iSchool team receives funding from Provost for study on experiential learning

2022 Maria Bonn
Maria Bonn, Associate Professor, MSLIS and CAS Program Director
Ben Schaap
Ben Schaap, Senior Data and Policy Analyst
Sharon Comstock
Sharon Comstock, Teaching Assistant Professor

Associate Professor Maria Bonn, Senior Data and Policy Analyst Ben Schaap, and Teaching Assistant Professor Sharon Comstock have received a Provost's Initiative on Teaching Advancement (PITA) grant, worth $7,500, for their proposal, "Standardizing MSLIS Experiential Learning Opportunities." PITA grants support the implementation of teaching innovations and enhancements at the University of Illinois.

"At present, the MSLIS program does not have a formal degree requirement for a culminating experience that has students apply their knowledge within professional contexts," said Bonn, who directs the MS in library and information science (MSLIS) and Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) programs. "While practicums and internships are encouraged, only some students opt into taking them."

For the project, the MSLIS and CAS Program Learning Outcomes Assessment Subcommittee will examine how experiential learning opportunities prepare students who are entering the workforce. The funds will be used to develop a pilot program to provide students with the opportunity to choose from a traditional practicum or a project-based learning capstone course.

The team hopes to discover what kinds of culminating experiences benefit students and in what ways, as well as how specific experiences align with MSLIS program learning outcomes. 

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