Information Literacy Instruction at College of Marin: An Overview by the Library Faculty
The library system at College of Marin (COM) is a user-centered organization focused on student achievement and patron satisfaction. Our mission is to serve not only our diverse learning community located on the Kentfield and Indian Valley campuses, but also our Distance Education students, who access library resources remotely via the Internet, and the Marin community at large. The library supports the instructional and curricular needs of all students, faculty, and staff. The faculty librarians at COM value information literacy as fundamental to higher education.
What is Information Literacy?
Information literacy forms the basis for lifelong learning. It is common to all disciplines, to all learning environments, and to all levels of education. It enables learners to master content and extend their investigations, become more self-directed, and assume greater control over their own learning. An information literate individual is able to:
College of Marin's General Educational Student Learning Outcomes
In January of 2009, the Academic Senate at COM approved a set of five broad SLOs for the college as a whole. These are as follows:
Source: The College of Marin Faculty Handbook http://www.marin.edu/faculty/handbook/FH_SLOsSyllabi.htm
Shared Responsibility in Teaching Information Literacy
Incorporating information literacy across curricula, in all programs and services, and throughout the administrative life of the college, requires the collaborative efforts of instructors, librarians, and administrators. Through lectures and by leading discussions, instructors establish the context for learning. Instructors also inspire and motivate students to explore the unknown, offer guidance on how best to fulfill information needs, and monitor students’ progress. Faculty librarians coordinate the evaluation and selection of intellectual resources for programs and services; organize and maintain collections and many points of access to information; and provide instruction to students and instructors who seek information. Administrators create opportunities for collaboration and staff development among instructors, and faculty librarians. Administrators also lead in planning and budgeting for those programs, and provide ongoing resources to sustain them. Source: The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/informationliteracycompetency#ildef
The library faculty has created a chart that elucidates the shared responsibility between instructors and librarians for successfully achieving the standards of information literacy. A copy of this chart may be downloaded from the Library Forms and Handouts page. The library has created a list of Tips for Designing Library Research Assignments.
A Common Rubric for Information Literacy
A rubric is an assessment tool for setting a standard of quality or performance; it provides a set of criteria for evaluating competency with regard to a given learning objective. The library faculty has created a common rubric for Information Literacy, which measures learning objectives that are aligned with COM’s goals and the ACRL’s Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. The purpose of this rubric is to help instructors integrate information literacy into their curricula by providing benchmarks that correspond to the five information literacy standards listed above. A copy of this rubric is may be downloaded from the Library Forms and Handouts page.
COM Library Instructional ProgramsLibrary instruction occurs in a variety of ways. The library faculty offers the following modes of instruction that are available to all students, faculty, and staff:
The librarians at COM recognize the diverse nature of our learning community and consider various learning styles when providing instruction. Instructors are encouraged to collaborate with librarians in planning active learning strategies and techniques that will best meet the needs of the students. In order to schedule an Information Literacy Instruction session for a class, instructors are asked to fill out a Library Orientation Request Form. A copy of this form may be downloaded from the Library Forms and Handouts page.
COM Library Student Learning OutcomesThe SLOs listed below are standards by which to assess a student’s information literacy skills after receiving instruction from a faculty librarian. The expected outcomes are for students to develop the skills to find, evaluate, and utilize library resources in order to complete their research assignments and become lifelong learners. Librarians recognize that their opportunity to address these outcomes is significantly impacted by the limits of the reference interview and relatively short instructional sessions. Because of this, the ability to target all or even some of these SLOs may vary markedly from assignment to assignment, and even from student to student.
These SLOs are derived from the College of Marin Common Rubric for Information Literacy, which may be downloaded from the Library Forms and Handouts page. For more information on SLOs at COM, please visit the following URL: http://www.marin.edu/com/ODP/SLOTrackingTool.htm
Assessment of the Library Instruction Programs at COMAssessing student learning outcomes in the traditional manner presents a challenge for library faculty. Academic guidelines for assessing SLOs are written especially for classroom instructors who teach students over a whole semester. Unfortunately, the interactions with students by library faculty are situated in classroom orientations, reference desk assistance, and other modes that are limited in scope and time. The most accurate assessment of reaching information literacy standards will be found in the final product that students present to the classroom instructor. Nevertheless, library faculty recognizes that systematic, ongoing assessment of library programs help improve instruction and guide the strategic direction of the library. The assessment of library instruction programs at College of Marin includes the following:
Please note that the assessment tools described below will be used by library faculty to improve student learning and create dialogue among faculty related to student learning of information literacy skills. The assessment results will not be used for faculty evaluation.
SLO Assessment: Reference Desk Interviews, Telephone, and Email ContactsAssessment tools:
A copy of the redesigned statistical log may be downloaded from the Library Forms and Handouts page.
SLO Assessment: Classroom Instruction/Library OrientationsAssessment Tools:
Library Web Page