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Library Research 101

A four part tutorial series for new or returning college students to introduce the foundations of library research at Fitchburg State University.

Mission

Library Research 101 is a four part tutorial series for new or returning college students introducing the foundations of library research to prepare students in their first year of college to find, evaluate, and use information ethically. The tutorials will provide students with the necessary building blocks to perform research at an introductory level. Library Research 101 will help students acquire the skills associated with Information Literacy and enable faculty and librarians to build upon a stronger foundation for college research.

Each tutorial introduces concepts and skills along with assessment questions in the form of multiple choice and true or false. Tutorials can be completed online or faculty can request to have a tutorial embedded into a Blackboard course.

1. Information Sources

An introduction to sources of information and library resources for finding credible information for research in college.
Expected Learning Outcomes

At the end of this tutorial, students will be able to...

  1. Understand the information timeline
  2. Distinguish between popular and scholarly sources of information
  3. Recognize the value of reference books, academic books, and articles
  4. Identify the appropriate search tool based on the type of resource needed

 ACRL Framework
Upon completion of this tutorial, students will have been introduced to concepts that support the overall goal of reaching the following threshold concepts.

Information Has Value

Searching as Strategic Exploration

 

ACRL Standards
Standard 1: The information literate student determines the nature and extent of the information needed.

1.1 The information literate student defines and articulates the need for information.

c. Explores general information sources to increase familiarity with the topic.

1.2. The information literate student identifies a variety of types and formats of potential sources for information.

a. Knows how information is formally and informally produced, organizes, and disseminated.

b. Recognizes that knowledge can be organized into disciplines that influence the way information is accessed.

c. Identifies the value and differences of potential resources in a variety of formats

         (e.g., multimedia, database, website, data set, audio/visual, book)

d. Identifies the purpose of potentially resources (e.g. popular vs scholarly, current vs. historical)
 

Standard 2: The information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently.

2.1. The information literate student selects the most appropriate investigative methods or information retrieval systems for accessing the needed information.

c. Investigates the scope, content, and organization of information retrieval systems

 

AAC&U
Upon completion of this tutorial, students should be able to meet the Milestone 2 requirements for the AAC&U Information Literacy VALUE Rubric for the following learning outcomes.

Determine the Extent of Information Needed

Evaluate Information and its Sources Critically

2. Search Process

An introduction to picking a topic and strategies for searching databases and search engines.
Expected Learning Outcomes

At the end of this tutorial, students will be able to...

  1. Articulate a research question
  2. Identify keywords, synonyms, and related terms for the information need
  3. Construct a search strategy using Boolean logic and other search commands
  4. Refine search results, keeping in mind the requirements of a given assignment
ACRL Framework
Upon completion of this tutorial, students will have been introduced to concepts that support the overall goal of reaching the following threshold concepts.

Research as Inquiry

Searching as Strategic Exploration

 

ACRL Standards

Standard 1: The information literate student determines the nature and the extent of the information needed.

1.1 The information literate student defines the need for information.

e. Identifies key concepts and terms that describe the information.

1.4 The information literate student reevaluates the nature and the extent of the information need.

a. Reviews the initial information need to clarify, revise, or refine the question.

b. Describes criteria uses to make information decisions and choices.

Standard 2. The information literate student accesses information needed effectively and efficiently.

2.1 The information literate student selects the most appropriate investigative methods or information retrieval systems for accessing the needed information.

d. Selects efficient and effective approaches for accessing the information needed from the investigative method or information retrieval system.

2.2 The information literate student constructs and implements effectively designed search strategies.

a. Develops a research plan appropriate to the investigative method.

b. Identifies keywords, synonyms, and related terms for the information needed.

d. Constructs a search strategy using appropriate commands for the information retrieval system selected (e.g., Boolean operators, truncation, and proximity for search engines)

2.4 The information literate student refines the search strategy if necessary.

a. Assesses the quantity, quality, and relevance of the search results to determine whether alternative information retrieval systems or investigative methods should be utilized.

b. Identifies gaps in the information retrieved and determines if the search strategy should be revised.

c. Repeats the search using the revised strategy as necessary.

 

AAC&U
Upon completion of this tutorial, students should be able to meet the Milestone 2 requirements for the AAC&U Information Literacy VALUE Rubric for the following learning outcomes.

