Although the initial project will involve a subset of the libraries in the Orbis Cascade Alliance that will set up the standards for producing and sharing modules, the modules are meant to be open source for use by anyone. The precise mechanisms for participating in the production of modules by librarians or faculty will be an outcome of the processes set up through the grant. The Alliance provides the organizational and administrative infrastructure for cooperation. The processes set up for the ongoing development of standards and procedures will likely expand through the administrative structures of the Alliance. It would be important from my perspective to set up structures that provide for participation by non-Alliance members in the production of modules.
There are two focal areas for content development that reflect ACRL’s call for horizontal and vertical integration of information literacy instruction throughout the curriculum. Comprehensive horizontal integration requires that institutions of higher education find ways to ensure that all incoming students are able to effectively function within local institutional and the greater Internet information sphere. Below is an example list of some of the topics that basic modules could address. The list is an example of the types of modules intended. It is not comprehensive. The modules available would undergo constant expansion and revision as the information infrastructure and student and faculty experiences evolve and librarians continue to contribute modules. I have provided the list to show the relevance of this effort to OWEAC. The modules will be available for use as they are or for modification as modules for insertion into courses for students or as tutorials for faculty. It is intended that assessments be included—i.e. multiple choice questions and exercises that could be available through some mechanism of controlled access.
Knowledge of Institutional Information Infrastructure
Web Services, User ID and Password, and Email
Library Physical Overview
Library Web Page Overview
Effective Use of Resources
E-books—Ebrary and Netlibrary
E-journals—Ebsco and Jstor
Accessing Physical Materials
Skills & Concepts
Evaluation of URLS
Plagiarism and Citation
Vertical integration of information literacy is the second focal area of development that could benefit from cooperation. The information literacy needs of nursing, finance, education, or chemistry students are different. The information resources relevant to the various disciplines are in a state of rapid expansion in diversity and depth on the Internet. Much of the current expansion of the Internet is occurring through the integration of governmental, corporate, and organizational data structures. The interfaces to these data sets are often not intuitive. The interface to the Federal Government’s Census Datais an example. As librarians and faculty progressively identify relevant web sites and online resources that are relevant to the curriculum of the various disciplines, it will become increasingly important to share the instruction that librarians produce.