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Are you ready for the future

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Are you ready for the future
ARE YOU READY
FOR THE FUTURE?
Top 10 Skills SFU & UBC
Librarians and Profs Want
1st Year Students to Have
Prepared by Chris Ball, UBC Library and Hope Power, SFU Library
1.
2.
3.
How to search for a book, then use the call
number to locate it in the stacks.
Know the difference between a book and a
journal. How to tell from a citation the
type of source you are looking for.
The reason why and how to cite a source.
(bibme.org is useful, but you need to know
if it’s done correctly).
4.
5.
6.
How to identify a scholarly source vs. a
popular source, and primary vs. secondary
sources – and know how to use them.
Using google vs. using databases – what’s
the benefit?
How to use databases such as Academic
Search Premier to search for scholarly
journals.
7.
8.
How to search for and critically evaluate
websites (government, personal,
commercial, academic).
Understand what plagiarism is. The web
has made “lifting” text, images, and audio
so easy that you must understand the fine
line between extensive quoting and
misrepresenting something as your own.
Remember Academic Honesty?
9.
10.
How to formulate a research question and
develop a thesis statement, and then use
research to support that statement. This is
a core skill for any discipline.
Help is available and it’s OK to ask
someone, (how about a librarian?), for
guidance. The only “stupid question” is
the one that doesn’t get asked!
And what do other postsecondary institutions say
about this list?



“Thanks for this succinct and thoughtful list!” –
Capilano University
“It would be a huge help if students came into
the university system with at least one of
these skills!” – Vancouver Island University
“Comparing your Top 10 list to our list of
undergraduate research tips, we are pretty
much on the same page!” – University of
Victoria

“This is a pretty comprehensive list and
frankly, I’d be happy if 2nd+ Year students
could do all of this!” – Royal Roads
University
More Feedback: And what
about …?


“Another point you might make is
searching for and within an electronic
book” – Vancouver Island University
“One final skill that is not explicit in your
list is an understanding of the
information cycle -- both for content and
time frame … Can you list the Top 11??”
– Langara College
There is more …

Ontario Confederation of
University Faculty
Associations questionnaire
(2009) of faculty and
librarians:
–
Over 55% think that 1st
year students are less
prepared for university
education than students
from just 3 years ago
AND
– The profs most often reported the
following challenges among 1st year
students:
Lower level of maturity
 Lack of required writing, mathematical and
critical thinking skills
 Poor research skills as evidenced by an overreliance on Internet tools like Wikipedia as
external research sources
 Expectation of success without the requisite
effort
 Inability to learn independently

And what do the
university students say?

What Today’s College Students Say about
Conducting Research in the Digital Age: HeadEisenberg survey (2009) identifies common,
course-related research challenges:
–
–
–
–
–
–
Information overload (e.g. the more you know, the less you
know; it is depressing)
Too much irrelevant information; cannot locate what is needed
from the online results
Trying to find the ‘perfect source’
Trouble finding books needed on library shelves
Can find the citation online, but cannot find the fulltext article
in a database
Finding statistical information online, etc.
Did you know 3.0
So what is to be done?
The top 3 keys to success:
1. ORGANIZE
2. ORGANIZE
3. ORGANIZE!
Study Skills


Make good habits. Studies say it takes 21
days to make a new habit.
Plan (i.e. write in) study time into your
daily schedule as you would any other
appointment.
Organize Your Study
Space

Find a quiet,
comfortable (but
not lying on your
bed!) place away
from distractions,
have: tools at hand,
good lighting, fresh air, not
too hot
Organization and Planning Tips





Set personal
goals/priorities – write
them down & post
them near your study
space: set long and
short term goals
Break down large tasks
into smaller chunks
Be an active learner
Discipline yourself
Be persistent
Set yourself deadlines –
and stick to them!
“The job will always stretch to fill the
time available.”
If you establish a schedule where you
routinely stay up late at night, it will
seem normal to stay up late, and in
fact you will stay up late!
We are VISUAL
learners
Organize your notes:
Turn your notes into
diagrams, cartoons,
concept maps or flow
charts – use lots of
colour
C
B
Point A
Sub Point 1
Sub Point 2
A
Sub Point 3
Use visualization for new
vocabulary and concepts


