Truman trades computer literacy requirement in for digital fluency program

As part of its transition away from the Liberal Studies Program, Truman State University will replace the curriculum’s computer literacy expectations with a digital fluency program.

As the University prepares to roll out the new Dialogues curriculum next school year, the two-decade-old computer literacy requirement will be retired along with the LSP. Part of the new program will be two seminars for freshmen — dubbed the Truman Symposium and the Self and Society Seminar — which will contain the basis for the new digital fluency requirements. Two hundred freshmen are taking the Truman Symposium this year as a pilot test of the program.

Faculty Senate President Scott Alberts said computer literacy became part of the essential skills portion of the LSP in 1997. He said there was a required class in computer literacy, but a review committee removed the course requirement in 2005, saying the skills could be taught through other classes.

Alberts said the computer literacy mandate requires students to learn skills like using email and retrieving information from the internet, things most students who come to Truman already know how to do. He said the requirement is fulfilled through several other classes in the LSP and individual departments, for example, by using Microsoft Excel in the required LSP statistics course.

Alberts said the new digital fluency requirement will go beyond these basic computer skills.

“That’s where it’s moved away from being computer literacy to being digital fluency,” Alberts said. “Things like, ‘Can I look at a website and tell whether it’s full of crap? If two people are arguing, how do I evaluate which one is maybe more credible and more believable?’ That’s different computer literacy.”

For more, pick up a copy of The Index on Thursday, Sept. 13.