A record number of West Virginia University faculty will participate in the fourth year of an initiative to help students improve their research skills and become more discerning when searching for and using information.

The Information Literacy Course Enhancement Program is a collaborative endeavor between the WVU Libraries and the Provost’s Office. The initiative focuses on fulfilling the University’s 2020 Strategic Plan for the Future, which calls for “engaging undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in a challenging academic environment.” Information literacy is the ability to find, evaluate, and effectively use information.

“As you hear from faculty and student participants, it is clear that the Course Enhancement Program has helped students to become better researchers and to gain more from the classroom experience,” said Myra N. Lowe, interim dean of Libraries. “I’m pleased with what has been accomplished thus far, and I’m excited that we’ve been able to increase the number of collaborations to 10 this year.”

In previous years, the Libraries had capped the group at six. Carroll Wilkinson, WVU Libraries’ director of Instruction and Information Literacy, is eager to build on the past success and is prepared for the increased involvement.

“During the first three years of the program, we have learned a great deal about designing and teaching discipline-specific lessons that address critical elements of the research process,” Wilkinson said. “I look forward to encouraging collaboration among participants in the fourth cohort and to seeing the student learning results that take place.”

Selected from a field of applicants, this year’s group includes David Beach, assistant professor, associate undergraduate writing coordinator, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences; David Bess, associate professor of music education, College of Creative Arts; Kristen Dieffenbach, assistant professor, College of Physical activity and Sports Sciences; Mikel Holcomb, assistant professor of physics, Eberly; Lauryl Lefebvre, assistant professor of educational leadership studies, College of Human Resources and Education; Afrin Naz, assistant professor, computer science, WVU Institute of Technology; Donley Studlar, Eberly Family Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Eberly College; Sven Verlinden, associate professor of horticulture, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design; Lisa Weihman, associate professor of English, Eberly; and Mark Wilson, associate professor of economics, WVU IT.

They will work with Wilkinson and their librarian liaisons (Linda Blake, Kelly Diamond, Noel Kopriva, Barbara LaGodna, Bill Rafter, Jill Rafter, Alyssa Wright, Martha Yancey, and from WVU IT, Mitch Casto and Jewel Rucker) to create discipline-specific active learning assignments that incorporate information literacy concepts. Faculty will each earn a $3,000 stipend or, if a 12-month faculty member, other relevant professional remuneration.

Faculty will begin teaching the revised courses during the Fall 2012 or Spring 2013 semester and take part in the Information Literacy Showcase during the Libraries’ Faculty Assembly program in May 2013.

This year’s showcase will be held in the Milano Reading Room, Wise Library, on May 7 and include professor/librarian teams for the 2011-12 academic year. Poster sessions are scheduled from 8-9 a.m. and 10:30-11 a.m.

There will be a presentation and panel discussion at 9 a.m. in Room 104, Downtown Campus Library. It is titled “What Have We Learned from Three Years of the Libraries’ Information Literacy Course Enhancement Project?”

Participants for the 2011-12 academic year included Robin Hensel, Assistant Dean of the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources; Jason Langley, physical education lecturer, WVU Institute of Technology; Jay Malarcher, associate professor of theater, College of Creative Arts; and Mary Ann Samyn, associate professor of English, Eberly College.

Their librarian liaisons were Diamond, Beth Royall, Mary Strife, Wright, and from WVU IT, Casto and Rucker.


CONTACT: Monte Maxwell, WVU Libraries
304-293-0306, monte.maxwell@mail.wvu.edu

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