UAA's General Education Requirements include Student Learning Outcomes in both Oral Communication and Information Literacy. We believe these two SLOs are naturally entwined and present not only an opportunity, but a necessity for cooperative and complementary learning and instruction.
Information literacy and research skills are very important to the process of developing and givng a well-supported presentation. In courses like COMM A111 Fundamentals of Oral Communication and COMM A241 Public Speaking, two courses that fulfill the Oral Communication General Education Requirement at UAA, students are working on the development of their presentational skills. They encounter content in the text on developing a presentation and researching and supportig their ideas to convey clear, accurate and meaningful information to a particular audience.
Communication faculty approach instruction of the information literacy and research skills dimension of speechmaking in a variety of ways including in-class instruction and activities, Library Instruction Sessions with a librarian, and more. In the past, Professor Whitney had been offering in-class instruction on information literacy and research skills, but started to notice a marked decline in the quality of student work. She opted to devote a class period to bringing her students to the Consortium Library for a single, assignment-focused training session with Deborah Mole, Library Liaison for Journalism and Communication. That resulted in some improvement in the use of sources in speeches, but both Professors Whitney and Mole agreed that students would have a deeper understanding, better implementation, and retention of key information literacy concepts and skills if there were ongoing opportunities to encounter the information and use the skills. That conclusion led to the proposal for an Information Literacy and Research Skills Mini-Grant with the Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence and development of a project that would embed Information Literacy and Research Skills into the course, ensuring that students would encounter and apply the information more than once.
“After completing the General Education Requirements, UAA students shall be able to ‘Locate and use relevant information to make appropriate personal and professional decisions’” (UAA Catalog 2012-2013, p. 84)
Information Literacy Student Learning Outcomes for this COMM A111 project follow:
Outcome 2 - The information literate student examines information from sources using evaluation criteria that considers reliability, validity, accuracy, authority, timeliness, and/or point of view or bias.