SMHS Library Resources

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Essential Studies: Digital Literacy Special Emphasis Area

Have you heard of the new UND Essential Studies Special Emphasis Area, “Digital Literacy”? In spring of 2023, the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education (SBHE) issued Policy 461, requiring that North Dakota University System institutions make a digital literacy requirement for all associate and baccalaureate-level programs. This summer, a 40-person subcommittee of the UND Essential Studies Committee (with staff and faculty representatives from across campus) generated validation criteria for UND courses to fulfil this Special Emphasis Area, which was duly approved by the UND University Senate.

To help faculty build this new “Digital Literacy” Special Emphasis Area into their courses for fall of 2024, next week TTADA and UND Libraries will be offering workshops on course design and digital literacy respectively. From a UND Libraries perspective, this new Special Emphasis Area represents an opportunity to enter into dialogue with our community about how information literacy practices (both for students and faculty) are impacted by digital formats, systems, and economies. The validation document for “Digital Literacy” reflects the interdisciplinary nature of the working group which generated the criteria, and has its foundation in principles of rhetoric and reflection, digital citizenship, and Information Literacy concepts, as articulated by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL): “Authority is Constructed and Contextual; Information Creation as a Process; Information Has Value; Research as Inquiry; Scholarship as Conversation; Searching as Strategic Exploration”.

Please reach out to your librarian or the SMHS Library Resources Department if you have questions or are interested in learning more about this UND Essential Studies Special Emphasis Area and/or the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy.


Featured image credit: CC 3.0 – Jacobs School of Engineering, UC San Diego – Katherine Connor