Thursday, November 06, 2008

What College Faculty Say Freshmen Students Don't Do

At a recent state-wide conference for academic librarians, I was introduced to the following list titled “What College Faculty Say Freshmen Students Don’t Do.” This list highlights many skills which librarians at the Gardner-Harvey strive to teach Miami University students. Take a look at the list – if you are a student, do you think that this list accurately describes your skills abilities? If you are faculty or staff, do you think this list accurately describes your students or even yourself?

Librarians revel in sharing their knowledge on these topics and at GHL we eagerly seek opportunities to work within the campus community to debunk lists of things which students “Don’t Do.” We encourage you to challenge yourself! If you notice unfamiliar terms or concepts in this list, stop by the library and see what your librarians can do for you!

Albert Einstein said it best: “If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research, would it? :o)

What College Faculty Say Freshmen Students Don’t Do

- Know what they don’t know
- Know who to ask for research help
- Understand library jargon, ex. “full text”

- Follow research process steps, ex. information literacy model
- Estimate time required for research, ex. Interlibrary loan
- Define a research question or topic that’s not shallow or ‘pop’

- Find different formats of information
- Understand that web search engines rarely locate college-appropriate information
- Distinguish between OPACs and online databases
- Conduct effective searches using
o Keywords, alternate search terms
o Boolean terms, ex. AND, OR
o Controlled vocabulary, subject headings
o Field searching, ex. author, title

- Interpret search results
- Find full text of articles
- Find books using Library of Congress (LC) classification, not Dewey
- Use reference books in the library
- Regroup when first attempts to find resources don’t work, ex. try a different database

- Weed through search results to find adequate and accurate information
- Evaluate information using standard evaluation criteria
- Distinguish between popular and scholarly articles
- Disregard inadequate or inaccurate information

- Synthesize, communicate, and argue a thesis using evidence
- Analyze data and statistics
- Represent, analyze, and critique the ideas of others ethically
- Write without plagiarizing (accidentally or otherwise), ex. use in-text citations - Cite sources properly using multiple citation styles, ex. Citation Builder

P. Owen & M. OakleafUsing Evidence to Bridge the 12-13 Gap OELMA 2008

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