A New Toolkit for a New Information Landscape

Posted on: September 26, 2018

A New Toolkit for a New Information Landscape

Our goal is to introduce all entering students to the scholarly information landscape and prepare them to be critical information consumers and producers. We achieve this goal through the Madison Research Toolkit and Madison Research Essentials Skills Test (MREST) used in JMU’s General Education Program. This year, we significantly updated the content for the Toolkit to address new changes and challenges in information literacy skills.

Over the course of the last year, JMU Libraries has been working to move to ACRL’s Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. Cluster One of the JMU General Education Program adopted new information literacy learning outcomes based on the Framework. The approved learning outcomes are:

  • Recognize the components of scholarly work and that scholarship can take many forms.
  • Demonstrate persistence and employ multiple strategies in research and discovery processes
  • Identify gaps in their own knowledge and formulate appropriate questions for investigation in academic settings
  • Evaluate the quality of information and acknowledge expertise
  • Use information effectively in their work and make contextually appropriate choices for sharing their own scholarship
  • Use information ethically and legally

Madison Research Essentials Toolkit Changes With the outcomes approved, librarians created new tutorial content for the Madison Research Toolkit. The Framework was deployed to label each suite of tutorial content. New versions of the Madison Research Essentials Skills Test (MREST) have also been updated to map to the new learning outcomes.

MREST: How We Assess Learning

As a reminder, all entering first year students must pass the MREST prior to the Friday before Spring Break. Transfer students who arrive at JMU needing to meet any GenEd requirement must also pass the MREST. Entering first year students are assigned the tutorials within their SCOM100-level course. They are assigned to review the tutorial content, take embedded practices exercises in Canvas, and complete the test. Any faculty member may use any of the tutorial content in their own courses or point students to it.

All feedback on Toolkit content is most welcome and can be sent to Kathy Clarke (clarkeke@jmu.edu).

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