Facing the Elephant in the Room: Strategies for Incorporating Google and Wikipedia into One-Shot Library Instruction Sessions
1. THE CLASSIC Facing the Elephant in the 4. THE TRADITIONAL Room: Strategies for CLASSROOM SOLUTION• Divide class into groups and assign them each one library resource along with Wikipedia and Incorporating Google and Google. (Each group should be researching a different library resource than their peers.) • As an icebreaker, show students an infographic• Groups search each resource for information on (like “Get More Out of Google” or “Wikipedia: Wikipedia into One-Shot a topic specified by the library instructor. Redefining Research” or “15 Interesting Facts• Groups present their search findings to the about Wikipedia”). These visuals are good ways class. Ask students to discuss the results they to get students’ attention, engage them in critical Library Instruction Sessions found using each resource. What problems did thinking, and prompt discussion. they come across? What source(s) were the • Another idea for an icebreaker: use most effective? PollEverywhere to see how students currently use Google, Wikipedia, and library resources.PRO-TIP: Make sure students are effectively briefed and Use responses as a lead-in to discussion.de-briefed for maximum effectiveness. For instance:many students suspected me of trying to trick them Brianna H. Marshall • The same idea behind “The Peek Behind the Curtains” can be applied in this setting: brief MLS/MIS Candidate, 2014when I proposed this activity, so reassure them that each lecture by instructor, group work, thenresource has uses in the research process and that you concluding the session with groups sharing theirwant to explore their findings without judgment. Duringtheir presentations the instructor can help guidediscussion. Indiana University SLIS ideas. PRO-TIP: When students can’t hide behind computers, Iworks best for: Any discipline, especially a general find that they’re much more likely to share their opinions. GOALS:course like communications or public speaking. Take advantage of this opportunity to reconnect with the different ways students approach sources of information. keep students engaged works best for: Instructors who are comfortable engaging informally with students, not following a script, and seeing energize the classroom—without being gimmicky where student opinion (which may be unfavorable of2. THE PEEK BEHIND impart information literacy skills that will not library resources!) takes the discussion.THE CURTAINS only aid students in completing any assignment but also provide a foundation for developing• Library instructor spends the first 15 minutes of class leading a brief discussion on the nuts and lifelong information evaluation skills! 5. THE RACE TO FIND bolts of how information is aggregated in search engines, wikis, and library databases. THE BEST RESOURCE• Students are divided into small groups.• Each group should develop a creative list of topics best researched using each type of 3. THE CALL FOR EVALUATION EXPERTS • Requires a little pre-planning—instructor should compile handouts with questions ahead of time. resource as well as potential audiences for They can be true/false or open-ended, with the • The library instructor should begin with a brief discussion about the importance of evaluating each. Tell them you expect and applaud answers ranging in difficulty. information (either interactive and inviting student opinion or solo) creativity in addition to accuracy. • Students collaborate in small groups (3 is • As you talk, write the key concepts you’re covering on the board or projected onto a screen the• Groups present their findings to the class. The optimal) to answer the questions. students can view (e.g., authority, bias, appropriateness, etc.) group with the most accurate and creative list • Prizes available to the winning team (extra credit, • Divide the class into groups. Students look at results of sample searches in Google, Wikipedia, wins. library swag) make for a good motivator; without and a library resource and come up with a general plan or checklist that could be used by anyone them it can be a challenge to entice participation to evaluate each source of information.PRO-TIP: Don’t overwhelm the students with too much • Encourage groups to brainstorm and think both creatively and critically. PRO-TIP: This basic activity is very customizable… so getinformation on how the resources work. Give them thebasics, and let them take it from there. They’ll ask • Discuss their findings; as with the other activities, a winning group can be chosen. creative!questions. PRO-TIP: When I conveyed to students that they were the experts because they already evaluated information works best for: Instruction sessions that are tied closely toworks best for: Classes where the instruction session is a every single day, they seemed much more engaged. All it takes is a confidence boost from the instructor! assignments; the questions can be tailored to fitbasic introduction to research and doesn’t have a discipline-specific resources. It is also effective for quietercorresponding essay or assignment. works best for: Boisterous and/or competitive groups! classes.