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Journal of Academic Librarianship

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Abstract/ Summary

Actively engaging students in information literacy instruction is the foundation of the Association of College & Research Libraries’ (relatively new) Framework for Information Literacy. Yet, missing from the library literature are studies that examine the effectiveness of one active learning approach versus another. This paper reports on a research project that aimed to do just that: use two discrete active learning techniques to teach information literacy concepts, particularly those situated in the ACRL Frame, “Authority is Constructed and Contextual.” Twenty-two sections of a public speaking course were randomly assigned to one of three treatments. A play technique was used with one sample of students, a website evaluation activity was used with another, and a control group received no library instruction. Both active learning techniques led to gains in information literacy scores that were significantly higher than those of the control group. However, there were no significant differences in results based on the technique used. These findings suggest that, despite the hype that surrounds it, game-based pedagogy is only one of many effective approaches to teaching information literacy.



post-print (i.e. final draft post-refereeing with all author corrections and edits)