Information Literacy: Teaching Students How To Locate, Evaluate & Document Information
Thursday, September 14 ~ 3:00-4:30pm (Eastern)
Never in the history of mankind has information been more important to survival and success, and yet the threats to information literacy are greater than ever. Students and professionals alike need to be able to find accurate facts on which to base understanding and decisions. Once they find those facts, they must evaluate credibility and bias, synthesize facts and interpretation, document their findings, and ultimately make sense of their world. The sources of information these days, however, are often suspect. Over the past two decades, the growth of the Internet has dramatically expanded access to media for both information generators and information seekers, but the general lack of gatekeepers and curators on the Internet has threatened to turn the Information Age into the Misinformation Age, especially since some leading voices have seized the opportunity to spread baseless conspiracy theories, trade in innuendo, and even fabricate stories out of whole cloth.
This webinar offers college instructors and librarians a creative, sound approach to teaching information literacy during these challenging times. It begins by suggesting an attractive metaphor they can use to hook students. While “research” tends to turn many students off, these same students have an innate curiosity that often latches onto detective shows and inquiry-based video games. Framing academic research as a way to answer interesting questions uses this innate curiosity to engage students in the learning process. After describing this framing technique (15 minutes), the facilitators will guide participants through a method that breaks down the research process into logical, sequential, manageable steps:
- Think Like a Detective
- Ask a Compelling Question
- Search for Answers
- Explore Possible Sources
- Evaluate Sources
- Create a Paper Trail
- Mine Your Sources
In this part of the presentation (45 minutes), the facilitators will describe specific strategies, including lesser-known ones involving hypernyms and research logs, that can help students manage the daunting challenges of research. Maintaining the metaphor of detective work, they will discuss “interrogating sources” and building a case with evidence. Finally, they will briefly touch on an approach to surveying the types of sources open to researchers: reference sources, books, periodicals, government sources, social media, etc. (15 minutes). The remaining portion of the program (15 minutes) will provide time for questions and answers.
In short, participants will come away with an appealing, strategic, innovative method for teaching students to locate, evaluate, synthesize, and document information.
- Learn to tap students’ innate curiosity
- Understand how to frame research as an appealing form of detective work
- Learn how to engage students in academic inquiry
- Learn how present a logical, manageable method for conducting research efficiently
- Examine how to use lesser-known research tools (hypernyms, hyponyms, concept phrases, etc.) and tricks (“Cite as you go,” note-taking strategies, etc.) to facilitate the research process
- Explore how to expose students to a wide array of useful sources, including some (interviews, artifacts, social media) that students often overlook
- Enrollment Management
- Human Resources
- Online Learning
- Student Services/Affairs
- Any educator interested in learning more about information literacy
“Research has a bad rap. Many students find it unappealing or overwhelming, yet these same students gladly spend money and time on detective shows, suspenseful movies, and inquiry-based games. If we can tap their natural curiosity and show them a way to satisfy this curiosity by following a logical, manageable research method, we stand a much better of chance of transforming them into inquisitive, competent researchers both during and after their college years.”
Mark Canada, Ph.D., is co-author of the textbook Introduction to Information Literacy for Students (Wiley, 2017). An award-winning English professor, he has taught research to many hundreds of college students, often collaborating with librarian Michael Alewine (co-author of the textbook) in mini-courses on information literacy. An experienced researcher himself, Dr. Canada is the author, co-author, editor, or co-editor of dozens of articles, presentations, and books, including Literature and Journalism in Antebellum America, Literature and Journalism: Inspirations, Intersections, and Inventions from Ben Franklin to Stephen Colbert, Out of the West: Thomas Wolfe’s Final Western Journey, and numerous articles in Journalism History, American Literary Realism, The Thomas Wolfe Review, Poe in Context, The Conversation, and other publications. His research has taken him to some of the world’s leading research libraries, including the Library of Congress, the Huntington Library, and Harvard’s Houghton Library. As Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Indiana University Kokomo, he oversees all of the institution’s academic units, including the library, and leads the institution’s efforts in the area of student success.
Michael C. Alewine is the Outreach and Distance Education Librarian at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. For more than 18 years Michael has taught both undergraduate and graduate information-literacy courses and research seminars. He has published and presented on information literacy, student learning and motivation, and teaching and learning in online environments. He also teaches college composition and continually experiments with new ways to motivate new college students to become confident academic researchers and writers.
Michael holds a Master of Library Science from North Carolina Central University, a Master of Science in Instructional Technology from East Carolina University, and is currently finishing a Master of Arts in English at Eastern Carolina University.
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