Annmarie Singh’s 2005 article “A Report on Faculty Perceptions of Students’ Information Literacy Competencies in Journalism and Mass Communication Programs: The ACEJMC Survey” showed that faculty in her sample believed many of their undergraduate students did not meet ACRL’s information literacy standards. However, most of these faculty members reported improvement in their students’ research competencies following instruction. We present the results of a study that extends Singh’s work in two useful ways: 1) it isolates teacher perceptions of first-year student skills; and 2) it describes the effectiveness of employing a variety of pedagogical strategies to teach students about the research process.
This project surveyed English teachers at three institutions, a private liberal arts college, a public liberal arts college, and a land grant university, concerning their perceptions of their students’ information literacy skills. While Singh’s survey focused exclusively on teacher perceptions of student skills, we also asked teachers about the variety of strategies they used to introduce and reinforce information literacy competency in their classrooms. These strategies ranged from assigning a research project with little classroom or library support, to using ten or more research-related activities to build on a project. We found that teachers who employed a variety of strategies for teaching information literacy competency were significantly more satisfied with their students’ abilities to successfully complete researched projects. In this session, we will report on the results of our study and engage our audience in a conversation about how these results might shape collaborations between librarians and first-year writing programs.
Birmingham, Elizabeth and Flaspohler, Molly R., "First-Year Composition and the Writing-Research Gap" (2009). LOEX Conference Proceedings 2007. 32.