Year 7 Information Literacy Programme: Bibliographies

Bibliographies

(not to be confused with Biographies!)

 

We touched very briefly on Bibliographies when we were evaluating books  – did they have one or something similar for example “Further Reading” usually at the back of the book near the index?

 

What does Bibliographies mean?

A few suggest that it is something to do with the Bible and we chat about word origins – Biblio being latin for book.

 

Moving on I share some videos about Plagiarism from Plato online, and emphasise that copying, and copying and pasting is cheating.

 

Students are amazed that this is the case. “But surely the people who put things on the internet know they are going to be copied?” said one innocent student. I pointed out that this wasn’t the case and gave “creative commons” as one example where the author or creator can give usage rights away depending upon use.

 

They continue to be amazed when they hear that TDA students have been ‘kicked off’ courses because of this plagiarism or cheating.

 

“But what happens if it’s a really good idea?”

 

Then you can use it IF you say where you found it! – put it into quotes and list the book; website; article in your……

 

wait for it…..

 

 

bibliography!

 

I demonstrate the order

 

Author, Date, Title, Place & Publisher

 

and where to find that information before setting them a challenge to create a mini bibliography on a topic of their choice.

 

Football, cricket and make-up are popular choices, but ghosts, athletics, and scouting are examples of some of the rarer topics chosen.

So a quick reminder about using the subject indexes and then we’re off to the MRC to find books to include in our bibliographies.

 

Advertisements

Year 7 Information Literacy Programme: Evaluating Resources

Evaluating Resources

 

In this session I ask my year 7 students to think about how and why they pick one resource over another.

We ‘brainstorm’ the 5 W’s before using them to evaluate a book.

 

The 5 W’s are, of course,

Who

What

When

Where

and

Why

 

How we can use these to evaluate resources….

 

Who?

Who is the author? Why would we look for a particular author?

 

Perhaps we have a favourite author, or we know they are an expert in that subject. Or perhaps they are a Dr or a professor – this may mean we are more able to trust what they write.

 

 

 

 

What?

What is a really easy one to work out. What is the book/resource about?

 

If we need to research Insects then knowing what the book about is probably the easiest way to evaluate a resource. If the book/resource is about fishing or aliens, or the Third Reich then we can quickly eliminate them. We probably do this without thinking about it.

 

 

 

When?

When refers to when the book/resource was published.

 

Is the book old? Does it matter? How up-to-date is it?

The date a book was published is usually found on the back of the Title Page near the copyright symbol.

 

Just because a book is ‘old’ doesn’t mean it isn’t useful. However if you want to know about the new species of butterfly; or a newly discovered egyptian tomb, then an old book won’t cover that.

 

 

Where?

 

Where can we find the answers in the book? Does the book have a contents page or an index? Most good books do – but have a look at a series like the Horrible Histories Series, these contain lots of interesting information; presented in a fun way, but if you are looking for a particular keyword you have to scan the whole book as they don’t have an index.

 

Another useful thing to look for is a Bibliography; or ‘Further Reading’; or ‘More resources’ etc. These can be found at the back of the book – near the index and can provide us with more useful resources – or where to go next.

 

 

Why?

 

Why should we use a particular book over another?

Does it have pictures? Are these drawings (and subject to an artistic impression) or photographs (more realistic)? On the other hand drawings and diagrams may be more clearly labelled. It’s all about the reason why we are looking for them in the first place.

 

Another ‘why’ would be what I call the ‘Goldilocks’ question. This relates to the size of the text – is it too big? Too small? Or just right?

It is the Goldilocks question because we each need to find the best fit for ourselves. Perhaps the writing is too big, with not enough information or detail perhaps  too ‘babyish’ or easy? Perhaps the writing is so small that we cannot read it – if so – there is no point struggling – we need to find something better and more suited to our needs.

 

 

So evaluating resources is about thinking about why we are looking for; why we need that information and finding the best resource to help us.

 

Who, What, When, Where and Why are easy questions that can help us find the best resource.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Staff CPD: Online Resources supporting staff and students

Last week I ran a session called Online Resources: Supporting staff and students.

Turn out was reasonable with staff attending coming mainly from the Humanities and Arts (includes dramatic arts) colleges. The format was that I gave a brief demonstration of each of the resources and this was followed by 5 minutes for them to explore themselves.

I started with an introduction to Oliver (our LMS – Library Management System) which is on the MRC VLE homepage.

I showed them how they and their students could use Oliver to:-

  • create a reading list that includes both books and websites, and which can easily be emailed to students or turned into a link which can be placed elsewhere on the VLE, or in powerpoints for example.
  • check their own loans and set up their interests for automatic notification of new resources.
  • save time by using alternative provider which repeats the same search in a number of different databases such as Clipbank.

Next I returned to the Oliver Homepage which is split into 4 columns.

Screenshot of the Oliver Homepage

Screenshot of the Oliver Homepage

In the first column I highlighted the MRC blog (what you are reading now); links to both Peterborough and the British Library for tracking down copies of out-of-print titles that can be borrowed; the link to Dawsonera (e -books); and demonstrated the link to the Blekko Search Engine where you can search 3 search engines at the same time and compare the difference in results.

The second column took much more time as this contains quick links to our online databases. So I demonstrated and the staff explored four of these …. Britannica Encyclopedia; NewsBank; InfoTrac and KnowUK. All incredibly useful when encouraging students to use sources other than relying on Wikipedia and Google alone.

