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Library Instruction for Information Literacy & Critical Thinking

Librarians partner with instructors to advance information literacy and critical thinking throughout the curriculum. Critical thinking is closely intertwined with information literacy, which is defined by the Association of College and Research Libraries as "the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning." Learn more about information literacy. 

At OHIO, we start exposing students to the basics of what it means to navigate scholarship at orientation and build on that as students progress through their studies. Some aspects of information literacy are embedded in the OHIO Guarantee+ program, ensuring that all students who opt-in to that program are exposed to these key learning opportunities. In fact, the first information literacy milestone is integrated into the UC courses nearly all OHIO students are required to successfully complete. From there, additional milestones for each major are integrated as curricular or co-curricular learning opportunities for students as they work their way through their majors. Learn more about Information Literacy in the OHIO Guarantee+ program.

Additionally, we encourage all instructors to consider how and why their students might be interacting with library resources or learning from librarians and to discuss with their subject or regional campus librarian how best to support students in these efforts. Librarians can deliver instruction to your class in-person or online, asynchronously or synchronously. Here are some of the type of collaborations librarians and instructors have used to advance student learning:

Examples of Recent Collaborations for Online Learning

Even at a distance, librarians are available to support your undergraduate and graduate students in developing information-related skills and using information tools.

  • Chad Boeninger created an Industry & Market Research Basics Tutorial for students in the College of Business cluster.  Students interact with the extensive tutorial through their courses in MS Teams alongside Chad’s Home Improvement Stores Industry Guide.
  • John Canter developed four tutorials for a mechanical engineering capstone course to help student teams focus their research needs for their design projects.
  • Dr. Chris Guder worked with instructional designer Jody Monk to create videos on variety of topics such as developing a research vocabulary and using Zotero. These were incorporated into graduate research methods courses using Blackboard.
  • Dr. Miriam Intrator developed a series of asynchronous tutorials that, paired with synchronous discussion sessions, introduce students to various concepts and methods of primary source research, teach students to define and identify primary source materials and to use the Libraries’ Digital Archives for searching, viewing, and downloading digitized archival content.
  • Michele Jennings hosted a live Wikipedia edit-a-thon event for students in a photography class, and she has created a new guide and short quiz on Fair Use and Creative Commons for Images.
  • Sherri Saines designed a worksheet that walks students step-by-step through locating, evaluating, and citing information using library tools.  The flexible assignment can be used synchronously or asynchronously, within or outside of Blackboard.
  • Hanna Schmillen is embedded within Blackboard in a family and child studies course, where she offers an information literacy instructional module and an assignment that serve as a foundation for assignments later in the course. 
  • Janelle Hubble led the collaboration between Ohio University Zanesville and Ohio University Eastern UC 1000 instructors to revise existing and create new course content for online synchronous and asynchronous delivery. She created a Blackboard shell, organized the content for instructor use, and assisted them in their use of unfamiliar technology.
  • Judy Carey Nevin worked with a professor in Technical Applied Studies at Ohio University Lancaster campus. Her library intro video was used in all his classes and additional videos were created specific to his various classes and assignments.
  • Dr. Chris GuderDr. Carla Williams, lorraine wochna, and Hanna Schmillen supported graduate students in their areas by mentoring researchers, consulting on literature reviews, suggesting edits, and participating on thesis/dissertation committees online.
  • Dr. Carla Williams co-taught (with Dr. Richard Wetzel, Professor, school of music) MUS 6200: Seminar in Theory, Music History and Literature on MS Teams in Spring 2021.
  • Paul Campbell and Dr. Miriam Intrator supported the transition of one of Dr. Jennifer Fredette’s political science courses to online asynchronous delivery that included using various educational technologies to convert nearly all of the course’s in-person activities (five sessions that centered on hands-on engagement with original primary source materials, discussion, small group work, and active learning) to the online and asynchronous environment.
  • Hanna Schmillen taught an online session about misinformation related to COVID-19. The goal of the specific course was to help health professionals navigate public health education and health outreach to the general public. Prior to the live online session, students completed an activity to debunk a COVID-19 conspiracy theory. The live session included a facilitated discussion around the information students found related to the activity and how to talk to the general public about misinformation.
  • Hanna Schmillen transformed several of her live, in-person library instruction sessions into asynchronous sessions in response to the need for hybrid learning during the pandemic. Two examples can be found on her Social & Public Health Guide: 3400J is a grant writing course where students have to complete two parts, both with an activity and lecture; HLTH 6710 (Health Behavior Theory) requires students write a comprehensive critique of the professional literature based on a health behavior problem discussed in the course. In support of this assignment, Hanna created this asynchronous activity to help students learn how to effectively search library databases.