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Foothills to Fourteeners: Preparing Students for Research in the Real World: RIRW Study

Guide for Library Instruction West 2016 conference presentation.

Research in the Real World

In September 2013 three standalone research workshops, "Research in the Real World" were offered at Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, CO with the goal of exploring how student engagement and transferable research skills could be increased during information literacy instruction. The ARCS Model of Motivational Design and Problem-Based Learning were used to develop short activities. Just over 40 community college students completed a pre-test and post-test assessment to measure change in skill level, perceived confidence, and perceived relevance of the research workshop. Results show learners’ skill levels, perceived confidence, and perceived relevance increased significantly. Based on the results, suggestions are made for incorporating Motivational Design and Problem-Based Learning to increase student engagement during information literacy sessions.

Research Questions

  • How can we better engage adult learners during information literacy sessions?
  • How do we increase students’ perception of the relevance and importance of information literacy skills for academic work and life in the real world? 
  • How can we scaffold instruction to build students' confidence in their research abilities?

Lesson Plan and Assessments

Choosing Powerful Search Terms  Research in the Real World Lesson Plan

This Google Drive version is locked, but you can save it to your Google Drive. To do this go to File | Make a Copy and then you can edit and adapt it.

Choosing Powerful Search Terms Research in the Real World Handout

This Google Drive version is locked, but you can save it to your Google Drive. To do this go to File | Make a Copy and then you can edit and adapt it.

Choosing Powerful Search Terms Research in the Real World Pre-Test and Post-Test

This Google Drive version is locked, but you can save it to your Google Drive. To do this go to File | Make a Copy and then you can edit and adapt it.