Learning Outcomes

Our courses are designed to get students to begin thinking and acting like scholars. One who is beginning to think and act like a scholar:

Keeps an open mind when developing questions, seeks out and synthesizes multiple perspectives, and integrates prior knowledge to pursue reasonable conclusions.

  • Approaches a research activity without preconceived notions of the truth or what the answer will be
  • Maintains a balanced approach by finding sources that represent multiple perspectives
  • Recognizes their own biases, while also acknowledging prior knowledge and experiences as valuable, if not always valid; be willing to overwrite invalid opinions or knowledge
  • Draws reasonable conclusions based on the analysis and interpretation of the information

Exercises flexibility and persistence when investigating questions by effectively using a variety of tools, strategies, and sources in pursuit of new knowledge.

  • Persists in the face of search challenges by changing terms, techniques, or tools
  • Identifies interested parties, such as scholars, organizations, governments, and industries, who might produce information about a topic and then determine how to access that information
  • Seeks out primary sources and non-standard or alternative sources of information, such as grey literature, prepublication articles, reports, conference proceedings, government documents, etc.

Critically examines information for suitability, bias, purpose, and overall contribution to the conversations taking place in various contexts and communities.

  • Evaluates the credibility of information by researching various indicators of authority
  • Utilizes sources that display different kinds of authority (such as subject expertise, societal position, or special experience) when appropriate to their own research activity,
  • Recognizes that authoritative content may be packaged formally or informally and may include sources of all media types;

Negotiates the conventions of various disciplines and other discourse communities, and recognizes their own responsibilities as participants in these communities.

  • Identifies ways that various disciplines and discourse communities produce, document, and share information
  • Understands the increasingly social nature of the information ecosystem where authorities actively connect with one another and sources develop over time
  • Respects intellectual property through citing the contributing work of others in their own information production
  • Maintains the integrity of a knowledge community by producing or sharing information that is accurate and reliable

Reflects on the connections among their personal research habits, the practices of scholars, the ways information is produced, and structures of power, organization, and access.

  • Understands how and why some individuals or groups of individuals may be underrepresented or systematically marginalized within the systems that produce and disseminate information;
  • Recognizes their ethical responsibilities as individuals with information privilege