In Summer 2006, librarians and three Information Literacy Fellows* worked together to create a library instruction curriculum for PSYC 1730, Strategies for Academic Success. We developed the following statement of purpose and learning outcomes to guide our work. In Spring 2007 and Fall 2008 the original lessons created by the Fellows were adapted to address the new 8-week model for PSYC 1730.
Statement of Purpose:
Students often enter college viewing themselves as students doing required assignments in required courses, rather than as individual learners ready to enter a conversation. Students are working for the teacher and waiting for real life. This might be especially true of at-risk or struggling students, who have a tendency to seek omniscient authorities, see knowledge as certain and simple, and believe that learning should be fast and easy. Our goal, as librarians and teachers, is to help prepare students to enter more fully into the academic conversation, as learners and curious inquirers.
Current Lesson Plan
Critical Thinking/Reading pdf / Word
This lesson is designed to help students think critically about the information they read and how to apply it to both academic and real-life questions. Students are asked to find information on the Web to address a concrete question, such as whether to buy a video gamem console for their children.
1. Getting acquainted with a librarian and the research process pdf / Word
Instructor delivers a mini-lecture that describes research as a conversation, a process of questioning, the importance of information literacy, and how the class and research assignment will help students develop their skills. The librarian’s role is discussed as an integral part of this process. The librarian is introduced and conducts a get-acquainted activity with the students. A pre-assignment for Lesson 1 is then distributed and explained.
2. Daily life to academic research: Research as conversation pdf / Word
Instructor and librarian will introduce students to the idea of a research conversation happening around a certain topic/issue previously identified by instructor and librarian as being of interest to the majority of the members of the class. Students are exposed to different kinds of information sources as examples of the research conversation. The lesson links the activities students engaged in for everyday information seeking for their pre-assignment with more academic conversations.
3. Asking questions / Ask a librarian pdf / Word
Students will be introduced to asking questions as a vital part of not only the research process, but the lifelong process of information literacy. Students will practice this skill through a group-based interactive activity in which they will develop questions related to one of the "conversations" presented in the previous lesson. Then the librarian and instructor will role play interactions between students and librarians, so students can learn question asking strategies that will enable them to "enter the conversation" from what they know about a topic. They will be coached on seeking help from reference librarians and will have an assignment to practice what they are learning.
*Melissa Bowles, Julie Pelletier, and Carol Rosenthal
Instructional materials on this page are covered by a Creative Commons copyright.
Sample Attribution: Adapted from materials created by Merrill-Cazier Library, Utah State University.
For more information, contact Wendy Holliday, Coordinator of Library Instruction, 797-0731.