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Developing 21st century literacies among students and faculty

After months of spirited discussion and debate, the EDUCAUSE teaching and learning community has named the, “Top Teaching and Learning Challenges, 2009.” Now it’s time to roll up your sleeves and contribute ideas from your vantage point on campus to build a network of solutions around each challenge. Share the ways that your campus is combating the Challenges in the wiki below or simply peruse suggestions from your peers to find ideas that might inspire change at your institution.

Before posting to this wiki, be sure to read the Community Wiki Guidelines developed by lead project contributors. Using the guidelines helps to ensure consistent format and usability of this collection. If you have difficulty posting or have any questions, please contact the workspace manager assigned to this wiki. They can post content for you or answer any questions you may have about contributing.

To explore the other Challenges, return to the main wiki and connect with colleagues in the Challenges Ning network.

Workspace Managers

Beth Secrist, beth@arl.org

Sheila Sicilia, sicilias@sunyocc.edu

Challenge Overview

We are living in an "Information Age" that brings exciting developments in the acquisition and sharing of knowledge, and has transformed the face of the job market into one that requires computer skills for the vast majority of jobs.  Colleges need to make sure that students (and faculty) acquire the Information Technology skills they need to succeed in their college career, and their career beyond.

Information Management skills for the 21st century include:

  • the ability to understand and use basic research techniques
  • the ability to locate, evaluate and synthesize information from a variety of sources
  • the ability to use computers in the gathering, evaluation, and presentation of information

How do we address these literacies on our own campuses? How can we, as a community, define them and better integrate them into the academic experience?

Campus Snapshots

Student Learning with Reusable Learning Objects, UMass Dartmouth

This project explores new opportunities for building multi-media learning environments through the development of reusable learning objects, which are web-based, self-contained learning units. Learning objects are not new resources on the pedagogical landscape. However, this project differentiates itself by its awareness of and integration with the recent media literacy research, which recognizes that media environments are altering our understanding of literacy and how students learn. Thus, our project sought to develop learning objects that deliver their content by addressing 21st century media literacy skills in a format that appeals to students who are digital natives. The focus of our project is to enable students to increase their library research skills across the disciplines, especially students who are completing online programs. Funded by a Sloan Consortium grant, the Instructional Development team, with collaboration from two librarians, developed Captivate and Camtasia tutorials with optional assessments designed to develop student research and informational literacy skills. The tutorial series contributes to the library’s stated mission “to teach library users to think critically about information” and falls within Strategic Plan Goal 5 2.d3, which states “Continue to support the university community in developing the information literacy of students, faculty and staff by pursuing greater engagement, reflective instructional assessment, and appropriate support services.” More importantly, the tutorials can be integrated into courses across the disciplines seeking to improve students’ ability to evaluate information (e.g., courses designated as fulfilling the information literacy general education requirement).

For more information on the project objectives and accomplishments, as well as what we learned for future learning object development, please visit: http://instructionaldev.wikispaces.com/Conference+Presentations

 

Putting Digital History in the Hands of Students, University of Mary Washington

Jeffrey McClurken’s undergraduate Digital History seminar at the University of Mary Washington (UMW) addresses the challenge of developing 21st-Century literacies among students by engaging students in the process of creating digital history. The course readings, workshops, and discussions expose students to the philosophy and practice of the emerging field of History and New Media. In its most recent iteration, the course centered on the creation of four digital history projects, all of which were related to making local and institutional resources available in persistent, accessible forms. These projects included the creations of: a digital archive for the James Monroe Presidential Papers, a site expanding on the Virginia state historical markers in the area, an electronic document and video archive for civil rights leader (and UMW professor) James Farmer, and a digital exhibit of the school’s centennial, told through newspaper excerpts and alumni video interviews. Given just broad outlines for their topics and a basic introduction to Web 2.0 tools, the undergraduates (junior and senior history majors) design, write contracts for, and create the projects largely as independent groups.  They use a “digital toolkit”, an assortment of open-source or freely available tools (mainly the UMW blogging platform, Omeka, Google Docs, MIT’s Simile Exhibit and Timeline, and Windows Movie Maker) demonstrated to them in the first weeks of class.  Students choose their tools based on the projects they want to create and what they are able to learn.  The class emphasizes the process of creating and presenting historical information in ways that are engaging and accessible, visual and textual, but not on learning specific tools or software packages.  21st-Century literacies require the ability to adapt to new tools and approaches as well as a willingness to experiment and play, but with a continuation of long-held practices of rigorous research and scholarship. To learn more, visit: http://digitalhistory.umwblogs.org/ (Contact: Jeffrey McClurken, jmcclurk@umw.edu)

