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Libraries’ Science Information Tutorial Wins National Recognition

The Libraries play an active and exciting role in enhancing the educational experience of students at all levels and in all disciplines. As an example, the Libraries’ Science Information tutorial was created to help undergraduate students understand the fundamental processes of knowledge creation and scholarly communication in the basic and applied sciences. The self-paced tutorial uses a series of interactive exercises to illustrate concepts such as the scientific method, peer review, scholarly communication, and methods of locating and evaluating scientific literature and information sources.

Although basic in nature, these concepts can enrich a student’s understanding of science outside of the intensive focus on content demanded by the majority of science courses. In addition to providing enrichment, the tutorial introduces non-science majors to unique and important aspects of scientific research methodology. Students test their understanding of key concepts at the beginning of each tutorial lesson and complete a test of their comprehension at the end. Students who sign in can document their progress and share the results with their instructor. The tutorial can therefore be used as a class assignment to review materials that may not be covered in a course but are important nonetheless.

The excellent quality of the tutorial, which is the result of collaboration between several UCI librarians and programming staff in the UCI Distance Learning Center, is evidenced by its selection for inclusion in the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) prestigious Peer-Reviewed Instructional Materials Online (PRIMO) database. The PRIMO database promotes and shares the best of peer-reviewed instructional materials written by librarians across the country that teach people how to discover, access and evaluate information.

For more information, contact Cathy Palmer, Head of Education and Outreach (cpalmer@uci.edu
or x44972).


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