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View entire Academic Year.

Faculty Services: FYS for Faculty

Helping our first-year students find, evaluate, & use information effectively at the college level.

First-Year Students React to Research Assignments

"... the research process has been brought to my attention before. However, actually experiencing it first hand is something totally different. I learned… you really can’t wait until the last minute… gathering research takes time … [and] you get a more broad understanding of whatever it is you are seeking… ”
 

"I learned a lot in this research project. It was my first time finding scholarly sources like these so at first I wasn’t sure what I was doing. Our session in the library really helped me learn about where to start … to really research your topic instead of just picking the first couple sources."
 

"... next time I will invest more time in finding diverse articles [and] I think I will try to go see a librarian from more help … this project was excellent practice for my future classes at McDaniel."
 

"Making sure your source is credible enough is huge … not every article or book you look into is going to give you good information … "
 

Your FYS Class in the Library

All FYS classes are required to attend 2 Library Information Literacy Sessions, at minimum, to meet the information literacy (IL) learning outcome for the FYS program.

But why?

  • Many first-year students have little to no library experience and are unprepared for college-level research, as evidenced by questions like: "Can we find everything on the library website, or are there some texts not online?”
     
  • Students prefer integrated sessions! Students shared:
     
    • Positive feedback from closely timed library sessions that were integrated with their research
       
    • Complaints when library sessions were too far apart – forgot information when needed
       
    • Wishes that they attend library session before their assignments are due!

  • These instruction sessions lay the foundation for student research across the curriculum, giving them the tools to perform research at an academic level
     
    • Interacting with students at their point of need increases their ability to recall and use college level research processes and skills in the future
       
    • Students are more successful when we provide them the opportunity to do research for your class assignments at the moment when they need IL assistance
       
  • By assigning a research project! Working towards a project motivates students to learn research skills/processes. See sample research assignments below.

  • By requiring students use, at a minimum, one of the following sources during the course of their research:
    • 1 monograph (scholarly book)
    • 1 scholarly journal article
       
  • By scheduling Library Sessions around your course’s research project timeline
    • By scaffolding multiple components over a set timeline

    • By giving students feedback on the quality of their sources before/when their rough drafts are due

    • By emphasizing the fact that research is a process
       

  • By attending Library Sessions as a collaborator:
    • Address questions about research assignment requirements

    • Tie Library Session into your course – highlight points you’d like your students to focus on

    • Share your expert perspective on how to do college-level research successfully with your students and to take advantage of the many opportunities to get involved with your students’ development with college-level research
       

  • We ask that the following are completed before attending our 2nd Library Session (see research timeline sample):

    • Research assignments are shared with the class

    • Students have research topics selected

1st Library Session:

Students engage in learning activities that lead them to interact with and explain:

  • The purpose for a variety of sources:  scholarly, popular, secondary, tertiary, and junk
  • What the peer-review process is (and why your professors deserve your sympathy)
  • What counts as “authoritative” sources inside and outside of academia
  • Introduction to the Library Catalog, "the stacks," and the building

see the First-Year Seminar (FYS): 1st Visit page for class slides and the Extras page for handouts.

2nd Library Session:

Students engage in learning activities that lead them to interact with and explain:

  • Introduction to Research Starter (database discovery system)
  • Refining keywords
  • Identifying scholarly articles & how to read them
  • How to make an InterLibrary Loan request
  • How to evaluate a source by analyzing its:  authority, reliability / validity, bias / purpose, and currency
  • Answer questions students asked in their post assessment questionnaire (from the 1st session)

see the First-Year Seminar (FYS): 2nd Visit page for class slides and the Extras page for handouts.

FYS classes must complete a total of TWO Library Sessions, at minimum (schedule more sessions if desired)

1st Library Session:

  • Scheduled for you by the First-Year Team

  • See your First Look presentation chart for your schedule

  • If you need to reschedule, please contact the IL Coordinator, Jessica Barbera (jbarbera@mcdaniel.edu)
     

2nd Library Session:

  • Needs to be scheduled by you (the faculty member) so it best fits the needs of your course, building on the information students learned in 1st Library Session. See research timeline sample

  • Faculty can sign up for Library Instruction Sessions by filling out and submitting the library's Instruction Request Form

  • October is the most popular time for scheduling the 2nd Library Session. We recommend:

    • Securing your date by scheduling early, OR

    • Avoiding the rush by assigning a small/low-stakes research assignment in September (with the possibility of using this as a foundation for a larger assignment due later in the semester). See annotated bibliography assignment sample
       


Research Timeline Sample

  1. Identify Research Topic
  2. Attend 2nd Library Session
  3. Preliminary Bibliography (positions 2 & 3 can be inverted)
    • Offer feedback on sources selected. Students will see that the information they use matters & will learn to differentiate what is and isn't a credible source.
    • Recommend students see a librarian for assistance, as needed.
  4. Annotated Bibliography
  5. Extended Outline
  6. Completed First Draft
  7. Final Assignment Due

Assess your student's research/information literacy skills with this handy rubric! The library has developed and improved its research rubric over several years. Each year’s results are used to improve our instruction efforts.

Please consider:

  • Incorporating the Information Literacy (IL) Rubric into your own grading rubric and sharing the IL results with the IL Coordinator, OR

  • Sending student end products to the IL Coordinator for double-blind assessment

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Sample Research Assignments