Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Helping Students Research More Efficiently

Whaddya Mean All My Facts Are Wrong?!? Digital image. Techie Teacher 5280. N.p., n.d. Web. <>

Students know that Googling is a very imperfect way to do research, and yet they keep doing. It is understandable: Google is a part of our daily lives, and students are growing up in a world where we expect to get the one, right answer to any question within seconds.

But we all know that this premise is not true, especially in an educational setting where getting the right answer (if there is even one!) is important, but most important is to help students develop their critical thinking skills. Evaluating websites for credibility is crucial, and we do need to teach our students that skill; but we also need to teach them how to use research databases, as they, along with print resources, will be the only resources accepted in college.

The Sacramento County Office of Education was not able to bring CaliforniaLearns, a portal through which we had access to EBSCO, back this school year. Joe Wood and I are looking to potentially get our own access to a database, and I have set up several free trials to see which one you and your students prefer. Your feedback will be primordial in deciding what we get.

You will see here the list of 4 databases and the links to the free trials. I cannot post this information online as it would be broadcasting free access to those databases to people outside of NCS; but please take a look at them and let me know what you think. The trials end mid-September.

We also would like our students’ feedback! If you are giving students a research project in the next 3-4 weeks, I would suggest that you give different databases to different students to use, or use different databases for smaller projects, and ask students for their feedback as part of the assignment. Just forward me or Joe their comments.

Finally, to make this a little more fun: the first person (faculty or staff) to email me an article they found on ANY database on the topic of their choice, will get to pick one book from my pile of awesome books (some of which are not yet even published!), yours to keep!

No comments:

Post a Comment