On Tuesday 18th, the official launch of the Centre for Inquiry Based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences (CILASS) took place. This is one of the Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and CILASS will receive £4.5million over 5 years. My colleague Dr Philippa Levy is Director of CILASS (though she will still spend 80% of her time in this Department (Information Studies). The strapline for CILASS is "Modelling the process of research within the student learning experience" and most of the work will be carried out via projects in different departments that change the curriculum or approaches to learning & teaching in some way.
Information literacy is a key strand in CILASS' work and a full time Information Literacy person has been appointed to work in CILASS (more about her when she arrives next month!) I am leading a CILASS project in my department, Information literacy in the curriculum, in which we aim to audit the extent to which IL is addressed in all our courses (using the SCONUL "7 Pillars" model of IL) and improve the extent to which IL is progressed in our programmes. There is some information about CILASS at http://www.shef.ac.uk/cilass/index.html including summaries of the "Phase 1 projects" (of which mine is one). You will see that the University Library here is also one of the partners and participants in CILASS.
Sheffield University's new Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy was launched at the same event, and Information Literacy is now in this Strategy document as something that the "Sheffield Graduate" should develop. Hurrah! There is a page http://www.shef.ac.uk/lte/launch.html from which I can download the LTA strategy (and I think that people outside can download it too - for those interested in such things).
(Photo by S. Webber: Trees in the park outside Firth Court: Firth Court is where CILASS etc. were launched)