Edited by Keith Gresham
As an event for the academic library community, Think Tank III: Information Literacy and the Technological Transformation of Higher Education continued a long tradition of focused discussions on the future direction of library instruction in higher education. As a publication for the academic library community, this work serves as the official record of the papers and discussion documents that were part of the Think Tank III working session and subsequent online forum.
Think Tank III teamed leaders in the field of information literacy with leaders in the field of educational technology for day-long discussions and agenda-setting sessions focused on the information literacy movement's impact upon higher education. The various events of Think Tank III were funded through the support of the ACRL Initiative Fund, with added contributions from e-book publisher netLibrary and individual donors.
The librarians and educational technologists selected for the Think Tank III working sessions were grouped into teams and assigned six topics for exploration:
1. Defining Moments: The Role of Information Literacy
in the 21st Century Construct of Education
Mark Donovan and Anne Zald from the University of Washington were asked to examine how the challenges posed by an information driven society demand a rethinking of higher education, as well as how instruction librarians and teaching faculty will be affected by institutional efforts to prepare active, critical, and information literate students.
2. Our Future Revisited: Redefining the Teaching Role
of Librarians on the Wired Campus
Elizabeth Dupuis of the University of Texas at Austin and Margit Misangi Watts of the University of Hawaii at Manoa revisited William Miller's comments from Think Tank II on the teaching role of academic librarians in light of the major information literacy initiatives witnessed in higher education in the past 10 years and the widespread integration of technology into the daily lives of students.
3. Deep Impact: Changing Technologies and the
(R)evolution of Information Literacy
Judith Swanson of California Polytechnic State University and Dane Ward of Wayne State University were asked to examine the impact of technological changes and an increasingly "technologized" student population on the design and delivery of campus-wide information literacy programs.
4. Lessons Learned: Computer Technologies as
Learning Tools and Their Applications to Library
Karen Williams and James Austin of the University of Arizona discussed what current research tells us about the successful use of computer technology as a teaching tool and they explored how knowledge can best be applied to the teaching of information literacy in academic libraries.
5. Justify Our Love: Information Literacy and the
Role of Assessment in Higher Education
Anne Scrivener Agee and Craig Gibson of George Mason University explored how information literacy efforts affect student learning in the classroom and examined relevant issues regarding the measurement and assessment of information literacy outcomes in light of the demands being placed upon higher education for increased accountability.
6. In Search of Common Ground: The Information
Literacy/Computer Literacy Connection
Patricia Iannuzzi of Florida International University was asked to examine why the teaching of information literacy in higher education seems not to have received widespread acceptance and enthusiasm to the same degree as the teaching of computer or technology literacy. She also explored what opportunities exist for collaborative partnerships between proponents of these two skill areas.
Ree DeDonato of Columbia University was invited to serve as moderator of the working sessions, and Kathleen Kern, a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was invited to serve as recorder.
In order to broaden the deliberations about the important Think Tank III topics, online discussions with the authors were scheduled. The ACRL/IS Think Tank III Online Forum provided visitors a "virtual" think tank where they could read the working papers, leave comments for the authors, and participate in real-time "chat" sessions with the authors. The authors posted either a working copy of the paper or the main ideas and questions so participants in the online discussion could read the papers before logging on for the chat sessions. Session transcripts are included in this publication.
Think Tank III was a success. Topics discussed during the event included the nature of change, appropriateness of technology, instructional environments, and collaboration. Issues of assessment and information literacy's place within higher education were also part of the discussion. The participants provided excellent papers raising critical issues that will need additional deliberation. The Think Tank model provided for a focused dialogue on several themes, but the online discussion sessions allowed involvement beyond the initial participants. With the ongoing support of IS and ACRL, the Think Tank events will continue to provide a forum for discussion, evaluation, assessment, and a creative model for future information literacy, technology, and instruction issues.
Think Tank III Participants
by Allison V. Level and Keith Gresham
Think Tank III Opening Remarks
by Randy B. Hensley, chair (1997-1998), ACRL Instruction Section
About the Contributors