Here’s what works best:
- Scheduling a research session strategically
- Will your students have enough time to accomplish the assignment if they need to tap into Resource Sharing?
- Is the session occuring at the point of need?
- Sharing research assignment(s) with librarians well in advance so that we can prepare fully
- What are your goals for the session?
- What resources/scholarship/methodology should be emphasized?
- Do the assignment and library resources complement each other?
- Sharing your expectations of what students should learn in a session
- What are the vital research skills/strategies/concepts students should acquire?
The array of skills and concepts we can cover in a session is shaped by you and your assignment, so our sessions can vary considerably, both in scope and time required. Your liaison will work with you to customize a session that meets the needs of your students.
Overviews and Introductions
- How is knowledge generated and organized by specific disciplines?
- Which voices need to be considered for this project: scholars? the general public? journalists? government?
- What categories of resources would provide access to these voices?
- How does one organize a research process for a particular project?
Ideas for Specific Concepts and Skills
- Will your students need to select and narrow a topic? (10-30 minutes)
- Brainstorming a topic based on assignment criteria
- Identifying keywords, synonyms, and controlled vocabulary on their topic
- Browsing relevant resources for background information
- Articulating a research question or thesis statement
- Will students be using library catalogs (local and/or beyond) to do searches on their topic? (10-30 minutes)
- Searching with keywords vs subject headings
- Interpreting results lists, marking and saving relevant items
- Using advanced search functions to filter by publication format, date, language, etc.
- Using call numbers to locate items on library shelves
- Requesting material from Carleton
- Requesting material from other libraries via Resource Sharing
- Will students be required to distinguish between primary vs secondary materials? (10-30 minutes)
- Defining primary and secondary sources
- Developing strategies to locate primary materials
- Discussing the contributions of primary and secondary literature to disciplinary knowledge building
- Will students need to identify and search relevant research databases effectively? (15-60 minutes)
- Determining the nature and scope of literature indexed
- Searching with natural language keywords and phrases
- Browsing or searching the database thesaurus or controlled vocabulary
- Evaluating results lists for relevance
- Checking for full-text availability and making Resource Sharing requests
- Revising search strategies for related or more focused results
- Saving results
- Will students need to understand the difference between scholarly (peer-reviewed) and popular publications? (10-20 minutes)
- Discussing scholarly vs popular publishing procedures
- Determining the scope, purpose, and target audiences
- Will students need to identify and evaluate web resources? (15-30 minutes)
- Recognizing and distinguishing between fee-based vs free websites
- Using advanced Google search
- Analyzing website organization and search capabilities
- Determining the scope, audience, and currency of information
- Determining the authority, accuracy, and perspective of sources
- Analyzing the relevance of information for an information need
- Will students need to track down scholarship cited in bibliographies and references? (10-20 minutes)
- Recognizing which elements of citation to use for tracking purposes
- Choosing an appropriate venue to locate cited materials (catalogs, periodical list, Google, etc.)
- Will students need to learn about documentation and plagiarism? (10-20 minutes)
- Recognizing elements of a citation
- Distinguishing book, article, and media citations in various styles
- Understanding why citations differ from style to style
- Will students be required to use Zotero to organize and cite sources? (15-60 minutes)
- Becoming familiar with the capabilities of Zotero
- Saving items to Zotero
- Editing records and creating annotations
- Formatting bibliographies
- Will students need to know the physical layout of Rolvaag or the Music library? (10-30 minutes)
- Becoming comfortable with finding physical reference materials, periodicals, DVDs, etc.
- Developing a sense of how materials are shelved
- Learning about service points (circulation, reserves, reference, DiSCO, etc.)
Possibilities are endless, and we’d love to experiment with you!
We are happy to pop in at strategic points in the research project sequence! The visit can take any shape or form–from clarifying a concept or research tool to diving into 10-15 minutes of hands-on database search.
- One focused session:Reference librarians spend a class period walking your students through the research process centered on the assignment. You can tap into multiple variations here:
- Lecture-type classHands-on session in a labComprehension assessmentsAny combination of the above
For each assignment, your instruction librarian creates a research guide that incorporates essential resources and tools your students need to handle the project successfully. Peek here for examples of course-specific research guides.
- Multiple full sessions:Librarians visit your class multiple times with assignment(s) in between. Again, we can engage your students in hands-on research whenever it makes sense.