The Digital Research Notebook: A Simple Tool to Augment the One-Shot

Presenter: Julia Glassman
Co-presenters: Doug Worsham
Start time: 11:05
End time: 12:05
Room: School of Management 117
Chair: Rowena Macrae-Gibson


Although deep, sustained engagement with students is desirable, many librarians still work within the confines of the one-shot instruction session, in which librarians have one class session to bring students up to speed on library resources, research methods, critical thinking, and more. This problem is compounded at universities serving tens of thousands of undergraduate students, where models like the "personal librarian" aren't feasible. Librarians must thus find creative ways to help students craft thoughtful research questions, scaffold their research process, and think critically about the sources they find. To meet this challenge, the authors used Google Docs to create a digital "research notebook" which, through a combination of video tutorials and reflective writing prompts, guides students through the basics of choosing a topic; generating search terms; and navigating LibGuides, article databases, and the library catalog. The notebook can be assigned before a one-shot session so that the librarian can devote the session itself to more advanced concepts. It can also be used in other ways: as a stand-alone assignment, for instance, or the backbone of a credit course. After a one-year pilot program, the authors have found the notebook to be an effective way to help students write high-quality research questions and find useful sources for their assignments.

In this workshop, participants will create research notebooks that they can deploy soon after they return home. After a 10-minute overview of the original notebook and its adaptations for various courses, participants will spend approximately 40 minutes completing the following learning outcomes:

1. Writing a set of learning outcomes for their research notebook;

2. Creating a template for their notebook;

3. Drafting at least one lesson in their notebook; and

4. Workshopping their notebook with other participants.

In the last 10 minutes of the workshop, participants will learn how to assign and award credit for the notebook, work with faculty, and avoid potential setbacks. Participants should come prepared to work with Google Docs and other online learning tools.

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