ACRL IS Current Issue Discussion Digest – ALA Midwinter 2016

Aligning to the Framework: An Assessment of Practices

Discussion Conveners: Kenya Flash, Diversity Resident Librarian, University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Kelly Tilton, Instruction Librarian, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

January 26, 2016 | 2:00pm – 3:30pm Central Time
(virtual discussion forum via WebEX)

The ACRL Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education is a significant subject of debate among academic librarians. The changes that have to occur in individual libraries, as well as the profession as a whole, to align with the framework and the diminishing importance of the Information Literacy Standards for Higher Education which librarians worked so hard to promote— are two issues that have evoked serious conversation about information literacy instruction.

At the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, we have begun exploring our current General Education program to ascertain how it aligns in its current state to the framework. Our view of the framework is that it operates as a philosophy and we have used that philosophy in various ways to influence our instruction. We have encountered both challenges and successes in this endeavor. The overall process has demonstrated how we continue to grow our program, but there are also areas in which we really could improve our processes.

We will briefly address our vision of the framework, and what we consider to be successes in our program (as this may provide some assistance to other libraries), with the hope of discussing some successes at other institutions. Some of our successes include:

  • hiring an “outcomes” coordinator to align the whole program to develop IL through the student’s career
  • reinvestigating our recently developed outcomes for our general education courses to determine which best reflect the philosophy of the framework
  • collaborating with various involved parties

Additionally, we will introduce some of our challenges in the hope of engaging other institutions to share their experiences.

Questions to consider:

  1. Has your library utilized the ACRL Framework for instruction purposes? If so, how does the framework align with your current practices? What challenges are you facing? What successes have you realized?
  2. Does your library view the ACRL Framework as a philosophy to guide instruction or as a checklist much like the ACRL Standards? How does this view of the framework affect the outcomes or discussions you expect within your program?
  3. Does the culture at your institution encourage the development of the dispositions throughout a student’s academic program? How do we ensure that we are facilitating the progression from novice to expert in each of the areas?

Recommended reading

  1. ACRL Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education
  2. Foasberg, N. (2015). From Standards to Frameworks for IL: How the ACRL Framework Addresses Critiques of the Standards. Portal: Libraries & The Academy15(4), 699-717.
  3. Gibson, C., & Jacobson, T. E. (2014). Informing and extending the draft ACRL information literacy framework for higher education: An overview and avenues for research. College & Research Libraries, 75(3), 250-253.
  4. Oakleaf, M. (2014) A roadmap for assessing student learning using the new framework for information literacy for higher education. The Journal of Academic Librarianship (40)5, 510-514.

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