(This solution was featured in a recent article in the EDUCAUSE Review, Charting the Course and Tapping the Community: The | EDUCAUSE Top Teaching and Learning Challenges, 2009.)

Peer-to-Peer Tutoring with Literacies in Mind, Dartmouth College

The Student Center for Research, Writing, and Information Technology (RWIT) is a peer-tutoring service that assists students with writing, research, new media compositions, and career and professional documents, encouraging 21st century literacy skills in all of these areas.  As a program, it mentors student staff in developing their teaching and interpersonal skills.  For clients and staff, RWIT integrates and supports the learning process in three core domains:  writing, research, and new media composition. RWIT’s staff of tutors assist all of Dartmouth’s students, including graduate and ESL students, with all stages of the composing process, from research to writing to new media compositions and career and professional documents. RWIT originated in 2003, out of collaboration of the Composition Center, the Library, and Academic Computing. Today RWIT is administered by a team that includes faculty and staff from the Institute of Writing and Rhetoric, the Library, and Academic Computing. A small team of students, called “junior staff,” assists the administrators with hiring, training, mentoring tutors, and limited operational duties. The junior staff, which is in most cases seniors at the College, includes a head tutor, a chair of recruiting and hiring, a special projects coordinator, and a head-writing assistant who serves RWIT’s companion program, the Writing Assistance Program. To become an RWIT tutor, new student staff must complete sixteen hours of basic training, which features ways of diagnosing and responding to student text (papers, research projects, and new media compositions).  The training agenda includes sessions on writing pedagogy, library research, and composition in such common applications as PowerPoint and iMovie, as well as sessions on the affective issues in tutorial, style and tone in written commentary, grammar and style, plagiarism, use of graphics, and so on.  RWIT training employs active learning strategies.   Staff members continue their professional development by attending four to six hours of ongoing training sessions in each term that they work for the Center. Senior staff design and conduct these sessions in RWIT's core and auxiliary domains—research, e.g., citation; writing, e.g., grammar and style; information technology, e.g., video project critiques; English as a Second Language, e.g., cultural awareness; and career and professional documents, e.g., résumé review.    To learn more, visit: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~rwit/

(This solution was featured in a recent article in the EDUCAUSE Review, Charting the Course and Tapping the Community: The | EDUCAUSE Top Teaching and Learning Challenges, 2009.)

Digital Literacy Across the Institution, The Pennsylvania State University

Education Technology Services at Penn State is working with a wide spectrum of academic programs offered at the University to help faculty and students develop 21st Century literacies. Faculty in these programs have realized that in the Digital Age, students will need to be able to produce more than traditional paper documents.The Digital Commons and Blogs at Penn State services are designed specifically to help develop new literacy skills. The Digital Commons service helps make digital media technologies more approachable to faculty while engendering a confidence in assigning multimedia projects to their students knowing they will be well supported. The Blogs at Penn State initiative helps students to easily write and publish online to their personal Web space.In a marketing course, students developing a marketing plan are given the option of writing a paper or producing a video to present to prospective clients. In a microeconomics course with over a thousand students, teams create videos that illustrate a variety of topics in economics. French and Spanish students create podcasts to practice language skills and discuss foreign cultures. Faculty in the English department changed their assignments so students are reflecting on digital literacy, creating online resources, and using multimedia to enhance assignments. Paper resumes are now interactive professional Web spaces. Instruction sets are now audio and/or video “how-to” guides. Where once students had only limited interaction with each other, they now provide constant feedback, link to additional resources, and create a community of information that expands beyond the classroom.

