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Teaching and Learning

The UIC Library and Student Learning

UIC Librarians provide a flexible range of instructional supports to help students become more self-sufficient, efficient and expert researchers. This guide describes a wide range of instructional services offered by the UIC Library and provides a sampling of instructional activities developed by librarians, often in collaboration with disciplinary faculty and instructors. Library liaisons for specific disciplines and programs welcome the opportunity to discuss how they can support the development of student research skills for your course or program.

While there are many information literacy competencies, in general, librarians focus on teaching students to efficiently locate and critically engage with information and its sources. We welcome opportunities to partner with faculty and instructors across the disciplines to discuss what it means to be information literate in your discipline and design instruction–whether delivered as a workshop, assignment or online tutorial–to meet those goals.

Library Teaching and Learning

Course-specific research instruction: Librarians customize library instruction to meet specific course learning outcomes across all levels and disciplines. We will collaborate with you to ensure that instruction provided is tailored to course content, objectives, and assignments. Use this form to schedule an instruction session or contact the liaison for your discipline to discuss options. Instruction often occurs in library classrooms or other classrooms on campus. Additionally, many liaisons deliver instruction online.

Credit-Based Courses

  • Dialogue
    Students become familiar with multidisciplinary theory and research on diversity, social justice, culture, and identity, through participation in critical dialogues with each other to explore differences.
  • Honors College 126: The Daleys’ Chicago: From Midcentury to Global City
    Taught by Prof. David Greenstein; 2019 Fall
    At the middle of the twentieth century, Chicago faced a declining manufacturing sector and competition from the suburbs for residents and jobs. No new skyscrapers had been built downtown for two decades. Urban centers around the U.S. were in decline, with aging infrastructure, a struggle to attract business development, and neighborhoods threatened by the spread of “slums” and “blight.” By the early 2000s, Chicago had not only avoided the fate of rust belt towns, it had become a flourishing “global city” on par with a handful of elite world capitals. This course will explore the development of our city since midcentury and how changes to urban spaces and narratives of growth were shaped and challenged by diverse groups of Chicagoans.  Class members will have the opportunity to explore this transformation and key issues in the history and politics of Chicago through hands-on work with archival materials. We will examine unique resources including the records of the city’s two longest serving mayors, the Richard J. Daley collection and the recently available Richard M. Daley papers. Half of our meetings will take place in the Special Collections department of the library, allowing students the opportunity to discover and analyze primary documents in a collaborative setting. Assignments and in-class activities will introduce class members with varied disciplinary interests to working with archival records, interpreting primary documents, developing research questions that can be addressed with available materials, and explaining the results of their research. In addition to discussing issues that still face Chicago, students will gain skills in critical thinking, interpreting evidence, and producing effective arguments.
  • College of Medicine Peoria M4 Elective 156: Survey of Medical Informatics
    Taught by Profs. Emily Johnson, Carmen Howard, and Deborah Lauseng; 2019 – 2020

    Medical informatics is an interdisciplinary field concentrating on resources, devices, and formalized methods for optimizing the storage, retrieval, and management of biomedical information. The goal is to prepare medical students for success in residency and practice by providing a foundation in medical informatics. The asynchronous, self-directed course surveys information resources and management tools using a variety of instructional methods including online lectures/seminars, readings, and assignments. Assignments are designed for students to build informatics skills and to reflect and synthesize the impact informatics will have on their future career.
  • Honors College 201: City at a Crossroads: Local, National & Global Politics in Chicago, 1968
    Taught by Prof. David Greenstein; 2017-2019 Fall

