Learning Communities and Librarians at Arizona State University

Young, Sheila J.; Duvernay, Jennifer M.
January 2006
IATUL Annual Conference Proceedings;2006, Vol. 16, p62
Conference Proceeding
In the Fall Semester of 2003, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) at Arizona State University, for the first time, offered freshmen the opportunity to participate in a Learning Community. Although there are several types of learning communities, the CLAS Learning Communities at ASU utilize a fully integrated model and each community is based on a theme integrating several disciplines that examine the theme from different perspectives. One such theme, "Human Disease and Society," integrates English, Biology, and Philosophy. Courses in English, Political Science, History, and Religion are the foundation for the theme "War, Culture and Memory." A librarian is associated with each community in order to facilitate the learning goal, common to all of the communities, of student development of Information Literacy Skills. As members of the instructional team, the librarians participate in the planning of community assignments and activities to seamlessly integrate information literacy skills into the curriculum. They also develop and deliver information literacy instruction and assistance both in person and electronically as appropriate to each learning community. One of the resources developed for the learning communities is a faculty-librarian collectively-authored webpage on information literacy at the beginning level with goals, exercises, assignments, and assessments. In addition to instruction, librarians also participate in the out of class activities of the learning community and attend student presentations and collaborative grading sessions. The program has grown from three communities in 2003 to seven in 2005-2006 as well as expanding to the sophomore level. This presentation gives an overview of learning communities and the development of the CLAS learning community faculty-librarian collaboration at Arizona State University, including examples of specific activities and experiences related to and within the communities.


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