First Year Seminars & Information Literacy
First Year Seminar courses serve as an introduction to academic inquiry and the modes of expression that lie at the heart of a liberal arts education. They foster habits of the mind fundamental to students' intellectual and academic development, including critical reading and thinking, sharing ideas and research through discussion, and the ability to write and think clearly and effectively.
All First Year Seminars have the same five common goals:
- expand and deepen students' understanding of the world and of themselves
- enhance students’ ability to read and think critically
- enhance students’ ability to communicate effectively, in writing, speech, and other appropriate forms
- develop the fundamentals of information literacy and library research
- provide the opportunity for students to work closely with a faculty member
The librarians at Boatwright Library are committed to providing information literacy and library research instruction in order to fulfill Goal #4. To accomplish this, students will:
- attend an information literacy/library research lab session as part of students' FYS which will incorporate the outcomes listed below.
- participate in at least one session of information literacy/library research in their FYS, building on the information covered in #1, and tied specifically to the subject matter of the course. *options could include: partial or full-class sessions tied to research assignment, course-specific guides, topical workshops, individual appointments, online tutorials, etc...
complete at least one assignment in their FYS requiring library (or information) research.
Information Literacy/Library Research Goals and Outcomes for First Year Seminar Library Labs:
The overall goal of the FYS Information Literacy sessions is to introduce students to fundamental library resources and services, and develop students' critical inquiry in the context of library research. Fundamental research competencies acquired during their first year will help students identify information resources for course assignments. This tiered approach provides students with a foundation for meeting faculty expectations and enables them to conduct more developed and complex research throughout their General Education and Upper Level courses
Achievement of Outcomes: First Year Students arrive with a range of experiences with library resources, requiring an introduction to academic research strategies and resources, focusing on the unique scholarly collections at the University of Richmond. The information literacy sessions offer the opportunity to "level the playing field" among first year students and their ability to use basic library information resources. Librarians and FYS faculty will be working together to plan overall program assessment for Goal #4. A tiered approach will provide levels of instruction which address lower-and higher-order thinking and competency skills based on Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives.
The Fall Information Literacy session introduces students to the resources available at Boatwright Library, including the website, catalog and Academic Search Complete (a beginning multi-disciplinary database). It also introduces citing sources and evaluating information.
- Students will utilize the library website to locate information through the catalog, specific databases, online or personal help and library services, in order to use appropriate resources and scholarly information to support their assignments. [Pre-class online tutorial for students to complete prior to attending the Library Lab -- FYS Library Lab Tutorial – this will work in conjunction with an in-class exercise]
- Students will search the library catalog in order to locate a wide variety of library materials, such as books, compact discs, DVDs, electronic books and government documents.
- Students will correctly decipher a database citation in order to locate an information source.
- Students will construct a keyword search and apply limits in the Academic Search Complete database in order to identify a scholarly article.
- Students will use established criteria to evaluate information resources in order to successfully discern when journal articles and websites are relevant and/or appropriate for use in academic research.
The Spring Information Literacy session focuses on issues related to academic integrity, while expanding on information related to citing sources and evaluating resources.
- Students will identify scholarly and popular types of information resources in order to discover that different types of information sources have different purposes and audiences.
- Students will identify primary and secondary resources in order to recognize how their use and importance varies with each discipline.
- Students will learn how to efficiently and effectively locate & access articles (electronically and in print) using available resources, such as Journal Titles in order to demonstrate a general knowledge of how to obtain information and develop a realistic overall plan and timeline to acquire the needed information that may (or may not be) readily available.
- Students will identify subject specific library guides in order to recognize how different resources are required to meet their information needs in various disciplines.
- Students will recognize when a source must be cited in order to locate appropriate supporting documentation and to correctly document a source.
- Students will understand the university's expectations for academic integrity in order to take responsibility for using information ethically.
Bloom’s Taxonomy of Education Objectives
There are five levels (lowest to highest cognitive skills)
Additional information on Bloom's Taxonomy (includes a chart of Competencies and Skills Demonstrated)
For more information on the FYS Library Labs, contact:
Carol Wittig (firstname.lastname@example.org, 289-8459), Head of Instruction and Information Services
Lucretia McCulley (email@example.com, 289-8670), Director of Outreach Services.