Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Waidner-Spahr Library

First Year Seminar Information Literacy Scaffold: FYS Scaffold 2022

Important Notes about the FYS Scaffold

The lessons on this page are the minimum research skills that all FYS students should learn. Please have your class complete all tutorials and videos associated with each module. At least one follow-up activity should be assigned per module (suggestions provided).  At the end of each tutorial, students have the option of getting email verification for completion of all tutorials (but not YouTube videos), which they can forward to you. 

Although these lessons are numbered for easy reference, they need not necessarily be completed in the order listed.

You may plan to have a librarian visit your class for a date following the completion of these required modules.  To contact your librarian, go to  Ask a Librarian. If you don't know who your liaison is, you can find out by accessing the FYS Teaching Guide in Moodle.

To continue teaching information literacy skills in your FYS without a librarian, proceed with the next tab above, FYS Scaffold Supplement

FYS Scaffold

Timing

Description

 

Connection to Syllabus Templates
(see FYS Faculty Moodle)

Lesson 1

REQUIRED

Timing: Within the first 2 class meetings. 

Introduction to the Library

Students should watch our 3-minute overview of library resources and services. Watch individually or as a group.

Required Video: Waidner-Spahr Library Overview

Activity Suggestions:

  • Ask students to read your syllabus and identify assignments or activities that require using the library. Discuss some of the specific  skills they will need to complete those assignments.
     
  • 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).
     
  • Assign an online Scavenger Hunt to help familiarize students with library services via the web page. (Does not ask them to engage in research at this point).

Link to Syllabus Templates

Writing Analytically (8th ed) Week 1


Writing Spaces Week 1


A Writer's Reference (8th ed) Week 1

 

 

Lesson 2

REQUIRED

Timing: within the first 2 to 4 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, helps them understand that not all research material is free and accessible through Google, and provides the library with statistics needed for making purchasing decisions. 

Required Tutorial: Finding a Journal Article from a Citation

Activity: 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 classroom discussion or a writing exercise. Remind them that this item is not available for free on Google or elsewhere. 

Link to Syllabus Templates

Writing Analytically (8th ed) Weeks 2 and 3 


Writing Spaces Weeks 2 or 3. Additional reading: "Reading Games: Strategies for Reading Scholarly Sources" (Rosenberg).


A Writer's Reference (8th ed) Weeks 2 or 3. 

Lesson 3

REQUIRED

Timing: Within first 2 to 4 class meetings. 

How to Locate and Access Books

Rather than providing students with scans of book chapters that the library owns (which can potentially result in copyright violations), teach them to retrieve books and book chapters themselves. Having students access a book themselves familiarizes them with the library catalog and/or call numbers, helps them understand that not all research material is free and accessible through Google, and provides the library with statistics needed for making purchasing decisions. 

Required Tutorials:

Activity Suggestions:

  • For an eBook:  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 using the library catalog and read it critically for classroom discussion or a writing exercise. Remind them that this item is not available for free on Google or elsewhere. 
     
  • For a print book: Give students the citation for a print book. Ask them to look up the book in the library catalog and record the call number.  They should find the book on the library shelves, scan a required chapter, send you a photo of the title page, or answer questions about the chapter in writing. (Note: Please ask students to leave books on a reshelving shelf near the staircases. To ensure that books are organized correctly, we discourage non-employees from reshelving books. This lesson works best when students have to find a book of their own choosing or are provided with a variety of options to choose from, as opposed to many students trying to get the same book.) 

Link to Syllabus Templates

Writing Analytically (8th ed) Weeks 2 or 3 


Writing Spaces Weeks 2 or 3, Additional reading: "Reading Games: Strategies for Reading Scholarly Sources" (Rosenberg).


A Writer's Reference (8th ed) Weeks 2 or 3.

Lesson 4

REQUIRED

Timing:  After the Academic Integrity Tutorial Deadline, usually the first Monday in September. Students access the Academic Integrity Tutorial in Moodle.

Academic Integrity

The college's required Academic Integrity Tutorial should be further addressed in class.

Students access the tutorial through Moodle.  

Faculty can see a non-interactive preview of the tutorial here: https://www.dickinson.edu/info/20391/library/2583/the_library_and_first-year_seminars/3Please do not share the non-interactive version with students. They must complete the interactive version in Moodle for credit.

For a variety of discussion and activity suggestions, download our AI Follow-Up document.

Link to Syllabus Templates

Writing Analytically (8th ed.) Weeks 4 or 5.  Additional reading: "What Does Plagiarism Do to the Conversation?" and "Frequently Asked Questions about Plagiarism," 235-7.  


Writing Spaces Weeks 4 or 5. Additional reading: "Creating, Using, and Sharing Information in Research Communities" (Hemstrom and Anders). 


