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Information Fluency: Building a Tiered, Course-Integrated Program Across the College Curriculum: CIC Grant & JCA Action Plan

Guide to supplement Faculty Food for Thought Presentation, April 12, 2018.

Tom, Nick, and Sheri's Marvelous Adventure (in "Nawlins") ...

Enter: the CIC (Council of Independent Colleges) Grant to send a Butler Team to the Workshop on Information Fluency in the Arts in New Orleans, April 2017.  Nicholas Johnson, JCA musicologist, Tom Paradis, then Associate Provost in charge of Assessment, and Sheri Stormes attended.  Wendy Meaden, Professor of Theatre was supposed to have joined us but a family emergency precluded her attending.

As part of our participation, the team came up with an Action Plan to further the development of Information Fluency at Butler.

Here is our Action Plan:

  • Actively advocate for an information fluency learning objective for the School of Music.  Butler’s School of Music will be re-writing its Student Learning Objectives immediately following the end of the Spring Semester 2017.  Members of the Workshop Team will actively advocate for an information literacy learning objective.We have met this goal!  The School of Music faculty (including the Performing and Fine Arts Librarian, who often is employed as an adjunct instructor) met on May 5, 2017, and drafted the following revised list of student learning objectives:

“By graduation, the Butler University School of Music will prepare its students to demonstrate the following:

  1. a broad knowledge of music, including its historical and cultural context.
  2. a mastery of fundamental theoretical aspects of music.
  3. technical and artistic skills appropriate to the area of applied study, including solo and collaborative music making.
  4. the ability to gather, evaluate, and communicate musical information and ideas verbally and in writing.”
  • Expand the participation of Jordan College of the Arts/School of Music faculty members in information fluency activities, especially the new theatre history professor and new and returning applied music instructors.
  • Encourage/develop additional information fluency-related assignments and increase student awareness of the research process, including critical thinking about performances, scores, etc.
  • Increase Jordan College of the Arts students’ knowledge of artists/performers and repertoire in their respective fields of study.
  • Further integrate the Performing & Fine Arts Librarian and Graduate Assistants into the teaching of information fluency. Perhaps have the Librarian sit in on key classes (e.g., Music History, Dance History, Theatre History, etc.) and assign Graduate Assistants (in music) to act as research mentors to undergraduate music majors.
  • Hold information fluency workshop/discussion at a School of Music all-faculty meeting in Spring 2018.
  • Make presentation about the Butler team’s experiences at the CIC Workshop at a Jordan College of the Arts meeting in Spring 2018 or Fall 2019.
  • Present follow-up showcase panel for Butler faculty development program to share good practices.
  • Advocate for a NEW LIBRARY BUILDING  or the re-purposing of the former music listening-viewing room (which is now a group study space) into a collaborative arts workspace. (Full disclosure:  we knew this was a pipe dream but ... what the heck?!)

In September, Butler was notified that it had been named a recipient of one of the CIC Information Fluency Development Grants.

Our grant proposed the following:

  1. “The Research Doctor Is In!” – This would involve setting up a “stantion” (or “stanchion” – an upright pole that, in this case, refers to a sturdy sign stand) with a sign indicating the presence of a specially-trained graduate music student who would be available for consultation in the main lobby of Lilly Hall (the building which houses Jordan College of the Arts) four hours per week for twelve weeks of the Fall and Spring Semester.  It should be noted that the Music & Fine Arts Collection was formally housed in the basement of Lilly Hall.  The proximity encouraged both faculty and students to frequent the small branch library.  In the early nineties, the collection was merged into the Irwin Library (i.e., the main campus library).   For many years, this move had fairly minimal impact on use of the library and interaction with the Performing & Fine Arts Librarian by students and faculty of Jordan College.  However, in recent years, with patrons having increased expectations of “instant gratification” with respect to their research needs, foot traffic to Irwin by Jordan College people has decreased.  This was especially noticeable this past academic year.  The team’s hope is that increasing the presence of a research (information fluency) consultant in a location where the arts students tend to gather will encourage greater interaction and teaching of information fluency skills.  (As noted earlier in the action plan, it is also the intention of the Performing & Fine Arts Librarian to increase her presence in targeted classes in Lilly Hall in the coming year.)
  1. Jordan College Faculty “Basic Training” Sessions – Members of the Jordan College faculty and administration have expressed the desire to be given the opportunity to learn more about the Butler Libraries’ subscription databases that are relevant to their respective disciplines and how to efficiently search them (including the WMS Discovery Box).  In addition, there is an apparent need to broaden faculty awareness of and knowledge of how to access and use such aids as LibGuides and the PALShare interlibrary loan links.  Faculty have also indicated a need for additional training relating to how these resources can best be pushed out to students via Butler’s Learning Management System (currently Canvas).  Some basic information about other relevant digital resources would be welcome as well.  Jordan College faculty tend to have little opportunity to attend the campus-wide continuing education events Butler offers because of their teaching and rehearsal schedules.  It would be beneficial if the training could “come to them” at a time convenient for them.  (Generally, a mid-day slot would be best.)  The team’s proposal is to offer two to three training sessions of this type and provide lunch for the attendees.  As previously noted, members of the administration have suggested that food would provide added incentive to attend.  While the number of attendees must be estimated, the team’s goal would be to have sum total of twenty to thirty attendees.
  1. “Deep Dive” (Multi-Tiered) Training Stipends for Select Faculty – The Director of Butler’s Center for Academic Technology (CAT) was included in the Butler team’s discussions for promoting and encouraging information fluency.  The team and the CAT Director agree that digital fluency is an important and logical component of information fluency.  This is affirmed by the fact that Butler’s Center for Academic Technology was recently moved into Irwin Library and the Director reports to the Dean of Libraries and is part of the Library Leadership Team.  Members of the Jordan College faculty realize that the ability to incorporate A-V resources into the Learning Management System and to use plagiarism-detection tools, such as Turn-It-In would enhance student learning and development of their information fluency skills, both in face-to-face and online environments.  JCA faculty members also report that one-shot training sessions are simply insufficient to make them feel confident and proficient in performing these tasks.  Based on this feedback, the team proposes that a multi-tiered training program be developed and implemented.  This program would provide a stipend for participating faculty and would involve:
    1. A  Learning Management System refresher session,
    2. A session focusing on how to link databases and media into Learning Management System,
    3. One-on-one consultations with faculty and CAT staff members, and
    4. A commitment from the participating faculty members to share what they have done and learned with their colleagues.  This could be in the form of participation in a faculty development workshop or provision of individual mentoring.

Total stipend:  8 faculty X $300 stipend each = $2,400.00

N.B., The Butler team desires to be realistic about the implementation of this proposal and realizes that preparation and development time will be necessary to insure its success.  The team feels that it will take a minimum of an entire academic year to implement the three steps described above and some of the training may, in fact, run into the following Academic Year.  It is the team’s hope that this will not adversely affect its proposal. 


Email Butler University Libraries
Irwin Library: 317-940-9227
Science Library: 317-940-9937
CAT: 317-940-8575

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