Educational Application Of Word

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Educational Application Of Word

  1. 1. Meaningful Educational Application of Word Lisa Chizek As a writing teacher at Jackson Community College, many of my students are just beginning to learn how to conduct credible research and build outside ideas into their writing. In order to successfully guide students into the research world, I often request a reference librarian to visit our classroom and demonstrate how to use the college’s databases, search engines and other various tools to help them on their research journey. While this has proven partially effective because it exposes them to new research opportunities, the presentations are often lecture based, limiting student interaction and participation. The lack of student engagement typically results in disinterest, boredom, and a general lack of understanding concerning the powerful research tools presented. To address these problems, I have developed an instructional handout for students to complete directly following the reference librarian’s visit to our classroom. The instructional handout is based on a concept developed by Lansing Community College (where I also teach writing) that has proven useful in helping student writers navigate initial research steps. My goal is to create a document specific to Jackson Community College’s library resources that guide students through the research process in an effective way. The document will make a difference in students learning and understanding of research by providing a medium to practice, navigate and acquire necessary research skills. The document will be a series of questions and prompts designed to engage learners to travel through various databases and searches to experiment, become familiar with, and build confidence in their research abilities. The handout will be completed in small groups and will be used as a springboard for a whole class discussion and demonstration of research skills. Assessment of the instructional handout will be based on two different elements. First, students will need to answer the questions correctly on the handout, demonstrating their ability to peruse JCC’s library website for specific purposes. Secondly, each group will demonstrate how to find a specific research objective from the handout. This will place learners in an active role rather than passive observers and provide an opportunity to experience concepts presented by the librarian firsthand. Outlined on the following pages is the instructional handout on researching and using Jackson Community College’s databases.
  2. 2. ENGL 131 Research Seek and Find 1. Use the library’s homepage as the starting point for this activity (go to jccmi.edu and place mouse on the Students tab. The library will be the fourth item down). 2. Students in each group will find the answer to a specific question(s) listed below. 3. Each group should be prepared to show their classmates how they located the answer to their assigned question. Group One: Please list at least two ways you can get help from a librarian without having to come to JCC’s library 1. __________________________________________________________ 2. __________________________________________________________ Group Two: Where can you get help with databases through Instructional PowerPoints? ___________________________________________________________ How many different Instructional PowerPoints are available? ___________________________________________________________ Group Three: What types of journals and databases are available to you through JCC’s library? ___________________________________________________________ What are the differences between the two Issues & Controversies databases? ___________________________________________________________ Group Four: What is the Michigan Electronic Library (MEL)? ___________________________________________________________ What do you need in order to have access to MEL? ___________________________________________________________ What are MEL’s most popular databases? ___________________________________________________________ Group Five: How do you obtain a library card? ____________________________________________________________ How can you renew a borrowed item? ____________________________________________________________
  3. 3. ENGL 131 Research Exercise In your group, use WilsonSelect Plus or InfoTrac database to find a specialized article (remember specialized means peer reviewed or refereed journals) on one of the following topics: 1. Should college students be expelled from college for committing plagiarism in a course? 2. Laws banning the use of cell phones while driving will protect the public by keeping our roads safer. 3. Smoking bans or tobacco-free public places should allow some designated smoking areas instead of a total ban. 4. Copyright laws should be strictly enforced on the Internet in order to protect the creator’s intellectual property. 5. Should video surveillance be permitted on college campuses in order to enhance campus security? Once you decide on a topic above, begin by determining a search strategy with your group. What search terms will you use? What other techniques presented will you try? (i.e. truncation <*>, connectors <and/or>, or “phrase searching”). Use the following table to keep track of the searches your group tries: Determine Your Search: Words: Brainstorm possible variations, Keyword or Subject? alternatives or synonyms for your words Evaluate the results: Are you finding sources related to your topic? Are there too many sources? Not enough sources? How might you change your search strategy to better the results? Be prepared to show and tell the class about the search strategy your group developed.

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