LA&S 292: Research Methods and Information Literacy
Spring 2013: February 4st, 2013- April 14th, 2013
Credit Hours: 1

Instructors:          Kim Glover

Anschutz Library

(785) 864-1975


Office hours:       By appointment


Required Text: There is no required textbook for this class. Materials are on Blackboard.


Course Description: This course will provide students with a foundation in understanding concepts that affect their ability to communicate as scholars. This course will require the use and practice of critical thinking skills in order to solve information problems, as well as to question the nature and sources of information. Essentially, the course will teach students how to identify, find, evaluate, analyze, and use information effectively.


Course Objectives:

-      To present the transferable research process and search strategies for retrieving information

-      To provide an introduction to information resources and selecting appropriate sources

-      To outline a transferable, systematic plan for critical evaluation and use of these resources in a variety of ways

-      To promote the effective use of information to accomplish specific tasks

-      To introduce concepts of academic integrity and ethical use of information


Course Outcomes:

-      Students will determine the nature and extent of an information need in order to identify a variety of relevant sources.

-      Students will compose search strategies in order to access and retrieve useful and relevant information.

-      Students will articulate and apply evaluative criteria to resources in order to determine the credibility of information.

-      Students will gather and organize information meaningfully in order to communicate research products effectively.

-      Students will show evidence of synthesizing ideas, interpretation of information, and revision of queries.

-      Students will use appropriate citation formats in order to acknowledge the ownership of information sources.


CIVILITY*: There are many ways to earn good grades in LA&S 292. Respecting your peers and your instructors is one of the most important course requirements. Civility is a value and a goal throughout the academic community of the University of Kansas. As your instructors, we promise to model the civility that we expect of you.


ASSIGNMENTS: Assignments are due by Sunday each week at midnight.


Major Assignments

Journal Assignment (50 pts)

-      Each week you will complete the online journal in Blackboard. The purpose of your journal is to record and reflect on what you have learned throughout the course and for me to be able to check for understanding and give you feedback. You will turn complete your entries each week by Sunday at midnight. Your instructor will read your entry and reply to any questions or issues you might be having early the following week. At the end of the course you will receive a grade for your journal.

-      What to write in you journal

-      reflect on what you have learned

-      write about your research process and work on assignments

-      include references and annotations found each week for annotated bibliography

-       ask questions if you are confused by something in the class

-       connect what you are learning in this course to your other work at the University.

-      How it will be graded

-      25% Content: Student synthesizes what they learned and their work that week, explain how they will use the skills they learned in class that week for their other studies at KU. Students ask questions if they are confused.

-      55% thesis statement, selection of citation style and software, and/or correctly cited references and annotations

-      10% Grammar and Spelling: Use complete sentences and check for grammar/spelling errors.

-      10% Length: Your journal entries should be at least 2 paragraphs long.


Annotated Bibliography (100 pts) Your writing project for this course will be an annotated bibliography (see Writing Guide: Annotated Bibliographies: Your annotations will be both descriptive and evaluative. These resources will best represent information that supports your thesis/assertion. Over the next few weeks, you will accumulate several resources for your topic. You need to select at least 6 resources that you feel best address the needs of your thesis. You must include:

-      A thesis Statement

-      2 websites

-      1 book

-      2 peer reviewed articles

-      1 primary resource

The purpose of this project is to:

-      Find resources for your research

-      Articulate the importance of each resource based on your thesis

-      Explain why you consider these to be quality resources

The annotated bibliography will include a brief introductory paragraph with a clear thesis statement and a concluding paragraph. Each entry will include (approximately 75-200 words):

-      The complete citation using proper APA or MLA format (choose a format and use it throughout your bibliography)

-      A description/summary of the resource content

-      Evaluative statements on the authority, reliability, timeliness, and bias of the resource

-      An explanation of why you think this is an important and useful resource for your topic

You will be graded on the completeness of your entries based on the above criteria.
A rubric and model of an annotated bib can be found in the Rubrics & Models section of Blackboard.


Annotated Bibliography Peer Review (25 pts)

Using the rubric for the Annotated Bibliography assignment you will review a classmate's annotated bibliography and give them suggestions for improving theirs. You will be paired up in Blackboard and given a discussion board and feedback worksheet to use for discussing possible improvements.

-      What have they done well in their bibliography?

