Towards an Information Literacy Continuum: examining the high school to college research transition.


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We know that many students have difficulties meeting faculty expectations for college-level research. Basic search strategies, critical thinking and evaluation skills are often lacking. Increased dialogue between academic librarians, school librarians and teaching faculty could begin to address some of these problems in a proactive manner. This presentation is a small step in that direction. Chris Sweet, Information Literacy Librarian at Illinois Wesleyan University, will introduce this topic from an academic librarian’s perspective. Dana Convery, English and Literature instructor at Prairie Central High School, will discuss high school research from the trenches. What research skills are being taught in the classroom? What role do Illinois Learning Standards play? What barriers are holding high school teachers and librarians back? Finally, an Illinois Wesleyan student will give us insights on his/her personal transition from high school to college researcher.

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Towards an Information Literacy Continuum: examining the high school to college research transition.

  1. 1. Towards an Information Literacy Continuum: examining the high school to college research transition<br />Chris Sweet- Illinois Wesleyan University<br />Dana Convery- Prairie Central High School<br />Amanda Pilgrim- Illinois Wesleyan University<br />Information Literacy Summit<br />Illinois State University<br />4/20/10<br />
  2. 2. Information Literacy Defined!<br />
  3. 3. “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate”<br />Communication failure between:<br />College Librarians and School Librarians<br />Librarians and Teaching Faculty<br />Librarians and Students<br />Various professional associations<br />Our presentation/discussion today:<br />Chris- academic library viewpoint<br />Dana- high school teacher viewpoint<br />Amanda- student viewpoint<br />
  4. 4. What information literacy shortcomings do you see among your students?<br />
  5. 5. ERIAL- Ethnographic Research in Illinois Academic Libraries<br />What are some of the things we learned about our students?<br />They don’t know what a librarian is or does<br />Many struggle to read a citation<br />Many cannot use a call number to locate a book on the shelf<br />Many have little research experience beyond Google<br />To get help with research they will ask: their friends, their instructors, their parents and maybe a librarian<br />Almost complete lack of evaluation/critical thinking about sources<br />In my experience this holds true at IWU and Heartland. Why?<br />
  6. 6. The Disconnect<br />We’ve mentioned the communication issues<br />Lack of professional librarians at the H.S. level<br />Lack of resources at the H.S. level (dated book collections, little or no database access)<br />Dated research abilities among all teaching faculty (this is passed on to students)<br />If it got me a “A” in high school…..<br />Research and Info Lit just not seen as high priority skills<br />Lack of universally agreed upon research/info lit standards<br />
  7. 7. Standards<br />Most current standards do address information literacy in some way, shape, or form. How much priority or emphasis is placed on info lit varies greatly.<br />What standards are out there?<br />Illinois State Board of Education Learning Standards<br />Partnership for 21st Century Skills<br />Standards for the 21st Century Learner (AASL)<br />ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards<br />
  8. 8. Solutions?<br />Academic librarians need to be involved in undergrad and graduate teacher education programs.<br />Academic librarians need to do more outreach to both school librarians and H.S. teachers.<br />School librarians need to make a stronger case for info lit skills to administrators and teaching faculty<br />Collaborative programming<br />One agreed upon set of standards that progress from K through undergrad?<br />Better communication on these issues among professional associations<br />
  9. 9. Resources<br />“BluePrint for Collaboration” Joint project of ACRL/AASL<br />Library Instruction Roundtable: Transitions to College Committee<br />“Climbing out of the ‘Ivory Tower’” Article<br />Elements of Library Research: What Every Student Needs to Know. Mary George.<br />
  10. 10. Teaching Research<br />Assignment<br /><ul><li>Students choose a topic to research and use FirstSearch to find articles
  11. 11. Students use notecards to take notes over researched material
  12. 12. Students create an outline, focusing topic
  13. 13. Students create a Works Cited Page using </li></ul>Notecard Format:<br />Guideline<br />Author/Title<br />Paraphrase/Summary<br />Page #<br />
  14. 14. Limitations in Research Assignment<br />Resources <br /><ul><li>Few books relevant to student topics in library
  15. 15. Not enough time for inter-library loan with block schedule
  16. 16. Few online databases available to school
  17. 17. Databases not shown to teachers; therefore, no student access</li></ul>Library “Dumping Ground”<br />Library used for displaced students, i.e. study hall<br />Saturday detentions are served in library<br />Students kicked out of class go to the library<br />General Consensus: No one wants to be in the library! <br />
  18. 18. Improvement Goals<br /><ul><li>Align departments to the 21st Century Literacy Skills
  19. 19. Collaboration between librarian and teachers to teach common set of skills
  20. 20. Re-invent the library atmosphere to make students want to be there
  21. 21. Develop “common knowledge” language among departments, so research skills are uniform
  22. 22. Opportunities for co-teaching with a librarian to optimize teaching of research skills </li>