Presentation Title

The Ecology of Information Literacy: Modes of Inquiry, Location and Assessment in a Biology Department’s Writing Class

Location

Room 1220 A/B

Type of Presentation

Individual paper/presentation (20 minute presentation)

Target Audience

Higher Education

Abstract

Many universities require science majors to enroll in writing classes with a disciplinary focus; these offer opportunities to meaningfully integrate information literacy instruction (IL) into disciplinary curricula. Writing in a discipline’s genres can assist science majors in joining that discipline and encourage students to move beyond following textual conventions to developing a critical awareness of genres’ purposes and content. At our university, we are addressing ways in which such classes can enable students to become familiar with the use of credible, disciplinarily acceptable lines of reasoning and sources of evidence.

Priorities in both writing and IL align well. The Council of Writing Program Administrators (CWPA) underscores habits of mind critical to IL, including curiosity, flexibility and metacognition, which parallel the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. The Framework’s transfer of focus in IL from procedural instruction to conceptual instruction gave us an opportunity to engage students in critically and reflectively locating, evaluating, analyzing, interpreting and using information and a chance to collaborate with faculty in a deeper and more intellectually engaging way. Together, these frameworks can provide a vision for IL’s value in WAC/WID.

Following the CWPA/ACRL frameworks, we integrated IL into a biology department’s WID class. We developed a three-tier process (inquiry, location and assessment) of learning activities, and co-led class sessions in the university’s library. Students responded positively, transferring higher-order skills to new contexts—as well as producing high-quality scientific writing. Our reflection and assessment suggests that the sessions worked but revealed new challenges.

Presentation Description

We describe the theoretical background for and developed of a three-tier process (inquiry, location and assessment) of learning activities, and co-led class sessions in the university’s library. Students responded positively, transferring higher-order skills to new contexts—as well as producing high-quality scientific writing.

Keywords

Information literacy, Assessment, Writing in the disciplines

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Sep 30th, 2:45 PM Sep 30th, 4:00 PM

The Ecology of Information Literacy: Modes of Inquiry, Location and Assessment in a Biology Department’s Writing Class

Room 1220 A/B

Many universities require science majors to enroll in writing classes with a disciplinary focus; these offer opportunities to meaningfully integrate information literacy instruction (IL) into disciplinary curricula. Writing in a discipline’s genres can assist science majors in joining that discipline and encourage students to move beyond following textual conventions to developing a critical awareness of genres’ purposes and content. At our university, we are addressing ways in which such classes can enable students to become familiar with the use of credible, disciplinarily acceptable lines of reasoning and sources of evidence.

Priorities in both writing and IL align well. The Council of Writing Program Administrators (CWPA) underscores habits of mind critical to IL, including curiosity, flexibility and metacognition, which parallel the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. The Framework’s transfer of focus in IL from procedural instruction to conceptual instruction gave us an opportunity to engage students in critically and reflectively locating, evaluating, analyzing, interpreting and using information and a chance to collaborate with faculty in a deeper and more intellectually engaging way. Together, these frameworks can provide a vision for IL’s value in WAC/WID.

Following the CWPA/ACRL frameworks, we integrated IL into a biology department’s WID class. We developed a three-tier process (inquiry, location and assessment) of learning activities, and co-led class sessions in the university’s library. Students responded positively, transferring higher-order skills to new contexts—as well as producing high-quality scientific writing. Our reflection and assessment suggests that the sessions worked but revealed new challenges.