Communications in Information Literacy, Vol 5, No 2 (2011)

Font Size:  Small  Medium  Large

Designing and Implementing an Information Literacy Course in the Humanities

Ellen Daugman, Leslie McCall, Kaeley McMahan

Abstract


As instructors in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library information literacy program at Wake Forest University, we are expanding beyond our introductory course model to teach discipline-specific information literacy courses. Z. Smith Reynolds Library initiated an information literacy program in 2002 and currently offers a 1-credit elective, taught in 15 sections per semester. Advanced discipline-specific courses were added in Spring 2008, and include courses in the social sciences, business and economics, and the sciences. As the subject specialists for art, dance, literature, music, religion and theatre, we were charged with creating a credit-bearing arts and humanities information literacy course, LIB250: Humanities Research Sources and Strategies. In addition to our arts and humanities course content and methodologies, we incorporated web2.0 technologies throughout course design and delivery in order to streamline planning and to facilitate student engagement. In our course preparation, we utilized Google Docs for collaborative brainstorming, planning, organization and self-evaluation. Our students used Google Docs for submitting their course assignments, which included a faculty or practitioner interview and the final project for the course. The project was an annotated bibliography that extended beyond books and journal articles to include additional elements such as scholarly associations, core journals, primary sources, and major special collections related to their topics. A blog was used for the course syllabus, incorporating assignment information and supplementary resources for class topics; student blogging included reflection and feedback on each lecture as well as application of class content to their research topics. A visit to the Library's Rare Books Reading Room exposed the students to the Library's unique holdings and introduced them to rare and archival resources at other libraries.

Our article presents this process from start to finish, including the steps we went through to plan the course, the utilization of web2.0 applications, the course syllabus and assignments, marketing efforts, as well as the course implementation in Spring 2009 and 2010, and what we and our students learned from this process.

Full Text: PDF