 

The third column contains links based around books and reading. With video book trailers; Book of the Week; a quick link to the MRC DEAR page; as well as “Books for Keeps” and “Read Plus”.

The fourth column contains useful things for research and critical thinking skills. Such as Plato (which looks at plagiarism); Internet Detective (critical thinking for KS4 &5); Welcome to the Web (critical thinking for KS3); Easy Peasy Bibliography creator, as well as links to Guides and bibliography templates.

The hour flew by and everyone found something useful for themselves or sharing with their students. Resulting from this I have been asked to do further work with Year 12 students on avoiding plagiarism, and…. I was walking by a classroom the day after my session and there on the white board was one of the databases – the teacher gave me the thumbs up as I walked on by!

Research and Referencing for all Year 12 Students

During October I ran a series of workshops for all our Year 12 students entitled “Research & Referencing“. This was part of a series of sessions looking at Study Skills in general, from Time Management and Skimming and Scanning (the latter I created an activity for).

My session was in two parts.

Research

Firstly we discussed the students favourite first ports of call – Wikipedia and Google. Many are aware of the downsides, lack of authority, reliability, volume of hits etc, but very few knew about the alternatives, – they do now!

Screenshot of the Oliver Homepage

Screenshot of the Oliver Homepage

I demonstrated the Oliver Homepage (our OPAC system) and showed them a quick search which found both books and (reliable & educational) websites. I also showed our links to our local library service and the British Library, from which they can, for a small fee, get their hands on out of print books that may be really useful for their studies.

I then demonstrated that from the Oliver Homepage they could gain access to the databases that the MRC subscribes to. The key ones for P16 studies being Britannica Encyclopedia; NewsBank and InfoTrac. I gave a brief demonstration for each of these and encouraged them to give them a try as their teachers will be expecting them to use a wider variety of sources than just Google and Wikipedia. The internal links within Britannica to other journal articles and the Webs Best Bits are invaluable on their own and makes a great starting point for research. Plus no-one will ever know if they use the Primary version to get a really simple definition to help them! With all of these you can save, print and email results – which is a great way of checking with your teacher that you are on the right track.

The second part of the session looked at:

Referencing

I installed Plato onto our VLE back in 2008 and use this fabulous resource when teaching reference skills. I showed a few videos to introduce the concept of Plagiarism or cheating, then asked them to discuss/ answer 5 ‘Plagiarism’ questions with a partner before showing a series of clips about common plagiarism mistakes.

Collusion, Copying, Paraphrasing, and incorrect Citation.

The two most contentious of these were collusion, “but our teacher tells us to work together” and paraphrasing “doesn’t everyone do this?” and led to some interesting conversations with students (Great!).

I shared examples of good practice, and then some video clips I put together (with the aid of Plato) to demonstrate how to reference a book, journal and website. Interesting to find out that some weren’t familiar with the word ‘journal’, and that the date of access is required for websites. I advised them that before they started researching online, they create a Word document and put todays date at the top, all they then need to do is paste in any useful URLs to keep a record.

Another look at the 5 ‘plagiarism’ questions showed that some had changed their minds and answers. When going through the answers the question that sparked the biggest debate was about the copyright symbol not being essential for the ‘work’ (photo, article,video etc) to be protected. During one session we also had a discussion about using Creative Commons.

So I sent them off into the big bad wide world of research and information overload, with a reminder that at any point over the next two years they can come back and ask for a reminder “about that newspaper database you showed us….”, or for guidance about references.

I can only hope that this has helped solve the problem of when I have worked with Year 13 groups who complain that they “should have been shown this at the start of Year 12”. Well this year they have been!

Bibliography Creator

Accurate refencing is a key part of research, and Bibliography Creator is one example of web tools availbale to you to help you create a bibliography. It uses the Harvard style of referencing.

Simply choose a type of reference from the list below and then add all the data into the boxes. Once completed you can copy and paste the refernce into your bibliography – remembering to list these alphabetically.

Referencing a Bookdata entry form                                                                       

Referencing a Chapter of a Book

Referencing a Journal Article

Referencing a Website

Referencing an e-mail

 

Remember you can use the MRC Resources Found Guide to help you record what you use as you use it – and this guide can be filled in on your computer or printed out for you to use.

 

Yr 9 BTEC Science

I’m popping into Year 9 BTEC Science lessons this week to advise them how to research more quickly and find the best, most reliable sources of information. Freeing them up to do the things they want to do!

We’ve been looking at the pitfalls of relying on Wikipedia (unreliable, who created the information and having to check the information in more reliable sources).

The inefficiencies of Search Engines like Google – which roughly only searches 3% of the information available on the web – and still brings you a hit list of thousands of articles, that no one has the time or the willpower to read through.

Screenshot of the Oliver Homepage

Screenshot of the Oliver Homepage

Instead I reminded the students about the Oliver Homepage, Searching for keywords to find the best books and websites on our database, and showing them some of the online databases they can use courtesy of the MRC. I gave quick demonstrations of Britannica Online; NewsBank; InfoTrac and Clipbank; plus I pointed out the guides to referencing and bibliographies.

They spent the rest of the lesson researching topics like electromagnetic spectrum and BP Oil Spills and were able to find videos and newspaper articles as well as books and websites. Cool.

Let’s hope they remember the next time they are set some research based work.