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Jane Liu, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Pomona College

Dr. Jane Liu is a founding member of the Advisory Board of the Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy. She is a faculty member in the Chemistry Department at Pomona College and she incorporates elements of information literacy in her teaching.

Jane, we are so pleased to have you on the Advisory Board for the Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy. You bring a valuable perspective to our work, particularly as a faculty member in the sciences. Please tell us about your position as Associate Professor of Chemistry at Pomona College.

Jane: I have a fantastic job!  I was hired to primarily teach biochemistry, which I describe as understanding how cells and organisms work, at a molecular level. I teach this subject in the classroom, mostly to third- and fourth-year undergraduates, but I’m a firm believer that some of the best ways to learn science is to actually do science. So I also engage students in my research lab where I investigate how genes are turned on and off in bacteria. My students and I work side by side, wearing lab coats and gloves, growing bacteria, isolating DNA, RNA and proteins, and doing experiments on these materials to answer questions that we do not know the answer to. There is a great deal of learning that can occur when tackling the unknown – and there are always a few unexpected surprises that are uncovered.

More recently, I’ve wanted to engage younger students and have begun teaching general chemistry, which is mostly populated by first year students. I also developed a new course, aimed at second-year undergraduates, that I call Analysis of Scientific Literature – Demystifying the Approach and the Science. I guide the students through a set of related journal articles and students are given the opportunity to develop their ability to decipher figures, interpret findings, and propose and defend further experiments to test their own hypotheses and questions. I have loved watching the students develop these skills over the course of the semester. We also spent time in class discussing grant writing and funding mechanisms, the process of publishing a journal article, and the challenges and opportunities of being a scientist.

Between the teaching and the research, there is never a dull moment and never a lack of something new to explore. Like I said, I have a fantastic job!

Q: How do define or think about “information literacy?”

Jane: I think of information literacy as the ability to find, evaluate and synthesize information to address a given question. ...continue reading "Meet the TATIL Advisory Board: Jane Liu"

Sophie Bury joined the Advisory Board of the Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy in 2015. In this interview she reveals her passion for teaching and her commitment to assessment. Read about Sophie's projects on faculty IL and media literacy and learn why she joined the TATIL Advisory Board.

photo of Sophie Bury
Sophie Bury, Librarian at York University

Question: Please tell us about your job. What are the highlights of your position?

Sophie: I am currently in the role of Head of the Bronfman Business Library at the Schulich School of Business and Learning Commons Chair at York University Libraries. I will commence a new role at York University Libraries as Director of Learning Commons and Reference Services in July 2018.

The Learning Commons unites learning services at York University to better support students’ success and is a partnership of the Libraries, Learning Skills Services, the Writing Department, the ESL Open Learning Centre, the Career Centre, the Teaching Commons (supports teaching development at York) and the YUExperience Hub (supports experiential education at York).

My previously held roles include that of Business Librarian at York University and Wilfrid Laurier University, as well as leadership roles in the area of information literacy at both these universities in committee chair or other leadership positions.

I am very passionate about the role of academic libraries in student learning and success and very much enjoy the public service aspects of my role, including interacting with students in the classroom, as well as being one of the library’s key players in developing our reference and Learning Commons services to enhance the student experience.

Q: Tell us about your research and professional interests. What are you trying to accomplish? ...continue reading "Meet the TATIL Advisory Board: Sophie Bury"

Cynthia Mari Orozco
Cynthia Mari Orozco, Librarian for Equitable Services, East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park and South Gate, California, USA

Cynthia Mari Orozco joined the Advisory Board of the Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy in 2017. She is Librarian for Equitable Services, East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park and South Gate, California, USA. Cynthia talked with us about promoting information literacy through faculty collaboration and about the importance of recognizing the efforts of our colleagues. 

Question: Please tell us what you are working on these days.

Cynthia: We have a small instruction team that oversees a lot of information literacy instruction (ILI) at a relatively large campus, so we're actively seeking strategies to institutionalize information literacy across the campus but also to provide more targeted, intentional ILI. One project we are working on is creating embeddable information literacy content for classroom faculty in Canvas, our campus LMS, to provide faculty with easy-to-adopt resources. We also want to build professional development for classroom faculty in teaching information literacy in a Train the Trainer model, in which faculty learn about information literacy and work with a librarian to embed information literacy in their courses, ideally scaffolded throughout the semester.

Q: Do you teach? How has your approach to teaching changed since you started? ...continue reading "Meet the TATIL Advisory Board: Cynthia Mari Orozco"

Lyda Fontes McCartin
Lyda Fontes McCartin, Professor, Head of Information Literacy & Undergraduate Support, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado, USA

In 2014, my library Curriculum Committee started work on developing new student learning outcomes for our 100-level LIB courses. We teach five distinct credit courses; four are 100-level courses and one is a 200-level course. The learning outcomes had not been revisited in years and we had added new courses since that time. With the debut of the Framework, we took the opportunity to update our learning outcomes. It was at this time we began considering all of our 100-level courses as one “program.” An overview of the process we used to create the outcomes is provided in a C&RL News article titled “Be critical, but be flexible: Using the Framework to facilitate student learning outcome development.” The 100-level student learning outcomes are:

  1. Students will be able to develop a research process
  2. Students will be able to implement effective search strategies
  3. Students will be able to evaluate information
  4. Students will be able to develop an argument supported by evidence

Since 2015, I’ve been guiding the library Curriculum Committee through the creation of signature assignments to assess our credit courses so that we can look at student learning across 100-level sections. A signature assignment is a course-embedded assignment, activity, project, or exam that is collaboratively created by faculty to collect evidence for a specific learning outcome. Most of the time you hear about signature assignments in relation to program level assessment, but they can also be used to assess at the course level and are especially useful if you want to assess a course that has many sections taught by multiple instructors (hint – this model can be used for one-shot instruction as well).

I like signature assignments because ...continue reading "Assessing Credit Courses with Signature Assignments"

Cynthia Kane, Emporia State University
Cynthia Kane, Emporia State University, Kansas, USA

Cynthia Kane joined the Advisory Board of the Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy in 2017. Here she answers questions about her work and her passion for assessment.

Question: Please tell us about your current job. 

Cynthia: I am currently the Director of Assessment at the Emporia State University Libraries and Archives. I oversee all aspects of assessment initiatives in our program, including information literacy assessments. I also represent the Libraries and Archives on two university-wide committees:  the Student Learning Assessment Council and the Higher Learning Commission Leadership Team. I really enjoy these last two opportunities because it’s given me a wider audience to highlight the impact of the academic library in student learning and success throughout their undergraduate and graduate careers.

Q: Do you teach? How has your approach to teaching changed since you started? ...continue reading "Meet the TATIL Advisory Board: Cynthia Kane"