Communications in Information Literacy, Vol 9, No 1 (2015)

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Teaching and Learning Information Synthesis: An Intervention and Rubric Based Assessment

Kacy Lundstrom, Anne R. Diekema, Heather Leary, Sheri Haderlie, Wendy Holliday

Abstract


The purpose of this research was to determine how information synthesis skills can be taught effectively, and to discover how the level of synthesis in student writing can be effectively measured. The intervention was an information synthesis lesson that broke down the synthesis process into sequenced tasks. Researchers created a rubric which they used to assess a student’s level of information synthesis demonstrated in their final research essays. A form of counting analysis was also created to see if other methods could help in measuring synthesis.

Findings from the rubric analysis revealed that students appear to benefit from the synthesis lesson. The level of synthesis, however, remains low overall. In addition, the study also showed that the different measures of synthesis established were able to identify different levels of information integration. Discovering effective ways to measure and teach synthesis continues to be essential in helping students become information literate.

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