Info Lit Class Approved!

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!


5 thoughts on “Info Lit Class Approved!

  1. Hi Rebecca,

    Congratulations on having the course approved. I envy you, as I have been trying for years on my campus to get both faculty and administrators to understand the value of such a course. I am an associate librarian at a small liberal arts university, Saint Xavier University, in Chicago. I was successful with on writing class professor who loves my Blackboard hybrid course for undergraduates doing research. She had integrated my course with her English writing class and we love it. Students, surprisingly like it too. It counts towards their English class grade and they take tests and final exam in Blackboard on all the modules in my course. Why then there is such an indifference from others? How did you conviince your faculty do go with that?

    Rebecca, could you also tell me how you included the tags in your blog. I also have a WordPress blog ( and think about changing the theme. I love the searching by tags rather than the traditional search window. Would appreciate the how-to information.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Ursula. We were very fortunate to have an advocate in University College. He is an advisor and an instructor for the college, and also a librarian! He has been wanting to do this class for a long time and was really the one that put in the effort & moved it forward. Once we finally got together with him and put together a proposal, there was a great response from the faculty, the Provost, and the Head of Instruction. I think once the campus saw the skills that we would be teaching, they found them to be very important, especially for incoming freshman.

    The tags are very easy to put in. In the new wordpress interface, when you’re writing your post there is now a section right under the post called “tags” and you just type them in. Good luck!


  3. This class managed to get on UA News! This story was sent out to all of campus this morning: Very exciting. The section I’m teaching this fall is completely filled (20 students) as is Keith’s. There are two more sections which are on their way, and we’re confident they will all be filled by the start of class. Should be a good semester!

  4. LOEX Presentation: Developing an Online Credit-bearing Information Fluency Course: Lessons Learned « Stories of Librarianship

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