    In 1968, Chicago was being reshaped by migration from the American South, changing immigrant communities, increasing suburbanization, and downtown redevelopment that led to contested patterns of housing, urban space, and local politics. Social movements including the Black Freedom Movement and anti-war activism made Chicago center stage in challenging segregation, economic inequality, Cold War foreign policy, forms of social justice protest, and police tactics. A national political convention put Chicago at the epicenter of a controversial battle for the presidency and heated discussions about the future of the country and its role in the world.
    This seminar will put students on the front lines of these issues through hands-on work with archival materials. Class members will ask and answer their own questions about local/national/global connections, race and urban space, social movements, and political campaigns using the rich records held in the Richard J. Daley Collection in UIC’s Special Collections and University Archives. Class meetings will take place in the Special Collections department, allowing students the opportunity to discover and analyze primary documents in a collaborative setting. Recommended secondary readings will provide interpretations of course themes from interdisciplinary perspectives. A series of assignments and in-class activities will introduce class members with varied disciplinary interests to working with archival records, interpreting primary documents, developing research questions that can be addressed with available materials, and explaining the results of their research. In addition to discussing issues that still face Chicago and the nation, students will gain skills in critical thinking, interpreting evidence, and producing effective arguments. A core goal of the course will be to challenge (and prepare) class members to consider the potential use of Library and Special Collections resources in their own coursework across disciplines.
  • Honors College 201: Global Encounters in Chicago
    Taught by Prof. David Greenstein; 2017-2018 Fall
    This seminar will explore the ways that Chicago was shaped by global connection in the twentieth century. Through five thematic units class members will uncover how Chicago was connected to the world through migration, business and economy, international conflicts like the Cold War, Chicagoans’ global outlook, and the infrastructure and building projects that fostered the development of Chicago as a global city. Students will have the opportunity to ask and answer their own questions about Chicago in global context through hands on work with archival materials. Class meetings will take place in the Special Collections department, allowing students the opportunity to discover and analyze primary documents in a collaborative setting. Recommended secondary readings will provide interpretations of course themes from interdisciplinary perspectives. In addition to discussing issues that still face Chicago and the world, students will gain skills in critical thinking, interpreting evidence, and producing effective arguments.
  • Honors College 201: Research Unbound: Creative Expressions of Scholarship
    Taught by Prof. Anne Armstrong; 2017–2018
    Students and scholars in academic settings have typically channeled their research findings through traditional products of scholarship such as research papers, peer-reviewed articles, academic books, conference reports and posters. While these formats sustain discourse within scholarly communities, they have limited potential for communicating important findings to the broader public. Unconfined by traditional scholarly conventions, scholars and artists have harnessed the narrative and visual power of alternative forms to convey research findings and information in highly creative formats, including but not limited to documentary film, creative non-fiction, graphic novels, infographics, performing arts, historical fiction and social media. Authors have tapped into the expressive potential of these outlets to simultaneously captivate and inform broad and diverse audiences on an endless range of topics of historical, scientific and social significance. This seminar will engage students in examining creative and visual media used to communicate research findings to largely non-scholarly audiences. Students will investigate how authors, artists, documentarians and performers have harnessed the unique potential of their chosen media to explore and expand upon themes of war and conflict, immigration, human rights and scientific discovery. They will also examine these non-traditional research narratives with an eye to discover sources of data and information, how this information has been integrated and adapted, and to what extent artists and authors have adhered to traditional standards of source attribution and copyright in depicting research findings. The course will culminate in the selection of a topic and genre for a final research project plan or “prospectus” in which students demonstrate how they would convey their personal research story through their vehicle of choice, to maximum effect.
  • LIB-399
    Research experience in Library and Information Science under the guidance of a faculty member who will act as research supervisor. Course Information: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading only. May be repeated. Application of credit toward the degree is contingent upon the approval of the student’s college and/or department. Prerequisite(s): Consent of the instructor.
  • LIB-573
    Introduction to Managing Research Data: Students will explore best practices, obligations, challenges and opportunities surrounding research data management and identify potential interdisciplinary collaborations and communication. Course Information: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading only. Extensive computer use required. Meets eight weeks of the semester.

Interdisciplinary Collaboration

  • Online Research Guides
    Librarians create a variety of online subject guides to assist students with the research process and help them identify key resources related to their disciplines and assignments, such as databases, books, or resources on the open web.  Course and subject guides can be accessed through the library website and/or linked to through course Blackboard sites. Contact the liaison for your discipline to plan a guide customized for your course.
  • Instructional Activities
    Librarians can create research-related activities for your students to complete either within or outside of class.
  • Special Collections and University Archives
    Archivists will work with you to customize learning activities to engage students with the building blocks of history, including rare books, original documents, historical photographs, and other special formats.
  • Research Assignment Consultation
    Librarians welcome the opportunity to discuss research  integration of library resources and information literacy skills into course assignments.
  • Assessment of Student Research Skills
    Librarians can develop formative assessments such as quizzes or knowledge probes to gauge student understanding of research-based concepts. They also integrate formative assessment techniques into library instruction to improve student learning outcomes and develop more effective instructional practices.
  • Individual Appointments with Students
    Librarians are available to meet with students both in-person and online, with individuals or small groups. Students can sign up for an appointment online.
  • Workshops
    Throughout the semester, librarians deliver in-person and online workshops on a variety of topics, from citation management systems to conducting graduate-level research. Check the schedule to see what is available, or suggest a topic you’d like to see covered. Librarians can also develop workshops for specific audiences on demand.
  • Blackboard Integration
    At the top of all Blackboard pages, there is a library tab that directs students to key resources. Your liaison librarian can also be added to your course as a course builder to directly provide support to students or provide links to research guides or specific resources (add a blurb about integration of tutorials)
  • Online Tutorials
    Librarians can suggest and create video and interactive tutorials for students focused on a variety of research skills. These tutorials can be used in flipped-classroom settings, or to simply reinforce course content.
  • Open Textbook Faculty Incentive Program
    The high-cost of textbooks is one of the factors that affects student learning outcomes and student success. Students avoid certain classes, drop a class, or do poorly when they cannot afford the text for a course. The Open Textbook Faculty Incentive Program will be to support undergraduate students by creating incentives for teaching faculty to use alternative lower-cost educational materials rather than high-cost textbooks. This may include the creation of new Open Educational Resources (OER) or the use of existing OER materials.

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