Teaching Information Literacy Through "Un-Research"
Students who write essays on research topics in which no outside sources are cited and accuracy is treated as negotiable generally should not expect to receive good grades, especially in an information literacy course. However, asking students to do just this was the first step in the “un-research project,” a twist on the familiar annotated bibliography assignment that was intended to guide students away from “satisficing” with their choice of sources and toward a better understanding of scholarship as a conversation. The project was implemented as part of a credit-bearing course in spring 2014 with promising results, including a more thoughtful choice of sources on students’ part. With some fine-tuning, the un-research project can offer an effective alternative to the traditional annotated bibliography assignment and can be adapted for a variety of instructional situations.