Practical Approaches to Information Literacy for the First-Year Student

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As research on gaps in college preparedness continues to emerge, fueling debates in both academic and public forums, most postsecondary institutions have taken some measures to assist undergraduates in developing a higher degree of information and digital literacy, and to prepare students better for conducting academic research.

To learn where you can see the highest return on these efforts, we turned this week to Anne-Marie Deitering, the Franklin McEdward Professor for Undergraduate Learning Initiatives at Oregon State University. A forward thinker on integrating information literacy into different stages in the student experience, Deitering offers the following tips for her peers at other colleges and universities.

Integration Beyond Research-Based Coursework

"A truism among our colleagues pursuing information literacy efforts is that the best place to integrate information literacy is in courses with research assignments," Deitering notes, "and that the best place to embed concepts and content on information literacy throughout the curriculum is to embed it where students are already motivated to do research and access library resources." In this model, academic libraries often hold an information literacy or library services tutorial for students, or -- in the case of a few institutions -- embed a librarian within the research course.

However, Deitering suggests that in relying only on integration into research-heavy courses, you may miss some of your best early opportunities to help students develop information literacy.

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