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The Instruction Commons: an information literacy initiative at Iowa State University

David Gregory (Associate Director for Public Services & Collections at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA)
William J. Nixon (Deputy Head of Information Technology Services at Glasgow University Library, Glasgow, UK)

Library Review

ISSN: 0024-2535

Article publication date: 1 December 2003


The Instruction Commons information literacy initiative at Iowa State University provides users with both an information literacy program and a virtual space in which students, librarians, and members of the teaching faculty at Iowa State can explore new ways of integrating electronic resources and library research instruction into teaching and learning. Furthermore, the concept of a “commons” implies not just a collaborative information space for students, faculty and librarians, but also an area in which an information literacy program can subsist with learning materials which promote IT literacy. The following paper describes the institutional background of the Instruction Commons, its history, funding, and organization while also providing a description and tour of the Commons. Future directions are also anticipated, including the need for effective program assessment with a view to extracting useful planning and management information. With regard to functionality, we anticipate the integration of more interactive features, including increased use of learner‐controlled paths and quizzes to provide immediate feedback. Finally, the paper offers a useful summary of some other related projects in the USA.



Gregory, D. and Nixon, W.J. (2003), "The Instruction Commons: an information literacy initiative at Iowa State University", Library Review, Vol. 52 No. 9, pp. 422-432.




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