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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: Selects an Appropriate Documentation Style

The information literate student selects an appropriate documentation style and uses it consistently to cite sources.

Assessment using 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.

Assessment as Learning

Given the different titles for a bibliography required by different Style Guides (References versus Works Cited versus Bibliography), it is worth teaching students about these differences so that they are aware when they create their own "References" page.

As a result of the challenges students experience when editing a RefWorks lists of References, a handout/website showing examples of common APA Style citations could be provided to students.

Library Tools for Documenting Sources

Students are introduced to RefWorks as a research management system that enables them to:
  • Create folders for their assignments
  • Import citations and links to articles
  • Add notes to source information
  • Create bibiliograpies using the sources in their folders

Students create a RefWorks account prior to attending the library training session.  If a student doesn't have a RefWorks account created, they can create one at the beginning of the Library session.  They create a RefWorks folder for their assignment during the session.

Using the process of Tell-Show-Do-Review, students learn to:

  • Create and access a RefWorks account
  • Create and access a RefWorks folder for their assignment
  • Search for articles, select and export items from QuickSearch to RefWorks
  • Copy and paste or email references in APA format from QuickSearch and subject-specific databases
  • Export citations from CQ Researcher to RefWorks

Once they have items in their folder, students are shown how to create a biblilography from items in their RefWorks folder according to APA Style.  Emphasis is placed on the importance of correcting errors in their bibliographies prior to turning it in to the instructor.  The information in the bibliography is only as complete as the vendor has made it and must be proofread and edited.  Suggested sources to use in reviewing bibliography include:  Purdue's OWL database, Little Seagull Handbook, and APA Style Guide.

Assessment: During the library training session, students export at least one article from QuickSearch into their RefWorks account and put it in a folder. In class, students submit a required list of references with the full-sentence outline for the presentation. 

QuickSearch and Refworks Video Tutorials

Video Tutorials about using QuickSearch and RefWorks:

In Class Activity: Oral and Written Source Citations

Students view a video of a sample presentation that needs improvement. Together with a team of classmates, they are asked to evaluate the presentation in terms of content, organization, delivery, and use of audio/visual aids.

In terms of content, students 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 provides an opportunity to discuss how speakers can make effective use of key information from sources to both avoid plagiarism and enhance their own credibility. For instance, "according to something I saw online" falls far short of "according to Dr. Anita Smith of the Waterways Institute..." 

Assessment: Student teams explain the differences between what is expected on a list of references and how that differs from what a speaker might need to give as an oral source citation. 

In Class Assignment: Developing a Speech and Citing Sources

Students  research, develop and deliver a 5-6 minute extemporaneous presentation on a non-profit organization.  The presentation is expected to convey clear, accurate, and meaningful information to an audience in a business-like manner. 

Students are expected to:

  • Provide in-text source citations of evidence in a full-sentence, preparation outline running approximately 4-5 typed pages
  • Provide source citations in a list of references that conforms to a particular style sheet (APA)
  • Develop main points that reflect key reasons to support the non-profit
  • Provide effective, appropriate oral source citations for listeners (i.e. they are given aloud) during the speech
  • Deliver the speech in a manner that conveys clear organization of ideas

In Class Assignment: Citing Sources and Academic Honesty

Students learn about the importance of academic honesty and avoiding plagiarism through the use of proper oral and written source citations. They encounter this material through assigned readings, analysis of sample speeches, and peer editing exercises.

Assessment: Students are evaluated on their use of oral source citations in their extemporaneous presentation, as well as in their full-sentence outline for the presentation, which includes a list of references in the APA format.