Information Literacy in the Virtual Classroom

 When UMD courses moved online, information literacy instruction shifted too.

In a typical year, librarians teach between 350-450 instruction sessions for a wide range of courses, and the majority of these sessions happen in the classroom. While most spring semester instruction took place prior to spring break, when UMD courses moved online, information literacy instruction shifted too.

What is information literacy instruction?

Liaison librarians deliver information literacy instruction for courses with a research focus. In the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, information literacy is defined as “the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.” Information literacy instruction helps students learn to navigate the research process, think critically about information, and recognize their own roles as information creators and contributors. Learn more about the library’s approach to information literacy instruction.

What does online information literacy instruction look like? 

Librarians delivered online instruction for thirteen courses from March 16 to April 17, including Philosophy, Sociology, and Supportive Services Program courses, two sections of Advanced Writing, eight sections of College Writing, and one College in the Schools course. Partnering with instructors, librarians chose a range of teaching strategies to best fit the goals of the course and allow students to learn at their own pace, including creating worksheets and asynchronous activities, facilitating Canvas discussion forums, recording tutorials and screencasts, and developing online research guides. 

How can I work with a librarian to include information literacy in my online course?

For the fall 2020 semester, librarians will continue to deliver information literacy instruction virtually. By offering online instruction, we can provide equitable access for all students in a course, including those who need to learn remotely. If you are interested in working with a librarian to develop a plan for information literacy instruction in a fall or other future course, please reach out to your liaison librarian.

Learn more about UMD's Kathryn A. Martin Library