Aug. 21, Successful Strategies for Improving Student Research

When/Where: August 21, 2014 noon-1 p.m. in E159

Presenter:Kate Ganski

Type of Event: Continuing education session designed to equip instructors with tools and strategies for improving student research projects. Participants are encouraged to bring a course assignment to workshop.

Instructional Goal: Participants will develop effective instructional approaches, design successful assessment strategies, and locate resources that can be incorporated into their research assignments to improve student performance.

Results from Project Information Literacy, an ongoing large-scale national research project, showed that the majority of handouts for research assignments did not adequately guide students to finding and using information. Some specific findings include:

  • “Six in 10 handouts recommended students consult the library shelves – place based source – more than scholarly research databases, the library catalog, the Web, or, for that matter, any other resource.”
  • “Only 13% of the handouts suggested consulting a librarian for assistance with research.”
  • “Few of the handouts (14%) that directed students to use the library’s online scholarly research databases…specified which database to use by vendor or file name from the hundreds that tend to be available.”
  • “Details about plagiarism, if mentioned at all, were scant and tended to emphasize the disciplinary recourse instructors would take against students who were caught in acts of academic dishonesty.”

According to Project Information Literacy research findings, “For over three-fourths (84%) of the students surveyed, the most difficult step of the course-related research process was getting started.”  A well-designed research assignment can help address this prevalent student need.