From Baby Steps to Giant Leaps: Developing and Presenting an Information Literacy Course at the University of the Free State
As our society moves progressively into the information age, the need for information grows exponentially. Technologies for storing, organising and accessing information are developing and changing rapidly. To succeed in today’s aggressively competitive corporate world, people need to be fully computer and information literate. An information-competent person can be described as someone who has the skill to: Recognise the need for accurate and relevant information and formulate appropriate questions based on that need; Identify potential sources of information and know how to use them; Use a variety of electronic and print tools to access needed information; Evaluate and use information effectively. During 2000, the University of the Free State Library and Information Services developed an accredited Information Literacy course. It was presented to 187 students who enrolled for the course. The aim of the course was to enable students to become self-directed, lifelong learners who would be able to know when they needed information, and who would be able to locate, evaluate and use the required information. Since 2000 the University has experienced a tremendous explosion of student enrolments. WebCt was acquired as student management system in order to handle the large number of students who enrolled for the course. By 2002 the course evolved into a complete mixed-mode course. After seven years the initial number of students has increased to an estimated 3 000 for 2007. This paper discusses the evolving of the course from a paper-based, face-tot-face course into a fully fledged mixed-mode course. Lessons learnt will be shared as well as views for future enhancement.
Keywords: Information Literacy
Training Librarian, Library and Information Science, University of the Free State