Information Literacy Instruction

Description
-   Equip students with information literacy skills.
Project/Task: 
-  Schedule, plan, and teach lessons with teacher and librarian. 
-  In addition to showing search and citation tips to students, teach them how to judge the accuracy, relevance, currency, and authority of a source.
Evidence/Criteria for Evaluation: 
-  Maintain a log of teaching hours, including evidence of presentations and resources/supplies used. 
-  Meet lesson objectives, evaluate success of student work by reviewing worksheets and bibliographies.


Teaching Log

Tuesday, April 19th 10:10am - 10:55am  Mr. Freed's Freshman Science Class
Tuesday, May 2nd 11:30am-12:30pm     Mrs. Dunne's Freshman Science Class

    "In the context of information literacy, it is of great importance to go into some detail about where the information on the Web comes from.  Who creates it?  What kind of organizations and individuals publish information to the World Wide Web?  Who is their intended audience?  What is their purpose?  How is their purpose likely to affect the information they provide?"
Burkhardt & MacDonald, from Teaching Information Literacy: 50 Standards-Based Exercises for College Students

    Mr. Freed and Mrs. Dunne assigned their Freshman Science classes to create a PowerPoint presentation on a severe weather phenomenon.  The first expectation of this project is to conduct research and provide a Works Cited list.  It was required that they find "at least two reputable sources of information" on their topic and cite each source using Citation Machine.  The entire Works Cited includes at least six sources of information and made up the last slide of their PowerPoint presentation.
    Six sources of information, with at least two of them being "reputable"?  What does this mean?  Using the worksheet below I talked with students about what makes an internet source reputable.  We used five criteria to evaluate websites:  authority, accuracy, objectivity, currency, and content.  The presentation was a mix of going through the worksheet (see below), going through the Google Search Tips Prezi presentation (see below), and conversing with the students.  I asked the students simple questions to get their minds going, "What is the Internet?", "Who can put information on the Internet?", "What does .gov, .org, .com stand for?  How might this affect the validity of the information on that website?"  By prompting students to ponder these questions, students can begin to realize the importance of being critical evaluators of the content they read and use in their research. 
    The first time I taught the class, I felt nervous as I went through the lesson.  Since it was the first class of the day, the students were a  bit lethargic and not interested in participating or responding to my questions.  I did not ask many questions of them and instead walked through the presentation and then through the worksheet.  I wasn't specific enough when I instructed them on how to complete the worksheet thoroughly.  By the end of the lesson I went over the citation aspect of research briskly, when I should have spent a lot more time setting an example using the Citation Machine.  The second time I taught the class was much better.  I engaged the students with questions and they responded well, I feel that they realized that they didn't know as much as they thought they did about Google searching and evaluating websites.  I noticed an improvement in the way they completed their worksheets as well.  I highly emphasized the importance of correctly citing information and spent more time going over this and explaining my expectations, as well as their teacher's.  I also think that using Prezi as my presentation tool made the lesson more engaging than it would have been had I used PowerPoint.

    Below is (1) the 3-page worksheet that was distributed to the students, (2) the Google Search Tips Prezi I created and used in class, and (3) an example of a group's final bibliography slide. 

(1)
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