Workshop for Instruction in Library Use (WILU) (45th : 2016)

Scaffolding Course Research Assignments to Incorporate Information Literacy Skill Development : An Interdisciplinary Pilot Project Anderson, Nadine; McAuslan, Pam; Draus, Paul; Clark-Foos, Arlo; Beauchesne, Patrick


Embedding librarians and systematic, multiple Information Literacy (IL) sessions into courses is gaining popularity. However, this is time-intensive for both faculty and librarians; faculty have to find time in their courses for multiple IL sessions, and librarians have to find time to teach all of these sessions across the curriculum. How can we embed librarian expertise and IL skill development into courses in a more sustainable way? This presentation describes a cross-disciplinary partnership between the Behavioral Sciences librarian and four faculty in Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology at the University of Michigan-Dearborn on a pilot project which addresses this challenge. This pilot project began because faculty were finding that many of the students in their courses seemed to be getting overwhelmed by their research papers and projects, which was reflected in poor performance on these assignments. The pilot project team took an assignment scaffolding approach to address these issues. Assignment scaffolding involves taking complex assignments, such as research papers and projects, and breaking them down into smaller components. The pilot project team systematically restructured the research papers and projects in their courses to create scaffolded assignments reflecting the steps of the research process. IL skill development was integrated into these graded assignments, which built towards final research papers and projects. These scaffolded assignments were then piloted in twelve courses across Behavioral Sciences disciplines, with assessments to measure the overall effectiveness of this pilot project. This presentation walks through the process of restructuring and rewriting research papers and projects to incorporate IL skill development in a systematic, meaningful way. This presentation also discuss the benefits of adopting the assignment scaffolding method to integrate librarian expertise and systematic IL skill development into a course and across the curriculum, as well as the sustainability of this method.

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