A Writer's Reference (8th ed) Weeks 4 or 5. Additional reading as applicable: "Understand What Plagiarism Is" (MLA), 400-409 OR "Understand What Plagiarism Is" (APA), 479-488 OR "Citing Sources; Avoiding Plagiarism" (CMS), 539-547.

Lesson 5

REQUIRED

Timing: Around Week 4, or when students are at an exploratory stage, e.g. when given a topic to discuss in class, or in the early stages of a research project.

Preliminary Research

Students should learn how to begin acquiring background knowledge about an unfamiliar topic and learn where they can get ideas for a research question. 

Activity Suggestions: 

  • Using Encyclopedias for Background Research - This assignment is for independent work. It asks students to compare Wikipedia to scholarly encyclopedias available only by paid subscription through the library.
     
  • Comparing Resource Types - This assignment has two versions; the first includes a group discussion and the second is independent work. It has students look up a term or terms in a variety of resources, including non-encyclopedic sources, and compare results.

Link to Syllabus Templates

Writing Analytically (8th ed) Weeks 5 or 6.  Additional reading: "Wikipedia, Google, and Blogs" and "Asking the Right Questions," 248-250.


Writing Spaces Weeks 5 or 6. Additional reading: "Googlepedia: Turning Information Behaviors into Research Skills" (McClure).


A Writer's Reference (8th ed) Weeks 5 or 6. Additional reading: "Thinking Like a Researcher," 357-361

Lesson 6

REQUIRED

Timing: Around Weeks 4 or 5, after students have been asked to retrieve and read several different source types. 

Distinguishing Among Source Types

Students often have a difficult time discerning what type of source they are using, 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). These activities will help them recognize different source types and learn when to use them.

Required Tutorial: Distinguishing Among Source Types

Activity Suggestions:

  • Complete this online quiz:  Learning to Distinguish Among Source Types
     
  • Bring print copies of edited books, scholarly journals, magazines, etc. and ask students to identify key differences. Then ask them to figure out how to tell the difference online.

Link to Syllabus Templates

Writing Analytically (8th ed) Weeks 6 or 7.  Review: “Reading Analytically,” 38-68.


Writing Spaces Weeks 6 or 7.


A Writer's Reference (8th ed) Weeks 6 or 7. Additional reading: "Writing in the Disciplines," 119-126.

Lesson 7

REQUIRED

Assign when students are expected to pick a topic for class discussion or a midterm or final research project. They should be asked to do some exploratory research following this tutorial.

 

JumpStart vs Discipline-Specific Databases

Students need to learn how to select the best tools for their research needs.  Although JumpStart is a great introductory tools for first year students, it is not always the best or only resource they should use. These activities will help them decide which resources are most appropriate for a given need.

Required Tutorials: 

Activity Suggestions:

  • Have students identify 3 databases (other than JumpStart) that address their selected topic or the course's theme.
     
  • Have students do an identical search in JumpStart and one of the subject specific databases they identify and compare results in writing. They should examine which database provided more focused results and describe the type of material found and a summary of the content of a few items. Write or discuss in class whether the databases they identified would really be useful/appropriate and why or why not.

Link to Syllabus Templates

Writing Analytically (8th ed) Week 7. Additional reading: "Finding, Evaluating, and Citing Sources," 242-246.


Writing Spaces Week 7. Additional reading: Assessing Source Credibility for Crafting A Well-Informed Argument (Warrington, Kovalyova, King).


A Writer's Reference (8th ed) Week 7. Additional reading, "Search Efficiently," 363-367

Lesson 8

REQUIRED

Should be assigned immediately prior to a librarian's visit to your class.

To continue teaching information literacy skills in your FYS without a librarian, proceed with the next tab above, FYS Scaffold Supplement.  

Efficiently Searching Databases

In addition to selecting the best tools for their research needs, students must learn how to search as efficiently as possible. The activities help them learn to choose effective keywords as well as how to use truncation symbols, operators, and other strategies to improve a search.

Required Tutorial: Choosing the Best Terms for Your Search

Required Reading: Truncation Symbols and Boolean Operators

Activity Suggestions:

  • Students should make a list of at least 10 potential keywords or very short phrases that describe a selected topic or the theme of your course. They should organize the terms in various combinations and with different levels of specificity.
     
  • Try searching in 2 databases (identified in previous lesson) with various combinations of keywords. Record which combination of keywords and databases produced the most relevant results. Describe the type of material found and provide a summary of the content of a few items. Write a paragraph about the process: what worked well, what didn't, and why?

Link to Syllabus Templates

Writing Analytically Week 8.


Writing Spaces Week 8. Additional reading: "Walk, Talk, Cook, Eat: A Guide to Using Sources" (Haller).


A Writer's Reference (8th ed) Week 8.