Integrating Information Literacy into the Science Curriculum

Cecelia Brown, Lee R. Krumholz


A science librarian and a microbiology professor collaborated to assess information-seeking, evaluating, and usage abilities before, during, and at the end of a senior-level geomicrobiology course. ACRL’s Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education was used as a guide in designing a survey and checklists to measure literacy levels. Following an initial survey of the students’ information literacy level, two instruction sessions were provided in the use of bibliographic finding tools available from the University of Oklahoma Libraries. During each subsequent class meeting, students presented, critiqued, and discussed a referred article. The cycle was repeated, and the survey was administered again at the end of the semester. The survey results indicated an 11 percent increase in information literacy, but no significant improvement in the students’ ability to present, critique, and discuss information. A model for incorporating information literacy into upper-level undergraduate science courses and an instrument for measuring information literacy are proposed.

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