Using a Social Bookmarking Tool to Teach Information Literacy in a Nursing Research Course

Student-Generated Content
Author Information
Kimberly Balko, Assistant Professor, MS, RN
Jennifer Boisvert, MS
Institution(s) or Organization(s) Where EP Occurred: 
SUNY Empire State College
Effective Practice Abstract/Summary
Abstract/Summary of Effective Practice: 
SUNY Empire State College’s undergraduate nursing program requires students to enroll in a nursing research course. The course provides a foundation for understanding the language of nursing research and underlying concepts of the research process.  Students learn how to evaluate credible sources of information and participate in the process of retrieval, appraisal and synthesis of evidence. This is accomplished through required participation in discussions, written assignments, and shared references with their classmates. One assignment that is required for students to complete is a shared reference activity to develop a repository, using a social bookmarking tool called Diigo. The college librarian and instructor play a major role in assisting students with questions and in providing feedback throughout the activity and allows students to perform a critical review of related literature in support of a nursing research topic.
Description of the Effective Practice
Description of the Effective Practice: 
Knowledge and skills in patient care technology are critical in preparing baccalaureate nursing graduates to deliver quality patient care in a variety of settings (IOM, 2003). The medical profession relies on various computer technologies to carry out everyday functions, so it is imperative for nursing students to be computer literate. Barnard, Nash, and O’Brien (2005) state “information literacy not only facilitates engagement with effective decision making, problem solving, and research, it also enables nurses to take responsibility for continued learning in areas of personal or professional interest” (p. 506). Computer and information literacy are “crucial to the future of nursing and the evaluation of data from all relevant sources, including technology to inform the delivery of care” (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2008, p. 17). This nursing research course allows students to collaborate with classmates, critique articles, and create a collection of research articles.
One objective of this course is for students to perform a critical review of related literature in support of a nursing research topic. Students create a topic of interest and collect resources in support of completing a research paper. Throughout the term, students submit drafts of the research paper in sections such as the introduction of the problem, purpose statement, significance of topic to nursing, theoretical framework, application of theory, review of literature, and conclusion. Instructors provide formative assessment with each draft that the student submits. For each component of the research paper, students need to support their ideas with references.
To create a repository of resources, a social bookmarking tool called Diigo is used. Students self-select resources to add to their repository and then incorporate these resources in their research paper. Detailed instructions and tutorials on Diigo are provided to students throughout the semester. The Empire State College librarian created video tutorials to show students how to use the various tools as well as detailed instructions on creating an account in Diigo. For the shared reference activity (Diigo component), students are required to submit references in their repository and then share them with their peers. References need to be cited in APA style, bookmarked (sharing with the group), and annotated (describe what the article is about and why it is relevant to your topic). Students submit five references at the end of the fourth, fifth and sixth module for a total of 15.
The collaboration amongst the instructor and librarian is essential for this project to take place. Much planning was involved in the development of the shared reference activity as the course was being developed as well as when students were in the course. The instructor reviews each of the references looking for proper citation and annotation and also provides constructive feedback within Diigo. The librarian also serves as moderator and provides comments within the Diigo group such as helping students find resources, answering questions related to conducting research, and in adding references to help students with using various Diigo tools.
According to Mackey and Jacobson (2005) in “working together librarians and faculty members can identify areas of difficulty, assessing projects and brainstorming ideas to better incorporate information literacy” (p 143).  The successful integration of Diigo within this research course exposes students to using the CINAHL Plus with Full Text database, web 2.0 tool, practice the use of American Psychological Association (APA) citation, and critique research. Students can continue to add resources to their own repository throughout their program and after graduation.
Supporting Information for this Effective Practice
Evidence of Effectiveness: 
Each time the course is offered, an end of term survey is administered to students to seek feedback regarding the course. Survey questions range from instructor feedback to course activity evaluations. In particular, several questions are opened ended and allow students to provide written feedback on all aspects of the course. When the course was first delivered, a separate questionnaire was sent out to students enrolled in the course to gain feedback solely on this activity. Below are quotes gathered from the end of term survey as well as the questionnaire that was administered the first time the course was offered.
Quotes from past students who have participated in the course:
In general I do not enjoy doing annotated bibliographies, doing them with Diigo made it easier to format and more convenient for others to look up my references”.
“It was interesting to learn about bookmarking tools”.
“Was a good tool for organizing resources to keep them in order”.
Quotes Regarding Course Instructions:
“Very clear, no additional information needed”.
“Instructions were very good”.
Based upon the feedback students have provided, the following improvements will be implemented in future sections of this course:
1.      Provide context to students on advantages of using online bookmarking for resource organization and analysis.
2.      Look at ways to encourage students to read directions to greater detail.
3.      Have students bookmark resources to own Diigo account before selecting “best of” for placement into shared space.
4.      Consider how to make the activity more collaborative.
How does this practice relate to pillars?: 
Learning Effectiveness
There is a separate area within the current activities dedicated to the shared reference activity. Learning resources included are step by step instructions, librarian e-mail, librarian chat, instructor support and four video tutorials that review the following:
·         Shared Bibliography Assignment Steps, Part one
·         Shared Bibliography Assignment Steps, Part two
·         CINAHL Search Basics
·         How to Bookmark EBSCO Host CINAHL articles in Diigo
The learning resources listed above help to enhance student satisfaction and learning effectiveness in allowing ways: be more comfortable with using web 2.0 tools, writing proper APA citations, conduct database researching, and the learning how to critique and annotate peer reviewed articles.
Scale: Diigo is a free web 2.0 tool and has been applied to two other nursing courses. This tool can be used easily for wider adaptation in other courses.
Access: Students can utilize this social bookmarking tool at their own pace and time. They can access their personal repository at any time, on any computer, as long as it is connected to the Internet. The learning resources can be viewed at any time during the course and even after the course ends. In addition, the instructor and librarian are available to students throughout the course for assistance via e-mail or chat.
Below are step-by-step directions that are included in the course:
1.      Sign up for a Diigo account and join the nursing research group.
2.      During the fourth, fifth and sixth modules, submit five out of the 15 peer reviewed journal articles relevant to your topic in Diigo.
3.      Bookmark each article.
4.      Cite: for each source include formatting in APA style.
5.      Annotate: for each source describe what the article is about and why it is relevant to your topic.
6.      Comment (optional): comment on your peer’s articles and annotations.
Equipment necessary to implement Effective Practice: 

Learning Management System, Internet, Social Bookmarking Tool (Diigo, Zotero, Delicious)

Estimate the probable costs associated with this practice: 

Cost of Internet, Cost of Learning Management System, Free Web 2.0 tools 

References, supporting documents: 
American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2008). The essentials of baccalaureate education for professional nursing practice. Washington, DC: Author.
Barnard, A., Nash, R., & O’Brien, M. (2005). Information literacy: Developing lifelong skills through nursing education. Journal of Nursing Education, 44(11),505-510.
[IOM] Institute of Medicine. (2003). The future of the public’s health in the twenty-first century. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
Mackey, P. T., & Jacobson, E. T. (2005). Information literacy a collaborative endeavor. College Teaching, 53(4), 140-144.
Supporting Document:
Contact(s) for this Effective Practice
Effective Practice Contact: 
Kimberly Balko
Email this contact:
Effective Practice Contact 2: 
Jennifer Boisvert
Email contact 2: