Libraries & Archives

Libraries & Archives

Friday, April 28, 2006

The Myth about Student Competency

Extraordinary nutshell analysis here: the technical competency assumption and information literacy.

EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 41, no. 2 (March/April 2006): 12–13.

The Myth about Student Competency
“Our Students Are Technologically Competent.”
Diana G. Oblinger and Brian L. Hawkins

"College and university students today seem so technologically competent. When they wake up in the morning, they don’t turn on the TV to find out about the weather; instead they go to the Web site For news, they use, not channel 21. Of course, this is after they check to see what instant messages (IMs) they missed while sleeping. To learn about friends, they turn to Going online for entertainment is normal for them. Computer games, massively multiplayer games, and music downloads are an assumed part of their environment (for example, 85% of 18- and 19-year-olds download music).1 And when they want to communicate, sending IMs or text messages is as natural as picking up the phone. There is no question that students go online before they go to the library; Google has become this generation’s reference desk.


...Whereas colleges and universities often focus on technology skills, it is actually information literacy that should be the concern. Information literacy is much more than knowing how to open a Web browser and type a search term into Google. Information literacy is the ability to recognize when information is needed and to locate, evaluate, and use that information effectively...."

Time to mention here, I think, Judy Bastian's new course. Judy is the Butler Community College librarian on the El Dorado campus, although she is part-time at Andover as well. The course is titled:
Research Techniques and is located in the College Orientation division, as it applies to everything a college student might research, from auto tech to literature, from anatomy and physiology to criminal justice, from soup to nuts.

The course is offered online for the first time this fall, after having a full independant study load of 5 this spring. Judy's course is the only online course offered by a librarian at any of the Kansas community colleges, except Johnson County, which offers one face-to-face or two online for one credit each, like Judy's; Scotty Zollars has a well-attended face-to-face one over at Labette CC in Parsons.

Consider signing up.


1 comment:

David said...

Is it possible that "evaluate" is the most important part of that literacy?