Friday, September 2, 2011

incentivizing great student research

A recent piece in Inside Higher Ed reports on an ethnographic study that investigated college student attitudes and practices as they pursue information research projects. The results indicate that many students are far from prepared to do good college-level research. The comments on the article toss out a few ways of changing the state of things: information literacy programming, required library research classes, closer cooperation with faculty, etc.

One step that we at Watzek Library introduced this year takes the approach of highlighting strong student research through an undergraduate student research award in our first year Exploration and Discovery seminar course, which requires a research project in the spring term. The award is a celebration of what we're about at the library: great student research. But its also a subtle way of encouraging students and faculty to set high expectations for research, which should in turn help information literacy overall. Finally, it provides a great opportunity for students to practice up for more opportunities for academic honors and awards later in their undergraduate and possibly graduate careers.

Congrats to Sara Miller and Devin Owen, winners of the first-ever Watzek Student Research award!

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