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Waidner-Spahr Library

First Year Seminar Information Literacy Scaffold: FYS Scaffold

FYS Scaffold

Timing and Notes Description Assignment and Assessment Options

Connection to Writing Analytically (WA) Syllabus
(click to download)

Module 1

Level of Necessity:
RECOMMENDED

Timing: During Week 1, or within the first 2 class meetings. 

Introduction to the Library

This 3-minute video explains why students will need the library and provides an overview of library resources and services.  It can be assigned for students to watch individually or as a group.

Video: Waidner-Spahr Library Overview

 

 

Options

After students watch the video:

  • Ask them to read your syllabus and identify assignments or activities that require or might be enhanced by using library resources. 
     
  • As a group exercise, ask students to identify the library liaison for your FYS and/or specific majors (either your discipline or an intended major).
     
  • Librarians provide a set of questions that students can find the answer to via the library website and share in discussion or writing. This teaches students how to get help and learn about library resources and services.
     
  • Use this EdPuzzle version that Noreen Lape developed (or make your own).

WA Week 1

WA, "The Five Analytical Moves," pp. 1-36.

 

Module 2A

Level of Necessity:
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Timing: During Week 2, or within the first 2 or 3 class meetings. 

How to Locate and Access a Journal Article

Rather than providing students with copies of articles that the library owns, teach them to retrieve articles themselves. Having students access their own material familiarizes them with the library’s resources and provides the library with statistics showing actual need for purchased materials. Students can learn this skill by:

1) Completing this brief tutorial: Finding a Journal Article from a Citation

2) Completing this customizable assignment: Module 2A Assignment - How to Locate a Journal Article from a Citation.

Options

After assigning the tutorial:

  • Provide students with the citation to an article that the library owns and that is required reading for your course. Ask them to obtain the article and read it critically for discussion or a writing exercise. 
     
  • Librarians can provide quiz results so you can optionally count the quiz toward participation.  

WA Week 2

WA: “Notice and Focus,” pp. 17-18.

OR

WA: “Looking for Patterns of Repetition and Contrast and for Anomalies,” pp. 26-32

OR

WA:  “Asking ‘So What?’” pp. 21-24

Module 2B

Level of Necessity:
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Timing: During Week 2, or within first 2 to 4 class meetings. 

How to Locate and Access eBooks

Rather than providing students with scans of books that the library owns, teach them to retrieve eBooks and eBook chapters themselves. Having students access their own material familiarizes them with the library’s resources and provides the library with statistics showing actual need for purchased materials. Students can learn this skill by:

1) Watching this brief video: eBooks at the Waidner-Spahr Library

2) Completing this customizable assignment: Module 2B Assignment: Locate and Analyze an eBook or eBook Chapter.

Options

After assigning the tutorial:

  • Provide students with the citation to an eBook or eBook chapter that the library owns and that is required reading for your course. Ask them to obtain the item and read it critically for discussion or a writing exercise. 

WA Week 2

WA: “Notice and Focus,” pp. 17-18.

OR

WA: “Looking for Patterns of Repetition and Contrast and for Anomalies,” pp. 26-32

OR

WA: “Asking ‘So What?’” pp. 21-24

Module 2C

Level of Necessity:
OPTIONAL

Timing: During Week 2, or within first 2 to 4 class meetings. 

How to Access Newspaper Articles

If the course’s topic lends itself to current events, students should learn to search for, retrieve and analyze newspaper articles on their own.

1) Complete this brief online tutorial: Finding and Evaluating Newspaper Articles

Make your students aware that some newspapers require special access instructions.

 

Options

After assigning the tutorial:

  • Provide students with the citation to a newspaper article that the library owns and that is required reading for your course. Ask them to obtain the article and read it critically for discussion or a writing exercise. 

OR

  • Students can find, analyze, and report on an article they find their own using a library subscription-based paper such as NYT, Washington Post, Chronicle of Higher Ed, etc.
     
  • Librarians can provide quiz results so you can optionally count the quiz toward participation. 

WA Week 2

WA: “Notice and Focus,” pp. 17-18.

OR

WA: “Looking for Patterns of Repetition and Contrast and for Anomalies,” pp. 26-32

OR

WA: “Asking ‘So What?’” pp. 21-24

Module 3

Level of Necessity:
RECOMMENDED

Timing: Around Week 3, or after students have been asked to read several different source types, and ideally after they have been asked to retrieve journal or newspaper articles and/or books/chapters on their own. 

