Research Instruction and Information Literacy
- What is Information Literacy?
- How can Your Library Liaison Help?
- Scheduling an Instruction Session
- Electronic Classroom Calendar
What is Information Literacy?
Information Literacy is the ability to find, critically evaluate and use information. The development of information literacy skills will benefit students in their academic work, their careers and throughout their lives. Other educators may use terms like independent inquiry or research skills to refer to information literacy.
Information literacy instruction is a critical part of the work of every educator at Norwich University. General Education Goal 1 states "students must be able to exercise the skills of independent inquiry, that is, to find, analyze, synthesize and critically evaluate information" and that "this objective will be met beginning with English 101-102, be reinforced by reading and writing throughout the curriculum, and culminate in a capstone course in each major." The librarians at Norwich are pleased to work in partnership with faculty to ensure that students are developing these critically important skills.
Other documents that may be useful in understanding information literacy in higher education:
- ACRL, Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, 2000
- ACRL Information Literacy Objectives
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges’ (NEASC) Standards for Accreditation (specifically NEASC Academic Program Standard 4.6)
How can Your Library Liaison Help?
The Kreitzberg Library has adopted a liaison model for providing services to faculty and students. Each liaison is assigned to a specific School or Schools and has expertise in that subject matter. Here is a list of the library liaisons with their contact information:
- College of Professional Studies
- College of Science & Mathematics
- Biology & Physical Education, Mathematics, Geology & Environmental Science, Chemistry & Biochemistry and Physics: Ravil Veli (Interim), x2169
- Sports Medicine: Nikki Krysak, x2168
- College of Liberal Arts
- College of Graduate and Continuing Studies (CGCS): Heidi Steiner, x2171
Here are some of the things your library liaison can provide assistance with towards the goal of developing an information literate student body:
Teach one or more information literacy sessions for your class(es)
We are more than happy to visit your class or have your students come to the library's electronic classroom to learn more about doing college-level and discipline-specific research. An information literacy instruction session provided by a librarian can last anywhere from 20 minutes to several class sessions, depending on the specific needs of the class. We work with faculty to customize all library instruction to the specific research assignment students are given, so that they can immediately apply the skills they've learned.
Develop an online course guide or tutorial that guides students in choosing the best research sources from the library and the Web
We frequently develop an online course guide to supplement our face-to-face instruction, but we can also develop course guides for classes in which we are not providing face-to-face instruction. This may be particularly useful in 300 and 400-level classes, especially those for majors who have already received library instruction in this area.
Additionally, we can create tutorials that provide students in-depth instruction on how to utilize specific library databases or to find specific types of sources (economic statistics, literary criticisms, primary sources, building codes, etc.).
Here are a few examples of course guides and tutorials we've created:
- HI 360 Origins of American Political Parties
- How to find Primary Source Materials
- SM 220 Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries
- How to Find Literary Criticisms
- How to find Scholarly Psychology Research Articles
Provide individual research consultations for students
Reference librarians are available to provide individual research assistance to students seven days per week via a variety of electronic media and in-person. If you feel like a student requires assistance with their research and would like your subject librarian to work with them individually, just give the student your liaison's contact information and we'd be more than happy to schedule an individual consultation with them.
Provide one-on-one or group instruction for faculty
We are happy to meet with faculty one-on-one or in groups to provide instruction on library-related topics specific to your subject area. For new faculty we can provide an introduction to the library's collections and services. For current faculty, we can provide instruction on new library resources, incorporating information literacy instruction and assessment into your classes, and other research-related topics.
Help you develop assignments and/or rubrics that assess student information literacy skills
Library liaisons are experienced in developing outcomes-based information literacy assessments and can provide advice and assistance in helping you develop assignments and rubrics that assess student information literacy skills.
Scheduling an Instruction Session
Your library liaison would be pleased to collaborate with you on designing an instruction session for your students. Before you contact your liaison to schedule an instruction session, please consider the following:
- Is my class going to be working on a research assignment when they will be coming to the library for instruction? Library liaisons will not teach information literacy sessions when they are not tied to an assignment as research has shown that students only benefit from information literacy instruction that they can immediately apply.
- Is the requested date available? If not, is there other lab space on campus I could secure for the instruction session?
- Am I giving the librarian enough lead time to prepare a quality learning experience. Ideally, we would like for new sessions (those we have not taught) to be scheduled at least two weeks in advance.
- Am I available to attend the session? The presence and involvement of faculty in the information literacy session is critical to its success as students are more engaged when the professor attends, participates and ties the instruction to what they are learning in class.
- Content and outcomes
- In what areas have I seen deficiencies in the research skills of this class or previous classes of students?
- What outcomes would I like to see students achieve from this session or series of sessions?
- Are there specific resources I would like the students to become familiar with?
- Is the amount of time I have allotted appropriate for the instruction session appropriate for the number of outcomes/learning objectives I have (librarians can usually only cover 2-3 learning objectives in a single session)?
Electronic Classroom and Schedule
The majority of information literacy sessions taught by librarians take place in the electronic classroom (also referred to as the e-classroom or KLEC). This space contains 12 student computer workstations, a large seminar table, and an instructor station at the front of the room. The space can accommodate classes of up to 25 students.
Please consult this calendar to see if the library's electronic classroom is available on the date and time you would prefer. The calendar is updated daily by the library staff. If the electronic classroom is not available at your preferred time, it may be possible to reserve a lab space on campus for the instruction session. Please contact the Information Technology and Computer Services Helpdesk x2456 with your request.
Questions or comments about the library website? Please email email@example.com.