Turning Educational Standards/Recommendations into Information Fluency Courses A case study. A. Ben Wagner, Univ. at Buffalo – SLA Baltimore 2006 A Gift from the gods October 2005 - American Physical Society & Assoc. of Amer. Physics Teachers Report of the Joint APS-AAPT Task Force on Graduate Education in Physics http://www.aapt.org/Resources/upload/TF GradStudies.pdf Executive Summary Recommendation “…that [physics] departments require communication training and information literacy/fluency in their graduate programs.” Getting the Ball Rolling Dec. 2005 - Contacted department chair who was not aware of the report. – Lesson 1: Don’t assume faculty have time to track all the developments in educational standards. Spring 2006 - Agreed to test concept with a series of 4 workshops for physics grad students. Spring 2007 – Develop a 1-credit course under auspices of the physics department. Spring 2006 Workshops Heavily promoted to faculty & grad students Taught 2 sections to maximize attendance (5:10-6 pm Tue. & 2-3 pm Wed./ 4 weeks) Pizza party promised if they came to all 4. Emailed reminders nearly every week Spring 2006 Syllabus Information Cosmology: Navigating the universe beyond Google (Inspec vs. Google, basics of searching) In top 5 Google results for ‘quantum wells’: Britney's Guide to Semiconductor Physics http://britneyspears.ac/physics/fbarr/fbarr.html 1. Figure 1. Graphical solution for finite barrier quantum well & energy levels Note: This illustration from “Britney’s” web site was used as a negative role model, showing the effectiveness of taking the students directly from a site with stupid stuff like this to a quick, precise index term search of INSPEC. The students actually got excited about the power of controlled vocabulary searching. - ABW Spring 2006 Syllabus 2. Enrich your studies & teaching: Knowing where to begin (AccessScience, Knovel, review articles, Bison Catalog) --Choose their own topic to use for rest of the course. 3. Diving in deep: Researching projects & theses (Inspec, SciFinder, arXiv, Web of Science) 4. Finding Data & other hard-to-detect species (properties, dissertations, govt reports, etc.) Feedback “I learned much more than I thought I would.” Wanted to be more “efficient” in finding info. Wanted to do “searches other than Google” Enthusiastic about 1-credit course – could take more time to learn and do own searching. Lessons Be pro-active and think marketing. Track activities of major societies (esp. teachers of…) educational standards/recommendations. If there are no info fluency recommendations in place, point out what other disciplines have recommended (keeping up with the Jones).