Annually, the UT System Library Directors confer an award to a UT System faculty or collaborative faculty group to recognize the efforts of integrating library resources into course curriculum.
This year, thanks to his innovative integration of library resources in E398T and RHE306, his collaboration with librarians and the effective use of technology to promote information literacy in multiple courses, the UT Library Directors’ Award for Excellence in Library Resources Integration was presented to UT faculty member Dr. Mark Longaker at the Innovations in Online Learning Conference (IOL) on May 27.
Research and writing go hand-in-hand and for years, librarians in Library Instruction Services (LIS) have been helping instructors in the basic undergraduate writing course (RHE 306) teach their students research skills. This approach traditionally took the form of one class visit to the libraries where students would try to learn all they needed to know to find and evaluate information for their writing projects in 50 minutes, but that expectation never seemed realistic.
Over the past year, LIS librarians reinvigorated their approach by partnering with Dr. Longaker – Associate Professor in the Department of Rhetoric & Writing and head of the department’s Undergraduate Curriculum Committee – to create a teach-the-teacher model. In partnership with Dr. Longaker and RHE 306 instructors, librarians developed resource guides, assignments and lesson plans for RHE 306 instructors to use to teach research skills over the course of the semester in their regular classrooms. Students were better able to learn important information literacy skills because they were integrated into the class over the course of the semester, so that they could all be introduced and re-introduced at the time of need. The materials, gathered together in a wiki, were editable by librarians and instructors to ensure that the learning outcomes of RHE 306 were supported. The success of this project was recognized by UT System Library Directors at the recent IOL Conference in Austin.
You can learn more about LIS and their efforts at promoting information literacy in the Spring 2009 issue of the Libraries Newsletter.
Catherine Hamer is Associate Director for User Services at the University of Texas Libraries.