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Information Literacy Skills for College Success Bridging the High School Gap to College Cindy Fisher, First-year Experience Librarian University of Texas.

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Presentation on theme: "Information Literacy Skills for College Success Bridging the High School Gap to College Cindy Fisher, First-year Experience Librarian University of Texas."— Presentation transcript:

1 Information Literacy Skills for College Success Bridging the High School Gap to College Cindy Fisher, First-year Experience Librarian University of Texas Libraries

2 Understanding IL from the Student Perspective

3 Defining IL At its most basic, information literacy can be defined as the ability to think critically about information -adapted from ACRL IL Standards

4 IL Across Standards & Grade Levels Eisenberg, M. (2008). Information Literacy: Essential Skills for the Information Age. Journal of Library & Information Technology, 28(2),

5 IL & Cognitive Development Upon entering collegeUpon exiting college Dualistic or early multiplisticAble to deal with differing points of view Rely on AuthorityStill rely on Authority Difficulty recognizing differing points of view Difficulty relating evidence to argument ”What is the right answer?” or ”Everyone has a right to his or her own opinion” “Recognition that in some areas knowledge will never be certain.” Jackson, R. (2007). Cognitive development: The missing link in teaching information literacy skills. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 46(4),

6 How Does this Translate for You? Some things you already know... Students who have grown up with the Web have become accustomed to having more information available to them, with less effort, than their parents and grandparents did. - John Palfrey, Smart Talks Smart Talks

7 How Does this Translate for You? Some things you likely already know... Digital natives are extraordinarily sophisticated and strangely narrow” - John Palfrey Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives

8 How Do You Integrate IL Into Your Classes?  Pros/Cons of using Wikipedia  Evaluating websites, domains  Using library databases  Finding books in the library (a given, it seems) Question: how do you incorporate information technology or computer literacy with IL?

9 Assigning Inquiry: Project Information Literacy “Despite the seismic changes in the way that information is now created and delivered, 83% of handouts in our sample called for the standard research paper. Few handouts asked students to present findings using other formats, including multimedia and oral presentations.” Head, A. and Eisenberg, M. (2010). Assigning Inquiry: How Handouts for Research Assignments Guide Today's College Students. University of Washington's Information School. Available at:

10 Assigning Inquiry: Project Information Literacy Six in 10 handouts recommended students consult the library shelves―a place- based source―more than scholarly research databases, the library catalog, the Web, or, for that matter, any other resource. Only 13% of the handouts suggested consulting a librarian for assistance with research. Head, A. and Eisenberg, M. (2010). Assigning Inquiry: How Handouts for Research Assignments Guide Today's College Students. University of Washington's Information School. Available at:

11 Assigning Inquiry: Project Information Literacy Few of the handouts (14%) that directed students to use the library's online scholarly research databases specified which database to use by vendor or file name from the hundreds that tend to be available. Head, A. and Eisenberg, M. (2010). Assigning Inquiry: How Handouts for Research Assignments Guide Today's College Students. University of Washington's Information School. Available at:

12 Assigning Inquiry: Project Information Literacy Details about plagiarism, if mentioned at all, were scant and tended to emphasize the disciplinary recourse instructors would take against students who were caught in acts of academic dishonesty. Head, A. and Eisenberg, M. (2010). Assigning Inquiry: How Handouts for Research Assignments Guide Today's College Students. University of Washington's Information School. Available at:

13 So what's a librarian to do?

14 Research and assessment, of course!

15 The syllabus study: Owen & Oakleaf's approach Analyzed freshman course enrollment and corresponding syllabi Noted syllabi requiring “inquiry-based research assignments” to determine research tasks

16 The syllabus study: Owen & Oakleaf's approach Found a huge gap between expectations listed on first- semester, freshman syllabi and the skills they were taught in high school → side note: not playing the blame game ← “... [D]emonstrate flexibility by adapting their traditional information seeking strategies.” “… [D]isplay emotional resilience by persisting despite challenges.” Comparison of AASL standards, ACRL IL Standards, and Partnership for 21 st Century Skills.

17 The syllabus study: Owen & Oakleaf's approach  Oakleaf, M. and Owen, P. (2010) Closing the GapTogether: School and College Librarians Supporting 21 st Century Learners. Teacher Librarian, 37(4),

18 The syllabus study: Owen & Oakleaf's approach  Oakleaf, M. and Owen, P. (2010) Closing the GapTogether: School and College Librarians Supporting 21 st Century Learners. Teacher Librarian, 37(4),

19 Owen & Oakleaf's approach Head's Up Lessons & Checklist Collaboration between teacher, school librarian & academic librarian Course-integrated research assignment created by English teacher + school librarian Three research sessions in the library:  Translate concepts they are familiar with to those that maybe foreign (database selection, etc)  Know what you don't know Checklist is used throughout senior year to monitor student skills & guide assignments

20 Owen & Oakleaf's approach Head's Up Lessons & Checklist Checklist is used throughout senior year to monitor student skills & guide assignments Owen, P. (2010). A transition checklist for high school seniors. School Library Monthly, 26(8),

21 Owen/Oakleaf's Approach Issues & things to keep in mind Students learn best at point of need  Summer can take it's toll Course integrated instruction takes time Cognitive development may be at different stages

22 Let's Cross this Bridge Together Learning Outcomes for First-year Students in Signature Courses at UT-Austin Create and execute a research strategy Critically evaluate information Use Citations

23 Let's Cross this Bridge Together Course-Integrated Instruction: Signature Course Faculty Toolkit  Search based on learning outcome  See what other instructors have done  Tailor materials based on discipline or research needs

24 Let's Cross this Bridge Together How to Generate Keywords tool  Helps to define a task (Big6)  Create/define a research strategy (ACRL)  Access information efficiently and & effectively (AASL)

25 Let's Cross this Bridge Together Remind your students that research is a recursive process! Eisenberg, M. (2008). Information Literacy: Essential Skills for the Information Age. Journal of Library & Information Technology, 28(2),

26 Sources Cited Eisenberg, M. (2008). Information Literacy: Essential Skills for the Information Age. Journal of Library & Information Technology, 28(2), Head, A. and Eisenberg, M. (2010). Assigning Inquiry: How Handouts for Research Assignments Guide Today's College Students. University of Washington's Information School. Available at: Jackson, R. (2007). Cognitive development: The missing link in teaching information literacy skills. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 46(4), Oakleaf, M. and Owen, P. (2010) Closing the Gap Together: School and College Librarians Supporting 21 st Century Learners. Teacher Librarian, 37(4), Owen, P. (2010). A transition checklist for high school seniors. School Library Monthly, 26(8), Owen, P. (2010) Heads Up!: A checklist for transitioning to college. School Library Monthly, 26(8), 8-9. Palfrey, John. (2008). Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives. New York: Basic Books. Project Information Literacy Smart Talk, no. 3, John Palfrey, "Rethinking Plagiarism in the Digital Age?" September 1, Understanding Information Literacy through the Lens of the Student Experience Available at: [Accessed October 17, 2010].

27 Questions? Cindy Fisher // First-year Experience Librarian //


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