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First Year Seminars - Information Literacy Resources: Access

Outcome 2. Access

A Recent Study Finds...

Assignment Description:  Students locate an announcement of study findings in a newspaper, magazine, or newswire and then locate the full text of the published study.  Students compare and contrast the findings as represented in each article. Ask students to answer specific questions about the study that cannot be answered without the original.

Result: Students learn to differentiate between an announcement of a study and original study.  They learn to recognize the value of primary source material.

Outcomes Met: "Access," "Evaluate" and "Obtain"

A Trip to the Archives

Assignment Description: Using Fox Hunt and the Marist College Archives and Special Collections website, students find an item related to a topic or theme. Students access a finding aid and choose an item.  They visit the Archives and Special Collections to view the item.  Students evaluate its relevancy to their topic or theme.

Result: This assignment introduces students to the role and purpose of archives and special collections, using a finding aid and allows students to work with unique primary source materials.

Outcomes Met: "Access," "Evaluate" and "Obtain"

All about the Numbers

Assignment Description: Request students research statistics on a particular topic using The Roper Center for Public Opinion iPoll database or ask them to research basic facts about Poughkeepsie or their hometown in United States Census American Fact Finder

Result: Students learn about sources not included in Fox Hunt and gain experience in accessing different forms of data.

Outcomes Met: "Determine" and "Access"

Among the Shelves

Assignment Description: Students are given the title and author of a hardcopy book and then use Fox Hunt to find the book’s location within the library.  They then obtain the book and answer questions using the physical copy.  i.e. book contents, books on the shelf nearby, subject area of shelf, etc,

Result: Students gain experience with library resources and call number system.  

Outcomes Met: "Access" and "Obtain"

Annotated Bibliography

Assignment Description:   Students prepare an annotated bibliography on a research topic.  Set a minimum number of sources to be included in the annotated bibliography and identify the different types of sources that should be included such as primary and secondary sources or scholarly journal articles and books.  In each annotation, ask students to evaluate the author, publisher and address any bias in the work.   

Result:  Students practice using library databases, learn about different source types, learn to organize and cite sources.

Outcomes Met: "Determine," "Access," "Evaluate" and "Obtain"

Database Investigation

Assignment Description: Using the databases on your course guide or on a subject guide, assign a database to a group.  Ask them to evaluate the search interface, content, publisher, subject areas, and account features. Students do a short presentation on their findings.

Result: Students gain in depth knowledge of library databases and when to utilize them.

Outcomes Met: "Determine," "Access," "Evaluate," and "Obtain"

Ever Changing Information

Assignment Description:  Students research and locate sources representing each component of the information cycle pertaining to a particular event.  They analyze how the information about or relating to an event changes over time.  For example, students find a newspaper article, popular magazine article, scholarly journal article, scholarly book and reference book on Hurricane Katrina.

 Result: Students gain experience with library databases and see how information evolves over time and varies between source types.  Students are introduced to the difference between scholarly and popular sources.

 Outcomes Met: "Access" and "Evaluate"

Exploring Artstor

Assignment Description: Students search for a piece of art related to a time period, movement etc. in Artstor database. Students must insert the image into a Powerpoint slide and include information about the piece available from ArtStor. Students must also provide a citation for the piece of art.

Result: Students gain experience with the Artstor database and citing unusual sources types such as images.

Outcomes Met: "Access" and "Obtain"

Exploring Search Options

Assignment Description: Ask students to search using the same keyword in Fox Hunt and a subject specific database.  How do the search results differ? Why?  Compare the search option in the two databases, why are the different and what advantage to each offer?  

Result: Students learn about the different databases available and the advantages of moving beyond Fox Hunt when researching.

Outcomes Met: "Access" and "Evaluate"

Google vs. Library

Assignment Description: Select a topic related to the course topic or of the student’s choice. Ask students to find information on the topic using first Google and then Marist’s subscription databases or FoxHunt. Ask students to compare the results of the two searches. Which is easier to use to find scholarly articles? To find current news? Are limiting mechanisms available for specific subjects or publication dates?

Result: Students gain first hand experience with database searches and options.  They also learn what types of search interfaces are appropriate for academic research.

Outcomes Met: "Access" and "Evaluate"

Is it True?

Assignment Description:  Give students a news headline and ask them to verify if the news is true.  First have them locate the news story on the internet.  Have them examine the appearance of the website, URL, etc.,.  The resources below can guide them through this process and give them an idea of what to examine.  As a final test, have them search for the news headline in Fox Hunt on the library website.

Result: Students learn about the importance of critically evaluating information and legitimate sources of news and information. 

Outcomes Met: "Evaluate" and "Obtain" 

Locating Primary Sources

Assignment Description: Ask students locate primary sources on an event or topic in history.  Students use library databases and print indexes to locate newspaper and magazine articles on a topic.    

Result: Students learn about the challenges and advantages of locating primary source materials. 

Outcomes Met: "Access," "Evaluate" and "Obtain" 

Pro Con Resources

Assignment Description:  Students research differing views on an issue using the databases Opposing Viewpoints in Context and CQ Researcher.  Students then identify the main arguments of each side and provide evidence to support their conclusions.

Result: Students gain experience with library databases and determine the point of view of sources.

Outcomes Met: "Access" and "Evaluate"

Planning Research

Assignment Description:  Based on  a research question provided to the students, ask them what sources of information are needed to effectively answer the question.   Students must then create an action plan listing how they will search for these sources, including search terms and appropriate Library databases and resources.

Result: Students think critically about their research process.

Outcomes Met: "Determine" and "Access"

Scavenger Hunt

Assignment Description: Create a research scavenger hunt. Ask students to visit the Library and locate print materials, search Fox Hunt and subject specific databases, visit the Archives and Special Collections website and find information about Library services.

Result: Students become familiar with the library facilities and website.  Students interact with librarians and learn research terminology.

Outcomes Met: "Access" and "Obtain"

Tracking Down Sources

Assignment Description:  Provide students with an article containing references. Ask students to locate sources contained within the original article’s references.  Students describe the process for obtaining the sources.  Students discuss any challenges faced in this process, i.e. incorrect citation, source not available within Marist Collection, etc,  (Tip: You may want to check that the sources are available in the Marist Library before assigning a particular article)

Result: This activity allows students to see where the information within the article came from and teaches them how to read citations and use them to locate sources.

Outcomes Met: "Access" and "Obtain"

Wikipedia vs. Traditional Encyclopedias

Assignment Description: Select a topic related to the course topic or of the student’s choice. Ask students to find background information on the topic using first Wikipedia and an encyclopedia from the Marist Library  (Britannica Academic, Gale Virtual Reference Library, Print Encyclopedias). Ask students to compare the two sources’ content and credibility. Who were the authors? What are their credentials? Are there any useful additional features?

Result: Students learn the importance of background information when beginning research and apply evaluation skills to reference sources.

Outcomes Met: "Determine," "Access," "Evaluate" and "Obtain"