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Implementing the Information Literacy Tutorial in Your First Year Seminar

Practical advice and how-to information for incorporating the information literacy tutorial, LION'S GUIDE TO RESEARCH AND THE LIBRARY, in your first year seminar course.

Possible In-Class Integrations of Key Concepts from "Starting Your Research Assignment" Module

  • Walk through the process of topic formulation, including finding background info to help generate a focus

  • Diagram a research question and pick out keywords

  • Compare Wikipedia to some published reference/background sources on the same topic; improve the Wikipedia article

  • Create a reading list on a topic by using background info and doing citation chasing

  • Interview the Faculty member teaching your FYS course and ask him/her to describe how they do research, how research gets disseminated in their field, etc.

  • Select a topic from class and identify a venue (blog, discussion forum, social media) in which a scholarly conversation is taking place. Ask students to identify key players and their perspectives.

  • Have students reflect upon the steps they went through when researching a major purchase or event in their lives (buying a car, selecting a college, etc.). They identify the steps involved in the research behind such a decision, and confront the importance of employing a similar strategy in the academic setting.


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Sample Assignments for Starting Your Assignment Module

Possible In-Class Integrations of Key Concepts from "Types of Information" Module

  • How do different types of sources fit into the research process/role?
  • Compare the same topic across different sources (scholarly/popular press; liberal/conservative)
  • Trace the progression of event/discovery/idea/ theory across sources
  • Differences in role of publication and scholarly communication across disciplines; evaluation criteria; purpose of research (e.g. methodology)
  • What’s the current state of research in your field?  Scan a journal for trends and how the info. is structured; also could trace over time
     
  • Discuss your experience publishing in a peer reviewed journal or have students practice the peer review process
     
  • Primary vs. Secondary in your discipline: how is context important?  Compare a primary vs. secondary account of the same event, such as slave owner vs. slave
     
  • Brainstorm author characteristics that indicate trustworthiness on a particular topic as a large group, collaborating to generate characteristics posted and shared with all students.Then apply the characteristics to the output of students' independent search results. At close, have students reflect on how one characteristic was used to improve their search.
     
  • Give students several scholarly sources on the same topic that take very different stands. How was it that the authors came to different conclusions? Does it have to do with authority?

Sample Assignments for Types of Information Module

Possible In-Class Integrations of Key Concepts from "Finding Books" Module

  • Group lit reviews covering different time periods/same topic- come together for a “research roundtable”
  • Research log (document how your topic evolves as you find more info. and change search strategies)
  • Citation chasing: determine the impact of article/book in a field
  • Fact checking or find facts to support an editorial

  • Research a concept, problem, event, or person studied in class
  • Assign students to identify and use subject headings from the library catalog after conducing a keyword search; after which they write a paragraph on the differences between subject and keyword searching

Sample Assignments for Finding Books Module

Possible In-Class Integrations of Key Concepts from "Finding Articles" Module

  • Group lit reviews covering different time periods/same topic- come together for a “research roundtable”
  • Research log (document how your topic evolves as you find more info. and change search strategies)
  • Citation chasing: determine the impact of article/book in a field
  • Fact checking or find facts to support an editorial

  • Research a concept, problem, event, or person studied in class

  • Sketch a map of citation links among articles, highlighting articles that are frequently cited or never cited, and write brief explanations of the relationship among articles and how those relationships inform your choice of which articles to use

Sample Assignment for Finding Articles Module