Wednesday, February 20, 2013

In a World of Information, Literacy is Key

In the age we live in--with its rapidly snowballing technological advances and access to massive amounts of information--students have, in theory, a world of information at their fingertips.  Internet and other electronic resources, social media, databases and other library resources, print and digital resources and so much more comprise the vast stores of information at the disposal of today's student researcher.

Overwhelming?  Unmanageable?  It might be, were it not for a learnable set of skills known as information literacy (IL).  IL is the key to making effective use of available information for the purpose at hand.


Which information literacy skills are particularly useful to today's college student?

Finding and locating scholarly materials
Using the internet for class research
Evaluating source material
Finding government and statistical information
Locating and analyzing book reviews
Finding primary sources

Locating information on a specific topic in a variety of formats
Using information to support an idea or point of view
Paraphrasing
Using information legally and ethically . . . and more

What would it mean if every student were equipped with these basic research skills?  Instead of haphazardly approaching their research, hoping for the best
, they could:  1) focus on the substance of their assignments; 2) critically explore relevant subject matter; and 3) feel confident they have the research skills they need to successfully meet their course objectives.

Information Literacy is a necessary group of skills for today's
student.  Graphic courtesy of Beloit College at beloit.edu.
How can the TWU Libraries help students improve their information literacy skills?
R
esearch instruction is available through the TWU Libraries in three formats--lecture, hands-on, and online tutorial. 


Lecture and Hands-On Research Instruction
Faculty members can request library workshops (held in the classroom or at the library) tailored to a course’s specific research requirements.

Online Research Tutorials
For library research instruction with the utmost in flexibility and convenience, the TWU Libraries' online research tutorials teach all of the basics of library research in four widely-accessible 20- and 40-minute sessions, available 24/7.  Together, these tutorials (Understanding Information Sources; Finding Books and Journal Articles; The Internet for College Students; and Avoiding Plagiarism) provide the viewer with a solid overview of the research process (content specifics and running times can be found on the Doing Research: Tutorial webpage.)

The TWU Libraries stand ready to help students build the foundation of research skills they need to succeed in today's classroomFor questions or more information, reach us at reference@twu.edu or 940-898-3702
.

We look forward to hearing from you.

~Sandy Cochran and Connie Maxwell

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