Library Teaching & Learning Committee PD Day 2018: Course Design & Curriculum Renewal

Overview of the event

The Library Teaching and Learning Committee (LTLC) held their annual PD Day on January 12, 2018. Jessie Richards, Curriculum Developer with the Office of the Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education, was the guest speaker and presented on Course Design and Curriculum Renewal. The half-day event also had a librarian panel, with Stephanie Perpick (Liaison Librarian, UTSC), Mindy Thuna (Head, Engineering & Computer Science Library), and Desmond Wong (Outreach Librarian, OISE Library), providing insights to their own curriculum renewal experience. Mariana Jardim, faculty liaison from CTSI, also presented on her curriculum mapping experience with UTSC Health Studies through a practicum course she took during her time at the iSchool.

Why are we talking about curriculum renewal?

The most recent U of T Strategic Mandate Agreement (SMA) states, “faculty and staff will work together to revitalize the undergraduate curriculum in many disciplines through curriculum mapping processes that better define learning outcomes and pathways for students” (p.7).

Many departments will be undergoing a curriculum mapping process in the upcoming years. The PD Day presenters provided librarians with a starting point for understanding and engaging in this process with mapping information literacy and library instruction throughout a program.

LTLC PD Day Planning Committee 2018:
Heather Buchansky, Robyn Butcher, Kaitlin Fuller, Navroop Gill, and Kelly Schultz

Useful links:

LTLC PD Day 2018 slides and activity notes
Curriculum Renewal Guide (created by Jessie Richards)
Curriculum Mapping LibGuide
UofT signs Strategic Mandate Agreement (SMA)

 

 

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No Simple Solution for Improving Students’ Research and Critical Evaluation Skills

HEQCO | No Simple Solution for Improving Students’ Research and Critical Evaluation Skills

From the summary:

The ability to locate, evaluate and accurately utilize complex information, often referred to as information literacy, is a critical skill for success in school, work and life. A new study by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) recommends colleges and universities implement institutional information literacy strategies to help students develop these skills. While the study examined several different models for teaching information literacy, on their own none proved significantly advantageous, and the authors suggest multiple approaches may be required.

Project Description
The study examined more than 500 students at Georgian College in the diploma, applied degree, collaborative degree and university undergraduate programs. Using four online surveys over the course of two years, students were asked about their perceptions and attitudes towards information literacy as well as tested for their research and critical analysis skills. The project examined four different models for teaching core skills, including providing specific information literacy courses, embedding information literacy into existing curriculum, online tutorials and non-mandatory tutorials. In addition, faculty were surveyed twice on their perceptions of student information literacy and its importance.

Findings
The study calls for institutions to adopt information literacy strategies that focus on teaching styles, delivery models, human resource requirements, outcome measurements and defining the benefits to student, institution and employer. Many faculty suggested more time be allotted to skill development as well as additional resources including online tutorials.
As may be expected, students’ comfort, accuracy and ability to utilize information literacy skills increased over their two years of study. While the overall results showed no single method of delivery to be particularly advantageous, the students who had information literacy training embedded in their course curriculum did show significantly higher ability to accurately cite source material.
Students have become increasingly reliant on web-based tools to collect information, with nearly 97% saying they use online sources to find current information. As the use of online research increases, most faculty members said students express confusion over copyright, intellectual property and plagiarism.
Plagiarism, often unintentional, was a repeated concern with several surveyed faculty expressing apprehension over students’ inability to differentiate between it and appropriate behaviour such as paraphrasing. While the vast majority of surveyed students were able to identify examples of plagiarism, there appeared to be confusion on certain “grey areas.” For example, between 40 and 50% misidentified as plagiarism the acceptable practice of placing appropriately credited text in quotation marks. The survey results also revealed citation identification, research process and copyright as areas in need of improvement.

Information Literacy Competency Standards for Students: A Measure of the Effectiveness of Information Literacy Initiatives in Higher Education was prepared by Amanda Duncan and Jennifer Varcoe from Georgian College.

 

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