First-Year Seminars (FYS) provide entering students the excitement of engaged learning through a diverse array of seminar topics. With small classes, a variety of topics, and close contact with faculty, First-Year Seminars offer a hands-on introduction to academic inquiry. More than 30 seminar topics cover a wide range of interests, from bioethics and math, to art history and English.
All seminars provide opportunities for critical reading and thinking and establish a foundation for effective written and oral communications skills, information literacy, and library research skills.
All FYS Seminars have the same five common goals:
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Library Research Instruction (Goal #4):
The librarians at Boatwright Library are committed to providing information literacy and library research instruction for all students. To fulfill this in the first year seminars, students will:
complete at least one assignment in their FYS requiring library and/or research beyond their core texts.
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Information Literacy/Library Research Goals and Outcomes for First Year Seminar Library Research Sessions:
The overall goals of the FYS Library Research Sessions are to introduce students to fundamental library resources and services, while developing students' sense of critical inquiry in the context of library research. Fundamental research competencies acquired during their first year will help students identify information resources for course assignments, as well as begin to develop skills for research inquiry within the academic community. This tiered approach, purposefully teaching for transfer, provides students with a foundation to conduct more developed and complex research throughout their General Education and Upper Level courses, as well as meet faculty expectations for research assignments throughout the curriculum.
The University of Richmond liaison librarians are committed to providing a comprehensive plan for integrating research skills and library instruction into the UR curriculum beginning in the First Year Seminars, advancing through the General Education coursework, and culminating in upper division classes. The plan is based on the ACRL Information Literacy Framework for Higher Education . There are six concepts in the IL Framework that anchor our approach to research and instruction are as follows:
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Achievement of Outcomes:
First-year students arrive with a range of experiences with library resources, and liaison librarians provide library research sessions to introduce academic research strategies and resources to all first-year students, focusing on the unique scholarly collections at the University of Richmond. Library instruction sessions also offer all students, especially those with little previous exposure to library research and resources, the opportunity to think about information needs and appropriate resources beginning with their first UR classes.
Students develop library skills, like all others, most effectively over time, by facing increasingly difficult tasks and learning the best tools and techniques to meet them. Our students will have the advantage of immensely greater resources and availability than in the past, but also experience the increased challenges of selecting resources for specific information needs, evaluating and using them effectively.
Librarians and FYS faculty work together to plan overall program assessment for Goal #4.