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Giz and I met with 26 LENS (Learn, Experience, Navigate, Solve) students on Tuesday, July 13 to introduce them to library resources and on Wednesday, July 14 to assist them with narrowing their topic to a research question and using PowerPoint. To kick off Tuesday afternoon’s activities, students participated in a scavenger hunt. After showing the class the library’s homepage, maps of the library, and the library’s stack guide, Giz divided the students into groups and gave each group the title and call number of a specific resource to retrieve and bring back to class. Giz gave minimal information on the location of the resources leaving it up to the students to discover the location of the materials themselves.
The five research materials included: a book from the main stacks; a subject encyclopedia from the Reference Department; a DVD; a current popular journal (Newsweek) from the Mandelbaum Reading Room and an older issue of Newsweek from the main stacks; and a current scholarly journal (Bioscience) from the Current Periodicals area and an older issue of Bioscience from the stacks. All of the materials selected for the exercise included information on sustainability.
Students were given 20 minutes to locate and retrieve the materials. Giz and I were amazed how quickly some of the groups returned to the classroom with their items. As part of the scavenger exercise, each group reported on how they located their assigned source and how that source could be used in researching information on sustainability. Giz and I were very impressed with their presentations and their thoughtful responses to other questions that were asked. For example, Giz asked: “What does peer-review mean?” Giz and I were pleasantly surprised when one young man gave an excellent answer to this question. (Hope he has Wake Forest on his list!)
After the group scavenger presentations, I provided an overview of the online catalog and other electronic resources. During my part of the session, I used the clickers to keep everyone on track and to make sure that students understood the material. As usual, the students enjoyed the clickers. The afternoon activities also included information on Zotero.
On Wednesday Bobbie and I traveled to Kirby 104 to meet with these students again and assist them with narrowing their broad project topics to a specific research question or problem to solve. I began the program with a quick review of Zotero and how they could save their research on the cloud. This was perfect for the students using a WFU ThinkPad as they could save their research and access it again once they are home or back at school. Next, senior Keaton Morgan provided an excellent overview of “The Effective Use of PowerPoint.” Since these students were all well-versed in the use of PowerPoint, Keaton focused on the common pitfalls in designing an effective PowerPoint presentation, using video from YouTube and concrete examples of bad PowerPoint presentations. Keaton’s presentation provided excellent advice on how to avoid common presentation mistakes.
Once these students knew how to effectively use PowerPoint we put each of the eight groups to work creating a PowerPoint presentation on their broad topic and how they narrowed it down to their specific research question. This gave each group the opportunity not only to narrow their topic, but also to give a presentation to the entire class. Students had to collaborate on the presentation and were then able to practice their presentation skills and master the technology all at the same time.
We enjoyed coteaching the class and picked up some pointers on how we can improve the summer program for next year. In planning the program, we collaborated with several individuals. Michaele Cook (LENS Coordinator) was the contact person for the LENS summer program. Mazie Lewis (IS) assisted in ThinkPad distribution. During the planning phase, we met with Anne Boyle (English), Luke Johnston (Religion), and Keaton Morgan (undergraduate) to discuss classroom activities and other teaching strategies. It was truly a team effort.