Determine the Extent of the Information Needed

Access the Needed Information

3. Evaluating Sources

How to critically read and evaluate sources to determine relevance, authority, currency, and purpose.
Expected Learning Outcomes

At the end of this tutorial, students will be able to...

  1. Understand the importance of evaluating sources
  2. Determine relevance of information to a research question
  3. Assess the authority or expertise of an author or organization on a particular topic
  4. Recognize when current or historical information is necessary
  5. Identify whether information is scholarly or popular based on appearance
  6. Analyze the reason or purpose of information
ACRL Framework
Upon completion of this tutorial, students will have been introduced to concepts that support the overall goal of reaching the following threshold concepts.

Authority is Constructed and Contextual
 

ACRL Standards

Standard 1: The information literate student determines the nature and extent of the information needed.

1.1.The information literate student identifies a variety of types and formats of potential sources for information.

d. Identifies the purpose and audience of potential resources (e.g., popular vs scholarly, current vs. historical)

e. Differentiates between primary and secondary sources, recognizing how their use and importance vary with each discipline

 

Standard 3: The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his/her knowledge base and value system.

3.2. The information literate student articulates and applies initial criteria for evaluating both the information and its sources.

a. Examines and compares information from various sources in order to evaluate reliability, validity, accuracy, authority, timeliness, and point of view or bias

c. Recognizes prejudice, deception, or manipulation

d. Recognizes the cultural, physical, or other context within which the information was created and understands the impact of context on interpreting the information

3.4. The information literate student compares new knowledge with prior knowledge to determine the value added, contradictions, or other unique characteristics of the information.

a. Determines whether information satisfies the research or other information need

b. Uses consciously selected criteria to determine whether the information contradicts or verifies information used from other sources

c. Draws conclusions based upon information gathered

e. Determines probable accuracy by questioning the source of the data, the limitations of the information gathering tools or strategies, and the reasonableness of the conclusions

g. Selects information that provides evidence for the topic

AAC&U
Upon completion of this tutorial, students should be able to meet the Milestone 3 requirements for the AAC&U Information Literacy VALUE Rubric for the following learning outcomes.

Evaluate Information and its Sources Critically

 

4. Academic Participation & Honesty

An overview of Fitchburg State University's Academic Integrity policy, how to avoid plagiarism, and citation styles.
Expected Learning Outcomes

At the end of this tutorial, students will be able to...

  1. Understand how to participate responsibly in scholarly conversations
  2. Identify when attribution and citations are necessary
  3. Distinguish between different types of plagiarism
  4. Determine which citation style is best suited to a subject
  5. Create in-text citations and bibliographies using MLA 8 or APA 6
ACRL Framework
Upon completion of this tutorial, students will have been introduced to concepts that support the overall goal of reaching the following threshold concepts.

Information Has Value

Scholarship as Conversation

ACRL Standards

Standard 3: The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system.

3.4. The information literate student compares new knowledge with prior knowledge to determine the value added, contradictions, or other unique characteristics of the information.

f. Integrates new information with previous information or knowledge

3.5. The information literate student determines whether the new knowledge has an impact on the individual’s value system and takes steps to reconcile the differences.

a. Investigates differing viewpoints encountered in the literature

b. Determines whether to incorporate or reject viewpoints encountered

3.6. The information literate student validates understanding and interpretation of the information through discourse with other individuals, subject-area experts, and/or practitioners.

a. Participates in classroom and other discussions

b. Participates in class-sponsored electronic communication forums designed to encourage discourse on the topic (e.g., e-mail, bulletin boards, chat rooms)

Standard 5: The information literate student understands many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and accesses and uses information ethically and legally.

5.1. The information literate student understands many of the ethical, legal, and socio-economic issues surrounding information and information technology.

d. Demonstrates an understanding of intellectual property, copyright, and fair use of copyrighted material

5.2. The information literate student follows laws, regulations, institutional policies, and etiquette related to the access and use of information resources.

c. Complies with institutional policies on access to information resources

e. Legally obtains, stores, and disseminates text, data, images, or sounds

5.3. The information literate student acknowledges the uses of information sources in communicating the product or performance

a. Selects an appropriate documentation style and uses it consistently to cite sources

b. Posts permission granted notices, as needed for copyrighted material

AAC&U
Upon completion of this tutorial, students should be able to meet the Milestone 2 requirements for the AAC&U Information Literacy VALUE Rubric for the following learning outcomes.

Use Information Effectively to Accomplish a Specific Purpose

Access and Use Information Ethically and Legally