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Information Literacy Habits of Mind (HOMs) Toolkit

Inquiry lesson plan

Context: This is an example of a 75-minute session that is best suited for a first-year course that introduces basic information literacy concepts.

Assessment: This lesson plan provides assessment artifacts in the form of the keyword worksheet and database exploration Google Doc.

0-5 minutes: Introduction/ice breaker

5-10 minutes: Heads Up

10-15 minutes: Model breaking up a research question into keywords

15-25 minutes: Students complete keyword worksheet

25-60 minutes: Explore databases with a Google Doc

60-65 minutes: Introduce citation managers

65-75 minutes: Reflection and closing

Choosing a Topic

Context: This activity is best suited as a part of a larger lesson for learning outcomes related to topic selection and refinement.

Assessment: These handouts can be used as a formative assessment of student learning. The facilitator should use the completed flow charts or worksheets to determine if students understand the concept.

Total time: 10 minutes

This handout leads students through the process of authentic topic selection. By following this flow chart, students will be encouraged to choose a paper topic that genuinely interests them, leading to increased engagement with the assignment. Before using this handout, consider modeling this process to the students using their assignment as an example.

Below are additional options for outcomes related to topic development.

Explaining Keywords with HeadsUp

Context: This game is best suited at the beginning of a teaching strategy for learning outcomes about keywords. After the game is played, the instructor makes the connection between the game and keyword development.

Assessment: This game provides no assessment, and cannot be used to assess student learning. Instead, this game is used to introduce students to a concept (not apply the concept).

Time: 10 minutes

The HeadsUp game is played using Powerpoint and challenges students to help two student volunteers with their backs to the board guess the words on the Powerpoint behind them. The game is best used at the beginning of a class focused on keywords and research questions and is a fun, interactive way to get students thinking about the keywords and related terms for their research question.

Generating Keywords

Context: These handouts are best suited as part of a teaching strategy for learning outcomes related to topic development and/or developing keywords.

Assessment: These worksheets can be used as a formative assessment of student learning. The facilitator uses these handouts in class to ensure students are understanding the concepts.

Time: 10 minutes

5-10 minutes; active learning

This handout can be used as an option for brainstorming keywords through concept mapping. It could also be used as a jumping-off point for more complicated concept-mapping endeavors.

Below are additional activities for learning outcomes related to developing keywords.

Exploring or comparing databases

Context: This activity can be used as part of a teaching strategy for learning outcomes related to matching search strategies or information needs to appropriate search tools.

Assessment: As a Google Doc, this can be used as a summative assessment, or as a formative assessment to ensure students can apply the concepts from the lesson.

Time: 25+ minutes

Below is another option for learning outcomes related to matching search strategies to appropriate search tools.

In this exercise, students are split up in groups, and are walked through searching the same topic in two different databases. The topics of their search are relevant to their class, but supplied by the librarian. Students will have to find relevant keywords, revise their search, and repeat the process in a different database.

During this exercise, students will practice iterative searching, refining a search strategy, and comparing databases for relevancy and nuance of coverage.

The exercise is followed by a conversation about the exercise with the whole class.

Course guide resources

Ask students to consider this chart prior to searching for information. Consider having students pair and share, going through an example/student topic with the whole class or having students work through chart prior to an instruction session. Consider teaching types of sources (bonus: cover evaluation, too) within the context of the chart.