Wrapping up the quarter

Congratulations, you’re ALMOST done!

Final projects are due December 11.  I’ve created an item on the Assignments page of the BlackBoard site where you can upload them, or you can hand in a hard copy at the reference desk.  As soon as they’re graded, they’ll be in my basket for you to pick up.

December 11 is also the last day to get extra credit by leaving a comment on the reading page of the blog.

Your portfolios, finals, and revised homework are in my basket at the desk for you to come and pick up.  Give yourselves a pat on the back — you all did very well on the final!

One last thing: you can take an anonymous online survey about this class anytime before December 11.  Click here to take the survey.  I’ll use your feedback to change how I teach the course next quarter!

Portfolio instructions

Next week we will have our final exam during class time. You will bring your portfolio to class and hand it in after taking the final (you can use it during the exam if you like).

What goes in your portfolio? All the work you have done in LIBY1210 this quarter. You should also create a cover sheet that has your name on it and lists everything that’s in your portfolio (like a table of contents). Please find a way of keeping all your papers together — a paper clip is fine for this.

You can download this week’s handout here: final-grading-rubric.doc
I hope that you will keep my grading criteria in mind as you work on your final projects! Please contact me if you have any questions about the final or the end of the quarter.

Want to anonymously give your two cents on this class? Click here to take a survey. You can do the survey anytime before December 11. I’d really appreciate your feedback!

Final project rough draft

This week you will prepare a rough draft of your final project. I strongly suggest that you begin by reviewing the assignment instructions. Your rough draft is due to me by midnight on Monday, November 26. This assignment will be graded as follows: 3 points for handing in a draft, and 3 points for showing up for class and participating in our peer evaluation. You’ll be evaluating each other’s projects using the same rubric I’ll use to grade them at the end of the quarter.  Please note that even if you don’t hand in a rough draft on Monday, you can still bring a draft to class to be evaluated.

Next Monday is also the latest that you can give me revised homework. The reason for this is that your portfolio is due the following week and I’ll need time to grade your work and get it back to you. You can always check for graded work in my basket at the reference desk. You can also hand in hard copies of your work at the reference desk if you don’t want to email documents to me.

Have a happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

You can download today’s plagiarism exercise here: plagiarism-activity.doc

Week 7 – Practicing search skills

This is our last assignment practicing the skills we’ve been working on so far this quarter — next week you’ll write a rough draft of your final project. In other words, the rough draft of your final project is due in two weeks!

You can download the exercise from class here: books.doc

Assignment #7, due Sunday November 18:

Scenario: A friend of yours recently had a baby and is wondering whether to vaccinate him. She has heard that there is a connection between vaccines and autism, and she doesn’t want to put her baby at risk.

Your mission: Use your information literacy skills to help your friend!

  1. Write out (in everyday English) what research question you would ask to get the information you need.
  2. Rewrite the question as a Boolean statement that a database will understand, using key concepts, synonyms/related concepts, operators (AND/OR), quotes, truncation, and parentheses as needed. (Help)
  3. Do this search in Academic Search Premier. How many results did you get?
  4. Now modify your results (narrow by subject, apply a limitor, add a concept to the search, etc.). What did you do, and why? How many results do you have now?
  5. Cite an article (APA style!) from your results that explains why some people believe there IS a link between autism and vaccines. What is their position?
  6. Cite an article (APA style!) from your results that explains why some people believe there is NO link between autism and vaccines. What is their position?

***Extra credit***bonus point***

Recommend a helpful website to your friend.  Explain WHY this is a good site.

Week 6 – Database Searches

As we work with the library’s periodicals databases this week, keep in mind the two important things about searching that we talked about in class:

  • Where are you going to search?
  • How are you going to ask your question?

You can download the activity from today’s class here: searching-academic-search-premier.doc

PART I: Where are you going to search? (2 pts)
To complete your assignment, you’ll need to select one of the databases from the library’s A-Z list.

  1. Are you looking for subject-specific or multidisciplinary information? Why?
    • If your answer was subject-specific, go to the Subject Guide to Resources and Databases (linked to the A-Z list) and find an appropriate database to search in. Which one did you choose, and why?
    • If your answer was multidisciplinary, which disciplines do you expect will cover your topic? (Tip: think about the names of the different departments at CSUEB.) Which database did you choose?
  2. Go to the database you’ve chosen and look around a little. Is there a help button? What information does it give you? Is there a thesaurus or list of subject headings? Are there basic and advanced searches? How can you limit your search? Any other special features of this database?

PART II: How are you going to ask your question? (2 pts)

  1. What are the concepts that make up your research question? What are alternate terms for each concept? *If you need more information on identifying key concepts, read this. You are welcome to reuse the lists of concepts we’ve created in previous activities.
  2. Enter your search statement in your database. What is your search statement? How many results did you get?
  3. Now modify your search. For example, you could change terms, add limitors, AND another concept, or remove a concept. What did you do to change your search? How many results do you have now? Are the results improved (in quality or quantity)?

PART III: Results! (2 pts)
Write annotated citations for the two best full-text articles that you found. An annotated citation has 3 parts: an APA citation for the article, a description of the content, and an evaluation of the information you found using the criteria we have been using in class — including why this article is useful for your project.

