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Portal to Information Literacy: Case Studies From a Flexible, Asynchronous Online Program

Kate Ganski (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, US)
Kristin Woodward (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, US)
Session Information
April 24, 2012 - 11:20am
Student Support
Areas of Special Interest: 
Institutional Initiatives
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Practical Application
Institutional Level: 
Universities and Four Year Institutions
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Lakeshore B
Session Duration: 
50 Minutes
Virtual Session

Through dynamic case studies the presenters will show how their model for blended and online courses has improved their information literacy program.

Final Presentation: 
Extended Abstract

When the UWM Libraries was awarded Sloan Funding for support of the Blending Life and Learning Initiative, the goal of the Libraries' Research and Instructional Support unit was to create parity of information literacy instruction for online students. While the Libraries had an excellent history of resource delivery to Distance Education Students, it was imperative to capture this emerging online and blended audience in order to meet information literacy goals in the curriculum. It was essential to develop a relationship with online instructors to ensure that students would not suffer from a lack of engagement with resources and library support for research-based learning.

When deciding how to deliver our instruction online we worked with faculty during their online course development process to develop a model that would overcome two hurdles: 1) absence of face to face classroom time with instructors and librarians and 2) a tendency of students to use resources that are easiest to get or already within their frame of knowledge. From these experiences we decided to use web guides as a means of 1) delivering asynchronous, online instruction, 2) providing a resource portal for students, and 3) an individual librarian as their contact with the library. The unanticipated outcome of the original goal is a shift from a one-dimensional face-to-face standard for information literacy instruction to a technology-enhanced model for all course modes.

In this presentation, we will share the results of our teacher research on digital learning objects. This will include a visual model of our development process and a set of best practices that have emerged from our review of student learning and recorded interviews with faculty partners. We will show how we developed learning objects and course-level research guides that meet our original goals for parity in information literacy instruction. In addition we will demonstrate how we have laid the groundwork to participate as partners in the Information Literacy Essential Learning Outcome in our General Education requirements. Librarians and teaching faculty engaged in research based-learning will take away a model for information literacy instruction that is both flexible and scalable.


Lead Presenter

Kate L. Ganski is Library Instruction Coordinator at UWM Libraries. She received her MLS from Southern Connecticut State University. Her current areas of research include Information Literacy,Information Seeking Behavior, and E-learning.