My teaching and talking points were specifically aimed at assisting the graduate students in their assignment of creating an annotated bibliography.
My teaching outcomes (aligned with the learning outcomes outline in the syllabus): Students will be able to recognize different tools for searching academic literature, make appropriate choices about the tools they need to use and to appropriately use these tools to find scholarly information for their Annotated Bibliography assignment.
1. I began the class with a general discussion (more like a conversation) about how to choose a topic for the annotated bibliography. I indicated that as I read the Introduction to the course textbook, Alternative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition, there were several issues that would interest me if I was creating the annotated bibliography (Jermone Bruner's influence on SLA) but upon reflection I determined that another topic might be more challenging, relevant and applicable to my future studies (Artificial Intelligence (AI) in education and applicability to SLA).
I also used the course textbook to point out the importance of looking at the References section of books, journal articles and theses, to find material that may be relevant to your topic. The References sections can commonly be found at the end of chapters, at the end of journal articles or at the back of some books.
2. We spent a considerable amount of time discussing the power of using the library catalogue to easily find scholarly resources.
I used the course textbook catalogue record (found by doing a TITLE search in the library catalogue) to show them where all of the relevant bibliographic information needed for their annotated bibliography including author, title, publisher, place of publication and publication date.
I used the simple TITLE SEARCH to talk about SUBJECT HEADINGS (found near the bottom of the catalogue record) as clickable links leading to other resources. So, from one simple title search, we can click on the SUBJECT HEADINGS and find many more resources related to our topic of interest quickly and efficiently.
We also discovered how we can have books sent (use your Western username and password and choose EDUCATION LIBRARY as the pickup location - the books will be sent to the Education Library and you can pick them up at the main floor Service Desk) from other libraries for pick up/drop off at the Education Library (using the REQUEST ITEM option), how to SORT our catalogue results by DATE (scholars often want to see the most current information first) and how to LIMIT our catalogue search results to the Education Library using the drop-down menu options along the top of the library catalogue record.
We discovered how to use the AUTHOR search option in the library catalogue to find resources written by that author ( I used Jerome Bruner as an example). Wen doing an AUTHOR search in the library catalogue, use the author's last name (Bruner, Jerome).
We discussed how we can use the KEYWORD search option in the catalogue to find resources written about that author. In this case, we can use the KEYWORD option to find resources written about Jerome Bruner.
I reiterated the importance of always checking the References section of journal articles, theses and books. If you find relevant material noted in the References section, then we can use the scholarly tools (library catalogue and databases) to locate those items.
We talked about out how to use the library catalogue to find those resources here at Western including demonstrating the use of JOURNAL TITLE search in the library catalogue. I used a student provided journal title, Motivation and Emotion, to discuss the various access points to journal literature provided within the library catalogue record.
3. Using the ScholarsPortal link (second on the list of access points) in the Motivation and Emotion journal as an example of searching by JOURNAL TITLE in the catalogue and then finding the particular articles you need, we explored how to find and read the full text (if available) of journal articles.
I also demonstrated how to find older journal articles by clicking on the list by year on the right hand side of the ScholarsPortal link. This is extremely important information when you find useful journal articles listed in the References section and you want to find out if the full text of that journal article is available at Western.
4. Then, we were on to the next topic in this whirlwind tour of library tools useful in scholarly work like creating an Annotated bibliography: SEARCHING DATABASES. We discussed what a database was and why we use databases when searching for scholarly information. A database is an organized collection of data that is organized by easy access.
Databases are found on the Western Libraries' website under the tab RESEARCH TOOLS.
We explored DATABASES BY TITLE and search for information on "second language acquisition" in the Education Database (which is a ProQuest product).
We discovered how to read the journal articles in full text (if available) and talked about the good news/bad news "Get It @ Western" option.
5, Finally, we ended with a reminder of all of the amazing SUPPORT, in-person and online, available to our students. You do not want to spend too much of your valuable time finding the resources you will use in your annotated bibliography because once you find the information you still need to read it, understand it, reflect upon and then critique the resources. If you are not finding the information you need we encourage you to contact the Education Library staff for assistance. We are here to help you.
This online and onsite library support includes:
* Personalized research consultations with your Academic Librarian, Denise Horoky. Contact her to book an appointment. Online students can contact Denise by phone or by email for "virtual" consultations.
* A whole team of experienced and friendly Education Library staff to assist you.
* ASK: Chat with a Librarian (free, real-time service with evening and weekend hours)
* Education Research Guide to help you get started when you need to find scholarly information using Western Libraries' resources, services and collections.
* And, of course, a reminder to read this Education Library Blog frequently because it is filled with useful and helpful information for graduate students. Scroll down to find some help for creating Annotated Bibliographies.