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Information Literacy Assignments in the Seminars in Scholarly Inquiry: Home

This guide for faculty provides examples of the types of information literacy assignments that are especially appropriate for first-year students in the Seminars in Scholarly Inquiry.

Getting Started

       The rubric for the first-year seminars asks that students receive sequenced opportunities to develop and hone their information literacy skills.  The librarians at Collins Library are eager to work with faculty to create engaging assignments that will help our students acquire these important competencies.  On this guide you will find listings of ideas for assignments that support the sequenced elements of the rubric.  This list is not exhaustive, nor is it meant to be prescriptive; rather, the aim is to show the multiple ways that information literacy instruction can be woven into and throughout a course design. 

For both semesters, please include the following links in your syllabi and on your Moodle course page.

Assignments Applicable to Both Semesters

These assignment and activity ideas target two underlying themes of information literacy education:  the cultivation of the habit of asking questions of and about sources and the thorough understanding of academic integrity concepts.  (All incoming students take a tutorial on academic integrity prior to their arrival on campus, but periodic refreshers are advisable.) 

Academic Integrity:

  • Run through the academic integrity tutorial together with students and use “clickers” to gauge understanding and intervene when necessary
  • Explore and debate real-life examples related to integrity issues, i.e, news reporting (Jayson Blair, Stephen Glass, Janet Cooke), academia (Stephen Ambrose, Doris Kearns Goodwin), sciences (Dr. Andrew Wakefield, creative arts (Kaavya Viswanathan)
  • Allow plenty of opportunities for practice summarizing the arguments of others as well as practice synthesizing the arguments of others with one’s own arguments, whether through brief writing assignments, oral presentations, or postings on Moodle.

Asking Questions that Matter:

      Help students cultivate a habit of raising and pursuing different types of questions:  factual, convergent, divergent, evaluative, combination.  Many students will begin the process by emphasizing “facts”—which can be a useful way to introduce methods for accessing background knowledge—but research questions by their very nature explore contested or undefined terrain.  By developing this habit of asking open-ended questions, students will be better situated in the second semester to frame research questions.

  • Ask students to keep an “inspiration journal,” “idea journal,” or “question log” where they record their questions and thoughts about all types and formats of sources that they encounter in class
  • Whenever feasible and appropriate, share your own research or the work of your colleagues.  What were the initial questions that gave impetus to your research?

Interim Associate Director

Peggy Burge's picture
Peggy Burge
Contact:
Collins Library 119
253.879.3512

Additional SSI Resources

This guide looks specifically at information literacy; there are many, many more resources for faculty on the SoundNet site!