-      Have they included all the required elements

-      A thesis Statement

-      2 websites

-      1 book

-      2 peer reviewed articles

-      1 primary resource

-      Grammar Errors

-      Citation Errors

-      Suggestions for their annotations (do they explain why that particular resource was chosen)


LATE ASSIGNMENTS: Late assignments will be accepted but you will lose 10% of your grade for every day that it is late.



In the case of academic misconduct, which includes but is not limited to cheating, fabrication and falsification, plagiarism, or facilitating academic misconduct, it is our policy to give a failing grade for the assignment/activity in question. Additionally, the student's overall course grade may be lowered by one letter grade. If a student engages in academic misconduct a second time, he/she will receive an F for the course. For more information please go to University Senate Rules and Regulations, 2.6.1



The KU office of Disability Resources coordinates accommodations and services for all students who are eligible. If you have a disability for which you wish to request accommodations and have not contacted DR, please do so as soon as possible. Their office is located in 22 Strong Hall; their phone number is 785-864-2620 (V/TTY).


Information about their services can be found at Please also contact me privately in regard to your needs in this course, I would glad to work with you!



This course is completely online but you will still be expected to participate in Blackboard each week. You will be required to login to Blackboard and complete the activities each week. There is no excused/unexcused absence policy in LA&S 292. I do not ask about or investigate absences, nor do I want you to explain or document absences. If a student's absences prevent her or him from passing LA&S 292, I will notify the student by email and may recommend withdrawal. However, just as attending or not attending is up to the student, so is dropping the course.


As you will quickly learn, University courses are dynamic, ever-changing. The instructors reserve the right to alter course assignments and requirements.




ASSIGNMENT (All assignments will be submitted in Blackboard unless otherwise noted)

February 4-10th

-      Pre-test (5 pts)

-      Introduction discussion (10 pts)

-      Read the section about the research process. Complete the research process quiz. (7 pts)

-      Watch the video tutorial from Penn State Libraries on the Information Cycle, and complete the Information Cycle Quiz (6 pts).

-      Write in your research journal (4 pts)


February 11th-17th

-      Create or select a research topic (10 pts)

-      Watch the video on creating a thesis statement.

-      Create a thesis statement concerning your research topic. (20 pts)

-      Write in your journal. (4 pts)


February 18th -24th

-      Read the section on ethical research and scholarship.

-      Read the section on basic citations and complete citation activity to see if you understand the structure of citations (10 pts).

-      Check out the Citation Management Software guide and select the citation tool you will use for this class.

-      Write in your research journal and let me know which citation software you will be using (4 pts)


February 25th-March 3rd

-      Watch the videos about selecting, searching databases and using the Get at KU feature.

-      Complete locating journal activity (10 pts)

-      Post a journal entry. This week in addition to your reflection on what you have learned and any questions you might have you will need to list information for at least three journal articles you found when searching databases. You will use the two best articles out of the three for your annotated bibliography assignment in week seven. For the two best articles you will include the proper citation and annotation (10pts)


March 4th-10th

-      Watch the videos "Facebook and Google / Secret Revealed" and "Google Scholar". Take the quiz on both. (10 pts)

-      Read the handout and watch the video concerning popular versus scholarly resources and take the quiz. (10 pts)

-      Read the handout and watch the video concerning primary versus scholarly resources and take the quiz. (10 pts)

-      Post a journal entry. (4 pts)


March 11th-17th

-      Watch video on evaluating resources and take quiz (15 pts)

-      Complete activity on evaluating resources (15 pts).

-      Write in journal. In your journal reflect on what you have learned this week and evaluate the resources you have collected so far. Explain why or why not you have decided to keep the sources you have for the annotated bibliography (4 pts).


March 18th-24th

-      Spring Break!!!

March 28th-March 31st

-      Search the KU Catalog and find at least one book for your research and add to your annotated bibliography.

-      Take the online quiz about searching the KU Catalog (15 pts).

-      Create annotated bibliography and upload (25 pts)

-      Post journal entry (6 pts). Include the book information you found in the KU catalog.


April 1st-April 7th

-      Post feedback on the annotated bibliography to the peer assigned to you using the Annotated Bibliography rubric. (25 pts).

-      Post journal entry (4 pts).


April 8th-14th

-      Research journal. Post your reflections now that the course is over. What has been the most important things you have learned? (10 pts)

-      Optional: Make an appointment to consult or submit your annotated bibliography and rubric to the Writing Center for feedback (15 extra credit)

-      Submit annotated bibliography (100 pts)

-      Complete post-quiz (0 pts but mandatory to receive a grade)



Total Points: