Friday, January 30, 2009

Information Literacy Series for faculty starts Tuesday 2/3

Are you tired of grading poorly researched papers? Have you found that your students aren’t making distinctions among sources? Are you fed up with grading papers from internet mills? If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, then our First Tuesday Series on Information Literacy offer the workshops you need. After all, with information becoming accessible from more and more sources, your students’ time will shift from finding the information to evaluating and using the information effectively and ethically. Today, most employers complain that college graduates lack the kind of analytical skills their companies need in entry level positions, one reason MTSU is committed to “developing and implementing initiatives that promote information literacy in today’s rapidly changing technological environment.”(MTSU Academic Master Plan, 2007-17).

Wealth of Strategies, Tools, Resources

Recognizing the importance of this initiative, the Learning, Teaching & Innovative Technologies Center turned to experts on campus to design a practical, hands-on series of workshops that could give faculty strategies and options for preparing students to handle the research requirements in their courses and, ultimately, in the job market. This spring, Mary Ellen Pozzebon, Electronic Resources Librarian, Jason Vance, Information Literacy Librarian, and Kristen West, Instruction Librarian, will lead three workshops for the center’s First Tuesday Information Literacy Series:

1. Beyond the Research Paper: Developing Alternative Assignments to Teach Library Research, February 3, 11:40 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Peck Hall 106. This session will focus on strategies for incorporating library research assignments into courses. Participants will leave with a variety of assignments and examples that can be tied to specific learning outcomes.
2. When Wikipedia Fails: Teaching Students to Evaluate Information, March 3, 11:40-1pm, Peck Hall 106. Here, the focus is on teaching students to evaluate information sources they encounter during the undergraduate writing and research process. Strategies show you how to balance students’ increased access to online information with critical thinking about the item’s source, context, and quality.
3. Copy & Paste Plagiarism: Promoting the Ethical Use of Information among Undergraduate Students. April 7, 11;40-1:00 pm, Peck Hall 106. Session gives you pre-empting strategies in undergraduate writing assignments.

Take a Load Off

How can this series help MTSU faculty and students? According to Jason Vance, Walker Library’s new information literacy librarian, many instructors are simply unaware of the kind of support and services available from MTSU librarians. “Many don’t know, for example, that we are available to actually teach research skills to their classes, no matter the discipline. We can also help faculty build research components into their courses,” all which boost students’ critical thinking skills and their ability to form valid conclusions based on reliable information. In today’s competitive job market, students who are able to demonstrate research and analytical skills—knowing where to find good information, how to test it, how to apply it-- have the edge over those whose experience is limited to such popular sources as Wikipedia.

To register for one or all workshops in the First Tuesday Information Literacy Series, visit our web site at . You can also call the center at 494-7671.