Services & Policies - Spring 1995

Computer Literacy Course A Success

During the fall 1994 semester the Library faculty and administration successfully completed their first venture in teaching lab sessions on using the Online Public Catalog as part of the Computer Information and Literacy course. Modeled during the summer 1994 session by Joe Fennewald and Katie Duke, they, along with Charles Kratz, Bonnie Strohl, Margaret Craft, Betsey Moylan and Kevin Norris, conducted 19 two-hour lab sessions in the computer labs on the fourth floor of St. Thomas Hall.The first portion of each session consisted of gaining access to the Library's Public Access Menu from this remote site, thereby demonstrating to the students that if they have a University VAX account they can access the full Public Access Menu from any of the designated terminals outside the Library. Students were then taught strategies for searching the Online Public Catalog. In the second part of the lab, students completed an exercise that demonstrated their knowledge of finding hooks, journals and media materials owned by the Library.
Since this was the first experience that the Library faculty have had with writing and correcting exercises, Katie Duke did a breakdown of the incorrectly answered questions and Joseph Fusaro, Ed.D., Education Department, gave an evaluation of the questions and some guidelines for changes. Thomas Garrett, Ph.D., Office of Instructional Development, evaluated the lab handouts and made some useful suggestions. These suggestions and guidelines will help as we plan future sessions.
This participation in the Computer Literacy Course certainly will not take the place of course integrated bibliographic instruction. However, many students have expressed fear of the new computer systems or are uncertain how to access them. This program can address these fears and help to alleviate them. Also, it opens many avenues for future development of this or similar collaborative programs to support the general education curriculum. Possible future programs could include such things as teaching CD-ROM search strategies or accessing other library catalogs via the Internet.
Katie Duke
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