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Participants in 2006

Presenters:
Chuck Lewis - Information Literacy and Writing
Cynthia Gray - Information Literacy and Assessment
Larry White - Teaching students how to evaluate the validity of claims
Georgia Duerst-Lahti - Evaluating sources in a student forum: watching the media watchdogs
Chris Johnson - A multimedia "research paper" for dance history, Assignment, Presentation.

- Ann Davies developed some assignments for a new course, POLS 380, Political Theory and Public Law: Research Seminar. Guided readings during the first part of the semester will be used as a means for talking about how issues may be framed, the development of research questions and seeking further information. Ann plans to have students discuss articles, brainstorm about questions, explore options for materials, and evaluate material during class and through Moodle postings. Details about course plans are included in Ann's information literacy handout.

- Georgia Duerst-Lahti would like to develop an assignment for the Congress class which involves mapping a bill. Using official and other sources, students would trace the bill's progress through committees, find background on what really happens, find roll call information, etc. If students know how to get that, it would help them investigate other issues.

- Chris Johnson has had students incorporate various media into their research. In her Dance History class, Chris assigned a Multi-Media Paper/Project. Students working on this assignment during the Spring 2006 semester learned how to incorporate video, sound, and images into web pages, power point presentations, or other platforms. One student chose to make a documentary. Students reported that they enjoyed the creative aspects of the projects and welcomed the opportunity to learn new skills. Chris is considering ways to refine the assignment in the future. Chris Johnson's presentation

- Heath Massey prepared an exercise for an upper-level seminar, Philosophy 380, special topics. Students searching for an answer to a philosophy question compare research tools and reflect on the advantages of each. They're introduced to sources such as JSTOR, Philosophers Index, BELCAT, and WorldCat. Their final products will consist of two documents: a preliminary bibliography of sources uncovered by the research, and a narrative of the research process. For details about the exercise and assignment, see Heath's handout on comparing research tools and compiling a preliminary bibliography.

- Catherine Orr developed discussion questions for her FYI course on Borders and Boundaries, asking students to consider how authors use sources and how readers might judge the validity of the authors' claims. She planned a source evaluation assignment in which students pick a group or organization active in immigration issues, find sources representing their point of view, and analyze the assumptions and arguments of that viewpoint. A library visit and activity is part of this assignment. More information about course plans is in Catherine Orr's presentation. Catherine thinks teaching students the basics of research and writing is the best service FYI instructors can perform for them as well as their future instructors.

- Jo Ortel reconfigured the Art History: Theory and Methods course placing greater emphasis on research skills, tools, and scholarly protocols. She has developed periodic "Special Assignments" to hone research and information literacy skills. In the second half of the course, students work on a more substantial, self-designed research project. See Jo's document about her ideas and the Theory and Methods syllabus, in progress.