Workshop: Integrating information literacy in distance learning contexts

lilac workshopApril 25, 2014
LILAC spring workshop
Brooklyn College Library

Slides (PDF, 8 MB)
Handout (PDF, .docx)


This presentation was for a break-out session at the LILAC spring workshop, “From Stale to Stellar: Practical innovations for teaching information literacy.” I walked participants through a case study of online education at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, pointing out ways the library is responding to the growing number of online and hybrid classes.

Main points for librarians:

  • Build a Faculty Toolbox or Resource Center to make it easy for faculty members to embed library-created content in their online course shells. (Props to Helen Lane for this idea.)
  • Reach out to faculty personally to let them know about library resources and why you’re important.
  • If your distance students have an orientation that’s online-only, concoct an activity to introduce them to the library. At John Jay, we designed the Murder Mystery Challenge! to introduce both on- and off-campus students to basic research skills. (We’ll have to tweak it for next year for online-only students, adding a ‘Hi, we are the library’ introduction.)
  • What does the online education policy on your campus say about the library & its responsibilities to distance students? Particularly where info literacy standards are concerned? (If nothing, or nonexistent, write it yourselves.)
  • The nitty-gritty must be considered: will you mail books? Extend ILL to students? Send them their library barcode stickers?
  • Distance services are time-consuming. They involve creating a lot of materials — and updating them on a regular basis, too.
  • Distance services are a major part of the future of libraries, just as distance learning is a major part of the future (and present) of education. Make sure you know what to expect in 6 months, a year, 5 years — and start laying the groundwork!

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