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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

Student Learning Outcome: Identifies Variety of Information Sources

Outcome 1 - The information literate student identifies a variety of types and formats of potential sources for information.

Students are required to use information from at least three different sources in a research-based presentation given in class. They are encouraged to look for examples, statistics and testimony and use varying forms of support within the speech.

Library Session Activity: Limiting by Source Type in Library Databases

QuickSearch is the search box at that searches 80-90% of article databases, and the Library Catalog.  The librarian shows students how to limit by peer-reviewed article, dissertation, book and date of publication.


Library Session Activity: Peer-reviewed versus Trade/Industry Periodicals

Students work in dyads to review two periodicals (one peer-reviewed, one trade/industry).  They are asked to discuss the following:

  • Who is the audience for each publication?
  • Can you locate the editor(s) for each publication?  How many editors are there?  Is there additional information about the editors included in the publication?
  • What are the differences between the two publications?

Dyadic interaction is followed by a report-out by one or two teams and a larger, class-wide discussion to clarify differences between trade/industry and peer-reviewed periodicals.  Popular magazines are also discussed, allowing on opportunity to highlight the differences in collections at academic research libraries and public libraries.

Assessment: Students demonstrate comprehension of the differences in Scholarly versus Industry/Trade Journals. They show application of this knowledge by explaining the purpose, audience, and editors during class activity. 

Library Session Activity: Accessing and Searching Subject-Specific Databases

Librarian identifies sources included on the Communication/Speech Subject Guide, highlighting publications by the Institute for Social and Economic Research and the Justice Center, and showing students how to use CQ Researcher Archive Plus.

Classroom Activity: Oral Source Citations

Students are shown a video of a student presentation that needs improvement. It includes a number of deficiencies related to content, organization, delivery and the use of audio/visual aids. Working in teams, they identify deficiencies around the areas.

In terms of content, they usually note that source citations are insufficient, with the speaker saying things like "according to a book I read" instead of including the title of the book, the name and/or credibility of the author. This opens an opportunity to discuss how speakers can make effective use of key information from sources. For instance, "according to something I saw online" falls far short of "according to Dr. Anita Smith of the Waterways Institute..." The faculty member is able to talk about issues such as giving proper credit to authors and how carefully constructed source citations actually build the speaker's own credibility with the audience. 

Assessment: Students demonstrate application of this skill by giving effective oral source citations during their presentations.


Classroom Activity: Written Source Citations

Students have an opportunity to review a full-sentence outline that includes a list of references. Working in teams, the students work to identify deficiencies and strengths of the outline and the references. 

This activity helps students prepare for a session wherein they peer edit the full-sentence preparation outlines they will submit as part of their in-class presentation assignment. During the library training session, students are cautioned about the need to proofread and edit the bibliography to ensure it meets the required format.

Assessment: While we have not yet implemented this, we believe that one idea would be to find or develop a quick guide for common problems in the APA citation style. Students could be given the sample outline mentioned above, the quick guide, and asked to make corrections.