USU discontinues Computer Information Literacy exam requirements

The discontinuance of the Computer Information Literacy exams passed through the final stages of approval, and students will officially not need to take the exams beginning next semester.In December, the Education Policy committee and Faculty Senate voted to remove the requirement, finalizing a decision long sought by many faculty members and ASUSU officers.Students graduating this semester are still required to pass the CIL examinations.The CIL tests were originally designed to teach students basic computer skills as well as providing information about the ethics of computer use, but many of those skills are currently being taught elsewhere, said professor Charles Huenemann of the General Education subcommittee.Heunemann said he also preferred the idea of teaching students computer skills as needed, rather than all at once. “They might have to learn everything for the test in order to pass it, but then as soon as they pass the test then they don’t use that information again and they forget it.”In their meeting last November, the General Education subcommittee said that they would like to keep the CIL computer lab (located in the Eccles Science and Learning Center) open as a remedial resource for students wanting to learn the skills now taught by the CIL program. Currently, the $30 CIL fee funds the lab, and if it is to continue, the CIL fee would need to be replaced by a new student fee, said CIL director Alex Potter.Potter said he disagrees with the idea of teaching students computer skills as needed, and that the removal of the CIL requirement might now put more strain on faculty members.”They’ll have to deal with students not knowing how to do a footnote, and how to do all these fundamental skills that are taught in CIL,” he said.The changes in CIL requirement likely won’t cause any drastic changes, but students won’t benefit as much as they might have, Potter said.USU sophomore Gabrielle George said she took two of the CIL exams as part of her USU Connections class, but that she doubts she benefited much.

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