Learning outcomes From SBHE Policy 461:
- Evaluate and interpret the accuracy, credibility, and relevance of digital information;
- Describe the ways in which society and culture interact with digital technology;
- Demonstrate the knowledge to use digital technology safely and ethically at a basic level;
- Understand the applicability of digital literacy and artificial intelligence to the current and emerging workforce.
To address SBHE Policy 461 while also being true to Essential Studies as an academic program that enriches the undergraduate experience through a liberal arts education, we recommend linking Digital Literacy and Information Literacy at UND. The educational connection to Information Literacy takes our conception of Digital Literacy away from a utilitarian approach that is simply about using technology to one that encourages students to think about how we know what we know; how we ascertain truth; and how technology is shaping individuals while also shaping the larger society.
It is these larger theoretical, ethical, and epistemological issues that we would like to see brought into the ES Program. To that end, we would propose addressing different components of the Policy in different manners. Particularly:
Can be addressed through the Vector Solution module that entering students can take as part of their admission to the University. However, we believe that the word “ethically” that appears here should be addressed through the academic curriculum.
“C” thus becomes “Demonstrate the knowledge to use digital technology safely at a basic level.”
Needs to be addressed in the academic majors (and potentially also through Career Services).
It is thus outcome “A” and “B” that the ES program would be trying to address. We would, however, add the word “ethical” (and the concept of Information Literacy) back into both of those learning goals:
- “A” thus becomes something like, “Evaluate the accuracy and credibility of digital information while learning how to use, share, and communicate information ethically.”
- “B” thus becomes something like, “Explore the impact of digital technology on the individual and the larger society, particularly in light of emerging ethical and epistemological issues.”
To address “A” and “B” through the ES Program, we propose that the Committee work to create a new Special Emphasis in Information/Digital Literacy
The idea here is that the Special Emphasis courses are designed to be an “overlay” in the ES Program. Currently, we have a Special Emphasis that lines up with ES’s goals of communication, intercultural knowledge, and quantitative reasoning—but we do not have a special emphasis that enforces student learning in Information Literacy (and we know very few ES classes claim Information Literacy as their primary learning goal). Requiring that students meet a new IL/DL special emphasis area would correct that issue—and ensure that every student meets the new Digital Literacy policy. If the new Special Emphasis is overlayed on to classes that meet either Breadth of Knowledge areas or courses that meet requirements in the major, a special emphasis does not necessitate the addition of credit hours to ES.
To make this happen, we would need:
- Strong faculty buy-in across campus, but particularly in the College of Arts and Sciences.
- Collaborations between ES faculty and the Library.
- Opportunities for faculty development to consider ways of proposing new classes or updating old courses to address the new Special Emphasis.
- A potential re-writing of the Information Literacy learning goal
- A concrete set of standards that courses would need to meet to be validated in this special emphasis area.
- A separate rubric for assessment of DL/IL