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Forget about the 3Rs, our students need the 3Cs: citation, connectors and critical thinking! Weetman DaCosta

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Forget about the 3Rs, our students need the 3Cs: citation, connectors and critical thinking! Weetman DaCosta

  1. 1. Forget about the 3Rs, our students need the 3Cs: citation, connectors and critical thinking! Jacqui Weetman DaCosta
  2. 2. Two more Cs – Curriculum Vitae From August 2006 (as DaCosta) • Information Literacy Librarian at The College of New Jersey From 1999-2006 (as Weetman) • Academic Team Manager at De Montfort University, Leicester (UK) From birth-1999 • Variety of academic libraries (and one public library)
  3. 3. The College of New Jersey • Small 4 year college (6,000 FTE) • Mainly undergraduate • State-funded (public) • Highly selective • National acclaim: – Top public college in northern region – Ranked 10th nationally in best value public colleges – 4th best college library in country
  4. 4. What’s this all about? Testing of learning to inform teaching • How and why testing began • Results of the testing – TCNJ and others • How the results inform our teaching
  5. 5. The 3Cs that students want
  6. 6. IDS 102 – Information Literacy Proficiency • Mandatory online course for all new students since 2004 – Six modules, assessed using internal CMS/VLE – Need to pass course in order to graduate – Offered in Fall and Spring semesters – Replaced first year induction • LINKS tutorial available for anyone to access from web pages http://www.tcnj.edu/~liblinks/
  7. 7. Course Evaluation • Do the students like the course? – Review of the tutorial – Redesign of the tutorial (launched July 2008) • Do the students learn anything? – Use of the tutorial – Limited assessment attempts to 3 per module
  8. 8. Pre- and Post-Course Testing Started with voluntary participation using an online survey – Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) – 100 students Surveys Response Rates % July 2007 100 August 2007 59 January 2008 19
  9. 9. Testing within the assessment Simple Online Courseware System • SOCS enabled pre- and post-course testing – Score given just for completion – Students see it as a mandatory part of the assessment – In reality, do not fail them if they don’t complete it • Questions on: – Knowledge – Where learned skills – Feelings about learning information skills
  10. 10. The C pattern emerges Citation (EOF – Summer 2008) In the following citation, what is the title of the journal? Macklin, A.S. (2001) Integrating information literacy using problem- based learning. Reference Services Review, 29(1), 306-313. Pre- Course % Post- Course % Macklin 4 1 Integrating information literacy using problem-based learning 73 57 Reference Services Review 23 42 306-313 0 0 Don’t know 0 0
  11. 11. The C pattern emerges Citation (Fall 2008) In the following citation, what is the title of the journal? Macklin, A.S. (2001) Integrating information literacy using problem- based learning. Reference Services Review, 29(1), 306-313. Pre- Course % Post- Course % Macklin 1 1 Integrating information literacy using problem-based learning 62 44 Reference Services Review 35 53 306-313 1 1 Don’t know 1 1
  12. 12. The C pattern emerges Connectors (EOF – Summer 2008) When performing a search in a database, which of the following word combinations is likely to give you more results? Pre- Course % Post- Course % election OR presidential 14 42 election AND presidential 64 48 election NOT presidential 2 0 national AND security 15 8 Don’t know 5 2
  13. 13. The C pattern emerges Connectors (Fall 2008) When performing a search in a database, which of the following word combinations is likely to give you more results? Pre- Course % Post- Course % election OR presidential 39 68 election AND presidential 43 24 election NOT presidential 4 2 national AND security 7 4 Don’t know 6 2
  14. 14. The C pattern continues Citation – IDS 102 Assessment – Module 4 If you had the following citation for an article, what would you search to see if your library had it in print or in full text in a database? Thomas, Susan Gregory. ‘Capitalists on Campus: students with computer skills cash in.’ US News and World Report, 7 Sept. 1998, p. 82. Summer 2008 % Fall 2008 % Search the title - ‘Capitalists on Campus: students with computer skills cash in.’ 39 63 Search the title - US News and World Report 55 31 Search the author - Thomas, Susan Gregory 5 5 Search the subject – college students work 1 1
  15. 15. The C pattern continues Critical Thinking – IDS 102 Assessment – Module 4 Which of the following is an appropriate search strategy for selecting search terms in a TCNJ Library periodical database, like EBSCOhost Academic Search Premier? Summer 2008 % Fall 2008 % Brainstorm synonyms 56 79 Brainstorm many different topics 2 3 Use only the words in your topic 42 18 Type the search words twice 0 0
  16. 16. The C pattern continues Critical Thinking – IDS 102 Assessment – Module 4 For your biology class, you need to track down the following citation: Hikmat, A. Al-Ani, Strain, B. R., and Mooney, H. A. (1972). The physiological ecology of diverse populations of the desert shrub Simmondsia chinesis. Journal of Ecology, 60, 41-57. A search of the TCNJ list of electronic periodicals gives the results below. Which database will provide full text of this article? Journal of ecology (0022-0477) from 02/01/1998 to 06/01/2004 in EBSCOhost EJS from 03/01/1913 to 12/01/2000 in JSTOR from 03/01/1997 to 1 year ago in Academic Search Premier Summer 2008 % Fall 2008 % EBSCOhost EJS 7 5 JSTOR 60 70 Academic Search Premier 28 12 TCNJ Library Catalog 5 13
