Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Science Information Literacy Tutorial

I have been interested in creating a science information tutorial for a while now, but it looks like I am too slow. The fabulous librarians at University of California-Irvine have created an interesting, fast-paced, informative tutorial on the topic. In addition, an article on its creation has been published in the open-access journal Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship:

An Undergraduate Science Information Literacy Tutorial in a Web 2.0 World by Jeanine Marie Scaramozzino, Fall 2008.

The tutorial, which includes interactive reviews, pretests, and videos, went through extensive user testing with science and nonscience undergraduates. The tutorial has 3 sections covering the scientific method, peer review, information formats, information evaluation, and plagiarism--a great deal of information in a relatively short format. The introduction to each section offers a completion time, although I found it took slightly longer than the suggested time (maybe I just read slowly!). Nevertheless, the information is packaged in an engaging manner and did not feel overly long.

At Eckerd, our library classes revolve around particular assignments, although I work to include some of the more "critical thinking" aspects of information literacy. In addition, the Marine Science program is working to include more assignments that address particular aspects of science information literacy, such as this semester's IMS assignment dealing with the information cycle, and recognizing the differences between certain information formats (namely popular and scholarly science articles).

However, I understand that it is difficult to fit even more instruction into an already packed curriculum, and this is why I love the idea of a tutorial. I applaud UCI librarians for their hard work. Guests can access the tutorial although they cannot print completion certificates. Except for the specific references to the UCI libraries, the information is universal so it's something students could work on during lab or in the evenings.

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