CORA stands for Community of Online Research Assignments. It is an open access resource for faculty and librarians The database contains multiple, reliable and reproducible research assignments that will not live as isolated entities, but are enhanced by user feedback in order to build a rich corpus of best practices. Assignments can be searched by Information Literacy Concepts, which are tied to the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Framework for Information Literacy as well as documents from the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL), and the Australia and New Zealand Institute for Information Literacy. Other search fields include discipline, ability level, and whether the assignment is for individuals or groups. Keyword searching is also available. Teaching Resources are also available under the Teaching Toolkit link and include such helpful types of resources as assessments, pedagogy, and syllabi, among others. Anyone can search CORA, but one must create a free account in order to contribute to the site. CORA is a project of the Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium (SCELC).
Type of Material:
As homework, ask students to identify a target learner population (e.g., discipline and ability level) and information literacy concept to address. Then have them select and critically compare an assignment and teaching resource. In class by in discussion threads, ask students to report their findings, and ask how they might apply their knowledge.
Accessed on the Firefox web browser.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
CORA is intended to be a collaborative space for adapting and experimenting with research assignments and sharing the success or lessons learned so that others may benefit.
Target Student Population:
Pre-service and practitioner teachers
Library and information professional majors
High school through graduate students in most disciplines
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Requires a basic knowledge of web browser and ICT literacy instructional design skills
This website collects and organizes links to lessons and teacher resources contributed by higher education librarians and other faculty. A board oversees quality, and materials reflect current practice and standards. Users can locate resources by discipline, information literacy concept, and ability level. As such, materials can be used in a variety of contexts; the lessons in particular, are classroom-ready. The links work, and resources are cited.
As with any collection of materials, some content will be better than others, but the assignments sampled by this reviewer were of good quality. Some teacher resources require registration and/or fees.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The materials all support information literacy. In fact, the standards of the US, Australia and the UK are noted in the search information literacy field. Resources are clustered by ability level, so that the same concept can be addressed at different depths. The lessons are ready to use, and the other resources are also easy to incorporate in many diverse contexts. The search engine also facilitates efficient location and selection of relevant ICT literacy sources. The fact that CORA resources are indexed to international information literacy standards from professional library organizations in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia/New Zealand is particularly helpful. All resources are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The website has a clean layout, and is easy to navigate. The introduction is minimal, but adequate to use the website. Nevertheless, FAQs scaffold use. CORE includes a blog, and encourages community feedback as well as contributions to the repository. The umbrella website appears to be ADA-compliant, including alt-text for images.
The website consists almost exclusively of text, so might not attract some users.
Other Issues and Comments:
Acceptable Use and Privacy policies are available for CORA on the About page.
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