thing 15: Collaborating with Writing Programs


Johnson, B., & McCracken, I. M. (2016). Reading for Integration, Identifying Complementary Threshold Concepts: The ACRL Framework in Conversation with Naming What We Know: Threshold Concepts of Writing Studies. Communications in Information Literacy, 10(2), 178-198.

NOTE: Thanks to Caroline Hopkinson for recommending this reading! 🙂


Choose ANY of the questions below to respond to in a comment, or respond to the component of the article that most stood out to you:

  • Johnson and McCracken suggest that it may be helpful to view the Scholarship as Conversation frame as “the driving threshold concept in information literacy.” How might introducing students first to the concept of the scholarly conversation change, enhance, or otherwise impact the way you teach information literacy?
  • Which frame stood out to you as illustrating the most connections to associated threshold concepts in writing?
  • In Naming What We Know, authors identified components of concepts that may be particularly “troublesome” for students. What components of the frames do you feel may be most “troublesome” for students, and why?
  • Johnson and McCracken point out the the Information Creation as a Process frame focuses primarily on “other people’s products,” rather than addressing students’ role as content creators. How could this frame be adapted in order to address what students need to learn in order to effectively act as information producers?
  • This article highlights the need for instruction that helps “student understand research as inquiry, not as a reporting on sources as a means of ‘satisficing’ an instructor.” What kinds of learning experiences, resources, and assignments can help students shift their view of the purpose of research?


One comment

  1. Johnson and McCracken (2016) talk about how research is not simply “reporting on sources as a means of ‘satisficing’ an instructor” (p. 187). In a literature review, though, researchers do report on sources.

    Recently I helped some students whose lit reviews did not have enough reporting on their sources. Since at least one of them is preparing for the thesis, these students were probably focusing on original contribution. You can’t make an original contribution, though, without knowing if it’s original. To use the conversation analogy, you join a conversation once you know what has been said to that point.

    I have asked faculty about their expectations for lit reviews. What is obvious to faculty may not be so obvious to students. The article reminds me to include the Writing Center in further conversations. If we’re all on the same page, we can offer better support.



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