Two weeks ago, I had a library treasure hunt with our grade 9s. This is already in the running for three years with the help of the Comparative Religions (CRe) teacher. We have made improvements since then. Sharing with you my reflections on the experience.
1. The session was a good follow up to the library orientation given to grade 9 students during Foundation Week. They had hands-on activities on the use of the OPAC and the three IB recommended databases that we are subscribed to. Each form of media was introduced as access to sources and information. I also mentioned that their academic integrity increases when they use library resources because these are selected based on reviews and recommendations from teachers who are knowledgeable of the IB and DepEd curriculum.
2. Students had hands-on activities on the use of search terms(keyword) and Boolean strategy on the databases, OPAC and different search engines. They were asked to evaluate Google with another search engine based on three criteria, namely design, navigation and search engine results page. Unlike the two search strategies, this was not further discussed during the session when we talked about their answers.
3. Citation exercises were provided to students using web apps and citation builders. During the second session, the five fundamental bibliographic data were introduced: author, title, publisher, place of publication, copyright/year of publication, plus, format (print, digital, etc.) as key elements of a citation. The students were given books to locate these information. These books were all taken from 200-299 division of the General Collection. In library work, these five plus one data are a librarian's basis for OPVL. It leads a librarian to pursue further questions on the document's origin, history and relevance.
I think, what's good about this experience is the provision for schema development and activation, and priming of skills. Before doing research on a CRe topic, students were given an experience of the library as a learning environment where formal and non-formal instruction on research and IL skills happen. As a librarian, I am part of the students' learning journey. I am a partner and "sidekick" to the teacher who plans her lessons and sets out to deliver the learning objectives.
Going back to two years ago, the English teacher asked me to do a session on search strategies and narrowing of topics for her grade 9 English class. We did mind mapping, keyword and Boolean searching. I was able to re-introduce our subscriptions as well as other media formats like maps, photos, paintings, kits, games posters, infographics, podcasts and the like as sources of information. It was only in passing that I told the class that each media format needs a set criteria when evaluation its purpose and credibility and that, these sources can be used in specific topics, research question or academic task.
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