Achieving Information Fluency: The Wake Forest Approach

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Achieving Information Fluency: The Wake Forest Approach

  • David G. Brown
  • VP, Dean (ICCEL)
  • Professor (Economics)
  • Wake Forest University
  • IT Everywhere Conference
  • George Mason University
  • Fairfax, Virginia
  • April 30, 2001

Simple Outline

  • What is Information Fluency?
  • What’s Wake Forest doing to achieve it?
  • What might you and others do?

Metaphors for Achieving Information Fluency

  • Drive a car
  • Pass drivers’ exam
  • Use a library
  • Write an essay
  • Give a speech
  • Name State Capitals
  • Check the two that
  • for you come closest!
  • Program a VCR
  • Understand tennis
  • Play tennis
  • Speak French

Components of Information Fluency

  • Find materials on the web & in print
  • Evaluate materials on the web & in print
  • Create a Spreadsheet
  • Create a Web Page in html
  • Place information on the web & in print
  • Organize information against hypotheses
  • Know where to get help when stumped
  • Recognize the perishability of information
  • Check all that apply & add others.
  • DEFINITION: Our students will graduate with “information fluency” when they can ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________.
  • Your responsibility is to finish the sentence on
  • one of our 3x5 index cards. When you have
  • completed your assignment, form dyads (two-somes),
  • swap cards, And for 3 minutes talk with each other about
  • what been written on the cards.
  • MY DEFINITION: Our students will graduate with “information fluency” when they can find, evaluate, adapt, organize, and use data!

WHY INFORMATION FLUENCY? …the institutional answer

  • Communication & Community!
  • Level Playing Field
  • After College Use
  • Faculty/Students Demand Them
  • Customized/Personalized
  • Digitized Scholarship
  • Marketable Difference
  • Wake Forest University

WHY INFORMATION FLUENCY? …the faculty answer

  • Interactive Learning
  • Collaborative Learning
  • Communication
  • Visualization
  • Different Strokes for Different Folks
  • Wake Forest University
  • David G. Brown, Editor
  • Anker Publishing. 2000

3700 undergraduates

  • 3700 undergraduates
  • 92% residential
  • 500 each: Med, Law, MBA, PhD
  • $950M endowment
  • Winston-Salem, NC
  • Baptist Heritage
  • 1300 average SAT
  • 28th in US News & World Report
  • Top 35 Privates in Barron’s Guide
  • Rhodes Scholars
  • What’s Wake Forest Doing?

THE WAKE FOREST PLAN IBM A22e, Pentium III, 700 Mhz, 20GB, 14”ActMatrix, 196MB, Re-writable CD 56k modem, 8MB Video Ram, 10/100 Ethernet, Floppy, USB & Serial & Parellel & Infrared Ports

  • IBM Laptops for all
  • Printers for all
  • New Every 2 Years
  • Own @ Graduation
  • 31.000 Connections
  • Standard Software
  • 99% E-Mail
  • Start 1995, 4 Year Phase In
  • +15% Tuition for 37 Items
  • +40 Faculty and 30 Staff
  • ICCEL -- Wake Forest University, 2001

Computers Enhance My Teaching and/or Learning Via--

  • Presentations
  • Better--20%
  • More Opportunities to
  • Practice & Analyze--35%
  • More Access to Source
  • Materials via Internet--43%
  • More Communication with Faculty Colleagues, Classmates,
  • and Between Faculty and Students--87%
  • ICCEL -- Wake Forest University, 2001

Computers allow people----

  • to belong to more communities
  • to be more actively engaged in each community
  • with more people
  • over more miles
  • for more months and years
  • ICCEL -- Wake Forest University, 2001

