rusq: Vol. 51 Issue 1: p. 88
Sources: Teaching Information Literacy Online
Nancy Sprague

Nancy Sprague, Reference & Instruction Librarian, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho

With the recent rise in demand for online learning, academic librarians are exploring new approaches to teaching information literacy online. This collection of eight case studies focuses on the value of collaboration between academic librarians and teaching faculty in designing and implementing effective online information literacy programs. The editors, Thomas Mackey (Center for Distance Learning, SUNY Empire State College) and Trudi Jacobson (Head of Information Literacy, University of Albany, SUNY) skillfully weave together recent examples of librarian/teaching faculty partnerships from universities across the United States and the United Kingdom.

For librarians looking for inspiration on new strategies for teaching information literacy online, this book may be helpful. It covers a wide range of techniques, such as using Wikis, Second Life, reusable learning objects, and role-playing. Included with each case study are practical tips on assessment of online learning and samples of activities, learning objectives, and survey questions. Four of the studies describe hybrid learning courses, in which online instruction is blended with face-to-face instruction, while the other four cover open and fully online courses. Both undergraduate and graduate level courses in the humanities and social sciences are included. One drawback in the coverage is that no examples of teaching information literacy in the sciences or engineering are used.

Although some of the techniques described may not fit every library’s needs or may become outdated fairly quickly, the authors offer useful general recommendations for online instructional design. They discuss ways to embed information literacy activities within courses and address some of the challenges posed by online instruction. This volume is similar to Alice Daugherty and Michael Russo’s Information Literacy Programs in the Digital Age: Educating College and University Students Online (ACRL, 2007), and there is also some overlap with the editors’ previous books on information literacy. However, the in-depth discussions on collaborations between librarians and teaching faculty to integrate information literacy into online courses set this book apart and will make it a useful addition to academic library collections.

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