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This article reviews scholarship of incorporating institutional objectives in academic courses and proposes a method to embed mission-critical competencies in a library instruction course. Few academic institutions focus their mission or core competencies on digital communication. LaGuardia Community College delineates three competencies in its mission: inquiry and problem solving, global learning, and integrative learning. Students exhibit command of these competencies in written, oral, or digital communication. The College defines the digital communication ability as successful collaboration and interaction using online tools, such as discussion boards, either to stage written exchange, or to capture video or oral discussions. Through participation in a campus initiative to align assignments with digital communication, the authors embedded this unique online ability in a credit-bearing library instruction course that focuses on information literacy. The updated midsemester examination prompts students to interact and critically evaluate contributions made by their peers in a guided online discussion. Specifically, students comment on another student’s annotated bibliography and determine whether their peers communicated an arguable claim and evidence to support it. To argue that digital communication strengthens information literacy skills, the authors completed a small case study.


This work was originally published in the New Review of Academic Librarianship, available at



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