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Quality Enhancement Plan

The University of Montevallo implemented “Brick by Brick: Building Information Literacy” as its QEP to improve student learning through an emphasis on enhancing information literacy skills, defined as the ability to obtain, evaluate, and effectively use information to become responsible informed scholars and citizens. The QEP was designed to involve all constituencies invested in student learning and was intended to enrich the campus climate with regard to inquiry and investigation. The integration of information literacy as a focus of both the General Education and major curricula supports the University’s mission to provide a “higher educational experience of high quality, with a strong emphasis on undergraduate liberal studies and with professional programs supported by a broad base of arts and sciences, designed for their intellectual and personal growth in the pursuit of meaningful employment and responsible, informed citizenship.” The topic was selected through an intensive, participatory needs-assessment characterized by the identification of an area that required a higher level of emphasis in order to meet institutional priorities. The program’s success relied heavily on the devotion of faculty, staff, administration, and students to the principles and commitments outlined in the institutional mission, vision, and Strategic Plan as well as on the culture of collaboration and innovation throughout the campus.

Goals and Outcomes

At its core, the QEP focused on the following five educational goals and corresponding learning outcomes related to the capabilities of information literate students:

Goal I. Information literate students determine the nature and extent of the information required.

Students will be able to:

  1. Identify specific questions or problems needing further investigation.
  2. Determine key terms and related concepts to guide the investigation.
  3. Modify the information needed to achieve a manageable focus. [ACRL Standard I.1.d.]

Goal II. Information literate students identify and acquire sources for the information.

Students will be able to:

  1. Access information using a variety of search strategies.
  2. Identify the value of and differences between resources in a variety of formats (e.g., multimedia, database, website, audio/visual, book). [ACRL Standard I.2.c.]
  3. Define an overall plan and timeline to acquire the necessary information.
  4. Utilize sources according to standards in the disciplines.

Goal III.  Information literate students assess the validity and the appropriateness of the information.

Students will be able to:

  1. Understand how research is conducted, evaluated, and published in their respective disciplines.
  2. Determine the extent to which the retrieved information satisfies the research questions or problems.
  3. Examine and evaluate the retrieved information with regard to validity, reliability, and point of view or bias.

Goal IV. Information literate students effectively use the information to accomplish a specific purpose.

Students will be able to:

  1. Apply information appropriately to the identified questions and problems.
  2. Summarize and draw conclusions based on the information gathered.
  3. Synthesize and systematically present evidence obtained from research to support conclusions.

Goal V. Information literate students understand issues and benefits associated with the responsible use of information.

Students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the ethical and legal dynamics involved in the use of published, confidential, and/or proprietary information.
  2. Document paraphrased, directly quoted, or otherwise referenced information properly.
  3. Recognize discipline specific standards of citation for acquired information and sources.

These goals were achieved through a three-tiered developmental model that introduced information literacy at the foundational level in the General Education program, advanced the skills through designated courses in the General Education program and in the majors, and focused on mastery in upper-level courses within the majors.

FOUNDATIONAL
Curricular Component Assessment Tool
ENG 101/103 Standardized Assessment of Information Literacy Skills (SAILS) – Pre-Test
ENG 102/104 Course-Embedded Student Learning Outcomes/Assessments
COMS 101/102 Course-Embedded Student Learning Outcomes/Assessments
ADVANCING
Curricular Component Assessment Tool
IL-Designated Courses Course-Embedded Student Learning Outcomes/Assessments
MASTERY
Curricular Component Assessment Tool
Capstone Courses or “Senior Experience” within Majors

Course-Embedded Student Learning Outcomes/Assessments

Standardized Assessment of Information Literacy Skills (SAILS) – Post-Test