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February 1, 2007 Information Literacy in Physics1 Information Literacy Assignments in Physics (and Astronomy) Meris Mandernach Science.

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Presentation on theme: "February 1, 2007 Information Literacy in Physics1 Information Literacy Assignments in Physics (and Astronomy) Meris Mandernach Science."— Presentation transcript:

1 February 1, 2007 Information Literacy in Physics1 Information Literacy Assignments in Physics (and Astronomy) Meris Mandernach Science Librarian Bill Ingham Professor of Physics

2 February 1, 2007Information Literacy in Physics2 Outline of Presentation Reading List Assignment in PHYS 105 –What’s PHYS 105 and who takes it? –Our Assignment for Fall 2006 –What we did and what the students did –Plans for the Future Resource Letter Assignment for PHYS 392 –What’s PHYS 392 and who takes it? –Our Assignment –Plan to make this assignment in Spring 2007

3 February 1, 2007Information Literacy in Physics3 What’s PHYS 105 and who takes it? Physics 105 is a seminar course designed to acquaint you with research opportunities in the department, current trends in physics, using the library to research topics in physics, and to introduce you to the faculty and the upperclassmen in the department. Its goals are to: –Acquaint you with research in the department. You are encouraged to follow-up interesting topics with the faculty outside of class. Here is an opportunity to begin your research career. –Acquaint you with tools and techniques for physics literature searches in the library. –Introduce you to the physics upperclassmen so that you can draw upon their expertise and experience in settling into the department, choosing research advisors, developing good study habits, and mastering the material you find challenging. Students include all first-semester physics majors, plus those transfers (majoring in physics) who elect to enroll.

4 February 1, 2007Information Literacy in Physics4 Our Assignment for Fall 2006 Why assign this in PHYS 105? 2006FallPhys_105ReadingListAssignment.doc

5 February 1, 2007Information Literacy in Physics5 What we did … On September 5 (2 nd class meeting), Meris and I met with the class to … –…describe the library’s resources (print and online) Research Guides: Physics –…review the assignment and the suggested list of periodicals containing suitable target articles: –Eligible Science Articles for Reading List Assignment.docEligible Science Articles for Reading List Assignment.doc About 20 minutes into the class, Murphy’s Law arrived in the form of a building evacuation alarm, so we used to try to ensure that students understood the assignment.

6 February 1, 2007Information Literacy in Physics6 …, what Meris did, … Partly because of the building evacuation, there was a fair amount of uncertainty among the students about what was expected. Meris fielded many questions: –A third of the class contacted her (in person, by phone, or ) at least once, and a few students contacted her multiple times. –She developed and posted a visual which helped to clarify the assignment for many students: Assignment Flow Chart.doc

7 February 1, 2007Information Literacy in Physics7 …and what the students did. Getting approval of the target article was an important step. (A few 1 st proposals were too specific; many were too broad.) In spite of the initial confusion about the assignment, most students did quite nice work. (We extended the original two-week window for completing the work by a week.) The two best submissions were from –Patrick McCauley (on life beyond Earth)Patrick McCauley –Andrew Deck (on the vision of birds)Andrew Deck

8 February 1, 2007Information Literacy in Physics8 Plans for the Future We were pleased by the performance of the students and believe that it may have gotten some of them off to a better, quicker start with JMU’s information resources in the sciences. We plan to make this assignment in PHYS 105 again in Fall 2007, probably with some minor adjustments.

9 February 1, 2007Information Literacy in Physics9 Resource Letter Assignment for PHYS 392 What’s PHYS 392 and who takes it? The Resource Letter Assignment Plans for this assignment in Spring 2007

10 February 1, 2007Information Literacy in Physics10 Acknowledgments JMU Libraries and Educational Technologies JMU Center for Faculty Innovation PHYS 105 instructor Steve Whisnant PHYS 392 instructor Scott Paulson Most importantly, the students in both of these classes: – They let us know what they think we have asked of them, which isn’t always what we thought we have asked.


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