Presentation Title

Keeping Up with the Research Needs of Students: Librarian-Led Information Literacy Instruction in Pre-Health Writing Courses

Type of Presentation

Individual paper/presentation

Target Audience

Higher Education

Location

Session Five Breakouts

Abstract

Despite the high-achieving nature of many undergraduate students who would like a career in the health professions after completing their education, pre-health students often struggle with information literacy. The discipline-specific databases and unfamiliar citation formats offer new challenges, even for upper-level students who have nearly completed a 4-year degree. The Health Sciences Library is often a place where pre-health students find a quiet place to study alongside med students, but until their third-year science writing course, they may not have considered the Library’s primary purpose. For these students, a traditional librarian-led demonstration of relevant subject databases, citation managers, and library services is not enough.

In this presentation we will discuss how credit-bearing assignments created by the librarian have led to better topic choices, deeper and more thoughtfully constructed research questions, and a collection of preliminary source material, ultimately increasing student performance in the course. The assignments address building a question and turning it into search terms, and how to evaluate sources. While these topics could be covered as part of the traditional curriculum for the course, having it presented by the librarian allows for the students to get to know the librarian better, thus feeling more comfortable asking questions or reaching out for help while completing the remainder of their program. We also expect to see an increase in quality in writing for assignments in other courses in the major and in coursework of their future professional programs.

Presentation Description

In this presentation we discuss a successful collaboration between a health sciences librarian and a faculty member of a 3rd-year writing course in a pre-health major. In addition to the traditional tutorials on databases, citation managers, and library services, the librarian created credit-bearing assignments on building research questions, search terms, and evaluating sources. This collaboration led to greater student writing outcomes, a better understanding of how to connect topics to a research plan, and an increase in library use.

Would you be willing to serve as a Session Moderator?

YES

Keywords

writing in the disciplines, science writing, pre-health, STEM, librarian

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Mar 26th, 2:15 PM Mar 26th, 2:45 PM

Keeping Up with the Research Needs of Students: Librarian-Led Information Literacy Instruction in Pre-Health Writing Courses

Session Five Breakouts

Despite the high-achieving nature of many undergraduate students who would like a career in the health professions after completing their education, pre-health students often struggle with information literacy. The discipline-specific databases and unfamiliar citation formats offer new challenges, even for upper-level students who have nearly completed a 4-year degree. The Health Sciences Library is often a place where pre-health students find a quiet place to study alongside med students, but until their third-year science writing course, they may not have considered the Library’s primary purpose. For these students, a traditional librarian-led demonstration of relevant subject databases, citation managers, and library services is not enough.

In this presentation we will discuss how credit-bearing assignments created by the librarian have led to better topic choices, deeper and more thoughtfully constructed research questions, and a collection of preliminary source material, ultimately increasing student performance in the course. The assignments address building a question and turning it into search terms, and how to evaluate sources. While these topics could be covered as part of the traditional curriculum for the course, having it presented by the librarian allows for the students to get to know the librarian better, thus feeling more comfortable asking questions or reaching out for help while completing the remainder of their program. We also expect to see an increase in quality in writing for assignments in other courses in the major and in coursework of their future professional programs.