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The Digital Research Process and Student “Satisficing”: How writing centers and libraries can work together to improve the student research process
The Digital Research Process and Student “Satisficing”: How writing centers and libraries can work together to improve the student research process
The Digital Research Process and Student “Satisficing”: How writing centers and libraries can work together to improve the student research process
The Digital Research Process and Student “Satisficing”: How writing centers and libraries can work together to improve the student research process
The Digital Research Process and Student “Satisficing”: How writing centers and libraries can work together to improve the student research process
The Digital Research Process and Student “Satisficing”: How writing centers and libraries can work together to improve the student research process
The Digital Research Process and Student “Satisficing”: How writing centers and libraries can work together to improve the student research process
The Digital Research Process and Student “Satisficing”: How writing centers and libraries can work together to improve the student research process
The Digital Research Process and Student “Satisficing”: How writing centers and libraries can work together to improve the student research process
The Digital Research Process and Student “Satisficing”: How writing centers and libraries can work together to improve the student research process
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The Digital Research Process and Student “Satisficing”: How writing centers and libraries can work together to improve the student research process

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All parties whose goal is to create better student writers should work together to share knowledge and resources. By providing more assistance to students during the research phase of the writing …

All parties whose goal is to create better student writers should work together to share knowledge and resources. By providing more assistance to students during the research phase of the writing process through collaboration with the library’s research services, the writing center can help to build student knowledge of the research process. This will save the student time, availing her more time to become a better writer- a more confident writer able to write a better paper. If students feel confident in their approach to research they might aim for the best-achievable result instead of merely satisficing.

