Year Students Demonstrate Information Competence
Soon after first-year
students arrive on campus, they begin learning how to navigate the
information world. Carrier
Library and General Education faculty collaborated to develop a
nationally recognized program that requires JMU students to learn and
demonstrate mastery of essential skills in information retrieval early
in their university career. In
GenEd Cluster One courses, students complete Go for the Gold, a
web-based instruction program for information seeking skills.
Go for the Gold is composed of eight learning modules with
instruction, illustrations, links to databases and Internet sources, and
exercises that are immediately scored online.
In addition to Go for the Gold, students in Cluster One are given
assignments, such as research papers, annotated bibliographies, and
speeches, that require them to find and evaluate information in a
variety of print and electronic sources, strengthening their newly
By the end of second
semester, students are required to demonstrate competency by passing an
online Information-Seeking Skills Test (ISST) developed by librarians at
JMU. This 53-item test
requires students to answer knowledge questions, where they identify
terms and know when and how to use various types of sources, and
application questions, where they look up answers in databases and on
the Internet. Students also
evaluate Web sites, a critical skill today, when we have such a large
quantity of information that is not necessarily reliable.
The ISST is administered in a proctored testing lab in Ashby
Hall. Students who fail may
review Go for the Gold or attend a workshop taught by librarians and
then retake the test. All
first-year students are expected to pass the test by April 26, 2001.
Student performance on the ISST for 1999-2000 is shown in the
Note: The ISST is a separate test from the technology tests
required by the GenEd department. Please consult the GenEd
web page for information on the technology tests.
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