Academic seminar with generally uniform academic content across sections
Academic Seminar with Uniform Content Course Description:
"May be an interdisciplinary or theme-oriented course, sometimes part of a general education requirement. Primary focus is on academic theme/discipline but will often include academic skills components such as critical thinking and expository writing."
Approaches at Different Institutions
Bowling Green State University
BGSU 4+/pub/med //Contact: Colleen Boff
First year students in the Honors Program are typically enrolled during their first semester in Honors 201: Introduction to Critical Thinking. The following activity has worked well.
Librarian briefly explains the difference between popular, trade and scholarly journals. Students are placed in small groups of four or five and assigned roles of reader, recorder, time keeper, and speaker. Each group is given 15 minutes to read a brief article from a current news source and asked to locate the study referred to in the article. Each group is then given an opportunity to explain and demonstrate how they located, or attempted to locate, the primary source mentioned in the article. The librarian acts as the facilitator and points out ways to approach finding the primary source material via the library resources or other appropriate mechanisms.
I've also been piloting the use of wikis with two sections of this course.
The professor has students working in small groups to explore specific topics. They each have to find articles, provide analysis of the arguments presented in the article, and then critique each others work as well. The librarian and the professor also chime in when appropriate using this social networking tool. Both wikis are closed to the public to protect the privacy of the students enrolled in the courses.
First Year Inquiry
This is a pilot initiative at BGSU with three sections running in fall 2008. The course planning committee was in agreement that they wanted to see a strong library component in the course, one that touched upon critical examination of information and the information literacy skills necessary for the 21st century. Two LibGuides have been created to support this course: Academic Integrity and Evaluating Sources.