Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Customizing and Using a Popular Online Information Literacy Tutorial: One Library’s Experience

Customizing and Using a Popular Online Information Literacy Tutorial: One LibraryÂ’s Experience. This article is in the Spring 2006 issue of Library Philosophy and Practice. It is by Robert Flatley and William Jefferson.

The article notes, "Online information literacy tutorials are becoming increasingly popular. Many colleges and universities use a version of TILT (the Texas Information Tutorial) or Searchpath, a modification of TILT by Western Michigan University. Both of these popular tutorials are made available through an open license arrangement, which means individuals may download the tutorial files and modify them as needed. This paper describes our experience customizing Searchpath for Kutztown University's Rohrbach Library."

Central Michigan University developed an information literacy tutorial several years ago based on Searchpath. It is P.L.O.T. (Park Library Online Tutorial). Although it still has good information, after only a few years it is showing some age. The authors note this as well when they wrote, "Another challenge is to keep the tutorial relevant and current. We plan to make several significant changes to Searchpath and then pilot it once again." I guess it is time for me to give P.L.O.T. some serious scrutiny with an idea for making appropriate updates.

Anyway, anyone thinking about creating a TILT or Searchpath clone will probably find this article of interest. I believe online information literacy tutorials can be effective. The key is getting faculty to support the library by assigning students to use the tutorial. Students rarely drop in on their own and decide that it would be a good idea to learn about information literacy. If you create a turorial, market it hard to faculty.

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