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Instructional Inspirations: Issue # 4 November 2009

This guide identifies a variety of activities, online tools, web 2.0 technologies and videos to enhance information literacy instruction.

November 2009

This month we focus on how librarians in our District are teaching online. A common thread in our inspirations is the use of discussion boards to facilitate teaching and learning.

Using the CRAAP test with an online ENG 102 Course
Kim Chuppa-Cornell, CGCC

Kim Chuppa-Cornell collaborated with an ENG 102 instructor to teach students how to evaluate information resources. The students completed two CRAAP test activities, one to evaluate a website and one to evaluate a database article (both assignments are posted below). The class was taught online using BlackBoard, so the materials were posted to the course site and the test function was used to so that students could submit their work online. After the activities were completed, students posted their main findings to the BlackBoard discussion for the week, which Kim facilitated. Students found the activity to be eye opening, as indicated by their posts. Here’s an example:  I figured the purpose of the activity was to see the difference between actual information from legitimate databases and propaganda that may or may not have any facts. I get that. I think it can be too easy to just jump at the first hit you get on the Web, and think 'okay, that looks good and sounds good, so I'll go with that.' I also think that a lot of Web sites are in fact crap, but if they include works cited, it may be worth looking into. I would, however, now go with a database first and foremost for a research project." 

Assessing Writing Skills in IFS 101
Karen Biglin, SCC

Karen Biglin, who teaches IFS 101 online, is conducting an assessment of students' writing skills using discussion board assignments. The assignments require students to read background material and then respond to thought provoking prompts related to government regulation of file sharing over the internet, the use of Wikipedia for research, the future of Google, and other topics. The assignments will be scored using a rubric (posted below) which includes the following elements: main purpose, language, organization, supporting evidence, and mechanics.
Karen will use this assessment to determine strengths and weaknesses in writing skills and then develop an instructional unit next semester to address any weaknesses.