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Crossing the Threshold : Ideas From Past Workshops

This guide supports the workshop Crossing the Threshold with Threshold Concepts, versions of which were presented at the 2015 ACRL Conference, 2015 European Conference on Information Literacy, and 2016 ALA Annual Conference.

Ideas from Workshop

The ideas below were generated during our workshop presentation at the 2015 ACRL Conference in Portland, Oregon.

Learning Outcomes

Authority is Constructed and Contextual

Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will be able to recognize relevance of subject expertise as a kind of authority in order to gather appropriate articles for assignment
  • Students will be able to distinguish between scholarly and popular sources in order to select appropriate sources for academic research.
  • Students will be able to thoughtfully find published primary sources in order to include first-person perspectives in their research project.
  • Students will evaluate sources using a variety of criteria in order to cultivate a skeptical stance and a self-awareness of their own biases and world views.  
  • Students will learn to distinguish a news from an editorial article so they will understand that information is created for a purpose.
  • Students will be able to distinguish between different types of sources in order to find credible sources on their topics.
  • Students will be able to express a desire to find better resources IOT improve the quality of their resources.
  • Students will be able to explain why the authority of a source matters, IOT choose appropriate sources
  • Students will be able to evaluate databases results IOT select relevant and credible sources
  • Students will be able to evaluate an author's use of sources
  • Students will be able to evaluate a source using specific criteria in order to determine whether it meets their information need.

Information Creation as a Process

Learning Outcomes:

  •  Have students explore the creation of a Wikipedia entry versus that of a scholarly journal article.
  •  Students will be able to thoughtfully find published primary sources in order to include first-person perspectives in their research project.

Information Has Value

Learning Outcomes:

  • Student is willing to commit resources (time and/or $) to keeping current with chiropractic research for the benefit of practice management and patient care.
  • Students will be able to apply the four factors of fair use in order to determine the potential use of a copyrighted image in their work.
  • Students will be able to explain the value of citing sources in order to effectively use information sources in their writing.
  • Students will be able to evaluate a source using specific criteria in order to determine whether it meets their information need.

Research as Inquiry

Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will be able to identify key concepts and related terms in order to locate relevant sources for their cumulative projects.
  • Students will be able to break down their PICO (research) question in order to develop an effective database search.
  • Students will be able to analyze sections of a research article IOT conceptualize the research process used by experts in the field.
  • Students will be able to evaluate an author's use of sources (original TC identified by workshop participant)

Scholarship as Conversation

Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will be able to understand citation chaining in order to evaluate the impact of a work (and find more info on the topic).
  • Students will understand how to understand and analyze a scholarly peer-reviewed article and identify and understand all the parts of the article

Search as Strategic Exploration:

Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will use discovery tool facets in order to find relevant info.
  • Teaching students how to understand and analyze scholarly peer-reviewed articles and understand statistics.
  • Students will be able to break down their PICO (research) question in order to develop an effective database search.
  • Students will develop a topic and a list of terms in order to search sources databases effectively, efficiently, with confidence
  • Students will be able to brainstorm and discover search terms in order to find information about their topic.
  • Search Summon to find scholarly articles to complete an assignment
  • Students will be able to demonstrate the use of Factiva indexes and advanced search techniques in order to retrieve relevant articles for their class project.
  • Students will be able to construct search terms and refine terms based on results to reduce frustration around information gathering.
  • Students will be able to break their search into core concepts and brainstorm additional steps for each concept.Students will be able to apply search strategies using keywords to reduce research frustration.
  • Pharmacy students will be able to select the correct and appropriate resource (print or electronic) based upon the question asked in order to correctly answer the drug information question.
  • Students will be able to identify and describe 3 boolean operators and their proper uses IOT conduct an effective first round search.
  • Students will be able to select an appropriate source/database in order to locate relevant Canadian content/sources of information for their [local] topics
  • Students will be able to explain the triangle concept in order to explore a topic before focusing.

Instruction Activities

Authority is Constructed and Contextual

Instruction Activities:

  • Students are presented with a source (eg.an article about Facebook privacy) and brainstorm ways the source might be used for school, for work, and personally

  • Groups are given a source (book, article, blogpost, ad, etc.) and examine it to determine what it is; who is responsible for it; it’s purpose (ie why it exists, not their purpose in using it) ; how it was created (eg was it reviewed by experts); what makes it credible or not for different kinds of uses

  • Jigsaw method: in groups of 4-5, students will analyze the authority of their assigned article, groups will break apart and share their knowledge with the other group

  • Brainstorming: in groups students will brainstorm criteria of authority with entire class

  • Chalk talk where students write adjectives describing scholarly articles on one board & popular  on the popular.

  • Case study: look at an article to have students vote with clickers on what type of source it is.

  • Distinguish news from editorial article (pre-college students)

    • Pair students. Give printout of short news and editorial article from same source (for example New York Times) on same topic. Ask pairs paraphrase article & identify purpose

  • After discussing/presenting idea of evaluating information resources, give pairs or groups of students a resource/website and ask them to come up with criteria for determining if it is reliable.

