Topic brainstorming worksheet

This is a handout that I used in a class where students were working on articulating their research topics. The students were in one of two situations: either they had a very specific topic/example (usually a very recent event) that they needed to link to larger, broader topics about which they could find scholarly information, or they had a very broad topic that they needed to narrow down into something that was manageable for a 4-5 page paper.

The handout is the same on both pages, but with different captions for the various “bubbles.”  I emphasize with the students that they don’t have to fill in all the bubbles, and they can add bubbles, connect bubbles to other bubbles, etc.  I also tell them that if this worksheet doesn’t work for them, either for the way they tend to think about a topic, or for the specific topic that they’re working with, that’s okay. Topic brainstorming template (.pptx file)

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Video: Evaluating sources for credibility

https://www.lib.ncsu.edu/tutorials/evaluating-sources/

This three-minute video from the NCSU Libraries presents a quick overview of three characteristics that we assess when evaluating a source’s credibility: authority, bias, and currency.  It’s somewhat checklist-y, but I like that it acknowledges the role that non-peer-reviewed sources (and even sources that could be considered “biased” or as having an agenda) can play as evidence in an argument.  It might make a nice counterpart to the video Credibility is Contextual, just below.

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Video: Credibility is contextual

3 min. I plan on using this summary after instruction session discussions with Educ 201 students on using sources such as websites, blogs, and newspaper articles.

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Instruction Current Awareness Compilation for December 2014

Here’s the third quarterly installment of “What’s Going On Out There: Library Instruction Edition,” comprised of useful and thought-provoking items from the world of library instruction from the last three months.

Note to anyone who might be reading this from outside of the Saint Mary’s College community: that link won’t work for you.  If you’re interested in seeing it, let me know (cpellegr at saintmarys dot edu) and I’ll send you a copy.

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Tutorial: Annotated Bibliography

This new tutorial from the Ithaca College Library has seven questions that walk students through various aspects of creating an annotated bibliography. We seem to be encountering more and more assignments based around annotated bibliographies, so this may be helpful for use in class, or to send to instructors to have their students go through it outside of class.

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Ideas for using the new ACRL IL Framework in class

This is from a presentation at the Minnesota Library Association 2014 annual conference, by Iris Jastram (Carleton College), Jason Paul (St. Olaf College), and Rachel E. Weiss (Augustana [IL] College).  Their handout gives a number of specific suggestions for integrating the six basic concepts of ACRL’s Framework for Information Literacy into one-shot library instruction.  They posted their slides as well, but those seem less specifically helpful than the handout.

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Pre-instruction session assessment

Last evening Global Studies students visited the library for instruction on strategies to carry out a well-developed, thorough literature review for their senior seminar research proposal. A tip o’ the hat to Catherine Pellegrino for sharing her pre-instruction session assessment tool, a 3-question survey administered via Google Forms.

pre-session assessment form

The third question –  “What do you most want to learn in the upcoming library session?” –  provided an opportunity to customize the session to specifically respond to students’ knowledge gaps. And the best thing? During post-session assessment, there was nary an, “I already knew all of this!” Sweet!

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Instruction Current Awareness Compilation for September 2014

Here’s the second quarterly installment of “What’s Going On Out There: Library Instruction Edition,” comprised of useful and thought-provoking items from the world of library instruction from the last three months.

Note to anyone who might be reading this from outside of the Saint Mary’s College community: that link won’t work for you.  If you’re interested in seeing it, let me know (cpellegr at saintmarys dot edu) and I’ll send you a copy.

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Video: Focus on Evidence, Not Sources

This 8:14 video talks about different kinds of evidence that students might use in research assignments, and encourages students to think about what kinds of evidence they will need to develop their arguments, instead of whether a particular source is “good” or “bad.” It also integrates Joseph Bizup’s BEAM model for the rhetorical roles that sources play in scholars’ work.

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Classroom Critical Incident Questionnaire

This questionnaire, developed by Stephen Brookfield, is similar to, but longer and a little more cumbersome than the Minute Paper.  It also gets at slightly different aspects of the students’ experience of a class session, and can elicit information about their affective experience of the class as well as their learning.

CIQ (one-page PDF file)

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