Monday, April 21, 2014

want to contribute to #ProjectTiara?

it's probably not tax deductible, but it should be...


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

New Directions in Information Fluency Conference

I'll be presenting on 4/5/14 at the New Directions in Information Fluency conference at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. If you'll be attending, please consider attending my talk on collaborating with your school's writing center to provide workshops on writing research papers. It's during Concurrent Session III, at 2pm, and part of Panel D on Productive Collaborations (Olin 302).

This co-teaching experiment was actually from when I was still at Stevens, and all the lesson plans, handouts, and exercises were developed in conjunction with (and sometimes solely by) Jennifer McBryan, who is all kinds of awesome. I ended up leaving before we had a chance to get past anecdotal evidence of the program's success, so we never did get to most of the assessment methods mentioned in the presentation.

The most popular workshop we gave revolved around helping students understand the correct way to "use" scholarly sources. As in, how to develop a topic, how to read and understand an academic journal article, and how to responsibly use the content in their own papers. (Those links go to the handouts we used to teach each concept, via Google Docs. Feel free to download, adapt, and use them as you like.)

For the paraphrasing exercise, I would find 3 articles related to the course topic, or a sample research paper topic as outlined by the syllabus, and I'd send the first 2 pages of each of those articles to Jenn, who would then create a paraphrased excerpt from each one. (Here are the sample articles referred to in the above-linked exercise.) She would build some errors into each excerpt, either in the in-text citation, or in the way the writer is using the paraphrase or quote. (We were trying to get them to understand that you can't just pull words from an article, and use them out-of-context. You can't imply that the original author is saying something other than what they were actually trying to say, even if you can make the quote sound like it supports your thesis.)

I have to give all the credit to Jenn for being great at creating these problematic paraphrase excerpts. She was fabulous at making them challenging, but realistic, and I was pleasantly surprised by how adept the students were at catching even subtle misuse of information.

Finally, I've put together a brief reading list of articles discussing Library-Writing Center collaboration: