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Research 101

Your starter kit for college-level research at Kennedy Library. Advance your research skills with the self-guided tutorials and videos below.

Thank you for your interest in Library Instruction for your GE A1-A3 course! In Spring 2022, the Foundational Experiences Program is pleased to offer synchronous instructional sessions for synchronous sections, and self-guided tutorials for asynchronous sections. Instructors with synchronous sections can request synchronous, 50-minute workshops to be delivered via Zoom. Instructors with asynchronous sections can direct their students to self-guided learning modules. To encourage the best class discussion and participation, you are expected to be present during the workshops and will be assigned as a co-host to help monitor the room.

To request a workshop, please fill out our Instruction Request Form. If you cannot access the form, email meruther@calpoly.edu. To ensure the smooth scheduling and delivery of synchronous sessions, requests received after week 3 of the Spring Quarter (April 17) will not be considered. If you have any questions, please contact Mercedes Rutherford-Patten at meruther@calpoly.edu.

Synchronous Workshop Offerings for Spring 2022

Our library workshops introduce students to library research and information literacy skills at the foundational level (first and second year).


Library Workshops for Synchronous Courses

Synchronous Research Workshop offered via Zoom (50-minutes)

Pre-Workshop Homework: Library Research Canvas Module & Research Notebook

In the Research Workshop, students will learn about Kennedy Library’s services and how to get research help, practice searching strategically in OneSearch (library catalog) and databases, and use criteria to evaluate the credibility and quality of information sources. Students will complete an evaluating sources activity (using a Google form) that can be forwarded to their instructor as a record of participation in the workshop. Please ask your students to forward their e-mail copies if you want to provide credit for attending. View the Research Workshop presentation slides.

Students are expected to complete the Library Research Module “Starting Your Research: Ethics, Information Sources, and Evaluation” before attending the online synchronous research workshop. This is essential in our workshop model and will make our time together in the workshop more meaningful. The module introduces library resources (books, technology, services, study spaces), the research process, research ethics, types of information sources, and source evaluation. Please import that Library Research Module and Research Notebook into your course from Canvas Commons. To import the Library Research Canvas Module, search for the title of the module: “Starting Your Research: Ethics, Information Sources, and Evaluation” in Canvas commons. Note: It's important that you do not copy the module from a previous course to your new course because you will not get the updated version. 

Meeting Mode Options:

Meeting Mode (Preferred):

You and your students meet in your classroom at usual time, students asked in advance to bring mobile device and headphones for Zoom.   

Alternate Meeting Mode (Not as Preferred):

You and your students participate via Zoom, each from location of their choice.

Alternate Meeting Mode (Least Preferred):

You and students meet in your classroom, without individual devices, and Zoom is projected from instructor’s computer.  (Least preferred because session leader cannot see anyone, interactive elements are compromised, and instructor in classroom has to moderate discussion.)

Synchronous Introduction to Data Visualization Workshop Offered via Zoom (50-minutes)

Pre-Workshop Homework: Finding Data Tutorial and Notebook

In this workshop, students will learn how to find and analyze data sets appropriate for their topic and use tools to turn data into compelling visuals. The Intro to Data Visualization Workshop presentation slides and Finding Data Tutorial and Notebook are available here.

Meeting Mode options are the same as described above.

Embedded Librarian Canvas Role

In the Canvas Librarian role, I can stay engaged and connected with students throughout the entirety of their course or, minimally, as they complete the library research module and notebook. In this role, I will have access to view responses to the research notebook and knowledge checks, create and engage in discussions (if desired), and create and engage in additional assignment support (if desired). This new ability has opened several new opportunities to support your students!

To embed me (Mercedes Rutherford-Patten) into your Canvas course, follow these directions. My e-mail is meruther@calpoly.edu. If you want to opt-out of the embedded librarian role, I would appreciate receiving an exported .csv spreadsheet of all submissions for the research notebook survey to use for future revisions of library materials (send to meruther@calpoly.edu)See screenshots/directions for exporting survey results (Links to an external site.).

If you have questions, please contact Mercedes Rutherford-Patten: meruther@calpoly.edu 

Self-Guided Tutorial Offerings

For asynchronous courses, we're offering several self-guided tutorials.

Library Research Canvas Module

In the Library Research Canvas Module, students learn a variety of foundational information literacy skills that will help them get started with college-level library research. This module is separated into four parts with mini-lessons and knowledge checks.

  • Part 1: Starting Your Research, students learn how to navigate the library catalog (OneSearch), access textbooks, the types of resources available in Special Collections and Archives, and how to get help with their research.
  • Part 2: Research Ethics, students learn about the common types of bias in research and ethos (trustworthiness) as it relates to researching and writing.
  • Part 3: Evaluate Research Sources, students learn evaluation criteria that they can use to judge the credibility, quality, and relevance of information sources.
  • Part 4: Understand Information Sources, students learn about different types of information sources and the peer-review process.

After students finish the module, they complete a Research Notebook guided worksheet where they practice developing their research topic, a keyword strategy, and conducting effective searches in OneSearch and library databases. 

Finding Data Tutorial and Notebook

In this self-guided tutorial, students learn search strategies for finding data and visualizations.

Students can visit the Introduction to Data Visualization research guide for more help or book an appointment with a peer instructor to get help with their project.

Finding, Using and Citing Images Tutorial

In the Finding, Using & Citing Images self-guided tutorial, students learn how to find the best images for their topic, analyze images for effectiveness and credibility, and are introduced to MLA and attribution citation styles for images. This tutorial takes approximately 30 minutes and includes knowledge check questions to check for understanding of the content.

For Students

For Instructors - Import the Tutorial to Your Canvas Course