This week the course I’ve been helping develop was officially approved to pilot this summer! It will be open to the entire undergrad campus, but aimed at first-year students in University College (undecided majors), and based in that department (UNVR 195a). It’s called “The Skillful Researcher” and is a one-credit, web-based course, that will run for 5 weeks, one module per week.
We based the course on the ACRL standards, and the development of the content has been a collaboration between a number of us within the library’s Undergraduate Services Team and one of the academic advisors & instructors in University College. It will introduce students to library resources and how to define a research topic, and teach them about searching strategies, evaluation methods, and the ethics of information use. Initially this summer, we will probably have 50-100 students in 2 different sections of the course. The goal is to end up with about 500 students per semester – and ideally to make this course required for all undecided university freshman (or perhaps all freshman, period).
Experienced instructional design librarian, Leslie, will be teaching this summer, along with Keith from University College. In the fall I will probably teach a section or two, and we’re hoping down the line that we can have SIRLS grad students teaching the course as part of a graduate assistantship. We’re designing the course in such a way that it will require minimal amounts of time & grading on the part of the instructor, and we are using interactive tutorials and quizzes, videos & virtual lectures, etc. to keep the course engaging while making it scalable for use across a variety of library instruction initiatives. We’ve been using Articulate a lot recently to develop the modules and it’s been working very well.
It was very exciting to get the approval this week, and by the end of the month we hope to have the course completely developed and ready to go!