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COMM A111 - Information Literacy Integration

Information Literacy Activities and Assessment Incorporated into COMM A111, Fundamentals of Oral Communication, during 2013-2014

Pre- and Post Surveys

Students were asked to complete Information Literacy and Library Research surveys before they attended the Library Research Instruction Session, and a follow-up survey toward the end of the semester (in Fall 2013).  In Fall 2013, 98 students completed the Pre-Survey, and only five students completed the Post-Survey.

As a result of poor Post-Survey response rates, additional effort was taken to coordinate the distribution of Post-Library Research Instruction surveys.  During the Spring Semester, 120 students from six COMM A111 courses completed the Pre-Library Instruction Information Literacy and Library Research Survey, and 100 have completed the Post-Library Instruction Survey.  

By administering these surveys, we hoped to learn:

  • Whether students value information literacy
  • Whether an Information Literacy and Library Research Session makes a difference in terms of students' confidence with research and comfort level asking librarians for assistance
  • What information literacy skills students learn and expect to apply from attending an Information Literacy and Library Research Instruction Session.

Library Session Activities

Bubble Mapping Search Terms:  Are students thinking of more than one synonym?  Are they able to add helpful words to someone else's bubble map?

Evaluating Sources:  Are students searching the internet for sites on evaluating websites?  Do students open and review a credible website listing website evaluation criteria?  When asked, do students contribute in discussion to the development of a list of criteria on the whiteboard? 

Scholarly versus Industry/Trade Journals: Can students identify the audience, and editors of these publications?  Can they identify differences?

RefWorks:  Do students create a RefWorks account?  Do they create an assignment folder?  Are they adding at least one article to their RefWorks folder from QuickSearch?

Reflection Paper

Students complete a written self-assessment and reflection assignment about the process of developing, writing and giving a speech. They are asked to reflect on challenges and successes in the research process, implementation of strategies for managing communication apprehension, and skills that will be needed for future speechmaking.

We are completing a review of student responses and will share results here when available.

Questions on Exam

Three information literacy and research skills questions were integrated into the midterm exam for the course. These questions attempted to gain a glimpse into students' understanding of the value of academic libraries, vocabulary related to list of works cited, and differences between scholarly and trade/industry periodicals. For purposes of this report, I am giving percentages of students answering the questions correctly. We will continue to review this data and may revise what it offered in this box to make it more meaningful for those seeking information on this project.

Q1 - a T/F question that assessed students  understanding of the availability of resources in an academic library that would not be available to them through a basic online search

  • 96% of students were able to respond correctly that the UAA/APU Consortium Library does, indeed, offer access to resources that are not available through a general search of the Internet.

Q2 - a T/F question that assessed students' correct use and understanding of the term bibliography as a list of references 

  • 66% of students were able to respond correctly

Q3 - a multiple choice question that assess students' ability to determine which of the types of periodicals would have the most current information available for a project

  • 85% were able to select the best choice (trade/industry), but 16% selected scholarly, indicating that it might be helpful to emphasize how long it can take for a piece to move through the research-writing-review-publication process.