Watch this short video to hear the most common student frustrations when it comes to research.
Too often we create activities/assignments without considering the student side of the equation. For the next few slides we’ll be looking at the ‘student side’ of research in order to plan more ‘student friendly’ research opportunities. When teachers give an assignment students often ask these questions: Students want to know what you’re expecting. Not providing a clear set of guidelines or your expectations of them will often frustrated and stressed because they don’t know the parameters of the assignment. Students also don’t know how to create a ‘plan of attack’ that helps them identify what they know and what they need to know.
How can you apply this standard into your classroom? It starts with your lesson plan…in the next few slides you will see some actual lesson plan revisions that will help ensure that information literacy standards are being addressed.
It’s a good idea to focus lower level classes so they don’t become either overwhelmed or frustrated with the results they find. Effective searching is 99% of the problems students have finding information online. Another way this lesson idea could have been improved would be to provide a list of search “terms” for the student to use to find additional information in periodicals.
To recap – we need to look at the path between point A (where we are now) and point B (where our students need to be). We need to:
You may think this is too obvious, but our students struggle with even the basic steps in locating information. You also should never assume that your students learned this in the last class – even if they did, reinforcing skills is what deepens understanding. You’ll be surprised to find that even if they have received training, many may have forgotten.
This literacy standard focuses on finding and using information – the virtual library is a tool that you should be able to confidently use to meet this information literacy requirement. It’s designed for our students with information centralized by program of study. To support your students you may explain/demonstrate the various search styles (which will be covered more in-depth in just a moment). The library is set up with various search tools – ranging from beginner to advanced. Make sure you’re using the correct tools based on the skill levels of your students. Also, don’t confuse time actually searching (which may or may not be successful) with time spent using research – if a student says they spent hours searching for information that does not equal “information understood” or even “correct information found”.
If you aren’t familiar with boolean or natural language searching refer to the table above. Our friend google uses natural language searching which our students prefer. Our journal databases have a “Smart Text” search option which allows students to utilize this skill. Our book databases do not – so students will need to use key term searches to find books. Students should be trained to use both methods in order to maximize their success.
Citing sources is a crucial part of information literacy. All instructors should establish a citation policy (and stick with it) and re-affirm the importance of proper citation. Plagiarism has serious consequences.
Onto your assignment. This unit has an online quiz component – click the link above to take the quiz. You will need to score a 70% to receive a certificate of achievement. Print out that certificate and turn it into the LRC. You’ll then get a ‘prettier’ certificate to put in your faculty development plan. THEN: you’ll still need to turn a lesson plan in for EACH of your classes that contains a subject matter based research activity utilizing the VL. Make sure it aligns with the course level you’re teaching and provides adequate scaffolding or support for your students. It needs to be meaningful, measurable and applicable. BOTH: these items are due by October 24th 2009 (which is the end of week 7). Please let me know if you have any questions about this training or if you’d like to work with me to help design a learning opportunity for your students.
The information literate
student accesses needed
• How can we help students achieve this standard
• What does this “look like” in the classroom?
• What is my role in the process?
Breaking it down…
This standard focuses on “Searching & Citing”
In this training you’ll examine how to help your
students by designing effective projects that will
allow your students to find the information they’ll
need for your class research opportunities.
What does “good research” look like?
100 level courses – VL lessons should provide scaffolding to direct students to specific
materials/sites & provide expected outcomes (i.e. use this article to complete the worksheet).
Instructors need to provide motivation & support to foster positive attitudes. Activities need to be
relevant, specific, meaningful, & brief.
200 level courses – VL lessons should provide some scaffolding but allow
students a broader range allowing them to conduct their own search strategies.
Student should be able to start analyzing materials and using information in
context (making conclusions). Instructor should continue to motivate & support
positive attitudes. Activities need to be relevant & meaningful.
300 level courses – VL lessons should include
research (with emphasis on content). Students should be
able to conduct a variety of searches & find various
information formats (books, journals, etc.). Instructor
support & guidance needed to promote student success.
Activities still need to be relevant & meaningful.
