Librarian Support & Example Lessons

Librarian Support for Information Literacy Instruction

  • Librarian-led Instruction Sessions - have a Colgate librarian work with your class to learn about using specific resources, identify and evaluate materials, e.g., primary & secondary, scholarly & non-scholarly, etc., and use information to communicate effectively. You can schedule a session by contacting Peter Rogers, Information Literacy & Social Sciences Librarian, or submitting the Instruction Request Form.  For instruction sessions you may also contact your library faculty liaison.

  • Instructional Tools - The Colgate Libraries provide a variety of tools to assist learners in using information to accomplish their goals, e.g., Beginning Research at Colgate (an online guide), Refworks (a citation and information management tool), Assignment Calculator, as well as select Class and Subject Guides with resources for individual courses, and a Research FAQs page with links to guides to common research questions and search tips.

  • Consult with a Librarian - Colgate librarians are available for consultations to develop information literacy assignments and assessments that support your teaching and learning goals. For more information contact Peter Rogers Information Literacy & Social Sciences Librarian, or your library faculty liaison.

For more information about any aspect of the Colgate Libraries' information literacy program, please contact Peter Rogers, Information Literacy & Social Sciences Librarian.

Example Lessons and Assignments

Developing Researchable Questions Colgate students self-report having difficulty getting started with research assignments and defining topics. This assignment is intended to assist students to develop appropriate questions that can be investigated through engagements with scholarly literature.  This assignment should be used as one step in a sequenced set of assignments culminating in an academic paper, or another kind of project.
Your Position
Students work in groups to devleop thier own perspective and stance on a topic while considering other point-of-views surrounding the topic.
Adapted by Colgate librarians to address Colgate’s information environment, this guide introduces students to the Libraries' resources for getting started with their academic work as well as provides a few basic research tips.
Students conduct the preliminary research for a paper and write down the steps taken to decide on their thesis or research question. The focus essay should include the search terms that were used, the databases searched, the kind of resources found, how the student modified the search, and an evaluation of their results. The final product should also include an annotated bibliography of useful resources and a clearly stated thesis or research question.
Each student keeps a journal or log of their research process, including search terms, databases used, sources, and an evaluation of which results can be useful to their paper (can be used with the focus essay or independently).
Annotated Bibliography
Students select sources for a paper. Using the proper citation style, they compose a bibliography that includes a brief description of the information in each source and an evaluation of the usefulness to their paper.
Primary vs. Secondary Sources
Each student selects a specified number of primary and secondary sources on one topic and compares and contrasts the content explaining how each could be used in a research paper.
Tracing a Scholar's Career
Students choose a scholar of interest to them and trace his/her career through biographical sources, periodical indexes, and other materials. Students should include an analysis of how the work has evolved over time, a bibliography of the person's work, and reviews and criticisms of the work.
Write a Book Review
Each student selects a book to review, and then locates and compares published reviews of their selection. In addition to the content of the reviews, they should consider other influencing factors, e.g., type of publication, author's credentials. etc. Students should select a publication (perhaps from a limited list of publications of different types) where they will hypothetically submit their review. The students analyze the book using criteria for evaluation (authority, accuracy, currency, bias or point-of-view, and coverage) and write their own review geared towards the audience of their selected type of publication., e.g., scholarly journal, popular magazine, etc.
Compare and Contrast Journal Articles
Students select several articles on a specific topic, making sure that at least one article contains an opposing viewpoint. They compare and contrast the articles, using the basic criteria for evaluation and the additional assumptions or theoretical frameworks that are conveyed through the articles.
Controversial Issues
Individually or in a group, students select a controversial current issue that is important to them. Students should locate articles from a variety of information resources, e.g., newspapers, popular periodicals, scholarly periodicals, books, Internet, etc., and examine how the topic is treated in each medium.
Read the References
Have students choose a specified number of references from a scholarly article, read the references and explain how they were used in context with the initial article.
Preparing for an Interview
Each student gathers information about a company or organization of interest to them in order to prepare for a hypothetical interview.

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Page Created Clarence Maybee & Maintained by: Maintained by Peter Rogers | Last Updated: January 6, 2014 | © 2009

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