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“Information Literacy Commons:” Integrating Middle States Standards across the Curriculum using Blackboard Communities

Jean-Jacques Strayer, Brian Lym, and Lauren Yannotta (Library)

Middle States standards require colleges to integrate information literacy -- the ability to recognize an information need and locate, evaluate and use this information effectively and responsibly -- across the curriculum.  As one step towards this goal, Jean-Jacques Strayer, Brian Lym, and Lauren Yannotta created an "Information Literacy Commons," a set of resources for teaching and assessing  information literacy.  A prototype of the Information Literacy Commons is being tested in a Blackboard community for instructors of English 120, a large, multi-section, foundational course in expository writing required for all Hunter students.

Building on the long history of collaboration between the library and the English 120 Program, Professors Strayer, Lym, and Yannotta developed a set of lesson plans, assignments, and assessments that can be adopted or adapted by English 120 instructors.  The materials include original content and existing materials that were adapted for this purpose, with an emphasis on educational media (tutorials, videos, interactive online exercises and quizzes).  These materials were incorporated into an Information Literacy Commons designed to promote collaborative resource sharing and teaching.

The Information Literacy Commons was integrated into the English 120 Instructors Community on Blackboard, a site used by instructors to share ideas and resources.  Instructors are asked to review and assess the content in the Information Literacy Commons modules, using blogs within Blackboard to discuss "best practices" and contribute ideas about how the tutorials and other instructional media might be used.  Instructors will also be able to copy content from the Information Literacy Commons to their individual English 120 course sites.

To facilitate the use of these materials, librarians are paired with English120 instructors and enrolled as course builders in their individual Blackboard course sites.  Instructors and their collaborating librarians work together to integrate information literacy and information technology into students' writing and research process.

Professors Strayer, Lym, and Yannotta are now interested in sharing these resources with the broader Hunter community.  The English 120 Instructors Community will serve as a model for integrating information literacy standards across the curriculum in every discipline at every level.

Update June 2010:
The Information Literacy Commons is now available on the Hunter Library web site.