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Dr. Clarence Maybee, Michael Flierl and Rachel Fundator have begun a new project this summer in which they are working with Purdue instructors to develop informed learning assignments. These assignments allow undergraduates to intentionally learn to use information sources at the same time as they are learning about course content, e.g., disciplinary concepts, theories, practices, etc.

The group is hosting two 1-day workshops this summer to work with instructors to create or revise assignments using the informed learning design. Grounded in the informed learning pedagogic model,1 informed learning design was developed by Dr. Maybee to guide the creation of assignments in which students intentionally learn to use information sources at the same time as they are learning course content. For example, students in a statistical literacy course who are learning about statistical concepts, may do so by applying those concepts to make sense of statistics reported in the popular press, or students studying local history may be asked to make a short documentary-style video in which they must learn to use archival materials to support their argument.

Participants and designers at the first Informed Learning Design workshop – June 11, 2018

The newly created or redesigned informed learning assignments will be implemented in courses during the 2018-19 academic year. After the assignments are completed, Maybee, Flierl, and Fundator will interview students about their experiences with this new type of assignment.

Project Participants

Tracy Grimm, University Archives and Special Collections

Jennifer Hall, Communications

Alex Isaacs, College of Pharmacy

Julius Keller, School of Aviation and Transportation Technology

Monica Miller, College of Pharmacy

Cara Putnum, Krannert School of Management


My new book, IMPACT Learning: Librarians at the Forefront of Change in Higher Education, describes how academic libraries can enable the success of higher education students by creating or partnering with teaching and learning initiatives that support meaningful learning through engagement with information. Since the 1970s, the academic library community has been advocating and developing programming for information literacy. This book discusses existing models, extracting lessons from Purdue University Libraries’ partnership with other units to create a campus-wide course development program, Instruction Matters: Purdue Academic Course Transformation (IMPACT), which provides academic libraries with tools and strategies for working with faculty and departments to integrate information literacy into disciplinary courses.

First two chapters available in Google Books

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Academic librarians often collaborate closely with instructors to integrate information literacy into coursework. A new study is underway that uses phenomenography, a research methodology that reveals different ways people experience the same phenomenon, to investigate the experiences of librarians working with instructors in the IMPACT program to make changes in their courses.

Purdue Research Team:
Michael Flierl, Learning Design Specialist
Clarence Maybee, Information Literacy Specialist
Rachel Fundator, Information Literacy Instructional Designer

Michael Flierl, Learning Design Specialist, and Clarence Maybee, Information Literacy Specialist, presented at the fall meeting of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) on October 4, 2017 in Washington, DC. Their presentation was part of a panel on the library impact on student success chaired by Damon Jaggers from Ohio State University. The panel also included presenters from the University of Minnesota and the Greater Western Library Association. Flierl and Maybee’s presentation, “Information Literacy, Motivation, and Learning,” shared initial findings from research they are conducting with Rachel Fundator, Information Literacy Instructional Designer, and Emily Bonem, an instructional developer with Purdue’s Center for Instructional Excellence. The research explores the relationship between information literacy, student motivation, and student grades in courses that were redesigned through the Instruction Matters: Purdue Academic Course Transformation (IMPACT) program. The study examined data from over 3,000 students in 102 course sections from courses from across several colleges. The results suggest that activities such as searching or formatting citations may be demotivating, while other information literacy activities, such as synthesizing information and communicating the results, are positively related to student motivation and grades. The findings have implications for the Libraries work with instructors to integrate information literacy into Purdue courses.