Writing for the Web - I co-taught this class with a colleague from our English department. Students compared the short-form and long-form online writings of professional authors, developed their own web sites, and created articles to submit to Wikipedia. We had wonderful discussions about writing for the web in social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, professional networks like LinkedIn, and personal spaces like blogs and portfolios.
Blogs and RSS – a business class on social media wanted a short overview of how blogs were used. I used Prezi to show both the big picture relationship with XML and the details of community, customization, and collection. I gave them examples of websites pulling in various RSS feeds to populate web pages with dynamic content.
Database Group Worksheet – I’m a big fan of short presentations and small group activities. This exercise works well for honors students or upperclassmen who need a review of the library’s resources. I usually give an overview of the library’s website so the students know where to find links to databases mentioned on the sheet, and then we go through the questions using the library’s catalog first. The class then breaks into small groups, each assigned a specific database, and the groups prepare a short presentation for the rest of the class, explaining when and why students might use that particular resource.
Research Worksheet- This exercise is used at the end of short one-shot sessions covering the library’s catalog and major databases. The worksheet emphasizes two key aspects of research: 1) all the sources needed will not be found in the first search, so a researcher must learn from and improve upon each search attempt, and 2) the most relevant sources can often lead us to other valuable sources. I usually walk the students through the first search and then have them work in pairs on the next two searches. The exercise works best when students already have an approved research topic from their professor.
Citation Cheat Sheet – The two most popular citation styles for our campus are MLA and ALA. Students are often using both styles in the same semester, depending on the mix of classes they are taking. With this worksheet, I help them understand the differences and similarities between the two citation styles but also within each style across the different source materials. Students use the templates, examples, and the style books to create their own citations (usually on another sheet of paper).