Reforming Information Literacy

Every student at Parkside needs to complete the set of quizzes under the Information Literacy section under D2L before they graduate, or else they may find themselves on campus for another semester instead of walking across the stage to receive their diploma. Many students wait until the last moment to complete these quizzes; whether by choice or because they simply forgot, this decision can affect them greatly. We may see a change to this program soon, though, if things go the way Senator Kevin Croswhite is hoping they go. On the 3rd of March, Croswhite brought a resolution to PSG concerning a reformation of the Information Literacy program. “We’re not trying to get rid of the program, we want to make full use of it. We want as many students to benefit from it as possible,” says Croswhite. The resolution passed unanimously in both PSG and AAPC (Academic Administrative and Policy Committee), the committee Croswhite is also involved in.

The resolution states that Information Literacy is most effective as an incoming Freshmen, so it recommends that Information Literacy is completed within the first semester of a freshman’s school year. It also states that if a student has completed the Research Methods course offered, they would be exempt from the requirement to complete Information Literacy before graduation because the two are quite the same. “If you’ve taken that then you don’t have to worry about going back and redoing it,” states Croswhite.

Because Information Literacy is an academic program, PSG technically does not have any control over what happens, they can only make recommendations of what they would like to see and what they believe the students want. The Gen Ed committee will be looking over the resolution sometime this week, because they have been looking for ways to make the program (which has not been doing so well) more efficient and useful to students. Whether the reform actually happens is up to the Gen Ed committee, but many students may benefit from the change. Our school, unfortunately, has a low retention rate, with only 8 out of 100 incoming freshmen actually graduating from Parkside. What Croswhite and others hope to see is a higher retention rate if students know how to use all the resources on campus, a large resource being our library. Croswhite adds, “The library is a great tool to have as long as you know how to use it and that’s what we’d like to see happen…we want to see everyone at least be able to utilize the resources we have here.”

Yes, the program is an annoyance to most likely every student, but in the end the information garnered from Information Literacy is valuable in regards to research papers and other assignments students may receive in their courses. It pays to know how to use the library. All that is left to do is wait to see if the Gen Ed committee decides to revamp the program or leave it as is. As for the resolution, “This will allow us to come to them and say this is what we would like to see happen, this is our view and we can, I guess, hope that they [want] to listen.”

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