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Faculty Guide to Information Literacy Assessment: Examples

This guide will demonstrate ways faculty may choose to incorporate Information Literacy Tutorials into their courses and how to assess their students' mastery of these skills.

Examples

Generic Undergraduate Assignment

(This assignment was adapted and generalized from a more specific assignment submitted by Dr. Tim Royappa [see below] to Information Literacy: A Workshop For the Faculty at the University of West Florida, May 4-6, 2004. It is intended as a general guide that may be adapted for specific subject areas and specific assignments.)

This course requires the fulfillment of a semester-long information literacy project, culminating in a final term paper [or assignment].

1. Attend one of the library's Basic Library Orientation classes (50 minutes) or complete the online Basic Library Orientation (on the library's web homepage under Tutorials) in order to learn how to use the library's catalog and databases. Deadline: ... Percent of grade: ...

2. Using the library's newspaper (or general) databases, find three news (or recent) articles on a current problem, issue or conflict in the subject area of the course. Provide an annotated bibliography of these articles and a brief statement (one paragraph) of this problem, issue or conflict. Deadline: ... Percent of grade: ...

3. Using the library's catalog and databases, find at least three scholarly books or articles that deal with the problem, issue or conflict discussed in 2.) above. Provide an annotated bibliography of these books or articles and a brief statement (one paragraph) of this problem, issue or conflict. Deadline: ... Percent of grade: ...

4. Write a term paper [three to five pages - length may vary with course subject area, with course level, etc.] on your chosen topic using the scholarly bibliography you made in step 3.) above. Summarize the main issue and evaluate the pro and con arguments using both general and subject specific criteria. Using this summary and evaluation, try your best to offer a suggestion that helps solve the problem or resolve the conflict. Deadline: ... Percent of grade: ...

Undergraduate Web Evaluation Assignment

Review the following two websites and answer the following questions:

1. http://www.ushmm.org

2. http://www.remember.org

Evaluation Criteria

Purpose / Intended Audience

  • clearly defined purpose (inform, persuade, entertain, sell)
  • target audience
  • scholarly or popular
  • advertising

Authority / Credibility

  • domain (edu, gov, org, com)
  • authority - who is responsible?
  • credentials and qualifications
  • contact information available

Accuracy / Reliability

  • evidence of research
  • references or documented sources of information
  • grammatical, spelling, or typographical errors
  • quality of links

Currency / Timeliness

  • date of publication
  • date last updated
  • dead links

Objectivity / Bias

  • opinions or facts?
  • one opinion or multiple opinions?
  • obvious bias? (agenda of political, religious, or social group)

Structure / Navigation

  • logical organization?
  • easy to navigate?
  • TOC, index, site map
  • search function?
  • too busy? (graphics, sounds, flashes, advertising)

Undergraduate Chemistry Assignment

(Submitted by Dr. Tim Royappa to Information Literacy: A Workshop for the Faculty at the University of West Florida, May 4-6, 2004.

There will be a semester-long information literacy project, culminating in a term paper, that you will have to complete as part of this course.

1. Attend Step I orientation in library or complete online library tutorial (especially, learn to use subject specific "Research guides.") Deadline: Wednesday, September 29th. 5% of grade

2. Find three recent news reports of a scientific discovery or invention in Chemistry (e.g., in the LexisNexis database). Alternatively, you may find three recent news reports on a Chemistry-related issue from a list (to be provided by the instructor). Deadline: Wednesday, October 13th. 5% of grade

3. Generate an annotated bibliography of at least six scholarly sources of information about this new discovery/invention (e.g., Access Science, Wilson Omnifile, Academic Index ASAP & other multidisciplinary periodical indexes; CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics; Subject Research Guides; chemfinder.com; patent literature in Lexis -Nexis; MSDS info on the Web, e.g., msds.ehs.cornell.edu/msdssrch.asp; and other discipline-related encyclopedias and handbooks). Deadline: Wednesday, October 27th. 10% of grade

4. Write a term paper (two to three pages) on your chosen topic using the bibliography you made (see step 3.). Deadline: Wednesday, December 1st. 20% of grade

Graduate Psychology Assignment

(Submitted by Dr. Claudia Stanny to Information Literacy: A Workshop for the Facultyat the University of West Florida, May 4-6, 2004.)

Assignments
Assignments are designed to assist students understand the research process and develop their research proposals.

1. Library Research Assignment. (30 points)
a. Brief statement of the topic area for your research proposal. Describe the general area of interest that you will address when you develop your research proposal. (one or two paragraphs). (5 points)

b. Search Strategies
(1) Identify 5-6 keywords and subject terms (from the Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms) that could be used to construct searches of electronic data bases. (3 points)
(2) Indicate how many hits combinations of these terms produced when you conducted your searches. You should search for additional terms or refine your search strategy if your searches produces too few or too many hits. (3 points)

c. Annotated Bibliography
(1) Identify one current review article on your topic area (within the last 5 years). (3 points)
(2) Identify one article that discusses methodological issues related to research in your topic area. This article might address a measurement issue related to your topic. (3 points)
(3) At least 10 scholarly sources that you believe will be useful for your proposal. Provide the full citation using correct APA style and give a brief annotation about the content: identify the problem studied, the variables manipulated and measured, a brief summary of the findings, and why you think this article is relevant to your topic. (10 points)
(4) 3 "near misses." These are sources that look promising when they show up in a data base search but are found to not actually be suitable as sources for your proposal. Provide the full citation using correct APA style and explain why you thought the article might have been useful and why you decided it was not. (3 points)

The bibliography should be prepared using APA format for citations.

2. Integrative Journal Summary. (25 points)
Select two related articles that report empirical findings from your annotated bibliography. Write a 2-3 page paper based on theses two articles in which you do the following:

a. Identify the research problem that the two studies addressed. (Related articles will address similar research questions.) (5 points)

b. Give a brief summary of how each study approached the research problem, including a discussion of how the authors manipulated variables to create a meaningful comparison to answer the research question, the dependent measures used, and the important findings were used to support the answer they provide for the research question. (10 points)

c. Describe how the two studies are related. Studies might be related in a variety of ways. For example, one study might support the findings of the first study and show how they might be extended to a new domain. Or one study might identify a problem in the way the first study was carried out and provide evidence that different outcomes and conclusions emerge when different procedures are used. (5 points)

d. Evaluate the relative merits of the two studies and suggest how the combined findings should be interpreted. Support your assertions. (3 points)

e. Provide the full APA citation for the articles using correct APA format in a Reference section. (2 points)
Attach photocopies of the articles summarized (these will be returned).

Journal Reaction Papers should be typed and should be approximately 2-3 pages in length. Summaries must only follow APA format for citation of references and use of language. Other APA guidelines are not relevant for these summaries.