Communications in Information Literacy, Vol 2, No 1 (2008)

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First-Year Writing Teachers, Perceptions of Students’ Information Literacy Competencies, and a Call for a Collaborative Approach

Elizabeth Joy Birmingham, Luc Chinwongs, Molly Flaspohler, Carly Hearn, Danielle Kvanvig, Ronda Portmann

Abstract


Despite the shared work of teaching research and writing, research librarians and compositionists (writing teachers) have not engaged regularly in dialogue about how they might collaborate in this endeavor. This project surveyed English teachers at three institutions, a private liberal arts college, a public liberal arts college, and a land grant university, concerning their perceptions of their students’ information literacy skills, as well as about the variety of strategies they used to introduce and reinforce information literacy competency in their classrooms. These strategies ranged from assigning a research project with little classroom or library support, to using up to ten different research-related activities to build the research competencies to complete a project. The authors found that teachers who employed a variety of strategies for teaching information literacy competency were significantly more satisfied with their students’ abilities to successfully complete researched projects. This paper reports on the results of this study begins a conversation about how these results might shape collaborations between librarians and first-year writing programs.

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