A. Instructor Lecture -- PowerPoint with discussion questions (to be developed by GA)
B. PowerPoint Slideshow: How to Narrow a Research Topic
Duration: 30-40 minutes
Overview: Is the "good enough" approach to research really good enough? Rationale for having a strategy; opportunities for distraction/confusion (see Understanding Google Search Results movie), need to focus both topic itself and plan for attacking it; different categories of research tools and how each can contribute to a project (see Smart Research Strategies tutorial); using right tool for task can get you to goal more quickly.
Related student activity [knowledge building model*]:
Group activity: Form 5 groups. Ask students to write short reviews of tools (finding aids) in one of the 5 categories described in the tutorial to use for research on a suggested topic. They should try each tool listed in that category and write an annotation for each one to share with class, using WriteBoard wiki pages. Annotation should provide specific information about searches tried, results, potential usefulness, limitations or difficulty of use. These wiki pages can be shared with the class for discussion. Specific instructions for activity to be developed by GA.
URL: http://liblearn.osu.edu/courses/english110/narrow_topic.pptC. Captivate Movie: Understanding Google Search Results
Format: Slides with/without audio narration
Description: This animated PowerPoint presents a simple strategy for analyzing a broad research topic by asking five basic questions (who, what, where, when, why), along with specific examples of how to generate more specific research topics using this method.
- Instructor: Incorporate into class presentation, with pauses for discussion on how to apply to another topic.
- Student activity: Student views slideshow in class and completes a worksheet, which presents a list of broad topics. Student answers relevant questions and identifies a variety of narrower topics. Could be a partners project. Specific instructions for activity to be developed by GA.
Format: Flash movie with/without audio narration
Description: Google is the most common starting point for research. Google results now include items from a variety of other databases (news, blogs, Books, Scholar, etc.). This movie introduces techniques for finding clues to quickly understand search results and browse them intelligently.
- Instructor: Incorporate into class presentation, followed by application to another topic and group discussion/analysis of results.
- Student activity: Student views movie in class, then completes Google search on different topic, analyzes at least 5 items on first page of results. Runs same search in other Google databases (Scholar, News, Books), reflects on difference in outcomes, reasons for using more focused tools. Specific instructions for activity to be developed by GA.