Library Instruction season is in full swing at The University of Alabama! All of us are scurrying around, meeting with class instructors, planning lessons, and meeting with students in classrooms and one on one. There is a lot of energy in the air! Karlie, Louise and Alex presented some very narrowly focused and informative searching modules this morning, and without any prior discussion, each of them highlighted a different aspect of the searching process. Karlie has had her first co-teaching experience as of yesterday, and the other two will begin next week. I think they’re ready. They’re doing so well.
This afternoon, I’ve been prepping something a little different from our normal EN102 classes. I am going to a EN101 class to talk to them about their Informative Synthesis paper, which will be on film reviews of The Avengers, Bridesmaids, The Hunger Games, or A Separation. The movies are pre-selected, and the students will actually be finding 4 reviews of one movie, and synthesizing those reviews for their paper. It’s a really fun assignment. But the question becomes how to teach them to find the specific sources that they need? They don’t need to learn how to do general searches, and I only have 20 minutes to present to them.
This is what I’ve decided to do. I have outlined a search formula for them to follow, and in my LibGuide I’ve linked to several databases that they can use this formula in to find the reviews that they need. I think this will give them a fail-safe way to search for the specific information that they need without steering them towards any of the greater conceptual issues that we will be addressing with them in the future. This assignment’s important objective is for students to learn to synthesis multiple sources, and this activity will facilitate that objetive nicely!