  • Jigsaw groups have 1 popular and 1 scholarly source with question prompts to examine characteristics re: authority re-group with others to teach.

  • Provide students with sample resources (using different formats) and have them develop authority criteria together using Padlet.

  • Brainstorming in small groups on why they think a source is credible and use that as jumping off point for discussion

  • Give students articles on the same topic. Have them examine how the author affects the content. Include scholarly, magazine, Wikipedia, newspapers, etc., Also consider including articles from multiple scholarly disciplines.

    • Students can share in pairs, groups, as a class, etc.,

  • Students in groups brainstorm evaluation criteria; share out and put in a Google Doc.    

    • Back into group - use criteria to evaluate an article; share out findings


Information Creation as a Process

Instruction Activities:

  • Chalk talk: have students in small groups write various formats of sources for a given topic, outside of peer-reviewed, and then discuss their thoughts on how useful these formats would be to their literature reviews

  • Evidence-based research in nursing (1st quarter nursing students) - have groups determine different types of evidence-based research on either articles given to them or they find - what type of evidence-based research it is (case study, double-blind, systematic review) and share with one other group or report out to group

  • Groups will each get an item, (citation?), newspaper, academic article, book, magazine article, webpage or blog. They will try to understand the “role” of each in the research process by defining its format closely, even though online it is harder to define.

 

Information Has Value

Instruction Activities:

  • think/pair/share on consequences of NOT using and benefits of using recommended resources

  • think aloud: why do library databases exist?

  • contest between two groups (Google and Academic Search Premier)

  • brainstorming how using and citing information sources will help with their individual paper topics - various ways

  • jigsaw - small groups become expert on assigned format (reputable blog, scholarly journal, magazine…) Might provide example of each format or assignment ahead

  • jigsaw - each group is assigned to evaluate based on a particular criteria (authority, etc.) of that source

 

Research as Inquiry

Instruction Activities:

  • Use research article to model research process used by experts.

    • Jigsaw groups each tackle one part of a research article summarizing what that section says what purpose that section serves then students disperse & share with new formed groups

  • Chalk talk have students list out resource they use & branch out with experiences, feelings, facts, etc.

  • Concept mapping, give class a topic, brainstorm keywords. Use Prezi to have students create a visual map with a list of keywords.

  • Evaluate sources cited in an article, review sources. Decade what value thing add to the article. Sort sources into types (books, articles, reports, statistics) using clickers

  • Individual group brainstorming, using Padlet, students share as many synonyms as they can for research question concepts, then as a group we group them by concept in preparation for boolean searching

  • Keyword brainstorming students write down presentation idea and pass around. What questions do their peers have about the topic ( review to create keywords), roundtable writing.

 

Scholarship as Conversation

Instruction Activities:

  • Jigsaw- Looking for demographics, 1 table searches usa.gov, another Discovery, another census.gov, another?  Then mix and have students teach each other.

  • Distribute a diagram of citation chaining:

    • Then, have students “chalk talk” the value of citation chaining and any questions they have.

  • Learning Outcome: Students will understand how to understand and analyze a scholarly peer-reviewed article and identify and understand all the parts of the article

    • Online

      • Discussion Board

      • 3 groups each has a different research article

      • create concept map of theoretical concepts - each offer their own concepts

      • 2 short sentences to discuss each section

      • 2 peers respond.

    • Blended Course

      • 4 groups

      • each get an article

      • group discussion

      • group get large sheet-work on concept map

  • Context: they need to find 3 relevant and scholarly articles for their topic. After demonstration and time to find articles, each student shares and article in small groups to get feedback on its level of authority and relevance.

  • Think/pair/share as an introductory activity.  Have students think about what questions they would have to ask to determine a health claim’s validity

  • Padlet.com - contribute words or pictures on the topic of cited articles, citing articles and citation chaining.

 

Search as Strategic Exploration:

Instruction Activities:

  • Roundtable paired with concept mapping

  • Jigsaw to learn facets; regroup to find resources meeting different facet-based criteria on different topics (compiled in Google docs)

  • Brainstorm possible search  terms in pairs

  • Paraphrasing

  • Create a search strategy log using article database.  Start a search with the knowledge you have.  Identify 1 relevant article.  Locate new keywords and authors from citation abstract, subject terms.  Revise search and rerun search.  Continue.

  • Pass out different types of information sources and have students work in pairs to identify types and sources.  Have students introduce the source they analyzed.

  • Develop a concept map of topic, keywords, synonyms.

Assessment Strategies

Sadly, our time was cut short on the assessment part of the workshop. Send us your ideas and we'll add them here! And remember that many of the instruction activities can be used as assessment.

 

 

Authority is Constructed and Contextual

Information Creation as a Process

Information Has Value

Assessment:

  • Rubric to evaluate brainstorming responses

  • Reflective writing at the end of the lesson

 

Research as Inquiry

Scholarship as Conversation

Search as Strategic Exploration:

Assessment:

  • Exit paper:  What did you find most useful about X?
  • Paraphrase:  Sum up findings in a professional email (e.g. to a supervisor)
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