  17. 17. Other 3Cs evidence TCNJ (Spring 2008) – Bennett & Lasher undertook a pre- and post-course assessment, in class, with Senior Capstone Business students. • Identification of journal title in a citation – 61% correct pre-course – 68% correct post-course MMU (2006-) – Glass & Griffiths undertook IL audits where found that students struggled with: • constructing and implementing effectively designed search strategies • refining the search strategy • understanding the source of an item from its citation description
  18. 18. Other 3Cs evidence UCLA (Spring 1999) – undertook an Information Competence Survey and found: • 60% did NOT identify a journal citation from a varied list of citations • 45.5% did not know that OR retrieves more records than AND or NOT California State University San Marcos (2006-) “One finding that reinforces anecdotal data is that students do not make connections between one course and another. If they learn about it in one area they do not necessarily apply it in another area.” (Sonntag, 2008)
  19. 19. How do you solve a problem like Citation? • Give students references to hunt down in library sessions • Ask academic staff to incorporate tasks within assessed work • Include in any online tutorial or CMS • Be more explicit on web pages
  20. 20. How do you solve a problem like Connectors? • Explain the importance of keywords and how they link together • Get students to practise searches in class, using AND/OR/NOT • As previously, utilise: – Academic staff (assessment) – Online tutorials, CMS, etc. – Web pages
  21. 21. How do you solve a problem like Critical Thinking? • First – find, or agree upon, a definition! “Critical thinking involves the conceptualization, analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and ultimate application of information so that the learner may reach conclusions or form independent judgments based upon what the learner has experienced combined with previous knowledge.” (Allen, 2008)
  22. 22. How do you solve a problem like Critical Thinking? • Contextualise, Contextualise, Contextualise! • Must work with academic staff • SCONUL’s Seventh Pillar sees this as a higher level skill: – “The ability to synthesise and build upon existing information, contributing to the creation of new knowledge.”
  23. 23. Test to inform your teaching • Informal – Show of hands – Student/Classroom Response Systems, e.g. Clickers, NetSupport – Short tests/surveys in class, or pre- and post- class with support of lecturer • Formal – Include as part of assessment – Online or on paper – Working with academic staff – Commercial, e.g. iSkills, SAILS, TRAILS • Defining appropriate questions
  24. 24. Some useful sources for test questions Avery, E.F. (ed.) (2003) Assessing Student Learning Outcomes for Information Literacy Instruction in Academic Institutions. Chicago (IL): American Library Association. Emde, J. and Emmett, A. (2007) Assessing information literacy skills using the ACRL standards as a guide. Reference Services Review, Vol. 35 (2), pp 210-229. Lawson, M. (1999) Assessment of a college freshman course in information resources. Library Review, Vol. 48 (2), pp 73-78. Mittermeyer, D. and Quirion, D. ( 2005) Information literacy: study of incoming first-year undergraduates in Quebec. Education for Information, Vol. 23 (4), pp 203-232. Radcliff, C.J. et al. (2007) A Practical Guide to Information Literacy Assessment for Academic Librarians. Westport (CT): Libraries Unlimited.
  25. 25. Do you want to test me? Questions? Email: dacosta@tcnj.edu
  26. 26. References Allen, M. (2008) Promoting critical thinking skills in online information literacy instruction using a constructivist approach. College and Undergraduate Libraries, Vol. 15 (Issue 1/2), pp 21-38. Caravello, P.S. et al. (2001) Information Competence at UCLA: Report of a Survey Project. Los Angeles (CA): UCLA. Available from: http://repositories.cdlib.org/uclalib/il/01 Ellis, E. L. and Whatley, K. M. (2008) The evolution of critical thinking skills in library instruction, 1986-2006: a selected and annotated bibliography and review of selected programs, College & Undergraduate Libraries, Vol. 15 (Issue 1/2), pp 5-20. Glass, B. and Griffiths, J. (2008) Online information literacy audits: a longitudinal study. LILAC (Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference) 2008, Liverpool (UK), March 17-19, 2008. Available from: http://www.lilacconference.com/dw/resources/2008/2.07%20Presentations/LILAC08Glass.ppt SCONUL (1999) Information Skills in Higher Education: a SCONUL position paper. Society of College, National and University Libraries [WWW] Available from: http://www.sconul.ac.uk/groups/information_literacy/publications/papers/Seven_pillars2.pdf Sonntag, G. (2008) We have evidence, they are learning: using multiple assessments to measure student information literacy outcomes. World Library and Information Congress: 74th IFLA General Conference and Council, Quebec (Canada), 10-14 August 2008. Available from: http://www.ifla.org/IV/ifla74/papers/134-Sonntag-en.pdf

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