G. Snipes; M. Karo; A.E. Faulkner; L. Reiter (Eds.)

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Chicago, IL

Book Title

Teaching Business Information Literacy

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The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), is home to the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality. Due to the college’s size and its importance for the city’s economy, it is a separate school from the College of Business. Information literacy for hospitality has been a priority for the college’s first-year seminar program since its inception, and the hospitality librarian has been working with seminar coordinators to refine this aspect of the curriculum for over six years.

Five years ago, the hospitality librarian began collaborating with a new teaching and learning librarian in order to give him more teaching experience at UNLV and to consider new ways to work with a large program like a first-year seminar, which averages five to ten sections each semester. Among the products of this collaboration is the “Hot Topics” lesson plan, which gives students a hands-on introduction to trade publications as a vital resource for aspiring hospitality professionals.

After an icebreaker activity to establish rapport with students, the librarian begins the Hot Topics lesson plan by providing a brief overview of research sources so that students have a basis for understanding how trade publications compare with other sources, especially the news articles and scholarly articles that are covered in first-year English courses. Work with upper-level undergraduates in hospitality revealed that students lacked familiarity with trade publications as an essential resource for continued learning about the field as it evolves, and through curriculum mapping with other instruction librarians, we learned that trade publications were not emphasized in other classes.

The rest of the lesson plan is relatively student-driven. Students begin by considering a topic from one of the concentration areas of the college (food and beverage, hotel management, tourism, event management, golf, gaming, and more). Rather than demonstrate how to find trade publications, we provide students with instructions that they can follow at their own pace. Focal points for these instructions include keyword searching, reading a database record, and retrieving full text (not just stopping with the abstract). After students select the article that they feel would most impact the hospitality industry, they present a summary of the article to the rest of the class. In order to leverage students’ competitive spirit, we ask students to vote on the most impactful development (besides their own). We work with instructors to arrange for the top vote-getters to receive extra credit. This part of the activity gives students an opportunity to get a low-stakes experience with presenting and to share their findings with the rest of the class. Playing an active part in the class (especially with extra credit involved) dramatically increases students’ level of engagement. Presentations also give librarians an informal way to assess students’ progress.

Depending on the circumstances of instruction, student activities can be group-based, individual, in-person, or online. We have used it most frequently in fifty-minute, one-shot sessions in the library computer labs. We will share the templates we used to prompt and organize student activities.

Regarding adapting the lesson plan to different applications, the versions discussed in this entry are self-contained lesson plans that we used and adapted for approximately three years. More recently, the Hot Topics exercise has been integrated more completely into the assignments for the first-year seminar course. In one instance, research in class served as a starting point for teams to build an annotated bibliography on an issue in hospitality management. Most recently, students worked in teams to present virtually on their Hot Topics issue.

Controlled Subject

Academic libraries--Relations with faculty and curriculum; Hospitality industry--Study and teaching; Hospitality industry--Vocational guidance


Educational Methods | Hospitality Administration and Management | Library and Information Science

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2731 KB




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