About Us | Help Videos | Contact Us | Subscriptions

Natural Sciences Education Abstract - Undergraduate Education

Using an Interdisciplinary Approach to Teach Undergraduates Communication and Information Literacy Skills


This article in NSE

  1. Vol. 39 No. 1, p. 137-144
    unlockOPEN ACCESS
    Received: Feb 22, 2010

    * Corresponding author(s): adinkelm@iastate.edu
Request Permissions

  1. Andrea L. Dinkelman *a,
  2. Jeanine E. Auneb and
  3. Gail R. Nonneckec
  1. a 152 Parks Library, University Library, Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA 50011
    b 310 Carver, English Dep., Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA 50011
    c 105 Horticulture, Horticulture Dep., Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA 50011


For successful and productive careers, undergraduate students need effective communication and critical thinking skills; information literacy is a substantial component in the development of these skills. Students often perceive communication courses as distinct and separate from their chosen discipline. Faculty from the Departments of English and Horticulture and the library at Iowa State University collaborated in a foundation communication course (English 250). The course incorporates five components—finding information sources; evaluating information sources; and preparing an annotated bibliography, a research paper, and a research poster—all within the context of horticulture. The objective of the collaboration was to integrate communication and information literacy concepts into English 250 and relate these concepts to the students’ discipline of horticulture. Assessment data and focus group discussions strongly validate students’ appreciation for an interdisciplinary approach to teaching communication and information literacy skills within the discipline.

  Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.

Copyright © 2011. Copyright © 2011 by the American Society of Agronomy