Educational Psychology 100 has library instruction built into the curriculum, with each class section attending 3 library sessions. Each session focuses on specific facets of building information literacy skills. Each class is made up of students with diverse backgrounds and widely varying levels of information literacy.
Educational Psychology 100 Course Guide
Session One: Finding Articles
An in-depth introduction on finding articles. The class discusses the difference and uses of scholarly and popular articles, watching a quick and informative video on the topic. Students view several articles and are they asked to take a poll to determine if the article is scholarly or popular. The poll allows students to see how well they are grasping the concept, as well as allowing the instructor to gauge the classes level of understanding.
The class has a discussion about what a database actually is. I try to find the best analogies I can to make this idea less abstract for students. I will then navigate to the Search @ UW page, making sure to take my time and explain my steps. I will often retrace my steps again, as it is very common for some students navigating slower than others. We then discuss how we would begin to search using this tool. However, we take a trip back to Ed Psych Course Guide to the Find Article Tab. This is a good launching point for a discussion of good search strategies, specifically for UW-Search. This also allows students to remember that the course guide is available for use at home.
After the discussion of search strategies, I demonstrate UW-Search by utilizing the course topic of career research. As I am demonstrating I am talking through the thought process of the search strategy, and requesting student feedback through questions like: What other key words could we use here? Should we put any limits on this search?
The students are then given time to conduct their own UW-Search, as I walk around the room observing and assisting. This is a good time for informal assessment of the session/activities. After the exercise the class comes back together to discuss. I will ask the students if they hit any roadblocks, or saw anything unfamiliar. It is common after a search exercise for students to ask questions about particular items, “My article said ____, what does this mean?”
The class then moves on to a search engine, Google Scholar. There is a brief demonstration including showing students how to connect Google Scholar to the UWM and to RefWorks if appropriate. I use the same topic (a specific career) as I did for UW-Search to demonstrate the different results from each system. Students are then given the opportunity to find articles using Google Scholar, as I walk around and observe. The class will then come back together to discuss results.
At this point, I will remind students of the various ways to get help in the library both physically and virtually. The remainder of the class time is allotted for students to continue researching for their course project.