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Services » Instruction and Information Literacy » Information Literacy » Information Literacy Program Components » Information Literacy in the Undergraduate Curriculum

Information Literacy in the Undergraduate Curriculum

students, computers

A. First Year Writing
Information Literacy is an integral component of English 112, College Writing, and a required writing course for all UMass undergraduates. College Writing is designed to give students practice in meeting the literacy demands of their future academic, professional, civic, and personal lives. Information Literacy is included in the goals of First Year Writing.  In particular, Unit III of the syllabus, "Adding to a Conversation" requires students to "locate multiple sources of information and ideas."  Every English 112 class holds a session in a computer classroom (either in the Library or elsewhere on campus) where students learn how to locate scholarly resources on general topics using research databases and other tools.

Librarians work with the Writing Program to ensure that Teaching Associates receive proper instruction on how to teach these skills to their students. Librarians hold training sessions for Teaching Associates every semester and maintain web pages with handouts and other useful resources for both the Teaching Associates as well as the students.

B.  General Education Courses
Information Literacy is now one of the learning objectives of General Education courses across various designations.  Specifically, these objectives state that General Education provides students with "Opportunities to develop and practice the skills of critical thinking, reasoning, communication, and integration of knowledge and perspectives, including":   

Information literacy is also a component of the criteria for approval and re-approval of General Education classes.

In summer 2009, the Rules Committee of the Faculty Senate endorsed a proposal to convert General Education courses from three credits to four credits. Information Literacy activities that engage students in learning outside of the classroom may be emphasized as an option for the fourth credit.  Librarians will work with the Committee on General Education Revision and Implementation (GERICO) to help faculty who teach Gen Ed classes as they develop these extra activities, which are summarized on a web page

C.  Junior Year Writing
The Junior Year Writing (JYW) Program incorporates information literacy within the framework of writing in the major. Because every undergraduate must take a JYW course and because writing and information literacy are so intrinsically connected, information literacy is included in the teaching resources that are made available to all Junior Year Writing instructors.

Students are expected to learn how to:

Subject Librarians work with Junior Year Writing instructors to:

D.   Other Subject-specific Undergraduate Support
Librarians work with faculty and instructors to develop the information literacy skills necessary for other course-specific needs. Among the activities:



Last Edited: 21 July 2011