Irving Wiswall, interim chief technology officer, and Susan Barnes Whyte, library director, are among only 46 selected nationwide to participate in the institute, which studies and analyzes the leadership challenges facing higher education. This year the focus will be on the implications of the growing power of information technology to transform research, teaching and scholarly communication. The institute will address the blurring of boundaries among teachers, researchers, information management and scholarly communication, and the extension of information resources and services beyond the walls of traditional entities such as libraries and computer centers.
The institute is interactive. Each participant will begin work on a project they have designed. Whyte and Wiswall will work on a joint project during the institute and throughout the next year. They will focus on developing a clear picture of the integration of technology and information literacy within departmental majors at Linfield. Their first objective is to create a method to measure the extent to which technology and information literacy are integrated into the curriculum. They will then assess the status of technology and information literacy within each academic department at Linfield. Based on that information, they will create a plan to address gaps that are revealed.
The project will not cover every course at Linfield.
"Our interest focuses on majors and whether or not graduates have been exposed to sufficient appropriate information technology and information literacy for that particular major as determined by each department," Whyte said.
The assessment method will be reviewed with department heads, the dean of faculty and the Faculty Development Committee.
"We will work with departments to understand how general education requirements and requirements for a major meet these proficiency goals," Wiswall added. "In doing so we should be able to identify gaps that currently exist.
"We want to start a process that will take time, energy and many conversations," he added.
Funding for Whyte and Wiswall's conference fees has been provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Institute is supported by a grant from the Robert N. Woodruff Foundation and is sponsored by the Council on Libraries and Information Resources, EDUCAUSE and Emory University.