Databases: What they are, how to use them, and why!Name: Gitta DenningDate of lesson: Thursday, December 6, 2012Description: This lesson will be led by a team of collaborating librarians from thepublic library, middle school library and elementary library and will educateparents – and in turn, students – about the use of databases.Audience: The audience will be comprised of parents of students in public schoolsin the district. The lesson will serve to give a basic overview of what a database is,how to use a database, and why someone doing research might prefer that resourceover another – especially a generic search on the Internet.Length/number of lessons: One (1) 60-minute lesson that could be delivered asmany times as needed to various groups of parents.Purpose: The purpose of the lesson is to explain what a database is, how to accessand search a database and why a search such as this might be preferred over othersources, particularly an Internet search.Learning Outcome(s)/Learning Target: Parents will understand what an onlinedatabase is, how to access the database from the public and school librarywebpages, how to execute a search in the database and what the value of doingresearch in a database is over a generic search of the Internet.StandardsCommon Core: CC6-8WH/SS/S/TS7 Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration. CC6-8WH/SS/S/TS8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
AASL Standards for 21st Century Learner 1.1.4 Find, evaluate, and select appropriate sources to answer questions. 1.1.5 Evaluate information found in selected sources on the basis of accuracy, validity, appropriateness to needs, importance, and social and cultural context. 1.2.3 Demonstrate creativity by using multiple resources and formats. 1.2.4 Maintain a critical stance by questioning the validity and accuracy of all information. 1.3.1 Respect copyright/intellectual property rights of creators and producers. 1.3.3 Follow ethical and legal guidelines in gathering and using information.MaterialsNeeded by librarians: Laptop attached to overhead projector Access to databases through school and/or Thomas Ford Memorial Library Handouts explaining the concept of Gale InfoTrac Bookmarks Comparison chart of database search and web search RADCAB handouts Exit SlipNeeded by parents/students: Laptop Notebook/paper/pencilInstructional procedures:Focusing event: I will open the lesson by posing a few questions How many of you have heard your child complain about a research project or paper they have to do? How many of your students have struggled trying to find a topic or narrow a topic? Once they find a topic, where are your kids going to get information and resources to learn about this topic? Is it reliable and relevant information or do you and they even know the answer to that? How would you feel about your child – and you – knowing how to tackle these challenges and being better prepared to manage the research process in middle school, high school, and beyond?
Input by me:OBJECTIVE DESCRIPTION of PROCEDURE/ACTIVITY TIMEExplain what an Librarian will offer a definition of an online 5 minutesonline database is database and reinforce with specific explanations of Gale Infotrac (offered to the students through their school website as well as through the public library website) and CQ Researcher (available through the school website) Pass out handouts about QR Researcher and Gale InfoTrac for basic background informationUnderstanding Librarian will create a reference question 15 minwhen and why to that is relevant to the audience – asking foruse a database vs. suggestions. Topics might include teena web search for nutrition, cheating in schools (plagiarism)research or others offered by class.purposes Librarian will demonstrate a general search on the Internet and highlight the number of results yielded by the search. Librarian will demonstrate the same search in the Gale InfoTrac database and highlight those search results. Librarian will lead conversation among the class participants about the pros and cons of each scenario (too many choices, too few choices, unreliable information, unknown sources). Librarian will ask when it seems appropriate to rely on a web search for information and when it would be necessary to take additional steps to confirm authority and credibility. Librarian will give the example of using Wikipedia as a source of information to explain the Gale InfoTrac database for today’s lesson! Librarian will pass out paper with chart comparing a database search and a web search. Librarian will give an example of a web search that yields many different results
including retail outlets and personal web pages that would not be appropriate for research (Keyword: skateboarding). Librarian will then use the same keyword search in the Gale InfoTrac database to pull up information from the news, magazines, or journals about skateboarding – more appropriate for a research project.Understanding Librarian will explain the need to verify the 5 minhow to verify results of a web search in a way thatauthority of students do not need to in a databaseresults of a web search.search Librarian will pass out RADCAB handout. Librarian will emphasize the validity of web searches in the right time and place, but explain that databases offer a path to credible and often more appropriate resources for research projects.Teach the use of a Librarian will guide students in the use of a 10 mindatabase database. Class will together access a database from library website and then the school website. Class will use Gale InfoTrac for this portion of the lesson. All students will use the same search terms for this exercise (Keywords: teens and nutrition).Guided Practice in See below 15 minexecuting Students will need to hand in the following:database searches o Name of their search.(see below: o Bibliography of 3 differentGuided Practice) resources found during their personalized search.Wrap-Up Librarian will ask for any questions and 10 min comments about the lesson. Librarian will recap what was learned during the lesson o What is a database o When and why our students should be using databases o How to use a database Librarian will pass out exit slips and ask students to take 1-2 minutes to fill them out before leaving.
