A continuing educator is leading ETSU's QEP team

A five-year initiative at East Tennessee State University aims to get students “in top form” when it comes to information fluency.

This initiative, called “INtopFORM,” will begin in fall 2013 and will focus on teaching students how to seek, evaluate and use sources of information when resolving questions and addressing problems.

“Information fluency is an important critical thinking skill and one that is especially vital during this information age,” said Dr. Amy Johnson, assistant dean of the ETSU School of Continuing Studies. “With advances in technology, students researching a topic can have access to thousands of journal articles and website links within a matter of seconds.

“That is why now, more than ever, we must teach students how to evaluate sources of information in order to form insightful conclusions, to solve problems, and to pose new questions.”

Johnson says the INtopFORM initiative may change the way some courses at ETSU are taught or structured as new innovative teaching strategies and “best practice” methods related to information fluency are implemented.

“We want our students to ask questions in order to solve problems, to identify appropriate information sources, to apply critical thinking skills in evaluating information, to access new information, and to communicate information in effective and ethical ways,” she added. “These skills and abilities are essential to the workplace and for lifelong learning.”

The INtopFORM initiative is ETSU’s new quality enhancement plan and is an element of the university’s reaffirmation process with the Commission on Colleges, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


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