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Never before had I asked a student to cite an emoticon. In traditional classroom instruction, it is unlikely that this would have come up at all. However, in an asynchronous course, you never know where an online threaded discussion on citation formats will lead. As library educators, we have the opportunity to have an impact on a student's chances for success in locating and managing information. We must draw upon the students' familiarity with new technologies and teach them how to effectively articulate their information need, identify appropriate resources, evaluate what has been retrieved, and redirect their continued searching. The challenge that confronts us is compounded by the fact that many students enter the library only through a virtual door. In recognition of the shifting paradigm involving information and new technologies, Purdue University's Electrical Engineering Technology (EET) program asked the Purdue Libraries to develop a credit course that would teach the students how to effectively locate, evaluate, and present information. The course, Information Strategies, has been a required course in EET was designed and taught by the libraries' faculty since 1993. It has subsequently been adapted to other disciplines, as well. As evolution of new technologies continued, course instructors proposed the development of an asynchronous version of this course to the Indiana Higher Education Telecommunications System (IHETS). The development grant was awarded and the first Web-based version of this course was offered Spring 1999. The purpose of the IHETS course development grant was to "enhance and convert [the Information Strategies course] to a digital format, which will allow asynchronous statewide access." In July 1998, the investigators, Professors Sheila Curl, Leslie Reynolds, Brent Mai, and Alexius Smith, began adapting the traditional course for delivery over the Internet.


Copyright 2000 Association of College and Research Libraries

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College & Research Libraries News

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Curl, S. R., Reynolds, L. J., Mai, B., & Macklin, A. E. S. (2000). Reality check: Asynchronous instruction works!. College & research libraries news, 61(7), 586-588.

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