vidual to coordinate information and skills with respect to multiple dimensions of a problem and to make overall judgments and decisions taking all such information into account, a project-based approach to developing FITness is most appropriate. Projects of appropriate scale and scope inherently involve multiple iterations, each of which provides an opportunity for an instructional checkpoint or intervention. The domain of a project can be tailored to an individual's interest (e.g., in the department of a student's major), thereby providing motivation for a person to expend the (non-trivial) effort to master the concepts and skills of FITness. In addition, a project of appropriate scope will be sufficiently complex that intellectual integration is necessary to complete it. Note also that much of the infrastructure of existing skills-based computer or information technology literacy efforts (e.g., hardware, software, network connections, support staff) will be important elements of efforts to promote FITness.

Although the essentials of FITness are for the most part not dependent on sophisticated mathematics, and should therefore generally be accessible in some form to every citizen, any program or effort to make individuals more FIT must be customized to the target population. Because the committee was composed of college and university faculty, the committee chose to focus its implementational concerns on the four-year college or university graduate as one important starting point for the development of FITness across the citizenry. Further, the committee believes that successful implementation of FITness instruction will require serious rethinking of the college and university curriculum. It will not be sufficient for individual instructors to revisit their course content or approach. Rather, entire departments must examine the question of the extent to which their students will graduate FIT. Universities need to concern themselves with the FITness of students who cross discipline boundaries and with the extent to which each discipline is meeting the goals of universal FITness.

In summary, FIT individuals, those who know a starter set of information technology skills, who understand the basic concepts on which information technology is founded, and who have engaged in the higher-level thinking embodied in the intellectual capabilities, should use information technology confidently, should come to work ready to learn new business systems quickly and use them effectively, should be able to apply information technology to personally relevant problems, and should be able to adapt to the inevitable change as information technology evolves over their lifetime. To be FIT is to possess knowledge essential to using information technology now and in the future.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement