Harvard Educational Review
  1. Fall 2014 Issue »

    Tacit Information Literacies in Beginning College Students

    Research Pedagogy in Geography

    NICHOLAS BAUCH AND CHRISTINA SHELDON

    Whereas instruction on how to conduct original research can build on beginning college students’ tacit information literacies, the explicit articulation of existing processes for information gathering is rarely elicited by instructors prior to students’ submission of a final research paper. In this essay, authors Nicholas Bauch and Christina Sheldon introduce surf maps and concept ladders as potential assignments to guide beginning college students in producing original scholarship in their Cultural Geography course. They find that these tools help novice researchers realize their information-seeking patterns and skills as well as potential gaps in their current practices. For students, a key outcome of harnessing their tacit information literacies is that it offers broader disciplinary relevance to their research projects, introducing them to the complexities of making claims and, most generally, the production of knowledge. For educators, identifying students’ tacit information-seeking skills and shortcomings helps in the creation of assignments that further advance students’ research skills.

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    Nicholas Bauch is a postdoctoral scholar at the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis and the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University. His primary research is a project entitled Enchanting the Desert, which digitally revives an early-twentieth-century photographic slide show of the Grand Canyon. His book, A Geography of Digestion: Biotechnology and the Kellogg Cereal Enterprise, will be published by the University of California Press in 2015. During the 2011–2012 academic year Bauch was an assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences and Environment at California State University, Los Angeles, where he worked with Christina Sheldon on a curriculum that sought to understand the research habits of beginning college students. This interest in research pedagogy stems from his work at Stanford University’s Introduction to Humanities program, where he taught undergraduate research for two years
     

    Christina Sheldon is a librarian at Pasadena City College (PCC) and Glendale Community College, where her instructional focus aims to assist students in success with information competencies from high school to university and beyond. She teaches and consults on curriculum development in PCC’s First Year Pathways program. Several original instructional games authored by Sheldon—including “Boolean Bingo!” and “Research Feud”—are featured chapters in Let the Games Begin! Engaging Students with Field-Tested Interactive Information Literacy (ALA Neal-Schuman, 2011). 

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    Fall 2014 Issue

    Abstracts

    Perceiving Learning Anew
    Social Interaction, Dignity, and Educational Rights
    MANUEL luis ESPINOZA AND SHIRIN VOSSOUGHI
    How Do You Say Twos in Spanish, If Two Is Dos?
    Language as Means and Object in a Bilingual Kindergarten Classroom
    NAOMI MULVIHILL
    Tacit Information Literacies in Beginning College Students
    Research Pedagogy in Geography
    NICHOLAS BAUCH AND CHRISTINA SHELDON
    Symposium
    Thinking and Learning
    The Challenge of Holistic Student Support
    Investigating Urban Adolescents’ Constructions of Support in the Context of School
    GRETCHEN BRION-MEISELS
    To Charter or Not to Charter
    What Questions Should We Ask, and What Will the Answers Tell Us?
    HARRY BRIGHOUSE AND GINA SCHOUTEN
    The Author Has the Last Word
    Buddy Editing in a First-Grade Classroom
    JESSIE L. AUGER

    Book Notes

    The Time Is Now
    Louie F. Rodríguez