information literacy

Ways to Discourage Plagiarism in Your Course

Does plagiarism often rear its ugly head in your students’ work? In today’s post, we’re sharing a variety of ways that you can discourage plagiarism in your course. The bottom line? If students know what plagiarism is, understand its consequences, and know how to avoid it, they’ll be far less likely to engage in it. For this reason, you may find it helpful to remind your students about the problems associated with plagiarism and the ways they can be sure to avoid it. In their book Keys for Writers with Assignment Guides, Seventh Edition, Ann Raimes and Susan K Miller-Cochran Read More…


Information Literacy and Students’ Future Careers

As employers consider the candidates in their hiring pools, they certainly look for people who have key job-related skills, as well as proficiency with technologies associated with the role. But beyond that, they also seek individuals who can communicate clearly and think critically and creatively. For this reason, the information literacy skills that students learn in college play a central role in their ability to enter their chosen career and succeed in their roles. In 100% Information Literacy Success, Third Edition, author Gwenn Wilson, MA, lists six important advantages that information-literate individuals possess. As you cover information literacy-related topics in your course, you Read More…


Computer and Internet Literacy: Engaging and FUN

Guest Contributor: Sandy Keeter, Seminole State College, Florida. Engaging and motivating students is ALWAYS a challenge. How do YOU encourage them to come to class, much less do the work and think critically? We have a few solutions! Last year, we completely renovated our “Basic Computer Concepts” course to make it more current, appealing and relevant. The new name is “Computer and Internet Literacy” and the only book we use is Emerge with Computers – Online. By using this product, we have created an environment that encourages students to do what they all love to do Read More…


High School Students Build Information Literacy with Help from Student Resources in Context

Kathy Krepps, Myles Laffey, Kerrin Riley, and Leah Giarritano, Teaching Librarians at Hinsdale Central High School, were seeking comprehensive, relevant, and easy-to-use databases for an Information Literacy program geared at equipping students with vital research and citation skills.

Student Resources in Context (SRIC) from Gale is one of two databases used exclusively by the school for the Information Literacy curriculum. SRIC’s approach to organization via portals allows students to efficiently search and narrow down resources within a particular topic, helping them build academic-level research skills while enabling them to avoid information overload. Many students who have experienced SRIC in the Information Literacy program choose to use it for other assignments instead of open-web resources.

Though the Information Literacy curriculum is only two years old, Hinsdale Central’s teachers and librarians are already starting to see improved outcomes in students. Hinsdale Central’s student assessments have shown improved scores and the librarians are hearing anecdotal evidence from teachers as well.
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Instruction and Features Drive Library Resource Usage at Hayes High School

Sarah Ressler has been the Media Specialist at Hayes High School for one year. Sarah has extensive teaching experience having served 13 years as an English teacher – 12 of them at Hayes. When an opening in the Media Center surfaced, Sarah saw a chance to make a difference and accepted the position. Throughout her first year in the position Sarah made it her mission to demonstrate the value of library resources to students and teachers at Hayes. Sarah focused on building relationships with teachers as well as educating both teachers and students on how to effectively use library resources. Hayes High School subscribes to Science Resources in Context, Opposing Viewpoints in Context and InfoTrac periodical solutions.

Sarah started her journey by meeting with teachers in different subject areas to understand their information needs. Sarah found teachers to be very receptive to her outreach and they worked together to devise strategies for improving students’ information literacy skills. Additionally, Sarah worked closely with her Gale representative, Andrea Eshelman, to learn how to effectively leverage features available in Gale resources. Sarah developed a presentation on library resources that showed students the value and advantage of using library databases to conduct research. In addition to demonstrating to students the credibility of information contained in library resources, Sarah showed the students how various database tools can save them time and effort when conducting research.

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Preventing Plagiarism: Tips for You and Tips to Share

Four Tips for You Taking steps to prevent plagiarism can help save you and your students from the unpleasant task of handling plagiarism. In McKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers, contributors Peter Elbow and Mary Deane Sorcinelli outline how you can take action to prevent plagiarism.

    Be clear in your syllabus about what plagiarism is in your course. Let them know what they’ll need to provide to show their research, as well as how you expect them to work with — or not work with — their classmates.
    Encourage questions. Let your students know that if they’re doubtful about proper citations
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Behind the Screens: Digitizing History

Prior to the advent and widespread adoption of digitization, you’d have to physically visit a library or archives in order to review a specific document. If your library didn’t have what you wanted, you’d need to travel to another library, request materials via interlibrary loan, or call to request a photocopy. Of course, these steps all assume that you knew what you were looking for, that you’d have the resources to travel, or that the holding institution would part with (or make a surrogate of) the materials. Enter the digital age. You can now access millions of pages’ worth Read More…


The Value of Information Literacy Instruction

The term “information literacy” may not be familiar to your students. However, information literacy skills — such as the ability to locate and access information, critically evaluate it, and then organize and present the information effectively — are certainly relevant to students’ education, and to their lives going forward. In your courses, you may help students acquire these skills through assignments and activities, or via instructional sessions in the library. You likely also emphasize the importance of proper grammar, style, and presentation, pay attention to the logic and clarity of students’ arguments, and reinforce the seriousness of plagiarism. By Read More…


Keys to Success in the Library

Guest Contributor: Katherine Johnson. Whether writing a research paper, or tracking down reliable sources to support our ideas, library research is a skill that can help you ensure that your information is sound. Katherine Johnson, Adult Services Librarian at Highlands Ranch Library, Douglas County Libraries, outlines tips to make library research effective, manageable, and enjoyable. Share this information with your students, or use them to brush up on best practices that you can apply when doing your own research at the library.
Though library research can seem like a daunting task, it does not have to be. With these Read More…


Critical Thinking – Critical Searching

Conducting an Internet search is certainly a quick way to find information — but once that search is done, it’s imperative to evaluate the trustworthiness of the results.
Even if you don’t have an extensive amount of time to devote to instruction on research skills or information literacy, there are some ways you can begin to provide students with the skills they need to distinguish accurate, authoritative material from that of a less trustworthy nature. For one such method, download an exercise from Constance Staley’s 50 Ways to Leave Your Lectern, designed to help Read More…