Shaping Research Skills in Online Courses

Gabe Gossett

Librarian for Extended Education and Head of Research Consultation at Western Washington University

What will you get out of this?

  • Understand current themes in librarian-delivered credit instruction.
  • Recognize ways in which online collaboration tools can be implemented in support of intensive research learning focused on process rather than research products.
  • Assess the strengths and weaknesses of a document-based intensive teaching and learning feedback process.

Current themes

In library credit instruction online

Mery, Y., Newby, J., & Peng, K. (2012). Why one-shot information literacy sessions are not the future of instruction: A case for online credit courses. College & Research Libraries73(4), 366-377.

Main points

  • Online instruction for information literacy is as effective online as face-to-face
  • Online is scaleable
  • Based on a 1 credit model

Clapp, M. J., Johnson, M., Schwieder, D., & Craig, C. L. (2013). Innovation in the academy: Creating an online information literacy course. Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning7(3), 247-263. doi:10.1080/1533290X.2013.805663

Main points

  • Online can be a form of outreach to students who cannot be on campus
  • Librarians new to this need to consider the time commitment

Most online research instruction is embedded

  • Information literacy tutorials
  • Librarians in the LMS

There is not a lot of consistency in for-credit library instruction between institutions

Some Context

for the WWU Libraries approach

Library credit courses

LIBR 201: Introduction to Research Strategies

  • 4 credits
  • Counts towards general education requirements
  • Designed for sophomore level, but we get them all

LIBR 402: Research Tutorial

  • Variable credit, pass/fail
  • designed to compliment either a degree program or specific research class

 

Both are entirely asynchronous

Course requirements

  • 50% research bibliography assignment
  • 30% participation
  • 20% tutorial based quizzes

Modules

  • Formulating a research question and Zotero
  • Research databases and scholarly sources
  • Citations, attribution, copyright, creative commons, open access
  • Government documents
  • Books and library catalogs
  • Professional and popular sources
  • Social and new information environments
  • Review and assessment

Process Vs. Product

  • Scaffolded approach that pushes students to examine multiple source types
  • In-depth research on a topic of the student's choosing
  • Time and space to examine scholarship
  • Deep and critical examination of sources
  • Practice with scholarly communication documentation, AKA citations

 

Not a formal writing assignment

Collaborative Tools

For Teaching Research Online

The LMS (Canvas)

Used for:

  • Links to readings/viewings
  • Discussion forums
  • General communications

Zotero

Used for:

  • Collecting sources
  • Exporting citations

Jing/Camtasia Relay

for video feedback and instruction

Google Docs

Used for

  • Brainstorming
  • Citations
  • Notes
  • Instructor feedback

A look at the document template

Benefits and pitfalls

to be aware of when teaching with an online document-based assignment

Having one place

  • Most assignments and instructor feedback unified
  • Sources can be examined in context with other sources
  • The document lives with the student after the class

Pitfalls to watch out for

  • Make your logistics simple; if the hassle impedes learning drop it
  • Third party apps can change without warning (that's right, I'm talking about you Google Docs!), but . . .
  • . . . institutionally supported apps are not necessarily better (that's right, I'm talking about you Word Online) 
  • Chances are students have never done something like this

Make sure you have the time to do it!

Question? Comments?

See, comment on, and copy the document template: 

http://goo.gl/p02vPP

gabe.gossett@wwu.edu

 

Special thanks to Ryer Banta for helping to develop the concept

Shaping Research Skills in Online Courses

By Gabe Gossett

Shaping Research Skills in Online Courses

Teaching online credit courses is a great way for librarians to work with students to develop their research skills. This presentation will illustrate how librarians can address these students’ needs through classes that utilize instructional techniques and tools that focus learning on the research process in addition to research products. The first part of the presentation will review recent themes in online research instruction. In the second part the presenter will provide examples from his own teaching using Googledocs and Zotero in an undergraduate online course. After attending this presentation attendees will be able to: -Understand current themes in librarian-delivered credit instruction. -Recognize ways in which online collaboration tools can be implemented in support of intensive research learning focused on process rather than research products. -Assess the strengths and weaknesses of a document-based intensive teaching and learning feedback process.

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