From Information Literate to Information Fluent examines the importance of Information Literacy in promoting student success in the transition from high school to University by focusing on teaching basic skills such as the evaluation of resources and how to engage peers with that information. This project seeks to inform educators on the importance of engaging populations in information literacy learning through the development of open educational resources and curriculum.
A Catalyst grant from LYRASIS allowed the Washburn University Libraries to develop online open access Information Literacy modules for distribution to regional middle and high schools, and to begin conversations with librarians in said locations about to increase Information Fluency in the digital age. This class will examine a variety of lessons learned in both the building of the modules and conversations that occurred.
Four principle project goals and expected outcomes shaped the project:
1. Teach Information Literacy and Critical Thinking skills.
Outcome: Middle and High School students learn to effectively evaluate information sources.
2. Teach Civil Reasoning skills.
Outcome: Middle and High School students learn to interpret, discuss and teach others about information.
3. Create an Information Literacy education model that is easily adaptable and replicable.
Outcome: Advances Information Literacy and Critical Thinking skills using a nationally replicable model before students graduate high school.
4. Create and disseminate Information Literacy educational resources.
Outcome: Enable students to embrace and become lifelong learning.
In this session, Bearman will talk about the importance of the project, opportunities faced and overcome, and where it heads next.
Instructor: Alan Bearman
A first-generation student and a native of London, England, Dr. Alan Bearman holds a Ph.D. in History from Kansas State University, along with undergraduate and Master’s degrees from the University of Kentucky and Murray State University. He is a Professor in the History of Christianity and Early American History at Washburn University where he has, since 2008, served as Dean of University Libraries, a Unit that since 2013 also includes Washburn’s Center for Student Success and Retention.
Bearman teaches courses in early American, the History of Christianity and Civil Religion at Washburn University. He is currently conducting research into Billy Graham’s 1954 Greater London Crusade, Alan is also examining the importance of Library as Place and student success at an open-admissions University.
As Dean, Bearman moved the Washburn Libraries from a collection centric model of operations to a user focused model that promotes student success. Bearman’s thinking about the role of an academic Library is relatively simple: Libraries are propagators of active learning and the place where students develop their scholarly identity. In 2011, Bearman oversaw the merger of the University Libraries with the Center for Student Success and Retention. A model that ensures that Information Literacy is the key student learning outcome of Washburn’s First-Year Experience programming, while also co-locating a growing number of academic success services in the main University Library to ensure their accessibility for students. All of which has led, at Washburn University, to a tremendous growth in the use of the Library and Academic Success services and ongoing significant increases in student success and retention.
Alan is married to the former Shelley Von Ragan of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, they now reside in Topeka, Kansas with their two children, Nathan and Rebecca, along with a growing number of cats and dogs.