Improved information literacy and quantitative literacy can help individuals overcome the information costs that discourage political participation and policy debate. Using place and public data as a touchstone, the students of a college political science course partnered with a group of middle school students to apply technology to a shared project. Together they learned techniques for representing demographic and geographic data with a variety of media, including Web 2.0 tools and GIS software. They created an online site designed to address the information needs of the local community, with a focus on promoting users’ information and quantitative literacy and encouraging and facilitating the use of public information. Co-taught by a political science professor, a reference librarian and a middle school instructional designer, the course depended on placing students from both groups in control of digital media, and on making them information and numerically literate in order to be responsible producers of information in the online environment. Outcomes centered on achieving competency in applied information and quantitative literacies, and were measured by tests, project performance, peer-evaluation. This poster will use photos, charts, and examples of digital content created by the participants to present the design and results of the course.
Donald, Jeremy W., "Takin’ it to the Streets: Quantitative Literacy, Public Policy, and GIS in a Service Context" (2007). Library Faculty Research. Paper 41.