Presentation Title

Helping Future Natural Resources Professionals Make Informed Policy Decisions

Location

Room 210

Type of Presentation

Individual paper/presentation (20 minute presentation)

Target Audience

Higher Education

Abstract

Information literacy (IL) is one of our University’s seven General Education Goals and Outcomes. It is assessed in English Composition, but faculty often note that students do not connect those general skills to research within their disciplines. This ability is important for students in Natural Resources, many of whom will transition directly into the workforce and be expected to make substantive policy and management decisions. After observing low IL skills in a Natural Resource Policy course, the professor contacted the subject librarian for assistance. We developed a series of three interactive IL sessions with the goal that students would emerge with the skills to 1) locate and evaluate information about complex issues, and 2) make informed policy and management decisions based on that information. To measure our success, we developed a rubric for student bibliographies and performed a comparative analysis of classes with and without IL instruction. The first semester of IL instruction yielded 35% higher overall bibliography quality. However, we noted students typically only used peer-reviewed articles when a diversity of source types would have been appropriate and often failed to acknowledge alternative viewpoints. For the second semester of instruction, we developed a series of required in-class assignments aimed at rectifying those two shortcomings. This semester again yielded higher bibliography scores, but a broader array of source types and, perhaps more importantly, produced papers that reflected more critical thinking. In this presentation, we will share our methods, findings, and insights from the first three semesters of this continuing collaboration.

Presentation Description

This program will describe the success and continuing progress of course-integrated information literacy (IL) instruction into a natural resource policy course. Over three semesters, overall quality of bibliographies increased and, as did their papers and critical thinking skills.

Keywords

Natural resources, Agriculture, Science, Instruction, Course-integration, Critical thinking, Bibliographic analysis, Source evaluation

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Sep 30th, 1:15 PM Sep 30th, 2:30 PM

Helping Future Natural Resources Professionals Make Informed Policy Decisions

Room 210

Information literacy (IL) is one of our University’s seven General Education Goals and Outcomes. It is assessed in English Composition, but faculty often note that students do not connect those general skills to research within their disciplines. This ability is important for students in Natural Resources, many of whom will transition directly into the workforce and be expected to make substantive policy and management decisions. After observing low IL skills in a Natural Resource Policy course, the professor contacted the subject librarian for assistance. We developed a series of three interactive IL sessions with the goal that students would emerge with the skills to 1) locate and evaluate information about complex issues, and 2) make informed policy and management decisions based on that information. To measure our success, we developed a rubric for student bibliographies and performed a comparative analysis of classes with and without IL instruction. The first semester of IL instruction yielded 35% higher overall bibliography quality. However, we noted students typically only used peer-reviewed articles when a diversity of source types would have been appropriate and often failed to acknowledge alternative viewpoints. For the second semester of instruction, we developed a series of required in-class assignments aimed at rectifying those two shortcomings. This semester again yielded higher bibliography scores, but a broader array of source types and, perhaps more importantly, produced papers that reflected more critical thinking. In this presentation, we will share our methods, findings, and insights from the first three semesters of this continuing collaboration.