Two concrete activities to teach theoretical info lit concepts

A recent conversation on the [acrlframe] discussion list revolved around ways to teach first-year college students the difference between types of information sources. Two activities really jumped out at me – and both use cards as tools to help students tangibly grapple with intellectual distinctions.

We’re not talking rummy or bridge. Instead these card games use cards created by librarians that are specific to information literacy topics.

Kevin Seeber’s Process Cards are made up of six cards listing six different types of information (e.g. tweet, blog entry, scholarly journal). Each deck also has one of five formative processes (e.g. whether an item is edited, how much time it takes to create an item). The instructor passes out decks of cards to small groups and each group organizes their information cards according to their formative process card. Small group insights feed up into large group discussion.

University of Virginia Library’s Source Deck is comprised of a deck of cards representing different types of content (and their citations) all discussing a timely topic (e.g. tweets, blogs, articles, and websites about police violence). Instructors can use the cards to structure student exploration of the publication timeline, elements of a citation, and more.

The producers of these cards encourage librarians to adapt their cards to suit local needs. Take a look and see how these activities might help you engage students in collaborative discussion around information literacy topics.