Monday, May 18, 2015

IDE Week 2 Posts - Julie

Below are my answers to the prompts for week 2. The class is a one-shot instruction session for UCLA's freshman composition course, English 3.

Post #1

1. Forward-looking assessment
Luckily, because virtually all English 3 students come into the library session with a research assignment, the assessment mechanism is already in place: the sources they find and cite in their papers. Working with the instructor to review students' papers can help facilitate this assessment.

2. Criteria and Standards
Criteria for evaluating sources: An exceptionally performing student will 1) recognize and identify the shifting definition of "authoritative" or "credible" based on subject matter and other factors; and 2) critically engage with multiple types of sources and describe any flaws in an author's argument, even if that author's credentials are strong (eg., the student won't assume that all scholarly articles are "correct"). By contrast, a poorly performing student may rely on cookie-cutter ideas of authority and credibility rather than examining the author's relationship to the claims they are making, and make assumptions about the strength of an author's argument based on external factors rather than the content of the source.

Standards: Acceptably good work will demonstrate an awareness of these issues, even if the student misses some of the subtleties of an author's argument. Exceptionally good work will demonstrate a thorough understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each source cited.

3. Self-assessment
A brief essay reflecting on the process by which each student evaluated their sources could be useful. The prompt could ask them to describe how confident they feel that their level of trust in each author's claims is warranted.

4. FIDeLity Feedback
This is a challenge because the class is a one-shot session and the instructor is the one who grades the students' papers. However, I have an opportunity to provide brief feedback after exercises and games.

Post #2

1. Situational Factors
The main challenge, situationally, is the wide range of background the students bring to class. Introducing a pre-assessment exercise and then working with the instructor to review students' papers may address this potential conflict.

2. Learning Goals and Feedback and Assessment
Reviewing student papers has potential to address the full range of learning goals. However, in its current form, my feedback mechanisms only address a few of the learning goals, and even then, only students who speak up in class get feedback. There's no way for me to give comprehensive feedback yet. I have to rely on the instructor for that. A reflective essay might be a good way for students to assess their own performance.

3. Learning Goals and Teaching/Learning Activities
Because of the time constraints of the course, there isn't room for many extraneous activities. However, I sometimes find that the library tour runs long, and includes information that the students don't necessarily need.

4. Teaching/Learning Activities and Feedback and Assessment
Again, feedback is currently the weakest area of my course design. I'd love to find a way to send students feedback after the class has ended.

Worksheet for Designing a Course (the numbers in each section correspond to the numbered learning goal)

Learning Goals: Students will be able to...
1. Identify different types of sources in order to use them effectively in their research
2. Find appropriate articles in library databases in order to access sources in the deep web
3. Craft viable research questions in order to facilitate effective research

Ways of Assessing This Kind of Learning
1. Assign a brief quiz with sample articles; ask the students to identify the type of source
2. Have students email me links to two articles they've found--one that's a good match for their research, and one that's a poor match--along with commentary on how they determined the articles' usefulness
3. Collect their topic maps (see below) and review them before returning them

Actual Teaching-Learning Activities
1. Sort articles into a scholarly/popular spectrum; compare and contrast multiple types of articles focusing on the same event (eg., newspaper article and scholarly article on Ferguson, MO)
2. Have students use the same keyword in three different databases and compare results
3. Create a topic map in order to craft a research question

Helpful Resources
1. An assortment of articles (popular, scholarly, mainstream, and alternative)
2. The course LibGuide
3. A video tutorial or sample topic map

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