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Assignments Contributed

In this assignment, students are given a range of newspaper article about science topics and work in pairs to find the original research article that the newspaper article is based on in the library databases. Students then assess when they might use an original research article vs when they might use a well-written newspaper article.

During this activity, students work in small groups to explore assigned databases and then share back what they learn in a Google Doc projected at the front of the classroom.

Assignments Adapted

I adapted this activity for a class in which we also discussed the scholarly conversation, in preparation for a final project in which students extended the work of previous theorists to propose a feminist utopia. Instead of having the students complete the worksheet, I printed out the scenarios (and added a few more) and created printed sets of where students might look for the information required. The options, beyond databases and Google, include a social media hashtag, government website, the library catalog, a local historical society, and a consumer magazine or newspaper.

The students worked in groups to decide where they would look for information for their scenario, and we then did a gallery walk and discussed what the groups had decided and the questions:
How can you use this activity in your own life/scholarship?
Discussion that “authority” is context dependent and depends on what type of information you need.

If anyone wants the printable sheets for this activity, let me know!

I edited the Scholarly Party worksheet to include some institution-specific information that I wanted students to know. While facilitating, I gave student groups ten minutes for each section and discussed each section as we went, as well as giving verbal instructions for each section before moving on. This kept students on task and and clear on what they were supposed to be working on. Essentially, I rolled the group activity and the group reports sections into an ongoing conversation throughout the class. It's also worth noting that this activity took an entire 75 minute class period with first year students- the 20 minute allotment for the activity would not have been enough!

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From newspaper article to research article: backtracking to find original research
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Exploring Databases with Google Docs
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