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Integrating Information Literacy into the Classroom


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This is a copy of the presentation delivered at the Ann Ferren Teaching Conference at American University in Washington DC, January 2010.

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Integrating Information Literacy into the Classroom

  1. 1. INTEGRATING INFORMATION LITERACY INTO YOUR CLASSROOM Rachel Borchardt and Michael Matos, AU Library Nancy Sachs and Bonnie Auslander, Kogod School of Business
  2. 2. Objectives <ul><li>What is information literacy (IL)and why does it matter? </li></ul><ul><li>IL in General Education and Subject-specific </li></ul><ul><li>IL implementation at other universities </li></ul><ul><li>How AU is implementing IL across campus </li></ul><ul><li>How you can implement IL in your classroom </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is Information Literacy? <ul><li>Information literacy is the ability to recognize when information is needed and to locate, evaluate, and use it efficiently. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ACRL (American College and Research Libraries) Information Literacy standards definition </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Why is information literacy important? <ul><li>The shift towards Internet-based research requires a higher level of scrutiny of sources then in the past. </li></ul><ul><li>Developing strong information literacy skills enables students to succeed in their academic and professional careers. </li></ul><ul><li>Middle States Commission has accreditation requirements related to information literacy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Middle States Standard 11: “ Several skills, collectively referred to as ‘information literacy,’ apply to all disciplines in an institution’s curricula. … information literacy is an essential component of any educational program at the graduate or undergraduate levels” </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. General and subject-specific Information Literacy <ul><li>General information literacy concepts (i.e., finding, evaluating and using information) are tailored for individual disciplines </li></ul><ul><ul><li>General Education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>College Writing – Introduction to information literacy concepts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Specialized Disciplines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Business – Using specialized resources and data </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sciences – Using and creating primary research papers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>History – Integrating primary documents </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. How other universities have implemented IL <ul><li>University of Rhode Island </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Freshman/sophomore credit classes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Upper level seminar in biological literature </li></ul></ul><ul><li>James Madison </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrated into General Education classes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information Literacy workshops for faculty held yearly </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ohio State </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Online for-credit courses integrated with general education classes </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Implementation at AU <ul><li>Formal relationships </li></ul><ul><ul><li>College writing, general IL </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SIS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kogod </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Informal relationships </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Art History </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One-shot instruction sessions throughout campus </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. College Writing and Information Literacy <ul><li>Partnering Writing Instructors with Librarians </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information literacy instruction tailored to each class </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Librarian works with class </li></ul></ul><ul><li>College Writing Library committee </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Goal: Standardize IL learning outcomes in all college writing classes and develop continuity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish specific IL-related learning objectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create database of learning objectives, specific library activities, assignments that focus on IL </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Define difference between IL-related learning outcomes in CW100 vs. CW101 </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Seven Things Business Students Discover <ul><li>1. Google isn’t God. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Business databases are beneficial. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Company websites are biased. </li></ul><ul><li>4. Even company websites need citations. </li></ul><ul><li>5. APA isn’t MLA. </li></ul><ul><li>6. Team members (do)n’t lie. </li></ul><ul><li>7. Business librarians know their business. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Case study: Information Technology (ITEC) 200 <ul><li>Assignment : </li></ul><ul><li>You and your teammates work for the information technology (IT) department of a company. Your supervisor has asked you to identify an interesting IT that can add business value. </li></ul><ul><li>Criteria (from syllabus; one of three): </li></ul><ul><li>A successful IT review will be one in which the team demonstrates good research: you should show what the IT does, how the IT works and its impact on business. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Project Timeline <ul><li>Topic exploration & analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Draft </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty-Team meeting </li></ul><ul><li>In-class visit by business librarian & Kogod Center for Business Communications staff </li></ul><ul><li>Final report & presentation </li></ul><ul><li>Best-of-Best-in-Class Competition </li></ul>
  12. 12. How you can implement IL in your classroom! <ul><li>Develop assignments that require specific sources/tools </li></ul><ul><li>Steer students toward appropriate resources for their assignment </li></ul><ul><li>Create methodology to evaluate information literacy concepts (see other side) </li></ul><ul><li>Contextualize information the student acquires </li></ul><ul><li>Consider IL concepts – which do you want to cover? </li></ul><ul><li>Designate an appropriate citation style </li></ul><ul><li>Treasure hunts are discouraged without library consultation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning the ins and outs of the library is great, but can be frustrating for the student and the library </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Overall, be as clear as possible so that the students focus on the research component, not the details </li></ul><ul><li>A librarian is your ally and can help you formulate an appropriate assignment and strategy for your class </li></ul>
  13. 13. Conclusions <ul><li>Information literacy at AU should be more standardized </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most students not receiving general and specific information literacy instruction </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Librarians can work with individuals, departments and programs to tailor information literacy programs </li></ul>
  14. 14. Questions and Discussion