With Ubiquity--- The Culture Changes

  • Mentality shifts-- like from public phone to personal phone.
  • Teaching Assumptions shift-- like from books in the public library to everyone owns a copy of his/her own.
  • Timelines shift-- like from “our class meets MWF” to “we see each other all the time and MWF we meet together”
  • Students’ sense of access shifts-- like from “maybe I can get that book in the library” to “I have that book in my library.”
  • Relationships shift-- like from a family living in many different states to all family members living in the same town
  • ICCEL -- Wake Forest University, 2001
  • Ways of Thinking About
  • Presidential Campaigns and Debates
  • A First Year Seminar Introducing
  • Students to the Liberal Arts
  • 15 Freshmen
  • Meet twice per week
  • All with open laptops
  • ICCEL -- Wake Forest University, 2001

Brown’s First Year Seminar

  • Before Class
    • Students Find URLs & Identify Criteria
    • Interactive exercises
    • Just-in-Time Quizzes
    • E-mail dialogue
    • Cybershows & Lecture Notes
  • During Class
    • One Minute Quiz
    • Computer Tip Talk
    • E-mails to Classmates
    • Class Polls
    • Team Projects
    • Chat During Lecture
  • After Class
    • Edit Drafts by Team
    • Guest Editors
    • Access Previous Papers
    • Follow Up Discussion
  • Other
    • Daily Announcements
    • Team Web Page
    • Personal Web Pages
    • Personal Portfolio
    • Exams include Computer
  • ICCEL -- Wake Forest University, 2001

The Wake Forest Approach

  • Integrate instruction with normal classes
  • Convince students they’ll use it after college
  • Use the computer as a primary communication tool
  • Declare “information literacy” as a given
  • Use computer to register, participate in committee work, be active in the fraternity
  • Empower everyone to be a trainer/teacher.
  • Raise Awareness
  • Pilot Programs
  • Assure Universal Access
  • Measure/Certify Results
  • What Can We Do to Advance the
  • Cause of Information Fluency on
  • Our Own Campuses?

Actions to Raise Awareness

  • Define Information Fluency
  • Conduct PR Campaigns on Campuses
  • Sponsor “The Fluency Bowl”
  • Appoint Blue Ribbon Advisory Group

Identify a Lead College

  • Identify a Lead College
  • Coordinate the “Eager” Departments from All Member Colleges
  • Research Other Programs
  • Pilot Programs

Assure Universal Access (Field of Dreams Approach)

  • Provide “Client Machines” (e.g. laptops)---either individually or at public stations
  • Teach Assuming Access
  • Buy Electronic Databases

Provide Learning Opportunities

  • Fluency Camp
  • Non-Credit Sessions (Required or Optional)
  • Degree-Credit Course (Required or Elective)

Measure/Certify the Results

Possible Roles for the Library

  • Politic for “Information Fluency”
  • Purchase & Manage Electronic Databases
  • Suggest All College Standards
  • Train All Students (Just in Time)
  • Train Faculty and Staff
  • Certify Information Fluency

Possible Roles for the Faculty

  • Define “information fluency” minimums
  • Set policies for the use of technology
  • Teach assuming “information fluency”
  • Judge the wisdom of a requirement
  • Politic for adequate funding
  • Monitor the quality of “fluency” training

Possible Roles for IS

  • Politic for Information Fluency
  • Research & Recommend Hardware and Software
  • Choose “back office” components
  • Implement and maintain infrastructure
  • Sponsor Student Technology Assistants
  • Enable After College Access
  • Our challenge is to make sure that as graduates they can find, evaluate, adapt, organize, & use data!
  • “Students who have increasingly grown up buying clothes, reading the news, chatting with friends, doing research, and applying to colleges and universities online have come to expect to use the Internet in all facets of their lives.” –Joanne Creighton and Paul Buchanan, Educause Review, March/April, 2001.
  • Let’s Go Out & Lead The Movement!

David G. Brown Wake Forest University Winston-Salem, N.C. 27109 336-758-4878 email: http// fax: 336-758-4875

  • ICCEL -- Wake Forest University, 2001

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