In post-session feedback, first-year students frequently express anxiety over how to physically navigate the library to find a book on the shelf. This is a simple, pre-session activity to help students try this out before class, so that they can discuss with their librarian any challenges they faced in attempting to complete the task. With the help of the course instructor, students are asked to find a book on their research topic (or course topic) and bring it to class.
Through the course of researching a topic, students will learn about differences in types of information and how to use research to gather relevant terms to narrow a topic.
This class outline is based on the Four Moves and a Habit from Mike Caufield's Web Literacy for Student Fact Checkers.
It was designed for a first year writing class for students in an interdisciplinary STEM major. For their main class assignment, they were investigating a "fact" within their chosen scientific field, and tracing it to its origin. In addition to our in-class work they were also assigned to read:
This is an activity that helps students develop an interdisciplinary search strategy in stages. Students define their topic, brainstorm questions related to their topic area, and connect these questions to the disciplines and experts where they might find more research and information. Students learn how to identify search tools & information sources based on their questions using the library’s website.
This essay assignment asks students to reflect on their research process, evaluate on their sources, and reflect on social justice implications in reference to Catholic social teaching.
This think-pair-share activity in which students compare a popular and scholarly source will help them progress from answering observable questions (type of language and format) to analytical questions (intended audience). As a class, students will discuss their answers and talk about whether the popular source accurately represented the scholarly source.
Many academic and public libraries display their unique archives and special collections materials in exhibition spaces. With an array of primary sources and visuals, special collections exhibitions offer a wonderful venue for experiential learning of constructed narratives and perspectives. This Exhibition Explorer Card Deck is designed to guide students to experience close viewing of special collections materials through explicit steps for thinking rhetorically and critically in an exhibit space.
This is a simple activity intended to warm up students, break the ice, and introduce the concept of keyword searching. Ask students to come up with a single word search that gives zero results. It’s harder than it sounds. It may be too elementary for graduate students or upperclassmen; use your judgement about students’ abilities and familiarity with searching. This activity can be a great segue in to a lesson on keyword development, Boolean operators, popular terminology vs. technical jargon, and the differences between different kinds of databases.
This lesson is intended to increase students’ awareness of content types and how various source types are created in order to 1) assist them in accurate citation practices and 2) help them to effectively select and evaluate sources using basic indicators such as purpose, audience, authorship, and additional factors that shape the creation of the source.
In this activity, students review correct in-text citations for a particular format, then practice writing their own examples. These examples are submitted anonymously via a google form, allowing for the collective and collaborative review.