Creating 21st Century Information-Literacy Programs

Rick Bearden and Emily Mitchell, Ferris State University

PILOT (Project Information Literacy Online Tutorial); Texas Information Tutorial (TILT)

One of the best things about TILT is you don’t have to recreate the wheel; it’s free.

bad: out-dated; ugly

Library Orientation all online students at Ferris State would take. PILOT was out-of-date. But limited on time: had to reorganize and restructure physical library.

New tutorial criteria

  • modular (student can just come in and take relevant part and then apply)
  • linkable (point of need)
  • easy to update (PILOT hadn’t been updated in years; not easy to update!)
  • interactive (old, boring: lots of text, bad; interactivity would need to be easily editable)

Interface features supporting criteria

  • navigation with both menu and arrows
  • Provide many ways to learn (varied display elements)
  • A new session will start from where you left off (you get interrupted)
  • Real time feedback from practice exercises

Screenshots being shown of the presentation right now.

  • Online chat embedded as part of the new tutorial
  • Simple elements such as a table can be used. Easily buildable pages (CSS does the formatting)
  • Fancier elements such as a lightboxes are available
  • Go interactive with drag and drop practice exercises (Not Flash — Javascript)
  • Code is provided for more elements: headings, paragraphs, lists, audio files, emphasis boxes, images, links (or include your own HTML)

Tutorial creation of interface

Philosophy of design: (Rick doesn’t like CMSes like Drupal) Philosophy of design: provide tools for novices to build useful tutorials but don’t dumb it down so much that it is impossible to do anything cool.

Editing Home, uses tabs

  • Add metadata
  • Edit metadata
  • Edit content
  • View content
  • Reorder
  • Delete
  • Upload File
  • Can clone it

Create and Manage quiz sets available

PILOT runs on LAMP. Code, content, and documentation will be made freely available to any library that wants it early summer 2011. Come up to leave us a business card if you want to be contacted when we are ready for distribution; or you can email us at: Rick Bearden ( Emily Mitchell (

Alan Bearman, Sean Bird, Keith Rocci, Washburn University

Interactive Presentation online

Information-Literacy Programs: The Washburn University Model (Topeka, KS)

London, Kentucky, Kansas journey — accent fun 🙂

Is the physical library in the 21st Century necessary? (The Googlization of Everything argument)

Washburn is a teaching university, sits between two research universities (KU and K-State); administration asked do we need a physical library in the 21st century. Dr. Bearman became the Dean of Libraries at Washburn University in 2008.

The library had become disengaged from the university. It had been a place that purchased lots of physical stuff just in case. Collection-centric model. Administration was really questioning the value of the library at the campus.

YES! The campus does still need a library. The library is more important today than ever before; not because of the collection but because of the people. The librarians are absolutely crucial to our teaching of information literacy. Administration response: what’s information literacy?

“To create information literate graduates the university library must be central to the student experience”

You can create information literate graduates in the information age, if they’re discontented from the students. Extend the library. Not just physical space. Digital branch. Local: tutorials for specific classes. Generic — general tutorials. Parents — orientation, library speaks to them. Library must be central to the student experience.

Washburn University Learning Outcomes (went from 9 vague standards unmeasurable to these)

  1. Communication (COM)
  2. Quantitative and Scientific Reasoning and Literacy (QSRL)
  3. Information Literacy and Technology (ILT)
  4. Critical and Creative Thinking (CCT)
  5. Global Citizenship, Ethics and Diversity (GCED)

Library had to figure out how to teach this outcome.

How did we assess our efforts? (keith is a teacher)

  1. Retention: 8% increase for 2009 cohort
  2. Student achievement: .37 increased GPA
  3. Student surveys: 84% student satisfaction

Success brings success.

Are we successful? (Sean Bird)

(data drives what we do) anecdotal evidence; Sean has seen this library since 1985 as an alum.

Library demanded them to study in the same ways as in the analog world, even in 2005

After Dr. Bearman came, things changed. No more zones. Carrels

Now different types of zones. Collaboration allowed.

  1. Library traffic increased 15%
  2. University President is a strong advocate (before didn’t think the library necessary)
  3. Academic Support Initiatives moved to library
  4. Second Assistant Dean position
  5. Coffee Kiosk

The library was packed. Every table was packed. Every computer was packed. Reading. Writing. The library place had changed.

Departments are holding meetings in the library because of the coffee shop.

Students are being encouraged to use the library to be questions.


  • Retention rate: Washburn had been criticized about its retention rate VERY publicly. The information literacy emphasis will hopefully drastically improve the retention rate. Students overwhelmed by information overload; must learn to deal with information. Washburn is working on this through their changes. Still to know the data.
  • Information Literacy: classes were taught for 15 years; 1 unit class “the library experience” tied to 2 unit class “the college experience” the content isn’t much different. Serials librarian teaching (rejuvenated his career); Access services librarian enjoying as well. Students get grades from this point. The instruction librarians — faculty status. The library went out and engaged the faculty and conversation and administration. That made a HUGE difference.
  • Washburn University: does have digital tutorials.