Make associations with images, and
hold that in your mind’s eye for at
least 10 seconds.
For example, the Japanese word
‘ahiru’ means ‘duck.’ So, you can
imagine a duck with ‘a hero’ badge.
Or ‘kaki’ means ‘oyster,’ so imagine a
‘car key’ made of oyster shell, etc.
The goal of any study
strategy should be review
Information is rapidly forgotten –
to counter this you must convert
short term memory into long
term memory
What happens to new
information over time?
MEMORY RETENTION (%)
100
0
TODAY
1
ONE
ONE2DAY
DAY
LATER
LATER
7
3
7 DAYS
DAYS
LATER
LATER
TIME
2
4
2 WEEKS
WEEKS
LATER
LATER
2 MONTHS
5
LATER
What about with review?
MEMORY RETENTION (%)
100
Short term memory
has become long term
memory
0
TODAY
1
ONE
ONE2DAY
DAY
LATER
LATER
7
3
7 DAYS
DAYS
LATER
LATER
TIME
2
4
2 WEEKS
WEEKS
LATER
LATER
2 M ONTHS
5
LATER
Make the information
relevant
If it has no significance or meaning to
you why would your brain retain it?
Find a way to make the information
important. Does it fit with your life’s plan?
Tie new information to
prior knowledge



Make abstract ideas into something
concrete and tangible.
We remember experiences more vividly than
cold facts. Bring your study to life in your
mind.
Use mnemonics (rhymes or acronyms used
to aid memory). Ex: “Every Adult Dog
Grows Big Ears” are the strings of a guitar.
Other Tips:




Don’t forget to back up your work regularly
Email yourself a copy of your assignment:
use rich text format (.rtf)
Take regular breaks (5 min/hr). Make your
break active – do some jumping jacks!
In-class essays – plan for at least 5 minutes
by preparing an outline before you start
writing
Studies show…
Students who read for
pleasure regularly
do better in all
subject areas.
As Einstein said,
“Imagination is
more important
than knowledge.
Knowledge is
limited.”
Sasse, Arthur. Einstein's tongue. 1951. Flickr. Web. 5 Jan. 2009.
Play sudoku and read
aloud whenever you can!
"Amazon.com: Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day!: Nintendo DS." N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2010.
<http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/B000EGELP0/ref=dp_otherviews_2?ie=UTF8&s=videogames&img=2>
Find a group to study with.
Make it fun!
Research: The Overview
Researching is like being an information detective; you will have
to:
– Follow clues
– Track down a variety of sources
– Narrow in on a topic


Interesting
Manageable
– Compile your data


Take careful notes
Record your sources
– Be selective, critical and organized
– Present your evidence
– Cite your sources
BCTLA
Define Your Topic
•
Start with an idea, then use
• A dictionary: define your terms
• General background information from encyclopaedias, etc.
•
Next: skim & scan
• Specialized reference materials
•
•
Build an outline = a game plan for your research
Final goal:
• Narrow down or expand your final topic
•
Must be manageable
Information Gathering:
Finding The Right Tool for the Job





When are books a good idea?
When is wikipedia or a general internet
search a good idea? (Surface Web)
When are the databases a good idea?
(Deep Web)
Learn how to limit your search (- and + in
google, Boolean searching, advanced search
options).
What are other options?
– specific subject search engines (ex scirus.com),
interview an expert, search out transcripts, read
your textbook!
Information Gathering:
Dealing with copious amounts of
information



Do not just do it all the night before! Set a
project schedule.
Keep a research journal
Synthesize the information
– an active process

Taking notes: summarize, paraphrase or
direct quotation
– be strict about recording bibliographic data
– clearly indicate your own words
Information Gathering:
Finding Scholarly Sources Using
Academic Search Premier


Chemistry: Journal of Chemical
Physics, Clinical and Laboratory
Medicine, Mini-Reviews in Organic
Chemistry.
Physics: Journal of Applied Physics,
Contemporary Physics, AIP (American
Institute of Physics) Conference
Proceedings.



Biology: Bioscience, Molecular Ecology,
BMC (Bioinformatics)
Geography: Geographical Review,
Social and Cultural Geography,
Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal
of Feminist Geography
Psychology: North American Journal of
Psychology, Annals of Behavioral
Medicine, Journal of Counseling and
Development


History: History Today, Journal of
American History, Journal of Social
History
English: *remember not to look at
criticism until your 2nd draft – come up
with your own direction first! Journal
of Modern Literature, Papers on
Language and Literature, Narrative
Academic Honesty
"Academic honesty must be seen as a set of
values and skills that promote personal
integrity and good practice in teaching,
learning and assessment."
Academic Honesty, IBO document
Works Cited




Only add resources that you have
used
Do not make up citations, or guess
about the information
Check with your sponsor regularly –
formatting is a terrible way to lose
marks!
Check your EE package for more info.
Library Web Page Highlights
*Link to Webcat and Databases
(Our Digital Library)
*Fine Literature List
*2009 MLA guidelines
*Research Tools
*This Powerpoint & Top 10 list!
Remember, Churchill
Library has great
resources!
Remember…
Point #10: Help is available and it’s OK
to ask for guidance. The only
“stupid question” is the one that
doesn’t get asked!
And don’t forget !
to take time for fun and
relaxation – overloading your
brain can be counterproductive!
The End…
Fly UP