A Collaborative Approach to Building a Student Information and Technology Literacy Program
Prior to this academic year, Butler University had few resources available to support student curricular use of technology. The library reference desk fielded increasing numbers of technology-related questions from students, and a growing number of faculty members sought out the Center for Academic Technology (formerly Instructional Technology) staff members to provide technology training for skills specifically related to the coursework.
To meet this growing need, the Center for Academic Technology and the Library jointly crafted a professional development program for student staff focused on information literacy and technical skills. Led by an Academic Technology Specialist and a Librarian, the Information Commons program is based on a shared model of academic technology and library instruction based on standards for student literacy. It serves as a peer-to-peer training program to support student use of emerging technologies on campus and to provide basic library research tools. The decentralized nature of the program and the amount of training needed to adequately prepare the program participants to serve their peers created a number of logistical challenges that needed to be addressed in the development of the program ranging from operational procedures to shared mentorship. In particular, because the Library and the Center for Academic Technology are geographically separate, many of these challenges seemed more complex.
This presentation will discuss the guiding principles that led to the formation of the program, the challenges faced and future directions for this fledgling program.