The Library’s first credit-bearing course, LIB 501: Beyond Google: Research for College Success, began in Fall 2014 and continues to flourish. LIB 501 currently runs as a one-credit topics course lasting seven and a half weeks. Enrollment in spring increased 30% overall, and the Library faculty is pleased that the feedback based on internal assessment was universally positive. Student comments confirmed the usefulness of the course to complete research assignments and some students even suggested that the course should be required, while others wished it had lasted longer.
The course provides students with foundational research skills needed to succeed in college, including how to develop well-thought out research strategies, effectively use library research tools and new media sources, and avoid plagiarism. Learning outcomes include the ability to identify, locate, evaluate, and use appropriate information resources in keeping with academic integrity and ethical standards. Students are assessed through a variety of measures, consisting of in-class exercises, quizzes, and a final cumulative project in the form of an annotated bibliography.
The Department of the Library believes the value of the course reaches well beyond skills necessary for college, but rather helps to create information literate citizens and lifelong learners. We plan to regularize the course in the coming academic year with the goal to offer more advanced level and discipline-specific courses in the future. Stay tuned!
Amy F. Stempler, Assistant Professor & Coordinator of Library Instruction