Annual IATUL Conference 2017 has ended
Monday, June 19 • 3:00pm - 3:30pm
1a: Précis Plus: A Collaborative Approach to Teaching Information Literacy

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Research papers have been widely used as an assignment in higher education. While they can be effective in reinforcing students’ learning and fostering higher level applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating skills to some degree, they are often overwhelming for lower lever undergraduate students. Meanwhile, librarians confront challenges of integrating recently-published ACRL’s Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education into information literacy training.

McGill University in Montreal, Canada has been making efforts to embed librarian services in students’ learning experiences. In the past two years, the instructors of an undergraduate geography course adopted a new assignment, Précis Plus, to replace the research paper that were used for a decade. Similar to a typical Précis assignment, Précis Plus required students to write a concise, coherent, critical summary of a scientific paper. Beyond that, it also required students to assess the legacy of the scientific paper and select examples from the contemporary literature to demonstrate how that legacy has manifested itself still relevant to research questions today. These learning objectives are aligned with the concepts of Research as Inquiry, Scholarship as Conversation, and Searching as Strategic Exploration as established in the ACRL’s Framework. To well equip students for the assignment, the geography liaison librarians were invited to deliver a 90-minute library session to the class which consisted of (1) locating full text for a known reference, (2) tracing articles that cite a given paper, and (3) keeping references organized in the research process. Student assessment revealed that students were fairly receptive to the new assignment and library session, and the improved quality of assignments attested the effectiveness of using Précis Plus to achieve the course’s goals.

This presentation will report on this faculty and librarians’ collaboration. Challenges, success, and lessons of using Précis Plus as a term project in an undergraduate science course will be discussed.


Nigel Roulet

Professor of Biogeosciences and Chair, Department of Geography, McGill University

Jennifer Zhao

Liaison Librarian for computer science, electrical and computer engineering, and physical geography, McGill University's Schulich Library of Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and Engineering
Jennifer Zhao is the liaison librarian for computer science, electrical and computer engineering, and physical geography at McGill University's Schulich Library of Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and Engineering in Montreal, Canada. Her research interests include information literacy... Read More →

Monday June 19, 2017 3:00pm - 3:30pm PDT
C2.01 - 2nd floor Free University of Bolzano-Bozen

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