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Wednesday, June 18 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
CON3.06 – Information Fluency in the Teaching of History (Room A334)

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History as a discipline is transformative: it aspires to alter our views of the world by making us aware of the dynamics that have shaped it. It can even challenge our sense of place and identity. And yet, such a powerful discipline has too often been content with lectures as a way of carrying its message. Assignments as a whole have been predictable and, while sometimes intellectually challenging, they have not necessarily been met with great enthusiasm by students. In other words, history is ripe for a transformation if it is to be a true learning experience.

One way to achieve this is to refocus the expected outcomes of history courses. I am an educator in a transfer institution, where students typically complete the first two years of their undergraduate education before moving on to a university to complete their bachelor’s degree. This has confronted me with the challenge of making history transformative, especially to students who do not specialise in the discipline. And this is where information fluency (IF) came into the picture.

Students come to our courses because of an interest in and a curiosity for history, but they are rarely equipped to succeed in historical research. As a result, with the collaboration of Library staff, I have been changing my approach to teaching history. In order to unlock the research potential of students, I focused on developing their information fluency skills while also increasing their knowledge and awareness of history by weaving IF in the very fabric of the courses. This has meant new course structures, revamped assignments… and an emphasis on transferable skills that students can acquire in history courses and use throughout their chosen career.

The decision to use information fluency was one that came through an organic evolution of these courses in the environment of a transfer college; however, it has become informed by SoTL theory and is now part of a larger institutional research project on information fluency. In this session, participants will explore ways in which information fluency may apply to their own disciplines.

Wednesday June 18, 2014 3:30pm - 4:00pm EDT
A334 McArthur Hall

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