Week 5 – Deeper into the web

Note: If you’ve been getting email from me on your horizon account (have you checked it lately?) that I haven’t been able to read your files, try saving your work as rtf (rich text format). If you don’t know how to do this, the Learning Commons is here to help.

Assignment #5, due Sunday November 4:

PART I: Web searches
Use at least one search engine besides Google to find and evaluate two sites (NOT wikipedia) relating to your final project topic. Some search engines that I recommend: ask.com, clusty.com, intute.ac.uk, exalead.com, a9.com, grokker.com

  1. Where did you search? What terms did you enter? Which sites and which searches gave you the most useful results? Back up your opinion with specifics!
  2. Write an annotated citation for your two best results. Here’s what I mean by “annotated citation”: First, write a correct APA citation for the site. Below that, your annotation describes the content of the site, explains how the source is useful for learning about your topic, and shows me that you have evaluated the site using the C.A.C.A.O. criteria we have discussed (handout from class is available at the end of Assignment #2 post).

You can download our search engine activity from class here:beyond-google.doc

PART II: Using Web 2.0
Choose one thing to do from the list below:

  • Create your own search engine for your topic with Google Coop or Rollyo. Tell me the url for your search engine.
  • Sign up for a feed reader like Google Reader and subscribe to two RSS feeds that offer frequently updated information on your topic. You can also subscribe to the feed for the class blog — see the link to the right!
  • Create an account with Google Apps and practice using an application that could help you complete your final project. Send me your test document.
  • Start your own blog and write a post about your research project with links to other information on your topic. Let me know the url of your blog.
  • Get a del.icio.us account and bookmark the best sites on your topic that you’ve found so far. Tell me the url to view your bookmarks.

Now answer these questions:

  1. Which thing did you do? Include a link to the results of your work (your new blog, delicious site, etc). Explain your process in completing this task. Did you run into any difficulties, and if so, how did you get past them?
  2. Think about the web 2.0 tool you used. How could you use it to work on your final project? Are you planning on using it for your project?
  3. Can you think of how you could use this tool in any other areas of your life outside of this class? Be specific!

***Extra credit***bonus point***

Discover a web 2.0 site, application, tool, or mashup that we have not previously discussed in class. Tell me about it! Copy the url, then describe in your own words what the site does and explain what its purpose is.

Week 4 – Reference sources & Web 2.0

This week we are starting to get into the nitty-gritty of searching for information in print and online sources. In class we talked about the Boolean operators AND and OR; the difference between searching with keywords and subject headings; and using the library’s reference collection to get background information on your topic.

This is a LOT to take in, and we will continue to explore these concepts for the rest of the quarter. I am available for help in class and out, but remember that it is your responsibility to communicate with me. Meanwhile, the best way to learn this material is to practice using it!

Assignment #4, due Sunday October 28:

PART I: Catch up on class business

  1. Check your horizon email account! In fact, do this every week! If you submitted homework that I haven’t graded, it’s because I couldn’t open your attachment and emailed asking you to send it again in an email.
  2. Revise or write your final project proposal. You must have your final project proposal approved by me, so even if you’re not handing this work in on time (i.e. for credit) you need to do it.
  3. Next week we’ll be halfway through the quarter. We don’t have a midterm, but this would be a very good time to revise previous assignments to improve your grade. Email me your revised work as an attachment.
  4. If you weren’t in class to get your homework back, or if you’ve submitted revised work, I’ll leave your graded papers in my basket at the reference desk. You can ask the librarian at the desk to help you find your homework.

PART II (3 points):
For part of our homework this week, we’ll follow up on our in-class exploration of the library’s reference collection. You’ll search print and online reference sources for information for your final project.

  1. Write an APA citation for one print reference source that is appropriate for your topic and project.
  2. How did you find this book? How did you find the information you needed once you found the book?
  3. What information did you find? How does this information help you in your research process?
  4. Write an APA citation for one online reference source that is appropriate for your topic and project. Suggestions from the A-Z list of databases: Gale Virtual Reference Library, Britannica Online.
  5. How did you find this source? How did you find the information you needed once you found the source?
  6. What information did you find? How does this information help you in your research process?

PART III (3 points):
This week, we’re also looking ahead towards the more in-depth web searches we’ll learn about next week. For now, get acquainted with the latest developments in the online environment — often called Web 2.0.

First, read this Time Magazine article to get a sense of what Web 2.0 is all about. Then watch the video below (also linked here) for a unique explanation of Web 2.0 that embodies its spirit in both form and content.

Think you’ve got a handle on Web 2.0 now? If not, use your search skills to find out more. Some suggestions: google the term and check out your best hits (evaluating!), look it up in wikipedia, enter define: web 2.0 in a google search box, or look for definitions of any unfamiliar words from the Time Magazine article. Also, this page has a good list of links to informative articles.

Now, in your own words:

  • Define Web 2.0.
  • What are two of its key characteristics?
  • How do these new developments impact how information is organized and found?

***Extra credit***bonus point***

Name a web site or service you frequently use that has web 2.0 characteristics. Explain why you think it is an example of web 2.0.