Library Instruction West (2014)

Marijuana Legalization Papers Got You Down? You Won’t Believe What We Did About It!

Co-presented with Hannah Gascho Rempel (OSU)

Current research shows that for many students, choosing a topic is the scariest and most difficult part of the research process. They want to stick to safe ground where they know they’ll find sources; we want them to explore the unknown and learn new things. Tired of reading papers on the same topics over and over, and concerned that students weren’t making the connections between research and learning, librarians and composition instructors at Oregon State University developed a new approach to teaching topic selection, putting curiosity at the center. Providing a structured and supportive process, we help students overcome their fear of the unknown. Using tools and resources easily found on the open web, we encourage students to follow their interests, sometimes to places they didn’t know existed! And doing it together, we emphasize the importance of curiosity to the research process, and to the classroom experience.

Followups —

Concept mapping for better research questions (Veronica Douglas)