Writing Across The Curriculum and Information Literacy Across the Curriculum


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Author: Elizabeth Bucciarelli
Easter Michigan University

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Writing Across The Curriculum and Information Literacy Across the Curriculum

  1. 1. Writing Across the Curriculum and Information Literacy Across the Curriculum : Interconnections & Implications for Libraries Elizabeth Bucciarelli [email_address] Eastern Michigan University Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters Annual Meeting 2009
  2. 2. Traditional Writing Pedagogy <ul><li>Informative writing - used to inform, instruct, or persuade </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Type A writing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expository </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transactional writing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Accomplishes specific tasks in the form of </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Essays </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reports </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Memos </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proposals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brochures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Term papers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Writers are concerned with </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Audience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Language </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Writing Across the Curriculum: (WAC) I <ul><li>An instructional movement that “promotes intensive writing in all the disciplines and at all levels of the curriculum” (Sheridan, 1992) </li></ul><ul><li>History -began in 1970’s; grew rapidly in the 1980’s </li></ul><ul><li>Philosophy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students should write in every course about everything they study </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Become better writers and learn course content more effectively </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Writing Across the Curriculum: (WAC) II <ul><li>Responsibility for writing proficiency shifted away from writing programs into the subject disciplines </li></ul><ul><li>Creation of writing-intensive (WI) courses, i.e., learning how to write in the subject disciplines </li></ul>
  5. 5. Writing Across the Curriculum: (WAC) III <ul><li>Expressive writing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exploratory writing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Type B writing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Process writing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Characterized by </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Journaling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaborative work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social in nature – work shared with others via drafts & revisions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Peer review </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Allows for use of livelier, subjective language </li></ul><ul><li>Find their own voice vs. writing to an audience </li></ul><ul><li>Integrates old knowledge with new information through revisions </li></ul><ul><li>Mixture of Type A & Type B writing – about process and product </li></ul>
  6. 6. WAC Assignments – First-year Experience Examples <ul><li>Community Focus Class - e.g. basketball team </li></ul><ul><li>Long Essay 1 – reflect on their previous research experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Long Essay 2 – Ethnographic research essay </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interview </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Observation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Library resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Short essay </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflection letter (research process, frustrations, discoveries) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research Journal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Long Essay 3 – multi-genre assignment representing their finding from Long Essay 2 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples - obituary, brochure, advertisement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Library resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflection letter </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Final Portfolio – revise two of the three long essays, plus write a long reflection letter </li></ul>
  7. 7. WAC Assignments – Undergrad Writing Intensive Course <ul><li>Mind Maps </li></ul><ul><li>Letter to federal legislators </li></ul><ul><li>Applied book review </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Journal reflection on book </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Summary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflect on how student would interact with this patient </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Clinical Practice Issue </li></ul><ul><li>Research papers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Annotated bibliography </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Academic resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Apply research to future career </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Various Definitions of Information Literacy <ul><li>Ability to “recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information (online)” (ALA, 1989) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Set of abilities requiring individuals to “recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information” (ACRL, 2003) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Ability to think critically in an information environment” (Ward, 2002) </li></ul><ul><li>“ New liberal art that involves understanding the social, economic and political aspects of information” (Shapiro & Hughes, 1996) </li></ul><ul><li>Lifelong learning </li></ul><ul><li>Critical thinking </li></ul><ul><li>More… </li></ul>
