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Questions about The Research Skills Workshop
Last year the Library revised its online workshop which is now called Research Skills Tutorial. While it has the same learning objectives, the tutorial is more streamlined. It consists of instructional videos (with voiceover and captions), short quizzes and should take less time for students to complete.
What is this requirement?
In 2003, following a one-year trial, the Laurentian University Senate decided that the Research Skills Tutorial (online) would be compulsory for “the earliest courses taught on campus in all departments which require the use of the library.” This was because Senate realized that the library was a rich research resource that students needed to learn how to exploit to the fullest. It is the same thinking that leads most parents to insist that their children receive driving training before they are handed the keys to the family vehicle.
Students who have completed these workshops have developed new confidence in their research skills—have gone beyond “Just Google it” when writing papers—and have improved the overall quality of their essays.
Is this a graduation requirement?
What are in these workshops?
There is a series of 11 short audio-visual modules that provides a basic understanding of library systems and research. Normally, the course takes approximately 1.5 - 2 hours to complete and it is done outside of class time at students’ convenience.
As a professor, why should I make this a requirement when I know other professors are as well?
Students have to do the course only once during the year. Upon successful completion, they print out a Certificate of Completion that must be handed in to you. If they have already printed the certificate, they can go back and reprint it as often as required.
Should I give marks when I receive the Certificate?
You may—but the library recommends that you do not, since potentially students could receive credit for the same work in several courses. Instead, what the library suggests is that you include the D2L Research Skills Tutorial with an assignment requiring the use of the library and tell them that the assignment will not be marked unless accompanied by the certificate. When you think about it, this method should ensure that students do not see the library requirement as “busy work” – rather it is something that will help them complete their assignment and feel more confident doing university-level research.
Can I require the Certificate in more advanced courses even though some of my students may have already done it in an earlier course?
Absolutely. The goal is to ensure students who graduate from this university have information literacy.
What if I want to learn more about the course?
Please include your telephone number in any email or voice-mail message. Thank you.