstruction.wordpress.com) and a listserv (visit the ILAGO website for info on how to participate, including the listserv)
5. How are “we” approaching the task of putting the IL proficiencies into the AAOT Outcomes and Criteria document format?
- A small group is studying the format and the way other GE areas are using it (who, you may ask, is this small group? Well right now, we are the same small group that has been working on developing a formal structure for ILAGO)
- A small group is creating a few different samples of the way the IL Proficiencies might show up in the Objective and Criteria format
- A small group will disseminate drafts for review to OWEAC and to ILAGO and to the Oregon Community College Library Association (OCCLA) because we are trying to reach higher ed information literacy instructors (like you) in order to solicit feedback on the drafts
6. What is so special about the AAOTOutcomes and Criteria document? It is our current opportunity to communicate with the CIA and underscore our definition of information literacy and what a student who has completed the AAOTshould be able to do. Again, the CIA is the group of administrators charged with making policy decisions about how to implement the revised AAOT, which includes making decisions about implementing the new IL requirement. We want to look at our IL portion of the AAOT Outcomes and Criteria document as the first step in making a recommendation about the IL requirement without dictating how each institution goes about fulfilling the requirement.
7. How should we realize the IL outcome in Oregon? Several things to consider:
- We want to honor the recursive nature of Information Literacy….students should get several chances to learn and practice IL skills during their first two years of college
- That said, we don’t want to set implementation standards so pie-in-the-sky-high that we are logistically unable to accomplish our goals
- We do not want to sacrifice sound pedagogy or what’s best for our students in order to make the courses a student takes easier to track
- The revised AAOTIL requirement specifies that we need to designate courses with the IL component and we will need to track the students to see that they have fulfilled the degree requirement
- A stand-alone class does not appear to be an option at this time. Reading the IL statement in the AAOT, it seems to state that IL must be embedded in GE courses and that those courses will then have an IL designation
- Do we allow students to test out of the IL requirement?
- It is hard to talk about “what we should do” without talking about “how we should do it”…but if it makes it easier, start with what we should do for our students and trust that decisions about “how” won’t be detrimental to library/writing course well being (e.g., no one expects that two librarians serving an entire community college will face-to-face teach all the IL that needs teaching…similarly, we don’t writing courses to carry all of the IL responsibility)
- Consider- as the librarian, your role may be as a consultant who teaches faulty how to incorporate and assess IL…and if that is the case, how do you capture and report on the amount of time you spend consulting (may want to start tracking consultation time now so you can capture and report the amount of time you devote to this activity, especially if it is a new area for your library)
8. Options for drafting the IL portion of the AAOT Outcomes and Criteria document
- MICHELE’S FAVORITE: List the 8 IL proficiencies as the GE criteria, meaning that students will ultimately achieve all 8 and GE courses (plural) will ultimately teach all 8…and include language that says these will be embedded across the curriculum, not live in just one course.
- WE MIGHT DO THIS AT CHEMEKETA, YOU MIGHT DO IT AT YOUR INSTITUTION…BUT PROBABLY TOO MUCH DETAIL FOR CIA/JBAC: Choose a sub-set of the IL proficiencies that we consider to be crucial and list those as the course criteria (meaning any course with the IL designation must provide an appropriate level of instruction and opportunity to practice those skills). Choose a sub-set of the IL proficiencies that we do not consider as crucial and make those “gravy” in some way (e.g., an IL course must meet these 5 crucial criteria and also one from the “gravy list”)
- List all 8 IL proficiencies as course criteria then recommend a minimum number of criteria a course must include in order for it to receive the IL designation (How to track that students are getting all 8 and not the same 4 over and over?)
- HERE IS ANOTHER MODEL THAT MIGHT BE USED AT A PARTICULAR INSTITUTION, BUT IS TO DETAILED FOR CIA/JBAC: Require students to take one course heavy in IL instruction, and at least one additional course that provides opportunity to practice (e.g., a writing class heavy in IL with a psych class that requires an annotated bibliography and provides some level of instruction)
- THIS IS AN IDEA FOR A LETTER ILAGO MAY WANT TO DRAFT AT SOME POINT: We might do something similar to OWEAC…they submitted a recommendation for the GE Writing portion of the AAOT Outcomes and Criteria document…and they include a nice letter of explanation and an addendum that matches each criteria to a student performance outcome (maybe we should do something like that?). To see the OWEAC writing recommendation, visit their website at www.oweac.wordpress.com and look on the Recommendations page.
9. What now
- I’m going create a few drafts and post them here (and possibly on the ILAGO website when it is ready)
- Discuss at OWEAC meeting Feb. 6th here at Chemeketa
- Discuss OCCLA meeting Feb. 27th here at Chemeketa
- I’m going to draft a couple of possible implementation models for Chemeketa to consider
- I would love to hear from anyone who wants to work on this together (call or email me at Chemeketa)
- I’ll keep posting IL updates here and possibly on the ILAGO website