The library partners with faculty in developing students' critical thinking skills, especially in the areas of identifying, accessing and analyzing the quality of supporting data or evidence used in argumentation and reasoning. The Association of College and Research Libraries calls these skills "information literacy": "a set of abilities requiring individuals to recognize when information is needed, and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information."
Woodruff librarians can work with you towards these goals in a number of ways:
- Providing research instruction classes
- Building on concepts in multiple, shorter sessions
- Creating a specialized course research guide for students
- Building library resources and skills into assignments
- Consultations with students or student groups
Research Instruction ClassesWe can give your students research demonstrations and hands-on practice in an interactive library session in the library or in your own classroom.
NOTE: Our assessment of student learning in library sessions has shown that students learn the library content BEST when the following apply:
- the class has been given a research assignment in advance
- the library session is close in time to the assignment due date (i.e. no more than 2-3 weeks in advance of the due date)
- the professor attends the library session
- the library session includes active learning
To arrange library instruction for your class:
- contact Erin Mooney (firstname.lastname@example.org, 404.727.6863); OR
- contact the appropriate Subject Librarian for your class; OR
- use the online Request a Library Class form
Building on Concepts in multiple, shorter sessionsBreaking a research assignment down into 4-5 smaller assignments or segments provides an opportunity to develop students into researchers and monitor their progress along the way. Librarians can be involved by providing short sessions focused on the particular skills needed at that point in the assignment. To get some ideas for ways to have the librarian work with your class in multiple, shorter sessions, see what this professor at the University of Massachusetts did.
Course Research Guides
- Librarians can prepare research guides tailored to your classwork to assist students with library research.
- Guides serve as portals for students to begin their research for your course, as well as offer guidance in effectively using research resources.
- These guides can augment a library instruction session or stand alone.
Assignment Design Assistance
- We can brainstorm assignment ideas with you (or see Creating Effective Research Assignments) and talk about elements of past assignments that have proven to be successful.
- We can recommend and suggest methods, ways, and resources to teach students research skills.
- We can review assignments to make sure we have the resources students will need to sucessfully complete the assignment, as well as to provide appropriate support when students have questions.
- Request personalized research consultations for your students with subject librarians who have extensive knowledge of the resources available in their respective disciplines.
- Consultations allow students to have a research experience tailored to their needs.
- Consultations can augment a library instruction session or serve as a stand alone service.
- Students can sign up for a consultation using the Request a Consultation form.