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INFORMATION LITERACY INSTRUCTION AT THE USC LIBRARIES

The USC Libraries offers course-integrated information literacy workshops where learning outcomes are tailored specifically to the research needs of each classes’ project at the time of the session. Our workshop model provides instructors with the option of collaborating with librarians across multiple modalities, including in-person workshops in the instructor’s classroom or online instruction through the requesting instructor’s preferred online platform (e.g., Blackboard, Zoom).

To allow library instructors sufficient time to tailor instructional design methods and lesson plans to the needs of each class, we ask that faculty request research workshops at least seven business days in advance of the preferred session date. When requesting sessions, please allow time for our scheduler to connect each session with the appropriate library instructor.

In order to maximize the effectiveness of each workshop, the USC Libraries recommends the following Best Practices for Scheduling Information Literacy Instruction:

  • Information literacy instruction is most successful when the research workshop is organized specifically around the research project the students will actively be working on at the time of the session.  The research assignment as a problem context for the session leads to increased cognitive and affective engagement.
  • Information literacy instruction is most successful when students have had time to reflect on the research assignment, its requirements, and have had sufficient time to brainstorm potential approaches prior to the date of the session.  Workshops where assignments are introduced to students on the day of the session do not maximize learning.
  • Information literacy instruction is most successful when the library instructor is provided both the general course syllabus and the particular assignment the students are working on at the time of the session. This allows the library instructor to situate their lesson plan within the language of the course, which has been demonstrated to maximize learning and engagement.
  • Information literacy instruction is most successful when the session is organized around a limited number of learning outcomes. This maximizes engagement and avoids cognitive overload for students. It is recommended that faculty requesting instruction collaborate with library instructors to establish one or two demonstrable learning outcomes for the session and leave students enough time to practice these concepts once introduced.

 

For questions about information literacy at the USC Libraries, please contact Library Instruction at libinstr@usc.edu