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  • In the process of conducting digital research many college students engage in satisficing, merely meeting the basic requirements of an assignment. Studies of student research habits have shown that the frustration that results from ineffective research strategies leads to information overload, which can cause students to curtail their research process.2
  • Writing centers should make it known that pre-writing services are offered to students during the course of the student’s research process.Students should be encouraged to bring outlines of proposed papers to the writing centers with questions about effective research strategies for the outlined goals of the paper. 4Is already happening at many universities around the countryThe Academic Projects Center at EMU offers point-of-need help with research, writing, communication, and technology to students working on research papers and other academic projects. Writing Center consultants and Librarians work together in the Center to provide project-oriented support. http://www.emich.edu/apc/734.487.2543
  • 3. What was an interesting topic that one of your students brought the writing center?GO to “Ask A Librarian”4. GO to “Research Guides”GO to “Searchpaths”GO to “Library Tutorials”
  • SO what if the student doesn’t have time to avail themselves of these resources?In the short time available to tutors, the least you can do is to give your students tips on website evaluation
  • In evaluating a web site students need to understand-1,2,3Students also need to consider…AccuracyDoes the information presented seem accurate? Are the facts verifiable? AuthorityWho is the author? What expertise does he or she have on this topic? Who sponsors the site? Check the domain name to see if it is a university, business, organization, or an individual ObjectivityWhat is the stated purpose of the site? Check the “About...” link if there is one. What position or opinion is presented and does it seem biased? What kind of sites does this one link to? CurrencyOn what date was the page created? Do you need more current information? Do links on the site still connect to their destination? UseWould you quote information from this site in a college research paper?
  • The most important concept the tutor can share with the students is one of contributing to the conversation, every source has a role in a research paper, but the writing needs to not just merely reflect existing bodies of thought (Dossin 2005). The student must understand that through the process of her research, pertinent ideas need to be identified that help the student form and refine an original and contributive opinion on the topic. Students need to understand that they must take honest notes from source materials (giving credit where credit is due) and learn how to take the cited author’s words and form them into a language that is the student’s own based on the student’s analysis and synthesis of the information gathered (Dossin 2005).
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    • 1. The Digital Research Process and Student “Satisficing” Jennifer Colby Writing 300 Fall 2012 Writing Centers and Libraries working together
    • 2. The process of considering options until “a practical solution with an adequate level of acceptability is found, and stopping the search there instead of looking for the best-possible solution”.1 In the digital research process this manifests as o Merely meeting the basic requirements of an assignment o Information overload2 1The Economist (2009, March 20) Guru: Herbert Simon. Retrieved November 20, 2012, from http://www.economist.com/node/13350892 . 2Head, A. J., & Eisenberg, M. B. (2009). Finding Context: What Today's Students Say about Conducting Research in the Digital Age. University of Washington, The Information School. What is satisficing?
    • 3. Even if the tutor does not have specific topic knowledge, obvious signs of satisficing include3 o Glaring factual errors o No quotations and/or a failure to cite sources o Limited or no bibliography o The inability of the student to verbally defend information in paper or identify where it came from 3Sweetland Center for Writing. Warning Signs of a Rushed Paper. From http://writing2.richmond.edu/wrting/wweb/rushed.html. How is satisficing identified?
    • 4. o Put the Writing Center in the Library Advantages for the writing center are… • Sharing space and resources • Cross-training of tutors and librarians • Providing joint services to students Advantages for the student are… • Direct and convenient research help in conjunction with pre-writing services o Eastern Michigan University Academic Projects Center5 4Smith, M., & Hepworth, M. (2007). An investigation of factors that may demotivate secondary school students undertaking project work: Implications for learning information literacy. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science , 39 (1), 3-15. 5Eastern Michigan University. Academic Projects Center. Retrieved December 1, 2012 from http://www.emich.edu/apc/. How can the Writing Center help?4
    • 5. 1. Show genuine interest in the student’s topic 2. Ask questions o How did you find these sources? o Why did you choose these sources? o Do you need help finding sources? 3. Encourage the student to "Ask A Librarian" o Instant messaging o Email o Phone o In person o Subject Specialists 4. Make them be aware of MLibrary resources o Research Guides o Searchpath o Library Tutorials 5. Encourage the student to visit the Writing Center earlier in their process of writing What can you do about it?
    • 6. In the meantime… Tips on website evaluation
    • 7. 10. You must never fully rely on any one source for important information. 9. You especially cannot rely on something when you do not even know who wrote it. 8. The contributor with an agenda often prevails. 7. Individuals with agendas sometimes have significant editing authority. 6. Sometimes “vandals” create malicious entries that go uncorrected for months. 5. There is little diversity among editors. 4. The number of active Wikipedia editors has flat lined. 3. It has become harder for casual participants to contribute. 2. Accurate contributors can be silenced. And finally, the number one reason you can't cite or rely on Wikipedia: 1. It says so on Wikipedia.6 6Moran, M. E. (2011, October 27). The Top 10 Reasons Students Cannot Cite or Rely On Wikipedia. FindingDulcinea. Retrieved November 26, 2012, from http://www.findingdulcinea.com/news/education/2010/march/The-Top-10-Reasons-Students-Cannot-Cite-or-Rely-on-Wikipedia.html The Top 10 Reasons Students Cannot Cite or Rely On Wikipedia
    • 8. 1. Evaluate the Intention of the website o WHY was the website created? o What OPINION does this site represent? 2. Evaluate the Relevance of the Site o How OLD is the website or page? o Does timeliness matter to the subject of your paper or project? 3. Evaluate the Reliability of the Site o WHO created the site? o How GOOD is the Information? o How well documented is the work?7 7University of Michigan Library. (2012, August 29). Searchpath: Using the Web. Research Guides. Retrieved November 29, 2012 from http://guides.lib.umich.edu/content.php?pid=43469&sid=320775 Questions to Consider When Evaluating the Content of a Web Site6
    • 9. o Without positive intervention and constructive help from human sources student information seeking characterized by: • Confusion • Vagueness • Embarrassment Resulting in satisficing and writing that is unsupported by academic sources.8 8Dossin, M. M. (2005). Using Others' Words. In B. Raforth (Ed.), A Tutor's Guide: Helping Writers One to One (2nd Edition ed., pp. 159-165). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Why is the tutor so important?
    • 10. Remember: Writing center tutors and library professionals can work together to prevent student satisficing during the research process.

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