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The Wise Scholar: A Guide to Teaching Information Literacy

Instructional guide for faculty based on the skills and values of the Wise Scholar model

Applying the Wise Scholar in Class

When to Discuss Wonder/Questioning
  • beginning stages of research project or proposal where students choose their own topic
  • beginning stages of analysis or critical project where students must question a text or concept
  • revisiting research questions after initial background research where students might need to refine their thesis
  • later stages of research project or proposal where students must consider areas they have not addressed
  • offering peer feedback where students should ask constructive questions of their work
  • seeking deeper inspiration for academic work where students may feel either overwhelmed by what they don't know or underwhelmed from all they already know
"Starting with Wonder - How to Develop a Research Question"
  • Wise Scholar Reflection - the value of Wonder as a beginning and continuing intrinsic motivation for research, sparking that wonder by considering interests and problems, asking follow-up questions and pursuing a focus as you go
  • Questioning Lesson - Brainstorming activity with step-by-step worksheet for visualizing research topic to research question
When to Discuss Persistence/Searching
  • beginning stages of research project or proposal, where students must gain basic understanding of a topic through introductory sources
  • successive stages of research project or proposal, where students must build a store of sources to dig into their topic and make a claim
  • seeking sources for argumentative or persuasive assignment, where students must address different perspectives
  • seeking specific resources through the library, where students might need to make use of the library catalog, databases, etc.
  • seeking journal articles or ebooks through databases, where students will need efficient strategies to search effectively
  • overcoming emotional challenges of scholarly work, where students may struggle with mental fatigue, frustration, information overload, etc.

"Following through with Persistence - How to create a Search Strategy"

When to Discuss Discernment/Evaluating
  • intermediate stages of research project or proposal, where students will need to pick the best sources on which to base their work
  • later stages of research project or proposal, where students should look out for weaknesses or mistakes in their own work
  • beginning stages of analysis or responsive assignment, where students will have to judge a text or claim and make their own argument
  • responding to provocative or controversial information, where students should critique its trustworthiness to make an appropriate response
  • considering "right and wrong" in the scholarly world, where students may be either unaware of the flaws in some fixed perspective or unsure how to balance conflicting perspectives
"Thinking with Discernment - How to judge sources"
When to Discuss Integrity/Using
  • beginning stages of research project or proposal, where students are compiling annotated bibliographies
  • intermediate stages of research project or proposal, where students are integrating information from different sources into their own work
  • referring to other sources of information, where a student should know the difference between quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing
  • citing sources in any project or assignment, where students will need to follow manual guidelines
  • understanding the consequences and significance of academic integrity, where students may struggle to see the point beyond the rules
​​​​​​"Moving forward with Integrity - How to cite sources"
  • Wise Scholar Reflection - the value of integrity underlying the legal practices around using research sources and information, identifying different ways to build on other scholars’ works, maintaining integrity through thorough adherence to appropriate citation requirements and tools
  • Use Lesson - Citation worksheet to identify quote/paraphrase/summary, use KnightCite, and locate a citation manual/tool
When to Discuss Humility/Sharing
  • beginning stages of research project or proposal, where students must embrace not-knowing in order to generate questions
  • successive stages of research project or proposal, where students must be open to changing direction as needed as they learn more
  • later stages of research project or proposal, where students are writing to connect their position to their sources (other perspectives)
  • later stages of research project or proposal, where students receive feedback from peers or faculty on their work
  • addressing counterarguments or limitations, where students should admit the gaps in their own work
  • understanding the goals of scholarly discourse, where students may feel uncomfortable at first understanding how to appropriately respond to conflict
"Continuing to learn with Humility - How to outline a research thesis"
  • Wise Scholar Reflection - the value of humility throughout the iterative research process, understanding what humility means in learning and refining research questions, working with humility to structure a position within the existing scholarly conversation
  • Sharing Lesson - They say/I say activity with step-by-step worksheet for expanding a thesis into a paper outline

Wise Scholar Reflection Videos

Working with Your Liaison Librarian

Did you know you have a liaison in the library?
Every academic department has an assigned research librarian who specializes in resources for that subject area. They are the perfect partners for information literacy instruction - ask about visiting your class in-person or supporting your students one-on-one.
  • In-class instruction:  Librarians regularly offer course-based instruction on using the library's resources and on developing effective research skills. Many faculty collaborate with librarians for instructional sessions in the library and in the classroom, both in full group settings and through one-on-one sessions with students. We will work with you to complement your course planning and student learning needs.
  • Librarian research support: Faculty and students can work with librarians for personalized support in their research. Librarians are available for consultation through in-person or Teams meetings, through their Calvin email, and on the Live Chat instant message widget on the library homepage during normal library hours. We encourage you to provide your students with information that will help them connect with the library for support.
    • To schedule and plan for library instruction, or to arrange for your students to meet with a librarian for individualized research support, please contact your liaison librarian