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Information Literacy is designated as one of NECC’s six Core Academic Skills, which grew out of the college’s 2009 Vision Statement to reflect those skills which faculty and staff determined are essential to ensure students’ adequate preparation for further academic pursuits and careers.

Students seeking an Associate’s Degree in any field at NECC must complete at least one course that has been designated as “intensive” in each of the six Core Academic Skills, including Information Literacy.

IL Intensive courses are designed to actively develop information literacy skills in students to better prepare them for the information landscape in which they live and work. In an IL Intensive course, students will:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the research process as it applies to the coursework for the class, as well as to the broader field
  • Actively engage in evaluating information sources for authority, bias, purpose, and relevance
  • Utilize various types and formats of information resources to achieve specific research goals, and demonstrate an understanding of the applicability of different types of information to serve different purposes
  • Access the library (physically and/or virtually) to find sources using the library’s print and/or electronic collections
  • Use information ethically and legally, and demonstrate the ability to properly credit and incorporate information sources into your work

Information Literacy Intensive classes must:

  • Participate in at least one librarian-taught session where students will be introduced to the College’s specific research resources;
  • Broadly address information creation, use, and dissemination;
  • Have at least one other “library checkpoint” during the term.

The library has created a guide specifically for Information Literacy Intensive designated courses to help faculty incorporate this CAS into their curriculum.

 

Information Literacy & Research Instruction

Librarian-led Information Literacy instruction is required for any course designated as “Information Literacy Intensive” to fulfill an NECC Core Academic Skills requirement, but is also available for any course regardless of CAS designation.

Sessions may be scheduled at any time the library is open, including evenings. Classes are taught by a Librarian, but we require that the class instructor must also be present.

We ask for at least one week of advance notice when scheduling instruction in order to allow adequate preparation time. It is also helpful for the librarian to have a copy of the assignment and/or syllabus as this will help us tailor the session to your students’ specific needs.

In addition to familiarizing students with the basics of using library resources, some topics we can cover include:

  • The Architecture of Information – Understanding where different types of information in the discipline “live,” where we search for it, how it is produced, and how we understand data about data (catalog and database records, using subject terms for search, etc.)
  • Source Evaluation – Understanding the difference between types of sources and evaluating them for purpose, use, audience, and relevance. Exploring the ideas of authority and credibility, and why those might change based on the intended use of the information.
  • Advanced Web – Understanding domain names, the open nature of the web, how search engines rank information, the impact of social media, and how to evaluate a web source for reliability, accuracy and bias.
  • Citation – Not just how to cite, but why we cite, and how citation creates connections and context around information.
  • Ethics of Information – Understanding plagiarism, how to responsibly use and share information, “fake news,” copyright, digital rights, and open access.
  • NoodleTools – NoodleTools is a bibliography-generator (supporting APA, MLA, and Chicago styles) that helps students to properly cite their sources. Students will set up their NoodleTools accounts and learn how to add different types of sources to their bibliography.

Sessions are most effective when students have begun a research project, and are best taught in a lab setting where each student has access to a computer. The library on each campus has a computer classroom specifically for this purpose.

To schedule a class in Haverhill library please call 978-556-3401 or email Laura Mondt at lmondt@necc.mass.edu. To schedule a class in Lawrence call 978-738-7400 or email Jenny Fielding at jfielding@necc.mass.edu.

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