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Five professors were recently awarded grants to integrate information literacy components into their classes.

In collaboration with librarians, the faculty are developing assignments that require students to learn how information is disseminated and gathered in a field, to examine their own research process, and to explore some of the economic, social, legal, and ethical issues surrounding the production and distribution of information.

Economics 365: Econometric Analysis
Students in the econometrics class taught by Susan Averett, associate professor and associate head of economics and business, are learning how the literature of economics is structured by looking critically at literature reviews and writing two literature reviews of their own. As they collect economic data for a semester-long project, students are also examining and evaluating the sources of the data, asking important questions about how it came to be collected, by whom, and for what purpose. The coordinating librarian is Terese Heidenwolf.

English 205: Literary Questions
In the Literary Questions class taught by William Carpenter, assistant professor of English, students are being exposed to more than the fundamentals of English literary criticism. By incorporating complex library research exercises into their writing assignments, the students are learning how information is collected and organized in the discipline. They are also recording and reflecting their developing research skills in personal online journals. The coordinating librarian is Anne Barnhart-Park.

Government 321: Congress and Legislative Process
Alexandra Cooper, assistant professor of government and law, is asking her students to write a series of papers about different aspects of the service of a member of Congress using both the member’s web site and secondary sources. The projects provide opportunities for discussions and additional assignments about primary versus secondary sources, propaganda and bias in information, and how the Internet might be changing the political process. The coordinating librarian is Mercedes Benitez Sharpless.

VAST 255: “Plague, Progress, & Bioterrorism”
Each student in the VAST course taught by Laurie Caslake, assistant professor of biology, is researching an infectious disease and considering its bio-weapon potential. Over the semester, students are using the Blackboard web program to record their process and progress in finding information. In addition to learning how to distinguish between primary and secondary sources, and peer-reviewed and public access materials, students are being asked to consider how the source of the information influences content. Finally, students are considering and incorporating the role of the Internet in a fictional outbreak scenario they are writing. The coordinating librarian is Amy Abruzzi.

Spanish 428: Modern Spanish American Literature and Culture, and Spanish 435: Modern Latin American Poetry
During the fall semester, Michael Jordan, assistant professor of foreign languages and literatures, enhanced his Spanish seminar by requiring students to build an extensive annotated bibliography throughout the course of the semester and keep a research journal that allowed them to reflect upon and refine their research skills. This semester he is enhancing Spanish 428 with assignments in which students follow and write about the scholarly dialogue in the field. Students are tracing the reception of a single work through at least 20 years of the critical literature and monitoring ongoing debate on academic bulletin boards and listservs. The coordinating librarian is Anne Barnhart-Park.

Categorized in: Academic News