  9. 9. WAC and ILAC: Interconnections History <ul><li>Writing and library instruction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Entered the academic arena in the late 1960’s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Both considered to be taught by “second-class professionals” (Elmborg, 2003) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Writing programs found their niche in English Departments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Degree-granting, therefore increased credibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Classes taught by graduate students, not PhDs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1980’s composition and rhetoric become research specialties </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. WAC and ILAC: Interconnections Similarities I <ul><li>Both address the question of who should teach the undergraduates to write and research </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Composition teachers or disciplinary faculty - writing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Librarians or disciplinary faculty - research </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Share key values and promote </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Critical thinking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Active learning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ways to </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Demonstrate knowledge </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Develop critical thinking and language skills </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Develop the ability to articulate disciplinary knowledge as content (Elmborg, 2003) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. WAC and ILAC: Interconnections Similarities II <ul><li>Heuristic, i.e. ways to learn and discover </li></ul><ul><li>Processes; Messy processes </li></ul><ul><li>Require discussions between faculty and librarians </li></ul><ul><li>Cross-disciplinary </li></ul><ul><li>Require assessment </li></ul>
  12. 12. WAC and ILAC: Interconnections Questions <ul><li>Whose responsibility is it to teach basic research and writing skills, the K-12 schools or colleges and universities? </li></ul><ul><li>Whose responsibility is it to teach research and writing when undergraduate students do not have them? </li></ul>
  13. 13. So, why is ILAC not being incorporated into academic curricula? <ul><li>Confusion - no single consensus among librarians as to the definition of IL </li></ul><ul><li>Reluctance - librarians feel unprepared for the role of teacher and untrained in curriculum development </li></ul><ul><li>Scalability - increased workload for librarians involved with FYE and WI courses </li></ul><ul><li>Adoption - must be discipline specific, which is a difficult buy-in across academic departments </li></ul><ul><li>Scaffolding - need multiple IL course experiences for the learner to travel from a community of novice researchers to a participant in a community of scholars </li></ul>
  14. 14. Information Literacy Across the Curriculum (ILAC) - Solutions <ul><li>Conceptual Changes </li></ul><ul><li>Not only about finding tools (Ward, 2002) </li></ul><ul><li>Taught in the context of subject disciplines, community, and world issues; way of life (Elmborg, 2006; Ward, 2002) </li></ul><ul><li>Creating connections between students and their world (Ward, 2002) </li></ul><ul><li>Teach research as a process, just as writing is a process </li></ul><ul><li>View as part of academic majors </li></ul>
  15. 15. Information Literacy Across the Curriculum (ILAC) - Solutions <ul><li>Active Changes </li></ul><ul><li>Develop ways to assess IL in courses throughout the university </li></ul><ul><li>Create credit-bearing courses </li></ul><ul><li>Attend non-library, discipline-specific conferences to learn the key issues, jargon </li></ul><ul><li>Library schools incorporate librarian teacher education and curriculum development in library school curricula </li></ul>
  16. 16. Information Literacy Across the Curriculum (ILAC) - Solutions <ul><li>Active Changes, cont. </li></ul><ul><li>Incorporate IL into FYE courses </li></ul><ul><li>Learn to speak the language of the scholarship of teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Create online support instruction for information seeking tools to alleviate increased workload for FYE and IL librarians </li></ul><ul><li>Become active in the interdisciplinary courses, learning communities, and seminars </li></ul><ul><li>Create non-credit-bearing IL components for interdisciplinary courses, learning communities, and seminars </li></ul>
  17. 17. Reference List <ul><li>American Library Association. (2000). Information Literacy Standards for Higher Education . Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/standards/informationliteracycompetency.cfm </li></ul><ul><li>Elmborg, J. (2002). Teaching at the desk. Toward a reference pedagogy. Libraries and the Academy , 2(3), 455-464. Retrieved from http://firstsearch.oclc.org/WebZ/FSQ25 </li></ul><ul><li>Elmborg, J. (2003). Information literacy and Writing Across the Curriculum: sharing the vision. Reference Services Review , 31(1), 68-80. Retrieved from http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewPDF.jsp ? </li></ul><ul><li>Elmborg, J. (2006). Critical information literacy: implications for instructional practice. Journal of Academic Librarianship , 32(2), 192-199. Retrieved from http://firstsearch.oclc.org/WebZ/FSQUERY?sessionid </li></ul><ul><li>Fabian, S. (personal communication, March 13, 2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Galvin, J. Information literacy and integrative learning. College and Undergraduate Libraries , 13(3), 25-51. doi:10.1300/J106v13n03_0 </li></ul><ul><li>Isbell, D., & Kammerlocher, L. (1998). Implementing Kulthau: a new model for library and reference instruction. Reference Services Review , 26(3-4), 33-44. Retrieved from http://firstsearch.oclc.org/WebZ/FSQUERY?sessionid </li></ul><ul><li>Sheridan, J. (1992). WAC and libraries: a look at the literature. Journal of Academic Librarianship , 18(2), 90-94. </li></ul><ul><li>Ward, D. (2002, May). Seeking the promised land of information literacy. Proceedings of the LOEX Library Instruction Conference, Ypsilanti, MI , 1-4. </li></ul>