IS Innovation Award

About the IS Innovation Award
This annual award recognizes a project that demonstrates creative, innovative, or unique approaches to information literacy instruction or programming.

Administered by:

Association of College and Research Libraries logoInstruction Section logo

2016 Winner(s)

Heather Collins, Sara Kearns and Joelle Pitts

Collins is the assistant director of research and learning at the University of Kansas Medical Center Dykes Library, Kearns is the head of undergraduate/community services at Kansas State University’s Hale Library and Pitts is instructional design librarian at Kansas State University’s Hale Library.

“The New Literacies Alliance project was chosen due to its focus on transferrable skills and usefulness to students in the health professions,” said award committee Chair Elana D. Karshmer of Saint Leo University. “While many of the projects considered were interesting and innovative, they did not combine theoretical learning and skills-based practice to the extent that the New Literacies Alliance did; the project was well designed, well executed, and most importantly, easy to implement in a variety of educational settings.”

NLA is a consortial project to create interactive online lessons addressing basic concepts of information and related literacies using an accessible interface that retains student scores on lesson activities and assessments. Librarians and instructors can expand on these concepts in classes through active learning or explore discipline-specific aspects of literacy practices. Lessons are platform and institution agnostic, focusing on knowledge practices rather than specific databases or institutional websites.

Student scores are retained in order to create a record of a student’s completion of lessons. These scores can be shared with instructors in future classes the student may enroll in and even, ideally, with instructors at partner institutions should the student transfer, obviating the need for a student to complete the same lessons for multiple classes.

The project is led by librarians from Kansas State University and the University of Kansas Medical Center. Partner institutions currently include Fort Hays State University, Indiana University, Marquette University, and most recently, Oklahoma State University.