Information Literacy Program

Library Instruction

Pepperdine Librarians provide in-class instruction, workshops and individual consultations in information-seeking skills and in the use of library resources.

Instruction goals may include the ability to:

  • articulate and focus information needs
  • develop information gathering strategies which save the researcher time
  • search electronic and print databases
  • use Internet resources to research a topic
  • evaluate sources of information
  • apply information ethics (citing sources and fair use policy)

Schedule Instruction

Your subject liaison will work with you and your class to develop research skills specific to your discipline. Please schedule your class at least one week in advance. If you have general questions about library instruction, please contact at x4262.

InfoGuides

Our librarians have created over 200 InfoGuides specific to courses and collections available to the Pepperdine community. These guides help users navigate our collections and identify the most useful resources and tools for their research. InfoGuides can be viewed online by anyone, but to access the databases within the guides users will need to log in through WaveNet.


Information Competencies

Undergraduate

Orientation

1. Learning Outcome: The student is able to identify Pepperdine Libraries' services and collections and the personnel who can help locate needed information.

Criteria:

The student is able to:

    • describe Payson Library as part of the larger network of Pepperdine information sources and can explain the collection strengths of the various Pepperdine libraries
    • locate specialized collections on a Payson Library floor plan and both locate and explain the purpose of some primary service areas
    • explain how the Pepperdine ID acts as a library card, how long the loan periods for materials are, and how to renew books online
    • explain how to use a network ID for access to electronic resources
    • locate a book, journal article, or other material placed on Reserve by a professor

Assessment: The student completes a Quiz after completing the Library Catalog Tutorials

2. Learning Outcome: The student is able to physically locate information resources on a given topic.

Criteria:

The student is able to:

    • locate identified journal articles in the Library
    • locate Payson Library books on the shelf by call number
    • explain how to get books/journals from Pepperdine Center Libraries and how to complete a Pepperdine Campus Loan form
    • explain the function of Interlibrary Loan for obtaining books/journal articles not owned by the Pepperdine Libraries

Assessment: The student completes a Quiz after completing the Library Catalog Tutorials

Instruction

1. Learning Outcome: The student is able to develop a plan for gathering information on a topic.

Criteria:

    • A library search strategy is planned and refined as the student is able to:
      • state a topic either in a sentence or as a question
      • identify main concepts in the question
      • state the concepts as terms that may be searched
      • develop a list of synonyms & related terms
    • The student is able to use the online catalog to locate a source which defines and summarizes issues in the research topic.
    • The student is able to explain the benefits of using sources which summarize topics.
      • The student understands what the problems and issues are in the field.
      • The student is able to identify and challenge assumptions/ biases as they appear in a more specific source, such as a journal article or book written by one or a few authors.
      • The student is able to compare ideas expressed in a more specific source to conventional wisdom, established scholarship, professional practice, government policy, etc. Included in class discussion on evaluating sources.
    • Using a source which summarizes the chosen topic, the student is able to identify the main issues for the topic.

Assessment: Student completes exercise in class utilizing databases.

2. Learning Outcome: The student is able to identify print and electronic information sources on a topic (book titles and journal article citations/abstracts/full text documents).

Criteria:

The student is able to:

    • identify and explain the four access points for information: author, title, subject, and keyword
    • use Pepperdine's online catalog to identify materials held by the Pepperdine Libraries
      • search by title, author, subject, and keyword
      • interpret the screen (find the call number, location description, citation elements, subjects, material's format)
      • retrieve the longer description for a book
      • do a keyword search, identify a useful/ appropriate item, and then retrieve subject headings for that topic
    • identify journal articles on the given topic by using the appropriate electronic database
    • define and give examples of truncation proximity, and field-specific searching

Assessment: Student completes exercise in class utilizing databases; librarian obtains bibliographies created later in semester and evaluates. Librarians examine papers in Junior Writing Portfolio to see that appropriate and varied library sources have been utilized.

3. Learning Outcome: The student is able to further refine the research question.

Criteria:

    • After doing a preliminary search for information on the topic, the student is able to narrow or broaden the topic question as necessary.
      • Generally speaking, researching very broad, general topics, such as "the causes of World War II" yield so much information that it is difficult to deal with even in a term paper. The topic/ question needs to be more specific.
      • On the other hand, a very specific and recent incident may not have much written on it yet, so the student may need to look at the broader problem or issue underlying the incident. First year students learn how to broaden topic by utilizing synonyms, truncation, thesauri

Assessment: Student completes exercise which requires the student to write a research topic or questions.

4. Learning Outcome: The student is able to evaluate sources of information, including internet sources.

Criteria:

The student is able to:

    • explain differences between scholarly and popular journal titles
    • evaluate a given book or journal article and can explain inherent biases or limitations (e.g. look at author or organizational source of information, date material was published, etc)
    • differentiate between primary and secondary sources
    • know when it is appropriate to use internet sites for research
    • evaluate information retrieved on the Internet
    • use a variety of different sources and not just rely on the internet

Assessment: Student completes exercise in class utilizing databases; librarian obtains bibliographies created later in semester and evaluates. Librarians examine papers in Junior Writing Portfolio to see that appropriate and varied library sources have been utilized.

5. Learning Outcome: The student understands information ethics: citing sources and Fair Use Policy.

Criteria:

The student is able to:

    • identify the bibliographic elements essential for properly citing an information source
    • apply appropriate ethical guidelines to the use and citing of information
    • identify Pepperdine's Academic Integrity home page
    • understand of copyright and plagiarism
    • recognize that existing information or raw data can be combined with original thought to make new information
    • understand that Pepperdine uses plagiarism detection software

Assessment: Student completes exercise in class utilizing databases; librarian obtains bibliographies created later in semester and evaluates. Librarians examine papers in Junior Writing Portfolio to see that appropriate and varied library sources have been utilized.

Graduate

1. Learning Outcome: The student possesses sophisticated and in-depth knowledge of the literature of a specific discipline.

Criteria:

    • The student is able to discuss special characteristics of the literature.
    • The student is able to discuss the scholarly communication process in the discipline.

Assessment: Sampling of bibliographies from target classes, theses, Capstone projects, or dissertations.

2. Learning Outcome: The student is familiar with the major information resources in a discipline.

Criteria:

    • The student is able to identify specific critical resources
    • The student is able to complete a research assignment using these sources.
    • The student is able to use advanced search techniques.

Assessment: Sampling of bibliographies from target classes, theses, Capstone projects, or dissertations.

3. Learning Outcome: The student evaluates the reliability and significance of discipline-specific information.

Criteria:

    • The student is able to identify the most reliable sources
    • The student is able to discuss the economic, legal, and social issues which affect information in the discipline.

Assessment: Sampling of bibliographies from target classes, theses, Capstone projects, or dissertations.

4. Learning Outcome (doctoral level students only): The student understands how information literacy skills enhance his or her knowledge of the discipline and advance new knowledge creation.

Criteria:

    • The student completes a work of original research.

Assessment: Doctoral dissertations