And, we're back! My co-teacher and I taught Day 1 of our information literacy course this morning. Our students this quarter will research fundraising for non-profit agencies. We have a list of questions our students will attempt to answer including: "What motivates people to donate to non-profit agencies?" and "How have non-profit agencies been using social media to raise funds?" Here is a more complete list of questions related to the ResearchTopic. Along with the usual housekeeping details (going over the syllabus, service dates on-site with Project READ, etc.), we also introduced two important concepts. First, we invited a service-learning expert to class so that she could explain SL to our students. She always does a great job of helping the students wrap their head around the benefits of service-learning. She explains to the students, instead of just doing research about frogs that only Maureen and Cheryl will read and then you will just file it away, and never look at it again, the research you do in this class will go to Project READ and they will use it to improve our community. She also explains how it ties closely to our University's mission that we will engage with our community. This is a university-wide initiative, not just some crazy idea that their instructors invented. It's tried and true (which I suppose is up for debate, in some people's opinions). The other important concept we introduced today was the Information Timeline or Information Cycle. We always use Penn State University's tutorial. It helps get the students to start thinking about how information on the internet, tv and newspaper (often the who, what, where, when and why) is different than other sources like journal articles and books that offer more analysis on how such topics or events affect society. We assigned for homework:
- Read chapter 1 of Learning Through Serving by Christine M. Cress (on reserve for our students) "What is Service-Learning?"
- Email both instructors about the date they can attend the book sorting activity (required on-site service)
And our plans for class 2 include: Introducing the Invisible Web, and Project READ's director will visit class to tell students more about what they do and what fundraising methods they have used in the past.