Academic journal article Academic Exchange Quarterly

Collaborating for Information Literacy

Academic journal article Academic Exchange Quarterly

Collaborating for Information Literacy

Article excerpt


This article describes a faculty-librarian collaborative project to help students develop information literacy and research skills and apply those skills to their education research project. Information literacy components and course-specific library resources were integrated seamlessly into a graduate level research seminar. Technologies were also utilized to enhance teaching and learning, including the Blackboard Learning System, online discussion boards and the Turnitin plagiarism prevention system.


With the boom in information technology, there has arisen the widespread practice of plagiarism and the use of essentially Internet sources for research assignments (Liles & Rozalski, 2004; Cheney, 2004). Study conducted by the Center for Academic Integrity finds levels of cheating and plagiarism remain high, with 70% of students admitting to some cheating (McCable, 2005). Although students today have access to vast sources of information, many lack information literacy and library skills to find, critically evaluate, synthesize and apply information in a meaningful way (Cooney & Hiris, 2003; Fitzgerald, 2004; Lampert, 2005). Violations of academic honesty on the one hand, and the opportunities offered by the library of having access to sources of doing work of a high quality now require that librarians and faculty work together.

To have the most effective impact, librarians need to collaborate with faculty in integrating information literacy into the curriculum (Lampert, 2005; McCulley and Hare, 2005; Ward, 2006). The benefits of such collaboration have gained a lot of attention in recent literature. Raspa and Ward (2000) showed how librarian-faculty collaboration on information literacy initiatives led to increased communication, greater alignment, and improved learning outcomes. Lampert (2005) presented a faculty-librarian collaborative model for incorporating information literacy instruction into preservice programs for future educators that fosters information literacy and life-long learning. Auer and Krupar (2001), and Lampert (2004) emphasized the need for faculty-librarian collaboration in developing effective approaches to educate students about plagiarism. This article describes how a faculty from education department joined forces with a librarian to build an effective teaching alliance to help students develop information literacy and complete a literature review paper for a capstone education research course.


The faculty and librarian began to plan the library instruction program prior to the Fall 2005 semester. Course requirements, learning objectives, and students' characteristics were discussed. The course required each student to conduct a literature review on an educational technology topic. Students were required to select at least 15 research-oriented journal articles to support their research paper and write the paper in APA format. The main objectives of the teaching alliance were to help students conduct effective research using library resources and avoid plagiarism. To help achieve the objectives, the faculty and librarian decided to implement these strategies:

* Integrate information literacy and library instruction into the course curriculum.

* Develop course-specific library resources and incorporate them into the Blackboard course website.

* Provide two library instruction sessions that covers the use of library databases, Turnitin plagiarism prevention system, and APA style.

* Use Blackboard, especially its discussion board feature to facilitate learning outside class.

The main components of the library instruction sessions; planning, implementation and evaluation of the faculty-librarian collaboration are discussed below:

Online Resources and Support

The faculty and librarian worked together to develop a Blackboard course website that contained course content and course-related library resources. …

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