Burnham Academic e-Portfolio

Information Literacy

Criteria: Find, retrieve, analyze, and use information relevant to the program goals.

Evidence: Students demonstrate the ability to find, retrieve, analyze and use information from a variety of sources effectively and efficiently in their work.

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  1. Information literacy, in the new millennium, refers to the huge collection of skills necessary for effective resource use toward quality decision-making. Because we are naturally curious as humans, it often seems somewhat counter intuitive to think that we must be taught to look for information. The “functional reality” is that our penchant for seeking information is precisely the reasoning behind curricula requirements that students are trained to evaluate information with a critical eye. Indeed, information literacy skills are possibly the only skill-set that generalizes across all areas of our lives by virtue of the amounts of available resources combined with our thirst for answers. As we become adept at critically perusing the professional literature, we transfer that skill to all communication and thinking – we begin to “think the next thought”, and attempt to predict consequences that may occur as a result of our actions. The quality “digger” naturally becomes a more compassionate citizen, professionally and personally.

    Coming into the MBA program with a BA in research psychology, I already knew how to search. My tendency to dig deep into the professional literature came from the psychologist’s mantra, “check your source”, always sending me further into the quest to discover what “the guy” (the one who collected the original data) really thought about a particular phenomenon. Discovering what “the guys” think about the business of business management has been a fascinating journey for me, traveling back through time, linking the “old psych guys” to/with the new “business guys”. Essentially an applied field, business authors draw concepts, predictions, and applications from the classic psychology literature – sometimes without even being aware of the historical significance and or genesis for particular phenomenology.

    It seems necessary to include the use of the vocabulary associated with the information literacy skill-set as I offer evidence about my own learning in the Thomas MBA program. I have given myself the assignment to seek out all primary sources relevant to the topics included in the program. Not content with tertiary assessments of the theories pertinent to human behavioral phenomena, I allow myself to augment the information presented in assigned textbooks by tracing the [textbook] references back through time to the original authors of the phenomena. The exercise allows me the opportunity to discover 1) the traditions associated with the study of particular behaviors, 2) the juxtapositions that occurred as theories and hypothesis were applied (or not) in the business realm, 3) the context and predictive value of empirical evidence, and [sometimes] 4) the whence of my own professional behaviors. An understanding of the historical significance of the study of humans in the context of business management via the examination of the traditions and behaviors generally considered “business-specific” is the behavioral manifestation of “high information literacy” skills.

    I have included several papers and bibliographies in this e-Portfolio that I think demonstrate my InfoLit skills; these can be found via the link [in the right-hand sidebar] labeled “syllabi & samples”.

    Comment by Colleen Burnham — March 26, 2009 @ 11:27 am


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