home Cycle of Success, Gateway Carousel, Special Collections, Archives, and Rare Books Inspiring Inquiry and Discovery Leads to Student Success

Inspiring Inquiry and Discovery Leads to Student Success

This past year, Kate Harlin, a PhD student and graduate instructor, won the Gus Reid Award from the English Department. Gus Reid, having taught composition within this program, donated funds to support an award for graduate students and other instructors who teach exploratory/persuasive writing. The award stipulates that each recipient “should not only be a good writer but an even better critic—one who views the job and self with both discipline and light-heartedness.” Kate applied with materials created from her international composition course, a course that greatly benefited from Kelli Hansen‘s Special Collections assistance.

Kate and Kelli collaborated on an assignment designed so students could choose an object in Special Collections that they wanted to learn more about, generate questions and use as an object to springboard into an exploratory essay. From the get go, this open ended assignment was ambitious, but Kate says, “Kelli was so open and flexible with us that she was able to pull items that got every student in the class excited.”

Kelli Hansen

Kelli pulled a Physics textbook from the 1920s written in Arabic, which one of Kate’s students from Saudi Arabia was able to identify as a translation written by Mizzou professor Oscar Stewart. She also found a poetry manuscript, by Li He of the Tang Dynasty, written in Chinese that many of the Chinese speaking students were thrilled to look through. One of her students even submitted her work for the Mahan Freshman Essay Award and received an honorable mention.

“The best thing about these two examples is that it helped the international students to see themselves as experts and knowledge-producers, which can be hard for any first year college student, but is even more difficult when in a class that is all about a writing in a language that you’re still learning to master,” Kate says.

Kate suggests figuring out a way to incorporate Special Collections in your syllabus and if you don’t know how, reach out to your librarians.Special Collections provided examples that truly inspired Kate’s students and is one of the many reasons why she will continue to collaborate with Kelli for future classes.

“Every semester that I have brought students to Special Collections, I have received feedback that it was a major highlight of the semester! I value inquiry and discovery in the classroom, and there is no better venue for it than Special Collections.”

Cycle of Success is the idea that libraries, faculty, and students are linked; for one to truly succeed, we must all succeed. The path to success is formed by the connections between University of Missouri Libraries and faculty members, between faculty members and students, and between students and the libraries that serve them. More than just success, this is also a connection of mutual respect, support, and commitment to forward-thinking research.

If you would like to submit your own success story about how the libraries have helped your research and/or work, please use the Cycle of Success form.

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Taira Meadowcroft

Taira Meadowcroft is a Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Missouri. She focuses on quality improvement, reference, and marketing for the University of Missouri Libraries.

home Cycle of Success, Ellis Library International Students Find More than Books at Ellis Library

International Students Find More than Books at Ellis Library

Before becoming an instructor in the University of Missouri’s Intensive English Program (IEP), Liza Armstrong taught a little further from home, such as at Al Akhawayn University, located in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. Now she helps the Center for English Language Learning fulfill its mission of “providing high quality English language instruction to non-native speakers of English to prepare them for university-level studies, professional endeavors and community engagement.” Liza’s interests are in the development of second language reading and writing skills, information technology, and reading assessment, and she recently presented about text analysis tools in the development of IEP reading exams at the TESOL Convention.

My favorite part of the library session was I saw rooms that looked like a prison for graduate students who would like to concentrate more for reading.

Word of Mouth

Liza first began bringing her advanced reading classes in for library instruction based on the recommendation of Barbara Leonhard, an advanced communication instructor. At that time, emerita librarian Goodie Bhullar taught the research sessions. Liza says, “Goodie, who had been an international student herself, seemed to have an instant rapport with the students and was interested in learning students’ names, where they were from, and what their research interests were.”

Goodie’s lesson made an impression. Students didn’t just learn about the quality resources Mizzou Libraries make available to them and how to run better searches. They also got hands-on practice searching library databases to find quality sources. “Nearly every semester since then,” Liza says, “I have taken my IEP classes to the library so that students understand that at MU they have access to a huge amount of high-quality information and plenty of help in finding it.”

The Tradition Continues

I enjoyed finding book of the library session. I practiced looking for a book and felt a sense of accomplishment in Ellis library.

Today, Cindy Cotner continues to deliver the invaluable instruction that helps Liza’s reading-writing students navigate the library and become comfortable with academic research: “Cindy gave students a physical tour of the library, explaining how the circulation desk worked and where students could scan books, find resources like books and videos, study, and even grab a coffee.”

Then the work of learning how to find those suitable resources began. Students not only received the usual instruction on how to search library databases but also participated in a scavenger hunt. Cindy distributed cards with a book title and call number, and students worked in pairs to find the book on the shelves. Liza says they “enjoyed winding through the stacks of books and felt victorious when they found their books.”

