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Supporting Research in the First College Year
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Supporting Research in the First College Year

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Author: Dianna Sachs …

Author: Dianna Sachs
Western Michigan University

Published in: Education
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  • 1. Dianna E. Sachs March 20, 2009
  • 2. What is First Year Seminar?  History of collaboration  Learning outcomes  Structure and methodology  Responses  Where do we go from here? 
  • 3. 2 credit hours  Approx. 1,200 students, 58 sections  Academic and social transition to University  Community  Faculty and student facilitators 
  • 4. 2006 – tour of the library on request  2007 – tour, short project, required  2008 – project, integrated tour, required  ◦ Common Research Experience = enhanced roll for library
  • 5. Learning Outcomes  ◦ Library = comfortable, welcoming ◦ Librarians = knowledgeable, friendly ◦ Wide variety of resources and services ◦ Basic concepts of information organization and research
  • 6. Structure and Methodology  Project-oriented active learning ◦ Work in groups ◦ Peer mentoring ◦ Self-determined ◦ ◦ “Choose Your Own Adventure” meets “Madlibs”
  • 7. Choose an item  Write keywords describing item  Use keywords as search terms to find next  item Repeat, repeat, repeat  Final item often unrelated to first  Students‟ choice throughout 
  • 8. “They were really responsive to Maps, Special  Collections, too. They think they‟re going to hate it at first, but then they find that one item and everyone is like „Ohhhhhh!‟” - Megan W. “Some students were kind of „blah‟ and  unresponsive because it wasn‟t for a grade. I remember some of them said they weren‟t going to try.” -Lauren D.
  • 9. Observed: around 70% were interested. Active learning was successful Better balance between “intro to library tour” and “project time” More successful when faculty instructor was Faculty – projects present should be more focused
  • 10. Common Research Experience continues  More focused project  Short (but interactive) tour independent of  project Experimental classes – librarian integrated  into course and curriculum Come back next year! 
  • 11. Questions?

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