Integrating Information Literacy Instruction in an Upper-Division Writing-Intensive Class
Writing-intensive courses are a required component of undergraduate education at the University of South Alabama, but often the courses are designed to test students’ writing skills, rather than to teach the research and writing process. In the fall of 2008, an instruction librarian and an assistant professor in political science collaborated to redesign one writing intensive course, Public Administration (PSC 401), in an attempt to address this dilemma. This project was born out of frustration – frustration on the part of the professor about the generally poor quality of writing and research skills by students in the course the previous year, and frustration on the part of the librarian at a lack of opportunities for integrating information literacy instruction (beyond one-shot bibliographic instruction sessions) into the curriculum. The project was also born out of optimism that a new approach could make a difference in improving students’ abilities in terms of researching and writing papers.