BGSU Receives Ohio Board of Regents Grant to Improve Student Learning through Faculty Development

Catherine Cardwell, Coordinator, Library User Education

BGSU faculty Catherine Cardwell (Libraries and Learning Resources) and Dan Madigan (Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology), in collaboration with Kent State University, were awarded $343,000 from the Ohio Board of Regents Technology Initiatives Program recently for their proposal entitled, “Improving Student Learning through faculty Development: A Plan for Information Literacy.”

In an effort to help faculty, administrators and students have an increased understanding of information literacy and its significance, the Libraries and Learning Resources (LLR) and the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology (CTLT) have been collaborating for more than a year to offer extended workshops. Participants learn to distinguish the critical differences between the “free” web and subscription databases, both crucial sources of information for researchers; to create effective online research assignments that engage students in critical thinking; to use effective “search” skills on the web; to improve both personal and student research skills; and to develop strategies to prevent and detect plagiarism. So far, approximately 70 BGSU faculty members have attended the workshops conducted by Dan Madigan, Cathi Cardwell, and Colleen Boff (LLR).

Teachers, administrators and students generally agree that increased access to information through new technologies has enriched our learning and our lives. At the same time, however, this information and access to information has presented a new set of problems. For example, how does a student distinguish reliable information from unreliable information on the web? And, how does a student move beyond surfing the web to becoming information literate? A commonly accepted definition of information literacy is “the ability to articulate an information need, retrieve appropriate information, and use the information effectively and appropriately.”

As part of a project funded through this OBOR Technology Initiatives Grant, participants who have already attended the faculty workshops and those who plan to attend in Fall 2002 will be invited to apply for a $5000 equipment grant that will support the integration of information literacy skills into their courses. For more information please contact Cathi Cardwell at cardcat@bgnet.bgsu.edu or 2-7903.