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First-Year Information Literacy Program: University 101

Resources for University 101, English 101, and English 102 faculty.

University 101 Information Literacy Curriculum

The information literacy curriculum of University 101 consists of the following components:

  • Information Literacy introduction - During the first week or two of class, introduce the concept of information literacy and college-level research by using the "What is Information Literacy" video found on the University 101 Research Guide (or the similarly titled video accessible on the P drive), a discussion based on Chapter 10 of Your College Experience, or another activity of your choosing. Assign the Library Virtual Tour and Library Activity (linked to the University 101 Research Guide) to be completed before you give your research assignment.
  • Library Virtual Tour - Includes information and videos about library services and collections, including a quiz and interactive activity. Student access is through links on the University 101Composition I and Composition II Guides.
  • University 101 Research Guide - This library guide has additional instructional materials, arranged by the five information literacy standards in order to better reinforce research as a process. The guide includes links to the library resources most used by University 101 students. The Research Projects tab includes links to additional resources necessary for certain projects.
  • Research Project - The research project should be designed to give students practice in using library resources, at minimum the library catalog and Academic Search Complete article database. Send a copy of your research project to the Coordinator of Information Literacy so that we may evaluate whether specialized resources need to be added to the University 101 Research Guide for your section.
  • Beginning Research Module. This online module is designed to help students learn how to explore and focus a topic to come up with a viable research question, using Credo Reference sources. It is designed to be the first stage in a research project and is particularly recommended for academically-oriented projects in which students need to come up with their own topic.
  • Optional Librarian-Assisted Work Period - For sections with a greater emphasis on research, the purpose of this session is to find sources for the research project or other research-based assignments. Subject to librarian and room availability. In order to schedule a librarian-assisted work period, a copy of your research project should be on file with the Coordinator of Information Literacy. Students MUST have completed the Beginning Research Module or a similar exercise before this session.
  • Optional Plagiarism Prevention Module - Accessible online, the Plagiarism Prevention Module may be assigned at any time. Instruct students to enter their email address to receive a copy of their score.
  • Test Questions. Susannah will send out questions based on the material addressed in the Library Tour and textbook. Include them on a test or quiz and report the results (number of answers for each choice) to Susannah. This is an important part of our program assessment.
  • Sample of Research Assignments. You will be given instructions for submitting a sample of research assignments from your section.

University 101 Documents

The University 101 Information Literacy Goals and Skills lists the specific information literacy skills and concepts taught and assessed in University 101.

Request a Library Session

The Library offers optional librarian-assisted work periods for sections of University 101 that have research projects demanding significant use of library resources. Work periods are held in library classrooms and may be scheduled through the request form below. Sessions are not introductions to the library or research, but focused on finding sources for the assignment. While this may include some basic instruction in a database or effective searching, the bulk of the period is spent in hands-on searching for sources with the librarian and instructor present to help guide students. The Library Tour module gives a basic introduction to library resources and services, including electronic resources, while the University 101 Research Guide pulls together instructional materials and recommended resources for University 101 projects. Criteria for scheduling a session are:

  • Your research assignment must make significant use of library resources. Significant use means that the assignment requires students to find and use books from the Library Catalog or articles from Academic Search Complete or another article database. It might also mean basic instruction and hands-on searching in a specialized database.
  • A copy of your research assignment must be submitted on the request form.
  • Students should have completed the From Topic to Research Question tutorial or a similar activity and have a topic or research question ready to go before the session.
  • You must be present and actively engaged in the work period.
  • On receipt of the request with assignment, the Coordinator of Information Literacy will find a librarian to teach the session. While we will try to schedule your session on the requested day, this is subject to the availability of librarians and facilities. The librarian teaching your session will contact you to confirm or schedule the session.

Teaching the Information Literacy Standards

It is important that skills and concepts outlined in the University 101 Information Literacy Goals and Skills are taught and assessed in the classroom, the Library Tour module, optional library sessions, and course assignments. Your textbook, Your College Experience, is an excellent resource to use in introducing many of these concepts. Here are some additional ideas on how to address individual standards.

  • Information Literacy / Research Process - these framing concepts should be introduced early in the semester and reinforced whenever possible. Tell students they will need to know the five standards from the Information Literacy Standards for First-Year Students and give examples of activities under each for the test/quiz.
  • Standards -  The five standards are a useful model of the research process, if one bears in mind that research isn't always a sequential process! The University 101 Research Guide is now organized around the five standards in order to emphasize the process of research and get students to think about where their needs fall within that process.

Keep Information Literacy Visible!

  • Review the Standards and framing goals with students frequently, when you can find a context to do so.
  • Look for opportunities to make connections with your assignments and other course topics. The more students hear about information literacy in different contexts, the more it will stick.
  • Make a few mini-assignments, simply asking students to find out some background information on course topics, using various sources: books, articles, reference works, the Web. Collaborate with librarians in creating these assignments.
  • Have students discuss or reflect on their progress in learning information literacy concepts and skills.

Textbook Readings

Here are some suggestions as to how readings from Chapter 10 of Your College Experience (13th ed.) might be assigned in relation to the opening library orientation sequence:

  • Introduction to information literacy (Classroom discussion) - pp. 211-213
  • Making the Class Assignment - pp. 213-214 discuss focusing a topic.
  • Using the library and basic research - pp. 214-220
  • Evaluating Sources, pp. 220-222

What Do Students Learn in English 101?

Many, if not most, of your students are also enrolled in English 101 and will receive parallel instruction on many aspects of information literacy.

  • Many of the composition goals of English 101 pertain to Information Literacy Standards 3 and 4.
  • The English 101 library session usually occurs about mid-semester or a little later. It focuses on developing search skills and strategies such as Boolean connectors, phrases in quotes, truncation, and subject searching (see the English 101 tab in this library guide for specific learning outcomes). Students are also introduced to a second multidisciplinary article database and a number of other databases useful for their English 101 argument paper.
  • If you require a paper or project involving research later in the semester, your students should be able to use some of the skills they are developing in English 101 for their University 101 work. They may need help in understanding the transferability of these skills to a new context.