Librarian will collect exit slips and work done during Guided PracticeGuided practice: After the focusing event and instruction, students will conductonline database searches on their laptop. As a group, we will explore other searchesand the results that can be found. I will highlight the returned search resultsincluding that results include vetted magazines, journal articles, newspaper articlesand audio clips.Closure (see above) I will ask for any questions and/or comments about thelessons, databases, use, etc. I will recap what they learned during the lesson – thewhat, when, why and how of databases. I will pass out exit slips and then collect exitslips and work completed during guided practice.Assessment: Worksheets completed during class will allow instructors/librarians to see if the students mastered the basic search of the database and were able to retrieve at least 3 sources of information for their search. Participants will be given an exit slip to fill out upon completion of the session. Exit slip is attached.What’s next? Depending on response by parents on the exit slips, there is the potential for having another lesson – a Q&A and guided practice where librarians roam and assist as students conduct their own searches. More specific lessons could be offered on how to expertly search a database with further instruction on Boolean logic both on databases and web searches.Works Cited:"Online." High Plains Library District. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Dec. 2012.<http://www.mylibrary.us/online/online-help/what-are-library-databases>."RADCAB - Steps for Online Information Evaluation." RADCAB - Steps for OnlineInformation Evaluation. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2012. <http://www.radcab.com/>.
Evaluating Websites and Web Search Results Databases can eliminate the need to verify the relevancy, appropriateness, detail, currency, authority and bias of a source by offering reliable and credible sources to begin with!Works Cited:"RADCAB - Steps for Online Information Evaluation." RADCAB - Steps for Online InformationEvaluation. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2012. <http://www.radcab.com/>.
What is a database?A library database is both an electronic catalog and the access point toinformation from published works.Library databases provide access to resources across a wide spectrum oftopic and subject areas. Such as: the arts, genealogy, academic research, homeimprovement, auto repair, business and much more.Library databases provide access to published information sources.Examples: magazines, newspapers, encyclopedias, journals and otherresources.Library databases may provide access to full-text articles and/or articleabstracts. Full Text = entire article - Library databases sometimes omit photos, graphs, charts, and figures from articles, but most will indicate that these have been omitted. Abstract = summary provided by the author or database publisher.Library databases are easily searchable. Database content may often besearched by: Keywords, Title, Author, or Subject.Library databases provide citation information such as: Title Author Source (Title and type of Publication) Publisher Date of Publication What is Gale InfoTrac InfoTrac is a family of full text databases of content from academic journals and general magazines, of which the majority are targeted to the English- speaking North American market. As is typical of online proprietary databases, various forms of authentication are used to verify affiliation with subscribing academic, public, and school libraries. InfoTrac databases are published by Gale, a part of Cengage Learning.*"Online." High Plains Library District. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Dec. 2012.<http://www.mylibrary.us/online/online-help/what-are-library-databases>.Retrieved from www.wikipedia.com. 5 Dec. 2012.
How is a library database different from a website?"Online." High Plains Library District. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Dec. 2012.<http://www.mylibrary.us/online/online-help/what-are-library-databases>.
EXIT SLIPI know how to access a database through the Thomas Ford Librarywebsite YES NOI know how to access a database through the McClure Junior HighSchool website YES NOOne reason to access a database for research purposes would be:______________________________________I will be able to encourage my kids to use databases and help them withthe process YES NOI need more help understanding databases, what they are and how touse them. Please contact me with additional opportunities to learn.Name_______________ email address_____________________