Distinguishing Among Source Types

Students often have a difficult time discerning what type of source they are reading, particularly in an online environment, and may therefore use sources that are inappropriate to their needs (e.g. using a book review instead of a book, or a magazine instead of a scholarly journal). In order to help students learn to distinguish among the source types, they should complete the following:

1) Watch this brief tutorial: Distinguishing Among Source Types

2) Complete this online quiz:
Learning to Distinguish Among Source Types
 
ALTERNATIVE: Invite your liaison to conduct a session that introduces library resources and source types, and replaces the individual online quiz with a group exercise.

Options

After students complete the tutorial and quiz:

  • Librarians can comment collectively on the quiz results and provide feedback on common misconceptions about research material by way of a brief class meeting or participation in an online forum.
     
  • Librarians can provide quiz results so you can optionally count the quiz toward participation. 

 

WA Week 3

WA: “Reading Analytically,” pp. 38-68

Module 4A

Level of Necessity:
OPTIONAL

Timing: Around Week 4, or when students are exploring topics for class discussion or a potential research project. This should occur at a point of initial exploration, before a final topic is selected and before a formal research question or thesis is developed.

Using Scholarly Encyclopedias to Gain Background Knowledge

Students should learn how to begin acquiring background knowledge about an unfamiliar topic using scholarly encyclopedic resources.

Click for suggested customizable assignment: Module 4A Assignment - Using Encyclopedias to Gain Background Knowledge.

ALTERNATIVE: Students could look up a peer's topic to familiarize themselves with it in preparation for peer review.

Options

After students complete the encyclopedia assignment:

  • Librarians can grade or comment on their work
     
  • If used in conjunction with peer review, students could draft questions for one another about the topic to ensure that all important points are covered and/or that points made are clear and accurate.

WA Week 4

How to Peer Review: Giving Effective Feedback on a Peer’s Draft and Responding to Feedback of Your Own Writing (FYS Faculty Moodle)

Richard Straub, “Responding—Really Responding—to Other Students’ Writing” (FYS Faculty Moodle)

Module 4B

Level of Necessity:
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Timing: Around Week 5, or when students are exploring topics for their final research project.  This should occur at a point of initial exploration, when a topic is tentatively selected but before a research question or thesis is finalized and developed. 

Selecting Research Tools

When students are ready to begin doing preliminary research or building a bibliography/works cited list made up of scholarly, secondary sources, they should learn how to select databases appropriate to their selected topic by doing the following:. 

1) Complete this brief tutorial: Choosing a Database.

2) Complete this suggested customizable assignment: Module 4B Assignment - Selecting Appropriate Library Research Tools.

ALTERNATIVE: Invite your liaison to teach this topic and do a group exercise.

Options

  • Students should create a list of databases that would help them find research material on their topic and explain why they chose each one.   
     
  • Librarians can grade or comment on this work.
     
  • Librarians can provide quiz results so you can optionally count the quiz toward participation. 

WA Week 5

WA: “From Paragraphs to Papers,” pp. 266-298.

Module 5A

Level of Necessity:
OPTIONAL

Timing: Around Weeks 5 or 6, when students have selected a broad topic to explore for their final research project.  This should occur at a point of initial exploration in order to help students turn a topic of interest into a research question. 

SUGGESTED: Meet with librarian if this has not occurred already, for an overview of the library resources as well as how to effectively conduct basic searches.

Search Strategies

Students should engage in preliminary research in order to learn how to effectively use library databases and start developing a research question.  

This can be combined with Module 5B (Selecting and Analyzing Research Material).

Students can learn research strategies by watching these brief online tutorials: Choosing the Best Terms for Your Search and Research Strategies.

Students can also be provided with this handout for future reference: Seven Strategies for Efficient Database Searching.



 

Options

  • Librarians can provide quiz results so you can optionally count the quiz toward participation. 

WA Week 6

No linked WA readings.

Module 5B

Level of Necessity:
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Timing: Around Week 7, or as soon as the final project is assigned and a research topic is approved. This module should occur in conjunction with Module 5A (Search Strategies) due to the emphasis on improving a research question. 
 

Selecting and Analyzing Research Material

In order to learn how to efficiently evaluate a source, students should critically analyze two sources in writing by answering directed questions. In order to learn how to evaluate sources, students should:

1) Watch this tutorial: Evaluating Sources.

