Critical Information Literacy (CIL) Workshop Program



Vision:

CSUSB graduates who attend our workshops series have a conceptual framework for thinking about information, and they know how and where to find the information they need to be informed citizens and engaged professionals.

Mission:

The CIL workshop series teaches CSUSB students not only how to access information for their college courses and their future professions, but also how to think critically about all information and its role in social change.

Student Learning Outcomes

Our workshop program helps students to:

  1. distinguish search engines from proprietary databases, recognizing the economic and research implications of both;
  2. create and use effective search strategies in order to engage actively and confidently in recursive research processes;
  3. distinguish popular discourse from academic discourse, with the awareness that each has its own distinct purpose and audience;
  4. evaluate the credibility of information by its source and through investigation of its rhetorical and social context;
  5. use information ethically, recognizing the essential value of attribution in an information society.

Workshop Content:

Freshman:

Workshop #1:

  • What college research is about
  • The difference between Google and the Deep Web
  • Keyword searching in the Deep Web

Workshop #2:

  • The secret of the Information Cycle
  • How to identify different kinds of sources
  • Limiting your search according to your assignment

Workshop #3:

  • Browsing: finding out what scholars know about your topic
  • How to read an abstract
  • Choose articles that are relevant to your assignment

Workshop #4:

  • Every citation is unique
  • Why there are different citation styles
  • Getting ready to use citation generators

Junior: (coming soon)

Workshop Design

The library’s workshops all follow the same general design. Students are encouraged to adopt a meta-cognitive approach to information. The librarian facilitating the workshop introduces the concept under examination and creates situations in which students practice associated ways of working with and thinking about information. Students engage in activities and discussion rather than listen to a lecture or observe long demonstrations of the use of sources. Our assumption is that students are comfortable with search technology and inclined toward discovering things on their own. Students work in pairs or in small groups to negotiate research scenarios and express their questions and ideas. Each session ends with a knowledge test and a free-write survey in which students reflect on the conceptual knowledge they addressed during the session and whose results are assessed through content analysis. Students leave our sessions having experimented with a new way of thinking about information that relates to the world as they know it and that helps them to do research for their classes.

Workshop #1: The Deep Web

Student Learning Outcome: "Students will distinguish search engines from proprietary databases, recognizing the economic and research implications of both."

The overarching goal of the first workshop of both series is to introduce students to the deep Web, where much of the information that influences social change lives and grows. In most cases, our students are unaware that there is information beyond that which they can access using public search engines. Freshmen are introduced to the free vs. fee paradigm and how it impacts their search for information in their college courses. Juniors will learn about the dynamics of deep Web content and how this dynamic influences the information they find in college and in the professions.

Workshop #2: The Information Cycle

Student Learning Outcome: Students will distinguish popular discourse from academic discourse, with the awareness that each has its own distinct purpose and audience.

The overarching goal of the second workshop in both series is to teach students about the different spheres of information — popular and scholarly — and how these two spheres are related to each other and to their lives. Freshmen experiment with the information cycle and make distinctions between the editorial practices and purposes of popular and scholarly information in order to distinguish the social value of both spheres. Juniors will delve into the scholarly realm and discover the differences among the various disciplines, finding that different professions approach issues in different ways. This lays the foundation for understanding credibility in the next workshop.

Workshop #3: Credibility

Student Learning Outcome: Students will evaluate the credibility of information by its source and through investigation of its rhetorical and social context.

The overarching goal of the third workshop of both series is to help students focus on context and make determinations about relevance. Having learned about purpose and audience in the previous workshop, freshmen are now prepared to make choices about where to find and how to analyze information for relevance to their particular assignments. Juniors will explore the scholarly literature in more depth, focusing on finding and analyzing the genres of the various fields, which will prepare them to work with these genres in their upper-division courses and in their future professions.

Workshop #4: Attribution

Student Learning Outcome: Students will use information ethically, recognizing the essential value of attribution in an information society.

The overarching goal of the fourth workshop of both series is to help students see that knowledge production is a continual process that involves many voices, and that every voice along the way is important. Information comes from people with ideas that are built upon previous ideas and so on. Attribution maintains the lineage, preserving the integrity of information for future study both personally and professionally. Freshmen learn the purpose of citations, and juniors will use citation information to trace a scholarly conversation and consider the significance of gaps in the literature

Workshop Assessment

Our workshop activities prompt students to practice a skill, discover a new feature, analyze differences, and/or describe a process. Our pre- and post-surveys prompt students for an explanation of a concept, a comparison of characteristics, and a reflection on their learning. We measure student learning in each workshop in two ways: we assess students’ work on workshop activities, and we assess students’ responses and reflections in pre- and post-surveys and knowledge tests. Please contact Barbara Quarton for more information about specific rubrics and measures.

Student Testimonials

"This workshop was very helpful to me and I recommend for anyone who has trouble with research to come to this workshop."

"Definitely I loved the workshops, I apply the lesson every time I research for a paper or do a project. The workshops showed me what kinds of tool csusb website had for me as a student. I learned plenty and I teach my fellow students when the chance comes up."

"Great information, wish I came before my paper was due."

"This was a great workshop. I leave here today knowing totally new information. I'm very glad I came and I can't wait for Workshop two."

"Yet again, it was a great workshop. I learned some new stuff."

"The library workshop was very helpful and yes I do use what I learned. I had many projects and essays to write and the information from the workshop helped a lot. Thank you so much and I hope you continue to help other freshman."

"SOO helpful! Straight to the point and easy to understand."

"Very informative and very helpful for my research paper for English coming up."

"Yes I actually did incorporate what I learned from the workshops. One way it became useful was for my various English essays when looking up sources on how to support my thesis or claim. I was proud to get all As on my three English essays particularly because of the help."