400 level courses –
VL lessons can reflect
more open ended research that
allows students to locate,
evaluate, judge, adopt, and use
information to support their
own learning. Activities need to
be relevant & meaningful.
What frustrations do students have with research?
Performance Outcomes of this
•The information literate student selects the most appropriate
investigative methods or information retrieval systems for accessing
the needed information.
•The information literate student constructs and implements
effectively-designed search strategies.
•The information literate student retrieves information online or in
person using a variety of methods.
•The information literate student refines the search
strategy if necessary.
•The information literate student extracts, records,
and manages the information and its sources.
Badke, W. (2008, July). Information Literacy Meets Adult Learners. Online,
32(4), 48-50. Retrieved July 15, 2009, from Business Source Premier
In The Classroom…
Consider the following:
“Adult learners first like to conceptualize the whole process [of research].
They prefer a road map and an explanation of points of interest along the
way. This isn’t spoon-feeding. They want to be able to grasp the point
of the assignment, its goals, and the steps required to move from topic
to product. They’re willing to do the work, but they want to understand
what is required of them.” (Badke, 2008)
Our research projects should
not be a maze of twists and
turns that leave our students
‘guessing’ if they’re on the
Performance Indicator 1:
• What is the scope of the assignment?
• What do I need to discover or what am I trying to solve?
• How can I find the information? What information do I
already have? What information do I still need?
• Where can I find the information I need? What are the
best sources for the information I need?
• What are my (or my teacher’s) biases (or opinions)
about this topic?
• How can I make sure my biases are not reflected in my
• How will I know I’ve completed this project?
How can I…
• Design a project that meets the
curriculum requirements that ALSO
meets my students expectations?
• How can I make this content relevant to
my students so they actually “get
something” out of this activity?
Start with the END in mind
• Click on the image to
the right to visit the
Each of the Design
discussed at length.
Image from “Designing Your Project” Design principles for effective project
based learning. Retrieved 13 October 2009 from: http://pbl-
Looking at VL Lesson Plans…
How are you introducing these concepts
in your classroom activities and/or
How are you encouraging your students
to use these skills?
Let’s look at some lesson
Students in a 100 level class are directed to “use the Virtual Library to
research best practices in generating Visual Basic forms for using in
applications. Be sure to implement those best practices in your code.”
• A 100 level course should point the student to resources (to create
• Evaluation Criteria – How is this supposed to be measured? How can you
‘see’ this in action?
• Connections to ‘how this fits into what the students are doing’ or ‘what will
they be doing with this information’
• Citation specifics allow students to create skills that will transfer to all other
Revising Lesson Ideas – Applications
Original Scenario 1:
Students in a 100 level class are directed to “use the Virtual Library to research
best practices in generating Visual Basic forms for using in applications. Be sure
to implement those best practices in your code.”
REVISED Scenario 1:
• Using Books 24x7 on the Virtual Library, define the following terms & cite their
source(s) using APA guidelines:
1. accessibility aid 4. data-format validation
2. business rule validation 5. Data Transfer Object
3. context-sensitive help 6. extender class
• Students are sent to a specific area(s) within the VL to conduct their searches
• Students are able to construct their own search techniques while in a
• The assignment is more limited in scope, applicable, and evaluation is less
• Students are creating/re-enforcing good citation habits/skills
Students in a 400 level class are directed to “prepare a professional
summary about managing product development. Use “Managing Product
Development” by Nishiguchi, Toshihiro (Oxford University Press). 1996.
Chapter 1. This book is located in the Ebrary section under the books link
of our Virtual library (you need to search for “product development” to find
• Evaluation Criteria
• Connections to ‘how this fits into what the students are doing’ or
‘what will they be doing with this information’
• Citation specifics
Revising Lesson Ideas – Applications
Original Scenario 2:
Students in a 400 level class are directed to “prepare a professional summary
about managing product development. Use “Managing Product Development” by
Nishiguchi, Toshihiro (Oxford University Press). 1996. Chapter 1. This book is
located in the Ebrary section under the books link of our Virtual library (you
need to search for “product development” to find the book).”
