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HON 4950 Metaliteracy & Research for Modern Scholars: Home

Seminar Description

Whether in our academic pursuits or in daily life, we are surrounded by a complex information environment.  Metaliteracy is the set of critical analysis and production skills that help us navigate that world.  For example, who owns information or can it be owned?  How can social media define us or expose us?  How does ready access to an (over)abundance of information change how we think and function?  In addition, while each discipline has its own way of doing research, good research skills are universal. This seminar will provide practical skills in information gathering and access useful for in-depth exploration in your own field, and the seminar may serve as a stepping stone for students embarking on their honors thesis project and eventually graduate school.


Date Classroom Topic Assignment Due
8/24 CL1009 Introduction & Overview  
8/26 CL1009 What is Research? Bring Research Topic to Class
8/31 CL2010 Information Impact Complete Google Survey (by 8/30)
9/2 CL1025 EndNote Revised Research Topic
9/7 NO CLASS    
9/9 CL1025 Library Catalogs Information Trend Analysis
9/14 CL2010 Print & Digital Culture  
9/16 CL1025 Research Databases I  
9/21 Canaday Ctr
5th Floor
Preservation & Permanance  
9/23 CL1025 Research Databases II  
9/28 CL2010 Supression/Control of Information Discussion Questions (by 9/27)
9/30 CL1025 Government Sources Primary Sources / Carl Joseph
10/7 CL1025 Work Day  
10/12 CL2010 Midterm Exam I  
10/14 CL1025 Dissertations & Conferences  
10/19 CL2010 Research Ethics & Peer Review Ethics Case Study
10/21 CL1025 Citation & Author Searching  
10/26 CL2010 Copyright/Left & Open Access Citations
10/28 CL2010 Privacy Open Access & Traditional Journals
11/2 CL2010 Digital Divides Digital Inequity Presentation
11/4 CL2010 Digital Divides (continued)  
11/09 CL1025 Facts & Opinions Research  
11/16 CL2010 Mainstream Media & the Blogosphere Media
11/18 CL1025 The Interactive Web &  Information Evaluation Reflective Essay on Web
11/23 CL2010 Midterm Exam II  
11/30 CL1025 Work Day  
12/2 CL1025 Work Day  
12/7 CL1025 Presentations  
12/9 CL1025 Presentations & Course Evaluation  
12/14   Finals week - no class  
12/16   Finals week - no class  Annotated Bibliography

Evaluation Rubric & Grading Scale

Students will be graded on several aspects: class participation and evidence of completing assigned readings (20%); written class assignments (25%); two essay-type midterm examinations aimed at questions on the changing nature of information (each 15%); and a semester-long project to prepare a detailed annotated bibliography on a topic of their choosing (20%) and presentation on the research process used to prepare the bibliography (5%) This bibliography could be the first step in preparing your honors thesis, or it could be on any topic of your choosing that crosses interdisciplinary research lines.

Graded work Points
Annotated Bibliography 40
Presentation on Research Process 10
Midterm 1 30
(Three 10 pt. essays)
Midterm 2 30
(Three 10 pt. essays)
Homework Assignments 50
(Ten 5 pt. assignments)
Class Participation & Attendance 40
(see syllabus regarding absences)
Total 200 Points

A standard scale will be applied to final grades (>93% A, 90-93%, A-, etc.)

Info Science Link of the Day


Course Goals & Student Learning Objectives

Course Goals [Keyed to UT's Institutional Learning Outcomes]:

    After taking this seminar, students will be able to:

  • Understand how information is created, organized, disseminated, located, accessed, evaluated, applied, and preserved in your discipline [Specialized Knowledge, Applied & Collaborative Learning]
  • Describe the close interaction between technology and information use [Intellectual Skills, Applied & Collaborative Learning]
  • Develop a broad understating of the social, legal, geographical, racial, and economic aspects of information [Broad & Integrated Knowledge, Civil & Global Learning]
  • Recognize the issues of ownership, security, privacy, and other ethical issues related to information [Broad & Integrated Knowledge, Civil & Global Learning]
  • Conduct a comprehensive and evaluative literature search in their discipline and organize the results into a shareable information product [Specialized Knowledge, Intellectual Skills]

Texts & Readings

There is no textbook for this course. As a seminar course, much of the class will revolve around discussion of the readings assigned here. All are available electronically (linked from this LibGuide). Please read all of the required readings by the day indicated.


Any student who feels s/he may qualify for academic accommodations in this course based on the impact of a disability should contact The Office of Academic Access (Rocket Hall 1820, Phone: 419-530-4981 or TTY 419-530-2612) to discuss your specific need(s). 


  • Classroom Discourse:
    As a seminar course, the active participation of all class members is essential for dynamic discussion and the give-and-take of ideas. However, all discussions must take place in a civil environment, respecting other classmates and instructors, even when your opinions differ.
  • Attendance & Participation:
    Because this is a seminar course based on in-class discussion, your class participation counts for one fifth of your final grade, and participation of course necessitates attendance. A maximum of two unexcused absences will be permitted; more than two unexcused absences will result in the loss of class participation points. Excused absences are as defined in the University's Missed Class Policy. Please notify either instructor by phone or by e-mail of any absences as soon as possible.  Out of respect for your classmates, we will begin our sessions on-time, and excessive tardiness will affect your participation grade.
  • Late Work:
    Late work will not be accepted for credit. Please have your assignments in at the beginning of the class period during which they are due. No extensions will be given, except in the case of excused absences.
  • Cell Phones & other Electronic Devices:
    As a courtesy to your fellow students and the instructors, please silence all cellular phones or other electronic devices during the class period. When we are working in the computer classroom, you are asked to remain on-topic and not multitask on other websites (e-mail, social networking, etc.)
  • Academic Honesty:
    You are expected to abide by the University Policy on Academic Dishonesty. Please note that researching and constructing your annotated bibliography should not be construed as being in violation of example #8: "Submitting the same written work to fulfill the requirements for more than one course", as the bibliography itself (the written work) will not appear in the same form for another course.

Course Instructor


Thomas Atwood's picture
Thomas Atwood
Associate Professor, Coordinator of Information Literacy & Library Instruction

The University of Toledo

2801 W. Bancroft

Toledo, OH 43606-3390

Carlson Library MS# 509