Jump to navigation.
The thought of these vast stacks of books would drive him mad: the more he read, the less he seemed to know—the greater the number of the books he read, the greater the immense uncountable number of those which he could never read would seem to be.
With nary a computer, smart phone, tablet, or pair of those Google cyborg glasses, just seemingly endless stacks of print books, this young man is experiencing some form of information overload, information overstimulation, or infogluttony.
He is obviously curious and eager to learn, but completely swirling around in an eddy of information and recorded human knowledge—again, print only. Fast forward to It could be achieved anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection or access to mobile data, and its cause would be quantified in exabytes, not volumes.
Over 90 percent click only on the first page results 1—10 , and the likelihood of someone clicking on the first result on the second page drops percent from that of the last result on the first page. This approach to search usually is plenty sufficient and, well, extremely efficient. It becomes a problem, however, when students rely on this tried and true tactic in pursuit of answers to more complex and nuanced questions—non-trivia-type questions, if you will.
More on that later. Our students are born into and only know this age of ubiquitous and seemingly infinite information in terms of both sheer quantity and accessibility. And when they begin to look beyond their circumscribed safe zone, whether or not they are as insatiably hungry to find and devour everything in sight like Eugene Gant in the Harvard Library stacks, they find themselves in a similarly dizzying deluge of strange new information options, a phenomenon that predates the Internet and online libraries.
There is so much great information hiding behind that first page of search results. But why go there? What is there?
A VOICE AND A FORCE FOR LIBERAL EDUCATION
What to do with it? Information literacy draws on a repertoire of critical inquiry skills.
Indeed, well before the immensely consequential Google revolution, claims like this were being made about the need for information literacy education. It deserves recognition and acceptance as such in the college curriculum. It is, furthermore, a complex of knowledge, skills, and attitudes not to be acquired in any one course but functionally related to the content of many.
It should, therefore, be integrated into the total curriculum. Information literacy is a liberal art. Naturally, I embrace such a notion, and do not see it as being too high flown. An education in information literacy aims to empower students to use critical inquiry skills wherever they are.
Most of them, in four years, will not be on a college or university campus. Nearly all of the employers said they expected job candidates, whatever their fields, to be able to search online—a given for a generation born into the Internet world.
But they also expected prospective hires to be patient and persistent researchers and to be able to retrieve information in a variety of formats, identify patterns within an array of sources, and dive deeply into source material. Indeed, just as information literacy cannot be demonstrated by a student in a single piece of work, the spectrum of skills that comprise it cannot be taught in a library session or two interspersed throughout the undergraduate experience.
This is most certainly the case where I work and have been recently intensifying my advocacy for a more structured and officially recognized information literacy component. In recent semesters, a select handful of faculty have been building sequenced, librarian-led, information literacy modules into their courses. These are co-planned and aligned with specific course objectives, but also allow the time and space to explore broader—portable—information literacy concepts.
Such will, ideally, become the model for embedding information literacy into both general education and upper-level courses in the disciplines.
From our Blog
What are the chronic deficiencies you see in your students, and how might it help to add a more robust and proactive information literacy component to the curriculum? Are students relying on the go-to skills they came with, or are they being intentionally stretched and challenged to develop new search habits and avenues for obtaining and evaluating information? Are they learning to think about information, or are they just finding some?
I encourage you to have a conversation with the librarians on your campus, many of whom are sure to have their own unique pedagogical goals and aspirations for the curriculum. Information literacy, then, is learning for life. Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. Jeremy J. Shapiro and Shelley K. Patricia B. Alison J. See also Alison J. Christopher N. As defined in Paul L.
Todd J. Wiebe is librarian with rank of associate professor and head of research and instruction at the Van Wylen Library at Hope College.
To respond to this article, e-mail liberaled aacu. Join our email list. Search form Search. Buy Print Copies.
Student learning imperative summary of the book
Current Issue. Search Articles by Title. Table of Contents Overview. Quality, Inequity, and Disruptive Innovation.
What Does Neuroscience Have to Do with Assessing Student Learning and Development?
From the Editor. Against Being Inclusive. In Defense of Japanese Liberal Education. Liberal Education. Googling vs. This is where information literacy comes into play. Notes 1. Previous Issues. See All.
Student-Centered Learning in New England
Read more. Community engagement can be confounding. The insights, confrontations, and sobering realities Building a New Liberal Education.
This issue of Liberal Education starts off looking at who and where our future students are and Claiming the Narrative: Sharing Our Stories. This issue explores approaches to claiming the narrative about the value of liberal education, with Covering a wide array of topics—democratic engagement between universities and communities; This issue explores the role of faculty development in creating educational spaces that welcome Taking Stock of the Assessment Movement.
Liberal Education for an Inventive America.
At its best, a contemporary liberal education helps form students as creative, innovative, What Happens to Quality in an Age of Disruption? Global Learning for All. Celebrating Years of Leadership for Liberal Education. Leading Change from the Classroom. This issue focuses on the leadership role individual faculty members can play as agents of Quality, E-Quality, and Opportunity. Also included are articles on Exploring Purpose and Vocation in College.
15 Learning Theories in Education (A Complete Summary)
This special issue presents an overview of the Lilly Endowment's Programs for the Theological Massive Open Online Courses. The authors of this issue's featured articles take a hard look at the phenomenon of the MOOC, the The Annual Meeting.
This issue features annual meeting presentations on the future of diversity, gender equity, and This issue presents the findings from a new national survey of employer priorities for college Student Learning: What, Where, How.
In exploring the diversity of teaching formats and strategies that different faculty members at Liberal Education for Sustainability. Shared Futures, Difficult Choices.
This issue examines underemphasized dimensions of diversity, new research about the links between The Completion Agenda. This issue presents several perspectives on the ongoing national efforts to increase college Drawing from a national symposium convened by the Bringing Theory to Practice project, this special