Comm A & Comm B Requirement

Students working on computers in College Library WisCEL Space

The Undergraduate Communication Requirement is a two-course requirement that all undergraduates at the UW-Madison are required to complete. Both courses of this requirement include an information literacy component.  For more information about General Education Requirements at UW-Madison visit the General Education webpage.

Comm A

Except for the small percentage of students who test out, all incoming freshmen are required to take Course A of the Communication Requirement within their first year. Course A includes literacy components in information literacy, as well as in written and oral communications. The 2012 approved and modernized information literacy outcomes are available at the General Education Requirements webpage.

The information literacy component, which is taught by teaching librarians, is designed to orient students to the campus library system and to introduce them to the basic information-seeking skills and strategies needed to find resources for their research. The module consists of two parts: Sift & Winnow: Libraries@UW, a multimedia, library skills tutorial and a classroom session.

Comm B

Course B, the second course of the Undergraduate Communication Requirement, includes an information literacy component that should be developed in consultation with the campus Libraries Teaching & Learning Programs. It is intended to follow Course A and to build on the skills and strategies taught in that first course.

In many cases, Course B is discipline- or subject- specific and the information literacy component, therefore, is designed to introduce students to resources and information-seeking skills related to those disciplines. The campus Libraries can assist with the information literacy component of Course B in a number of ways:

  • Teaching a session on information resources and search strategies
  • Assisting faculty and instructors with the development of information literacy modules that they will teach
  • Developing supporting materials related to information resources and/or library services
  • Assisting with the design of library assignments

View this document for an introduction to the library research component of Communication-B courses.