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This concept map and activity explores how various sources of information are created, accessed, and shared. Students collaboratively define what makes a source traditional, emerging, public, or exclusive. Students are given a type of information source to map on the grid according to each axis, and provide a rationale for their placement.

Assignments Adapted

I adapted this activity for a 100 minute first-year composition session. I had previously worked with the class for a session on evaluating news articles and fact-checking claims, but we hadn't talked much about scholarly, peer-reviewed articles. I chose several new examples appropriate for an introductory audience, such as a diagram of the steps in the peer-review process, examples of reviewer comments, and a pay-walled article. The reflections and comments students made on the posters were really insightful, and in their post-session assessment a few students mentioned they better understood peer-review. I would definitely do this activity again. I find it really hard to elaborate on discussions of "what is peer-review" aside from standard definitions and limiters, so I found a lot of value in being able to look at and discuss examples that contextualize the process and show its limitations and biases, such as access, racism and sexism. You can find the full lesson plan, examples, and photos from there gallery walk here: https://goo.gl/ssyMvf.

I adapted this activity for a 100 minute first-year composition class. Students did not have their topics yet, which would have been more helpful, but some of them used topics from a previous assignment. I added a section at the beginning for students to write a research question and the first "pass" had students identify if the question was too broad, too narrow, or just right and ask additional questions. I also added a section at the end for students to reflect on their peers' suggestions, whether they would do something similar or different. Timing and planning is so essential for this activity. I used a timer on the screen and set 3 minutes for each section, but there were a few hiccups at the beginning that threw things off. In the post-session assessment, several students mentioned it was helpful to see different perspectives in searching and learn from their peers. I also had more students respond that they learned to effectively use keywords than I have in previous sessions. I will definitely try this activity again and smooth out my timing/directions! You can find the lesson plan and adapted worksheet here: https://goo.gl/ssyMvf.

I adapted this for a 50 minute, English class "Introduction to Textuality." The course theme was taboo topics in literature/popular culture such as racism, sexism, homophobia, stigma around mental illness, etc, and their assignment asked them to analyze one of the course themes in three texts, using two credible secondary sources. I simplified the worksheet to one page and rephrased "research questions" as questions you would ask each guest. The internet was down in the classroom that day so we did not get to look at finding credible sources; instead students thought about who the "experts" might be and what they could add to the conversation. At the end of the session, students responded to the prompt "How is scholarship a conversation?" Their responses were really insightful and emphasized multiple voices/perspectives, engaging in difficult conversations, and who might be excluded. You can view the lesson plan, slides, and handout here: https://goo.gl/qK8eJ8.

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The Information Spectrum
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