Welcome to Middlesex University and to The Sheppard Library.
Before we start some housekeeping:
No scheduled fire alarms today, so if alarm goes off then evacuate the building as quickly as possible. We’ll lead the way.
Nearest fire escape is……. But we will lead the way.
Toilets are located close by and our Ambassador can point you in the right direction.
We’ve got about 35 mins with you today and we are going to cover 2 things in this session:
The importance of communication, which is essential when searching for information
Thinking about what makes information that you find reliable and trustworthy.
These are useful skills to have, especially if you go on to University where you will be expected to find and use a range of information sources
We are going to start off with an exercise to get you thinking about the importance of communication and using the right words to express your ideas…….this is essential when searching for information:
Put students in to pairs. If odd numbers use teacher or put 3 students in one group. Student pairs need to sit back to back.
Give one student the image. They are the communicator and they should not show the image to their partner or anyone else.
The other student is the drawer (if group of 3, then 2 students will be the Drawers). Give them a piece of paper and a pen.
Librarian will need to use a timer (mobile phone)
The communicator has 3 mins to describe the image to the drawer (s). The drawer(s) cannot ask any questions. The Communicator should not look at what drawer is doing.
Stop after 3 mins and ask the drawers to hold up the image that they have drawn.
Correct image is on next slide.
Use of meaningful words is essential to communicate your ideas and the same thing can be described in lots of different ways – PacMan shape could also be described as ten past four on a clock face or a cake with a big slice taken out on the right hand side!
When searching for information:
It is important to use the right words to find what you want. These are your keywords or search terms.
The words you use are very important and can make all the difference.
If you don’t use the right language or words then you won’t find what you need.
You will need to think beyond the obvious keywords i.e. the words in your essay title for example, to ensure that you find as much information as possible.
(Brief summary on next slide)
*********The member of staff who is not talking should start to collect up the images and pens which were handed out to students, so that they are ready for next class. Also ensure that none of the drawings are left lying around the classroom which would spoil this activity for next class**********
Here are some tips for when you search for information:
You might need to break your topic down in to smaller topics – trying to search for everything at once might not be very successful
Think about synonyms i.e. different words that mean the same or almost the same e.g. synonyms for the word trustworthy include dependable, trusty, reliable, true, honest, responsible, faithful, authentic, credible, sound etc.
Some words can be spelt in several different ways such as the word jewellery or fairy
American v British English e.g. organisation (UK) and organization (US)
Also think about acronyms e.g. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) or NHS (National Health Service)
You might also want to think about related topics that might be relevant to your search, the broader topic – useful if you are not finding enough information, and detail i.e. things that you want to focus on – again useful if you are finding too much information.
Also think about the things that you want or don’t want which will help you refine your search e.g:
Is your topic world-wide or country specific (region).
Are you looking at a specific era, century of the last 10 years for example (Time).
The second thing we are going to look at is what makes information trustworthy and reliable.
It is always important to use good quality information whether it is school work or just something that you need to find out such as opening hours or how to get somewhere.
The quality of information sources used is especially important at University and students will be marked on this in assignments.
So we are going to do a 2nd exercise (What If? Game) to get you thinking about this:
Give a black card to 14 student volunteers
Ask them to stand in a row
Then ask the rest of the class to put the volunteers in to order based on the reliability and trustworthiness of the information source they are holding
Once they are in order, ask why they have chosen that order e.g. why do you consider books and journal articles to be more reliable than blog posts for example.
Then hold up various red cards (16 to choose from) to see if the order changes. See below for some examples:
Blog post - written by Published academic or Political Activist such as a campaigner
Eyewitness testimony – from research active expert or member of the public
Tweet – by Influencer or leading author
Website - British Computer Society or Wikipedia etc.
Newspaper article –Journalist from The Sun newspaper or from The Guardian.
Approx 15 mins.
For info, the cards are:
TV news report
Eye witness testimony
Online encyclopaedia article
Fox news (right wing viewpoint)
The Sun newspaper (sensationalist/controversial)
Oscar winning director
Member of the public
Research active expert
Political activist e.g. campaigner, politician, councillor, member of political party etc.
The Guardian newspaper (left wing)
British Computer Society (For info as when used this before, students asked what a professional association was: A Professional Body is an organisation with individual members practicing a profession or occupation in which the organisation maintains an oversight of the knowledge, skills, conduct and practice of that profession or occupation/A chartered institute, or a chartered body, is an organisation or institution which has been granted a Royal Charter. A Royal Charter is an instrument of incorporation which confers independent 'legal personality', reflecting the prestigious high status of that organisation )
Community group e.g. religious, ethnicity, age group etc.
Its always important to evaluate the information that you find. Here are a few things to consider:
Authority : Who is the author? Why should you believe them? What is their knowledge base/qualifications? Do you know where they got their information from? Is there any peer review?
Relevance : Is this what I need? Will it answer my information need? Is it at the right level?
Intent : What is the purpose of information e.g. financial gain, propaganda, academic etc?
Objectivity : Balanced view? Opposing views represented?
Currency: How old is this information? Does it need to be up-to-date? When was it last updated and by whom? Do you know what was updated? There is often an explanation of what has been updated in new edition of a book.