REVISED Scenario 1:
• Using the Virtual Library, create a product development timeline that
summarizes the key components and stages in a new product development
cycle. You may want to refer to Chapter 1 in Managing Product Development
by Nishiguchi, Toshihiro (found in the Ebrary book collection) to get started.
• Your timeline will need to cover a minimum of 7 stages and use at least 3 VL
sources. Cite your sources in APA format. This timeline will be a part of your
• Students are given the opportunity to create their own meaning using a
variety of sources
• Expectations (and citation styles) are clearly stated
• There is a stated correlation between the activity and the course objectives
Moving from point A B
• Provide students with clear
directions and guidelines
• Help students identify what they
• Help students identify what they
may need to discover
• Demonstrate how to find the
information they need
• Provide adequate time & support
It’s critical for students to have an “idea” of what they need to find
and how they can find that information.
For example: if you are looking for peer-reviewed sources you need
to confirm that your students:
1) know what peer reviewed sources are
2) know how to locate them in the Virtual Library
Identification, Planning & Wording
How can I find what I
need? What information
do I already have? What
information do I still need?
WHERE DO I START?!?
Time doing research time using research
Virtual Library & LRC Holdings
If you plan on sending them to the Virtual Library for research each of the
following should be in place:
1) YOU have already conducted searches to determine if the content is there
and the search terms you used.
2) YOU are aware if your students know how to use the Virtual Library
3) YOU are aware if your students know the difference between Boolean
searches and Natural Language searches
• Effective search terms
Searching for ‘War’ vs. ‘Operation Desert Storm’
• Understanding where (and where not) to go
Online - EBSCOHost vs. Google vs. 360 Search
• Identifying what types of information would be best (book, journal, multimedia,
• Uses peer reviewed & credible sources over random Google hits
If you would like me to
explain my views on the
VL 360 Search on the
Boolean vs. Phrase Based Searching
Uses connectors And / Or / Not (simplified)
Natural Language Search
Using plain language to enter your search
•This is an algebraic concept, but don't let that scare
you away. Boolean connectors are all about sets.
There are three little words that are used as Boolean
and / or / not
•Think of each keyword as having a "set" of results.
•This type of search is the easiest to understand, but
many databases don't offer it as a function.
•A natural language search is a search using regular
spoken language, such as English. Using this type of
search you can ask the database a question or you
can type in a sentence that describes the information
you are looking for. The database then uses a
programmed logic to determine the keywords in the
sentence by their position in the sentence.
•The Internet search service Ask.com or Google offers
natural language searching. 2
1. Board of Regents. (n.d.) Boolean Search. University System of Georgia. Retrieved 10 August
2009 from http://www.usg.edu/galileo/skills/unit04/primer04_08.phtml.
2. Board of Regents. (n.d.) Natural language search. University System of Georgia. Retrieved 10
August 2009 from http://www.usg.edu/galileo/skills/unit04/primer04_09.phtml.
80% of college students admit to cheating at least once (The
Center of Academic Integrity)
90% of students believe that students that cheat are never
caught or have not been appropriately disciplined (US News
and World Report)
Organizing, Using & Citing
• Keeps track of information found that fulfills their search criteria and
needs (saving, copy/paste, printing, adding to MyEbscoHost etc.)
• Understands how to cite information within a document (internal
• Correctly creates a bibliography or works cited page
•MLA or APA? That’s completely up to you (and your School/
Program Chair). Consistency is the key!
• Quality over quantity – how are you helping students evaluate their
Your Required Assignments
1. Visit this link to complete the Information Literacy quiz –
literacy-research-citation. * Print out the certificate of achievement
and turn it into the LRC this will count as part of your Professional
2. Turn in a lesson plan (paper or electronic copy) to the LRC that:
provides students with a research opportunity that utilizes the
Virtual Library for EACH of your classes. Make sure the
goals/objectives for the activity provide adequate scaffolding and are
measurable, meaningful, & applicable. I will be reviewing each plan.
3. Both your quiz and your lesson plan(s) are due no later than
If you have any questions regarding this training or
would like to work with me on planning an activity for
your class(es) please feel free to email me at: