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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Evaluating Information: How Librarians Use an Instructional Scaffolding Activity to Support Teaching and Learning in General Education

Rachel Radom, Assistant Professor and Instructional Services Librarian for Undergraduate ProgramsLibraries

Instructional services librarians at the University of Tennessee Libraries support General Education outcomes by offering library instruction sessions to help students acclimate to the research community. In particular, library instructors use a variety of activities to develop students’ information literacy skills. One activity used in English 101 sessions is an information evaluation assessment using the 5 Ws (who, what, when, etc.). The assessment is a scaffolding activity, using a concept already familiar to students but applying it to understand increasingly complex contexts. Last semester, librarians sent follow-up surveys to students to assess their retention of the evaluation method three weeks after the library session. Instructors were also surveyed about the perceived value of the library’s information evaluation instruction. Preliminary results indicate that students are recalling and using this information evaluation method, and that instructors are using the 5 Ws outside of the library session to support their own teaching.​

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