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Online Research Lesson Plan

Rating: 3 stars
Used in Course: Not used in course
Submitted by: Catherine Wolf (Faculty), Feb 06, 2011

The grade level range for this lesson plan was from middle school to general ed college level.  However, it would not be appropriate beyond 10th grade due to its simplicity and likelihood of offending students. College students, even at county colleges, prefer not to work in groups to determine the validity/reliability of online sources. First, it would waste precious instructional time. Secondly, college frosh have so many other adjustments to make, to use this exercsie would be akin to letting the blind lead the blind. Instead, I have found it helpful to give students a few general rules: don't use Wikipedia, for it is unrelaible (and I explain why), always use scholarly sources usually ending in .edu/.org, or sleect from various sources the college subscribes to such as JOLT. LION, etc. This is after I help students narrow down their research focus through conferences. The next step is small group work where students discuss each other's sources, article printouts (and/or book abstracts), and help each otehr determine which ones to use or discard. These steps give students ownership, and, since it's accomplished through allotted chunks of time during a few class periods, students have given the project much thought. This process has worked for my students for several years with minimal waste of time and effort.