Information and the Future

This is the blog of the Information and the Future task force of the Rolfing Library at Trinity International University. The IF task force exists to explore the role of libraries in the future of Christian higher education.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Student Generated Content

Higher Education needs a new framework for promoting the value of information and technology skills for undergraduate and graduate students. -- Karen Lippincott in Student Content Creators: Convergence of Literacies.

Lippincott argues that we should encourage the integration of technology skills and online content creation within University classes and thereby teaching students not only how to be good historians or chemists, but also how to participate in online publishing and culture. Exposure to emerging modes of communication should be part of the University education complementing more traditional research and writing assignments. Indeed bringing the writing and critical thinking skills typically taught in the classroom and helping students translate those skills to online outlets including multimedia outlets.

In my last post on defining community, educationally purposeful was the first principle of healthy campus community. One of the educational aspects of the library's web presence may be to provide a platform for students to publish their work for their peers at the University.

I can imagine professors assigning students to write book reviews that could be posted on the library website, maybe compiled in the form of annotated bibliographies or added to individual bib. records. Students or groups of students may also create videos that could be featured on the library's website perhaps with the possibility of others commenting and dialoguing with the creators. Or creating a wiki that several classes contribute too.

The goals in all of this would be to help students learn to research within their discipline, to teach students to create digital content, and to help acclimate students to the protocols for online discussions. I think a further goal would be connecting students with each other and giving them a shared experience of community. In a dorm you hear all about your suite-mates projects and papers and this often sparks interesting discussion and learning but as students spend less times in dorms either b/c of work, activities, or they live off campus this might be away of exposing them to more of the intellectual milieu of the university.


  • At 10:14 AM, Blogger Rebecca said…

    I think this sounds like a great idea! I remember once seeing an assignment for teaching Wikipedia that suggested having students contribute to Wikipedia on topics related to their class.

    I could see the TEDS students enjoying a forum to share their ideas, research, etc. And it sounds like an ideal way for the library to be involved!


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