Document Type


Publication Date



University of Washington Office of Educational Assessment

First page number:



The University of Washington has recently initiated two approaches to teaching technology and information resources via the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) and Computer Science and Engineering (CSE). The courses developed by the respective departments, IMT 200 2 and CSE 100, offered specialized instruction, regarding computer use and the availability of information resources. These courses were offered during Winter 1999 and Spring 2000 quarters, allowing for the evaluation of their success over time, and comparison to courses that were unaccompanied by this type of information resource instruction. Questionnaires were administered to students in IMT 220 and CSE 100 both at the beginning and end of the course, and included questions tapping ability, confidence and performance with respect to information resources and technology. Analysis revealed that the incorporation of information resource and technology instruction resulted in significantly improved ratings given by the students concerning their computer skills, as well as increased computer literacy. A detailed account of student responses, as well as conclusions and recommendations for future courses are discussed.

Over the last several years, the University of Washington has taken a number of different approaches to teaching the use of information resources and technology. Recently, two additional approaches have been developed and introduced into the curriculum. First, is the instruction that has traditionally been provided by University librarians in the use of information resources. This instruction has evolved over time in response to the increasing implementation of computerized databases. More recently, a new course was introduced within the department of Computer Science and Engineering based on a model developed by the National Research Council. The report, Being Fluent with Information Technology (FIT) defines the level of understanding of information technology sufficient for lifelong self-education. The emphasis within FITness is primarily on the technology underlying information resources, whereas that of the Libraries is on the use of those resources.


Academic libraries; Computer literacy; Information literacy – Study and teaching; Information technology – Study and teaching


Communication Technology and New Media | Curriculum and Instruction | Library and Information Science | Other Education




OEA Report 99-17

Search your library