Supporting Stronger Papers & Research: Digital Research & Course Guides at King’s College

This is the second of two blog posts about the recent workshop “Supporting Stronger Papers & Research,” offered at this year’s Teaching for Technology Day by Adam Balcziunas (Electronic Resources Librarian) and Andrea Baer (Instruction/Reference Librarian). This post looks at the digital research guides LibGuides as a way to support student research. The previous post discusses the citation manager Zotero as a tool for collaborative learning.

The wealth of information now available in the Internet age has greatly complicated how we and our students approach research. Data deluge, the varying quality of online information sources, and students’ overconfidence in their ability to locate and evaluate relevant information are just a few of the challenges instructors face when teaching research practices and critical use of information.

One tool which supports both faculty and students in teaching and learning about the research process is the online research guide. Recently the King’s College Library began developing such digital research guides through the platform LibGuides. These guides point students and researchers towards quality information sources, while also offering research tips and explanations of certain research concepts and practices. To see the Library’s current list of research guides please visit www.kings.libguides.com.

More guides will be developed this summer and throughout the fall. If you are interested in having a guide created for a particular course, topic, or discipline, please contact one of the King’s librarians (contact information below).

Course Guides

Guides can be created for a specific discipline, topic, or course. While guides for a discipline tend to be broader in scope, course guides are targeted to the particular needs of students in that course. Research has shown that course guides are perceived to be especially helpful. According to a study of LibGuides conducted at Cornell University and Princeton University, 85% of faculty perceived an improvement in students’ assignments, and 100% stated the guide was valuable for class (Horne & Adams, 2009). Of the students surveyed, 90% found the guides to help with assignments, and 90% said they would like a LibGuide for future courses. (Horne & Adams, 2009).

Given this data, the King’s librarians are especially interested in collaborating with faculty to create guides that will be support your students’ learning and your teaching. A course guide might include instructions and tips for an assignment, suggested resources for the class or for an assignment, or information about a key concept or issue explored in the class. The form that a guide takes depends largely on the needs of the students and instructor. If you have an idea for a course or research guide please let us know!

Below are our email addresses:
Andrea Baer – andreabaer@kings.edu
Adam Balcziunas – adambalcziunas@kings.edu
Janet Ruddy – janetruddy@kings.edu
Marianne Sodoski – mariannesodoski@kings.edu

Acknowledgement: Thank you to Adam Balcziunas for his research on the use and reported effectiveness of LibGuides.

Reference
Horne, A., & Adams, S. (2009). Do the outcomes justify the buzz?: An assessment of LibGuides at Cornell University and Princeton University. Presentation presented at the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) 2009 Annual Conference, University of Washington. Presentation retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/smadams/do-the-outcomes-justify-the-buzz-an-assessment-of-libguides-at-cornell-university-and-princeton-university

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