Kathleen Collins

Incorporating information literacy into classroom teaching boils down to this: “How do we help students with finding and evaluating information to help answer a question?” To assist in the process, the Library has recently expanded its Teaching Information Literacy guide found on the Library’s web site (Research Guides > Information Literacy > Teaching Information Literacy). The occasion for beefing up the guide was a Program Improvement Grant awarded by the Teaching and Learning Center. Team members for “Guides for Critical Skills Development: Information Literacy” included library faculty Maria Kiriakova, Ellen Sexton, and Kathleen Collins; Ray Patton (then Undergraduate Studies General Education director and now Honors Program director); and psychology faculty member Jill Grose-Fifer. In late May, Prof. Grose-Fifer gathered a group of psychology faculty who met with the team members to discuss information literacy in their teaching. There and now in the library’s guide, Prof. Grose-Fifer generously shared many of her tips and assignments (see Info Lit for Psychology tab). These assignments are highly adaptable to almost any discipline, as are the concepts in her 2019 co-authored book Teaching Psychology: An Evidence-Based Approach. The PowerPoint from that May session, “Incorporating Information Literacy into Your Course,” is also available (see Tools for Teaching tab).

The first part of the guide provides background on the why and what of information literacy. The remainder focuses on the how: assignment design tips, templates and specific scaffolding-based assignment ideas, as well as up-to-date research about information literacy in higher education.
Many of the resources found in the guide are adapted from or shared by other academic librarians such as Columbia College, Vancouver and CUNY’S Guttman Community College. We encourage faculty to incorporate these resources into coursework in conjunction with library video tutorials on such topics as using library database and evaluating sources available via the “How do I…?” link from the Library home page.

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