2) Complete this customizable assignment:
Module 5B Assignment - Analyzing Research Material.

Options

  • Students should search at least one of the databases that they identified in Module 4B (Selecting Research Tools) and find 2 scholarly journal articles that address their topic. They could also search more than one database and compare the results lists of the two. 
     
  • Librarians can grade or comment on this work. 
     
  • Librarians can provide quiz results so you can optionally count the quiz toward participation. 

WA Week 7

WA: “Conversing with Sources,” 213-241.

Module 5C

Level of Necessity:
OPTIONAL

Timing: Around Weeks 7 or 8 in conjunction with Module 5A (Search Strategies) and/or 5B Selecting and Analyzing Research Material).

Compare Library Database Results with Google 

In order to reinforce the idea that Google is not sufficient as a stand-alone resource for academic research, students should compare the results of a search in Google to those from a library-provided database.

Click for suggested customizable assignment: Module 5C Assignment - Comparing Google to Library Databases.

Options

  • In addition to writing, students could prepared to discuss in class about the differences between Google and library databases. Your librarian can be invited to this discussion.
     
  • Librarian can comment on the students' overall perceptions and explain to the class the differences between library provided research material and what is available through Google, and why library databases are necessary.   

WA Weeks 7 or 8.

No linked WA reading.

Module 6A

Level of Necessity:
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Timing: This should be assigned when the final research project is introduced.  Module 6A is meant to be used in conjunction with Module 6B (Analyzing Sources).  These two assignments could be used in place of one of your own interim assignments or scaled down to be used as practice before students are required to submit an annotated bibliography or other assignment that requires them to cite and analyze sources. 

Building a Bibliography/Works Cited List

Students begin a research project by selecting and citing relevant research material. 

Click for suggested customizable assignment:
Module 6A Assignment - Finding and Citing Research Material.
 
RECOMMENDED: When assigning Modules 6A and/or 6B (Analyzing Sources), schedule an information literacy session with your liaison.    
 
This assignment should be subject to revision. 

Options

  • Using the skills learned through previous assignments, students should find and cite 5 – 10 resources (preferably secondary at this point) that they find on their own using at least 2 or 3 different databases (as learned in Module 4B - Selecting Research Tools).
     
  • This could also be combined with the use of a bibliographic management tool like Zotero. A tutorial for Zotero is available here, which requires a brief bibliography to be submitted for assessment. 
     
  • Librarians should grade or comment on this work. 

Week 10:

WA: “Finding, Evaluating, and Citing Sources,” pp. 242-265.

Module 6B

Level of Necessity:
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Timing: Around Week 11. This assignment should be done in conjunction with Module 6A (Building a Bibliography/Works Cited List). These can be combined into one assignment or completed separately. Both should be completed shortly after a final project is assigned as a scaffolded step on the way to final research project. 

Analyzing Sources

Students should revise their work from Module 6A then annotate/analyze the sources they selected.  

Click for suggested customizable assignment: Module 6B Assignment - Analyzing Research Material.
 
RECOMMENDED: When assigning Modules 6A (Building a Bibliography/Works Cited List) and/or 6B, schedule an information literacy session with your liaison. 

Librarians should grade or comment on this assignment. 

This assignment should be subject to revision. 

Options

  • Students will analyze a subset of the items found in Module 6A (Building a Bibliography/Works Cited List).   
     
  • Students transform their topic by restating their research question in order to make it more specific, controvertible, and engaging.   

WA Week 11

Discussion of Essay 3

 

Module 7

Level of Necessity:
OPTIONAL

Timing: Flexible. This module can be used when you introduce students to finding and/or analyzing primary sources or material from Dickinson's Archives.

 

Analyzing Primary Sources

This module familiarizes students with primary source material. Using an item from the archives, students will learn how to identify and communicate information found in a primary source, including what the item is; why it was created, by whom, and when; and what questions the source leaves unanswered.

RECOMMENDED: Consult with Archives staff at least two weeks prior to assigning this work to schedule an instruction session and allow the staff ample time to select appropriate material for students to examine.

Click for suggested customizable assignment: Module 7A Assignment - Analyzing Primary Sources.

Options

  • Archives staff could grade or comment on this work. 

WA Week: Flexible

No linked WA reading.