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Information Literacy Learning Objects

Topic Creation as Research

Classroom Activity

Depending on where students are with their topics there are two possible activities below. 

  1.  Students fill in the first two questions while sitting: Writing out their research question and the other information they already know about their topic. 
  2. Students will leave their pages at their seats and move around to look at their classmates' worksheets. For each worksheet, they will read the research question and other information and write one question or comment they have about the research question. As students continue to write on classmates' worksheets, they can start to check their classmates' questions that they find particularly interesting. Allow for enough time for every worksheet to have at least 5 questions. 
  3. Allow time for students to return to their seats and read through their classmates' comments. Ask the class to share one or two questions they find interesting or had never thought about before. 

      The goal is to get use classmate's feedback to inspire students to think about their topic in different ways. 

       *If there are accessibility concerns, this activity can be easily converted to a Google Doc activity. Each student would be assigned their own page in a shared document where they would fill in the information on their research questions. Their classmate can then comment directly on the document with questions or comments. 

What type of topic should you choose?

  1. Select a topic that is interesting to you. 
    • Is there any connections between this course and other classes that you have enjoyed?
    • Do you think that there is a different way to approach a topic that you learned about in class?
    • Can you connect a theme in class to something that has had a direct impact on your life?
    • Even if your instructor assigns your topic, you may be able to find an angle to the topic that is of particular interest to you. 
  2. Select a topic that is researchable
    • A good topic will have a body of related research that you can find with good search techniques and an amount of information that you can manage. 
    • Finding a researchable topic may require you to refine your topic as you begin to search for sources. 
    • This would be a great stage to talk through your topic with a librarian

Where Should you Look for Topics?

  1. Brainstorm - Thinking through all of your ideas before deciding what route you want to take your research will help produce a more defined research topic. 
    • Need help brainstorming? Check out Credo's Mind Map. Just enter a few keywords into the search bar to find other related keywords. Clicking on those keywords will open to reference source for you to learn more about the topics
    • Talking about your ideas with your classmates is another great way to look at your topic from a different angle. 
  2. Watch the news - Even if the topics discussed in your class are not in the news, paying attention to what is happening in the world might help you come up with a new way to approach your topic that is relevant to you. The Library has access to many newspapers across the US. 
    1. Newspaper Source
    2. Nexis Uni
    3. Proquest US Major Dailys
  3. Read through your class notes - Is there a topic that was covered weeks ago that you want to learn more about? Writing a paper about the topic is a great way to become an authority on the subject. 
  4. Look through reference articles about general topic you are interested in. 
    1. Credo
    2. Gale Reference Center
    3. Points of View Reference Center