SSCI 3005 Assessment (2005-2006 to 2017-2018)

Course Description: SSCI 3005, Research and Information Literacy, provides students with an introduction to research. This two-unit course is a requirement for Social Sciences and History majors. Students are encouraged to take SSCI 3005 in conjunction with another course requiring research.

 

Weekly class assignments and discussion and debate of ethical issues involved with the use of information enable students to learn strategies to:

 

  • determine their information need,
  • find information efficiently and effectively using a wide variety of resources,
  • critically evaluate information,
  • synthesize information for their assignments,
  • and utilize information ethically and legally.

 

During the assessment period, twelve sections of the course were taught. Students were assessed throughout SSCI 3005. Assessments included weekly homework assignments, online discussion of ethical issues involving the use of information, and a cumulative project requiring an annotated bibliography on a specific research topic selected by the student.

 

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Self-Assessment of Information Literacy Skills: Each student completed a self-assessment of information literacy skills and prior knowledge of research given at the beginning and the conclusion of the course. This longitudinal survey measured competencies for information literacy identified by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). According to the ACRL (2000), an information literate individual is able to:

 

  • determine the extent of information needed,
  • access the needed information effectively and efficiently,
  • evaluate information and its sources critically,
  • incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base,
  • use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose,
  • and understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally.

 

Click the academic year to view the self-assessment of information literacy skills.

 

 

Academic Year

Term

Students

Location

Format

2005-2006

Spring

17

Stockton

Face-to-face

2006-2007

Fall

17

Stockton

Hybrid

2007-2008

Fall

10

Stockton

Hybrid

2008-2009

Fall

23

Turlock

Hybrid

2009-2010

Fall

24

Online

Online

2010-2011

Fall

24

Online

Online

2011-2012

Fall

51

Online

Online

2011-2012 Spring 65 Online Online

2012-2013

Fall

59

Online

Online

2012-2013

Spring

58

Online

Online

2013-2014

Fall

53

Online

Online

2013-2014

Spring

42

Online

Online
2014-2015 Fall 46 Online Online
2014-2015 Spring 30 Online Online
2015-2016 Fall 54 Online Online
2015-2016 Spring 25 Online Online
2016-2017 Fall 53 Online Online
2016-2017 Spring 29 Online Online
2017-2018 Fall TBA Online Online
2017-2018 Spring TBA Online Online

 

 

At the beginning of the course, many students perceived that they possessed good research skills. Their self-assessments at the conclusion of the course indicated that their level of information competence was enhanced during SSCI 3005. Students felt that their ability to identify their information need (Question 1) and utilize the library’s online resources to search and retrieve information (Questions 2-6, and Questions 9-11) had increased. Most importantly, students’ perceptions of their higher level skills markedly increased. Higher level skills include the ability to critically evaluate information (Questions 7 and 8), synthesize information (Question 13), properly cite sources (Question 12), and understand the ethical, legal, and economic issues associated with information use (Question 14).

 

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Annotated Bibliography Assignment: This cumulative project required students to compile an annotated bibliography of information resources on a specific research topic selected by the student. The annotated bibliography could also be used in conjunction with another course’s research assignment. The key component of the annotated bibliography was the critical evaluation of information using the following criteria:

 

  • the authority and qualifications of the author,
  • the subject, scope, and theme of the work,
  • any bias or limitations,
  • the intended audience for the work,
  • and any special features (charts, illustrations, statistics, etc.).

 

A rubric was used to measure proficiency in three categories:

 

  • thoroughness of research (including the critical evaluation of information in the annotation),
  • proper use of APA format to document sources (History majors had the option of using Chicago Style),
  • and writing style (proper use of language with good editing and minimal grammatical and spelling errors).

 

Click the academic year to view the annotated bibliography rubric.

 

 

Academic Year

Term

Annotated Bibliographies Submitted

Good or Exemplary

Projects

(80-100%)

Fair Projects

(70-79%)

Poor Projects

(below 70%)

2005-2006

Spring

17

17

0

0

2006-2007

Fall

14

11

3

0

2007-2008

Fall

8

8

0

0

2008-2009

Fall

21

20

1

0

2009-2010

Fall

23

20

3

0

2010-2011

Fall

23

19

4

0

2011-2012

Fall

44

34

10

0

2011-2012

Spring

60

52

8

0

2012-2013

Fall

42

40

2

0

2012-2013

Spring

44

39

3

2

2013-2014

Fall

39

35

3

1

2013-2014

Spring

24

21

3

0

2014-2015 Fall 30 28 2 0
2014-2015 Spring 24 23 0 1
2015-2016 Fall 34 28 5 1
2015-2016 Spring 20 17 2 1
2016-2017 Fall 38 34 3 1
2016-2017 Spring 26 26 0 0
2017-2018 Fall TBA TBA TBA TBA
2017-2018 Spring TBA TBA TBA TBA

 

 

89% of the students evaluated scored in the good (80-89%) or exemplary (90-100%) range in all three rubric categories (cumulative total of all three categories). 10% of the students evaluated scored in the fair range (70-79%). Higher level skills of critical evaluation and synthesis of information were measured by the rubric category of thoroughness of research. The rubric category of proper use of APA format also addressed the higher level skill of understanding the ethical and legal issues associated with information use (plagiarism prevention). Cresswell and Plano Clark (2011) identified the quantitative reliability of an assessment as the consistency and stability of scores over a period of time (p. 211). The consistent demonstration of proficiency on the annotated bibliography assignment correlates with students’ self-assessments indicating that their information literacy skills were enhanced during SSCI 3005.

 

 

References

 

Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). (2000). Information literacy

competency standards for higher education. Retrieved from

http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/informationliteracycompetency

 

Cresswell, J. W., & Plano Clark, V. L. (2011). Designing and conducting mixed methods

research (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

 

Last updated May 18, 2017 by Warren Jacobs, Reference/Instruction Librarian

Library Instruction Program  

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