328-5 Research in the Digital Library: A One Credit Course for Undergrads

Wednesday, 8 October 2008: 2:45 PM
George R. Brown Convention Center, 351BE
Patricia B. Yocum, Shapiro Science Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Learning to navigate, use and exploit the digital library can be challenging especially for first and second year undergraduate students. But learn they must. Academic libraries are increasingly digital and undergraduate curricula are increasingly research oriented. If they are to succeed academically, undergraduates must learn new concepts, systems, sources and skills. Structured learning, such as that provided in credit-bearing courses, is an established, effective learning mode. Although credit-bearing courses which help students develop their digital research skills can be found throughout the USA, courses focusing on science resources and designed for first and second year undergraduate students are not common. “Digital Research in the Natural Sciences: Critical Concepts and Strategies” at the University of Michigan speaks to this situation. Now in its 3rd year, the one-credit course is a joint initiative between the College of Literature, Science and the Arts and the University Library. Still evolving, the course aims to lay a foundation for academic research and life-long learning in the digital environment. It enrolls students who hope to major in a natural science as well students who plan other majors. Through a variety of methods, the course explores concepts, techniques and discovery tools, as well as search strategies, digital sources and academic integrity. This talk explores the major aspects of the course, examines results of efforts to date and discusses the benefits and challenges emerging.