Presentation Title

“Everything has built up to this point to where I kinda know what I’m doing”: Trajectories of Writing and Information Literacy Learning

Location

PARB 127

Type of Presentation

Individual paper/presentation (20 minute presentation)

Target Audience

Higher Education

Abstract

In a culture of one-shot library instruction, librarians often only get a brief snapshot of any one individual student’s learning process. It can be a rare opportunity to follow the trajectory of a student’s entire undergraduate experience, and hear in their own words what and how they learn about information literacy and writing along the way. This is what the presenters have had an opportunity to do through a longitudinal study of twelve students.

This presentation will share initial findings from a four-year cohort study that examines the degree to which a group of twelve undergraduate students at a small liberal arts university acquire, develop, and retain information literacy and writing skills over the course of four years in a writing-intensive general education core curriculum. A writing program administrator and information literacy librarian joined forces on this project to conduct interviews with and gather writing samples from a cohort of students from fall 2015 to spring 2019.

This presentation will briefly introduce our research project and institutional context before sharing our most significant findings. So far, we’ve learned that students in their first year made learning gains in matters of composition, revision, and finding and evaluating information. Second year interviews revealed a self-sponsored and spontaneous student focus on reading strategies, and analysis of junior year data found our students developing knowledge of disciplinary conventions and carving out their own strategies for writing and research. This information will be organized in a colorful diagram and will feature student quotes that bring the data to life.

Our findings will be of interest to anyone who is interested in what information literacy looks like beyond formal library instruction, from student perspectives, and throughout the span of an undergraduate education.

Presentation Description

What does information literacy and writing learning look like throughout the trajectory of an undergraduate education? What kinds of opportunities and experiences facilitate this learning? This presentation, led by a writing program administrator and information literacy librarian, will illustrate findings and lessons learned from the first three years of a longitudinal cohort study. We followed the same twelve undergraduate students from 2015 until they graduated in 2019, and interviewed them each semester about their information literacy and writing learning.

Session Goals

Attendees will learn about the results from a study that measured 12 students’ writing and information literacy over the course of four years.

Attendees will learn how study results are being used to enhance support for writing and information literacy learning.

Session Objectives

Attendees will understand which writing and information literacy skills students in this study developed throughout their undergraduate careers.

Attendees will understand how students developed those writing and information literacy skills.

Keywords

information literacy, writing, higher education, undergraduate

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Feb 21st, 3:15 PM Feb 21st, 4:30 PM

“Everything has built up to this point to where I kinda know what I’m doing”: Trajectories of Writing and Information Literacy Learning

PARB 127

In a culture of one-shot library instruction, librarians often only get a brief snapshot of any one individual student’s learning process. It can be a rare opportunity to follow the trajectory of a student’s entire undergraduate experience, and hear in their own words what and how they learn about information literacy and writing along the way. This is what the presenters have had an opportunity to do through a longitudinal study of twelve students.

This presentation will share initial findings from a four-year cohort study that examines the degree to which a group of twelve undergraduate students at a small liberal arts university acquire, develop, and retain information literacy and writing skills over the course of four years in a writing-intensive general education core curriculum. A writing program administrator and information literacy librarian joined forces on this project to conduct interviews with and gather writing samples from a cohort of students from fall 2015 to spring 2019.

This presentation will briefly introduce our research project and institutional context before sharing our most significant findings. So far, we’ve learned that students in their first year made learning gains in matters of composition, revision, and finding and evaluating information. Second year interviews revealed a self-sponsored and spontaneous student focus on reading strategies, and analysis of junior year data found our students developing knowledge of disciplinary conventions and carving out their own strategies for writing and research. This information will be organized in a colorful diagram and will feature student quotes that bring the data to life.

Our findings will be of interest to anyone who is interested in what information literacy looks like beyond formal library instruction, from student perspectives, and throughout the span of an undergraduate education.