This is a project I have been working on for a couple of years now with Hannah Gascho Rempel, one of my colleagues here at OSU. A few years ago, Hannah and I were working with our first-year composition program and as part of that, we were assessing some student papers.
Quite aside from the question we were trying to answer, we noticed a marked lack of curiosity driving any of these student papers. This sent us down an exploratory path that we haven’t emerged from yet. So far we have:
- Reworked the information literacy portion of WR 121 to more intentionally build in curiosity.
- Conducted a small qualitative case study, checking in with four FYC composition students over the course of a term, and evaluating their written work to pull out themes related to curiosity, exploration, learning and risk-taking.
- Created a short self-assessment instrument to start people thinking about their own curiosity in more complex ways.
- Changed the way we provide training and support to the GTA’s who teach FYC, and designed a case study to help inform how the program should develop moving forward.
- Given presentations and workshops on the topic of curiosity in library instruction at the First-Year Experience conference, Library Instruction West, Online Northwest, and AMICAL.