For more on the Digital Commons and Blogs at Penn State projects: Digital Commons: http://digitalcommons.psu.edu; Blogs at Penn State:http://blogs.psu.edu; English Re-Design Project: http://blogs.tlt.psu.edu/projects/english202. (Contact: Erin Long, elc134@psu.edu)

Mashing Up Digital Media Creation, Bucks County Community College

Building on the work of Anu Vedantham, director of the David B. Weigle Information Commons (http://wic.library.upenn.edu/mashup/), Bucks County Community College in Newtown, Pennsylvania, is sponsoring A Mashup Contest to engage students in learning, and to develop their awareness and understanding of new media literacies. Students in an Intro to Marketing Class created an initial mash-up video to introduce the contest and demonstrate the genre. Now, Bucks students are encouraged to create their own four-minute video creation – an editorial, documentary or parody -- that speaks to “any issue that is impacting our world today.” Winners will receive a free three-credit course, a flip video camera, iPod, or a $75.00 gift certificate to the college bookstore. A blog for the contest includes tips for creating mash-ups, an example mash-up that probes Fair Use, and a code of best practices for Fair Use in mash-ups. The project is designed to foster student creativity and to raise awareness around multimedia projects, 21st century skills, digital literacies, and to create a rubric for assessing video projects. Faculty responsiveness has been high across the curriculum, indicating that faculty are eager to innovate in teaching and learning with IT, and that they are committed to engaging student learners. Mashups represent an effective way for students who are not yet confident writers to seek, evaluate, and process information, and create knowledge in ways that are meaningful, but that reduce some of the fear that many associate with writing assignments. To learn more visit: http://bucksmashup.blogspot.com/. (Contact Maureen McCreaddie, mccreadi@bucks.edu)

(This solution was featured in a recent article in the EDUCAUSE Review, Charting the Course and Tapping the Community: The | EDUCAUSE Top Teaching and Learning Challenges, 2009.)

Using Cloud Computing: Web 2.0 Technologies & University Work Study , Fairfield University

At Fairfield University, students are actively participating in all technology support services in the library computer labs, interacting with patrons and gaining exposure to new horizon technologies like e-books and more.  Tech Student Assisants are editors of the Tech Support DNL Tech Support  Wiki and DNL Tech Support Blog. This is a Growing Green, earth friendly, initiative support service and developed as a paper based documenting  technology support service which was later transitioned to an online Web 2.0 Service using Google Calendar, Google Groups, PB Works, Word Press Blog and Gmail. This student-driven approach to providing service helps students connect with one another and helps train the support assistants, themselves, in providing assistance and engaging their peers in the development of their own literacies- like i.e. Jing.  (Contact Roxann Riskin at: rriskin@fairfield.edu); DNL Tech Student Wiki : http://dnltechsupport.pbworks.com   The Technology Student Assistant Wiki will be viewable but open for access by invitation for the Solutions in Action.  Twitter:  http://twitter.com/web2andclouds

Digital and Information Literacy within First Year Great Problem Seminars, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Cohorts of first year students take a two-course Great Problems Seminar geared towards learning about current events, societal problems, and human needs. Project teams often create video commercials, web sites, or tri-fold brochures to educate various audiences on their “global problem.” The library and academic technology staff work with students to help them increase their information and digital literacy skills. Students in past seminars participated in poster presentation day at the end of the course sequence. Selected posters can be viewed online in the Student Project Gallery: http://www.wpi.edu/Academics/Undergraduate/FirstYear/gallery.html.

Contact Christine Drew, Manager Instruction & Outreach Gordon Library (cdrew@wpi.edu) and Kris Wobbe, Kris Wobbe, Associate Dean for the First Year (kwobbe@wpi.edu).

