Creating Meaningful Information Literacy Assignments for an Introductory Agriculture Course
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Bracke, Marianne Stowell
Integrating information literacy into the curriculum is an ongoing challenge. Purdue has explored an approach of integrating information literacy into Agriculture 101. Agriculture 101 is a halfsemester, college-wide introductory class and is team taught by the Associate Dean of Agriculture and the librarian. This opportunity reassessed the approach to addressing ACRL Information Literacy standards. Librarians had attempted to address as many of these standards as possible in a session. In this case, being an instructor of record and part of the instruction team afforded a different approach to information literacy. The core approach was a guided writing assignment in which students were asked to contrast popular and scientific articles on a topic. A portion of the assignment evaluation was anonymous student peer review. Five information literacy objectives were addressed through this assignment, all of which were focused on evaluating information sources. Initially, it was found that freshmen found the search process a barrier to completing the assignment. As a result, students were given articles to work with, allowing them to focus on understanding content. The primary outcome was the ability to distinguish between popular and scholarly articles. Other outcomes, such as peer review in the scientific process and improved writing, were secondary. Three semesters of assessment data provide statistically significant evidence of this approach's success in improving students' abilities. Additionally, this has afforded an opportunity to demonstrate the value and dedication of librarians to improving student learning, and the value of incorporating information literacy into the curriculum.
USAIN 2012 Conference, Session: Contributed Papers II - Curriculum & Instruction for 21st Century Learning
Information Literacy; Library; USAIN; Conference