The Undergraduate Information Competency Initiative, Cornell University

The Cornell Undergraduate Information Competency Initiative, encourages Cornell faculty to explore creative and effective ways to engage students by integrating research skills into the classroom and the curriculum through the redesign and creation of assignments for undergraduate courses. The Initiative is a collaboration between Cornell University Library,  the Center for Teaching Excellence, and Cornell Information Technologies. During a week-long Institute, faculty explore topics about developing effective undergraduate research-based assignments, integrating library research and technology into student assignments. During the institute, faculty work with their “academic support team” of librarians, faculty development and academic technology staff to create research-based assignments. The research assignments use the Library's resources “from archival materials on hip hop to scientific article databases “and introduce undergraduates to the practice of scholarly research. The "Hip-hop history: Undergrads take on archival research"  article features how the Information Competency Institute supported students "getting a taste of original research using primary sources" in the "Researching Hip-Hop" class. The Initiative is based on the University of California Berkeley's Mellon Library/Faculty Fellowship for Undergraduate Research model which was created as a response to a growing national concern that today's undergraduates do not possess core information competencies.

Student Learning with Reusable Learning Objects, UMass Dartmouth

This project explores new opportunities for building multi-media learning environments through the development of reusable learning objects, which are web-based, self-contained learning units. Learning objects are not new resources on the pedagogical landscape. However, this project differentiates itself by its awareness of and integration with the recent media literacy research, which recognizes that media environments are altering our understanding of literacy and how students learn. Thus, our project sought to develop learning objects that deliver their content by addressing 21st century media literacy skills in a format that appeals to students who are digital natives. The focus of our project is to enable students to increase their library research skills across the disciplines, especially students who are completing online programs. Funded by a Sloan Consortium grant, the Instructional Development team, with collaboration from two librarians, developed Captivate and Camtasia tutorials with optional assessments designed to develop student research and informational literacy skills. The tutorial series contributes to the library’s stated mission “to teach library users to think critically about information” and falls within Strategic Plan Goal 5 2.d3, which states “Continue to support the university community in developing the information literacy of students, faculty and staff by pursuing greater engagement, reflective instructional assessment, and appropriate support services.” More importantly, the tutorials can be integrated into courses across the disciplines seeking to improve students’ ability to evaluate information (e.g., courses designated as fulfilling the information literacy general education requirement).   For more information on the project objectives and accomplishments, as well as what we learned for future learning object development, please visit: http://instructionaldev.wikispaces.com/Conference+Presentations  

To view the library tutorials, please visit: http://www.umassd.edu/cits/instructional/development/faculty/faculty_tutorials.cfm

Course Views, North Carolina State University Libraries In August 2008, the NCSU Libraries launched Course Views, a new online service that provides a custom library web page for every course at North Carolina State University. Known to faculty and students as "Library Tools", the Course Views system brings together the most student-centric "stuff" the library has to offer, combining traditional research-oriented content, like collection search tools and suggested resources, with more task-oriented tools, such as citation guides and course reserves access. This service has helped achieve two major objectives: to provide course-centric access to library resources for all 6000+ courses at NCSU, and to integrate library resource access points into campus learning management systems (LMSs) at an improved scale and level of customization. As a result, students are able to gain exposure to research tools and services in a way that makes sense in the context of their course work habits. For more information, contact Jason Casden at: jason_casden@ncsu.edu.

Community Solutions

  • <<Hyperlink to Location of Document, Institution, Contributor, Contact>>

Multimedia

Brainstorming Sessions

Tools in the Field

  • <<Title of Tool, Reviewer, Institution, Short Description, Contact Information>>

Experts List

  • <<Name, Institution or Association, Email, Topic>>

Key Readings

  • "Digital Literacy -- The Evolution of the 21st Century Literacies" is the topic of the latest issue of ELEARNING PAPERS (no. 12, February 2009). Papers include: "Digital Literacy for the Third Age: Sustaining Identity in an Uncertain World" by Allan Martin "A Digital Literacy Proposal in Online Higher Education: The UOC Scenario" by Montse Guitert and Teresa Romeu "T-learning for Social Inclusion" by Chiara Sancin, Valentina Castello, Vittorio Dell'Aiuto, and Daniela Di Genova "Designing E-Tivities to Increase Learning-to-Learn Abilities" by Maria Elisabetta Cigognini and Maria Chiara Pettenati "How to Strengthen Digital Literacy? Practical Example of a European Initiative 'SPreaD'" by Michelle Veugelers and Petra Newrly

Comments

 

I removed our posting from here and finally got it into the wiki proper. Looking forward to the June 22nd presentation with everyone.
 
Jen Riley, UMass Dartmouth
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