Cindy also shared information about Library Workshops for International Students (LibWIS), giving students further opportunities to learn about advanced research strategies, citation management, and more.

When Liza saw her students’ essays, she was delighted to find that many had used library databases to find quality sources. Liza notes, “Many of them also indicated that they appreciated the citation tool, which helped them to write their APA reference pages more quickly and accurately.”

My favorite part was the way to make an APA citation format of books on MU library website.

Be Brave

Liza’s best advice for international students is “to be brave and ask librarians and staff questions.” She also recommends attending library workshops, especially those with a focus on international students. By learning how to use the library early in their academic careers, students can save time in the long run, create higher quality assignments, and build better study habits. “Students may think that using library databases and tools is intuitive,” she says, “but there is always new information, and library systems often change and are updated.”

In fact, Liza confesses that she herself learns something new each time her classes visit the library!

Cycle of Success is the idea that libraries, faculty, and students are linked; for one to truly succeed, we must all succeed. The path to success is formed by the connections between University of Missouri Libraries and faculty members, between faculty members and students, and between students and the libraries that serve them. More than just success, this is also a connection of mutual respect, support, and commitment to forward-thinking research.

If you would like to submit your own success story about how the libraries have helped your research and/or work, please use the Cycle of Success form.

 

home Workshops LibWIS Wednesday, April 25: Open Lab

LibWIS Wednesday, April 25: Open Lab

LibWIS Open Lab
April 25
3:15-4:15 pm
Ellis Library Room 4D11

This open lab is a come-and-go session to help you with any library or research questions you have.

Bring in your assignments and questions, and library staff will be on hand to assist you as needed.

For more information on LibWIS, see the Spring 2018 schedule.

home Workshops LibWIS Wednesday, April 11: Open Lab

LibWIS Wednesday, April 11: Open Lab

LibWIS Open Lab
April 11
3:15-4:15 pm
Ellis Library Room 4D11

This open lab is a come-and-go session to help you with any library or research questions you have.

Bring in your assignments and questions, and library staff will be on hand to assist you as needed.

For more information on LibWIS, see the Spring 2018 schedule.

home Ellis Library, Workshops LibWIS Wednesday, April 4: Plagiarism: What Is It & How to Avoid It

LibWIS Wednesday, April 4: Plagiarism: What Is It & How to Avoid It

Plagiarism: What Is It & How to Avoid It
April 4
3:15-4:15 pm
Ellis Library Room 4D11

Your class syllabus has a statement about “academic dishonesty” and “academic integrity.” What does this mean at MU? Plagiarism is an important—but sometimes confusing—issue for domestic and international students alike. Many people unknowingly commit plagiarism when writing their papers. Join us to learn how to identify and avoid plagiarism in your academic writing. We will look at common errors in citing resources, paraphrasing, and summarizing research as well as how to correct those errors and prevent plagiarism in your academic work.

For more information on LibWIS, see the Spring 2018 schedule.

home Workshops LibWIS Wednesday, March 14: Research Strategies, Part 2

LibWIS Wednesday, March 14: Research Strategies, Part 2

Research Strategies, Part 2
March 14
3:15-4:15 pm
Ellis Library Room 4D11

Discover which library resources are best for YOUR specific research. Learn time-saving tips for effective searching to find the research articles, reports, and other materials you need.

For more information on LibWIS, see the Spring 2018 schedule.

home Ellis Library, Workshops LibWIS Wednesday, March 7: Open Lab

LibWIS Wednesday, March 7: Open Lab

LibWIS Open Lab
March 7
3:15-4:15 pm
Ellis Library Room 4D11

This open lab is a come-and-go session to help you with any library or research questions you have.

Bring in your assignments and questions, and library staff will be on hand to assist you as needed.

For more information on LibWIS, see the Spring 2018 schedule.

home Ellis Library, Workshops LibWIS Wednesday, Feb. 28: Using Google for Research

LibWIS Wednesday, Feb. 28: Using Google for Research

Using Google for Research
February 28
3:15-4:15 pm
Ellis Library Room 4D11

How is the best way to use Google for research purposes?  What is Google Scholar, and how does it differ from the various research databases in the Libraries? What are other features in Google that can assist me as a student?

We encourage you to bring your own laptop to this session. We will show you how to adjust your Google settings to locate Mizzou resources more easily.

For more information on LibWIS, see the Spring 2018 schedule.

home Ellis Library, Workshops LibWIS Wednesday, Feb. 21: Open Lab

LibWIS Wednesday, Feb. 21: Open Lab

LibWIS Open Lab
February 21
3:15-4:15 pm
Ellis Library Room 4D11

This open lab is a come-and-go session to help you with any library or research questions you have.

Bring in your assignments and questions, and library staff will be on hand to assist you as needed.

For more information on LibWIS, see the Spring 2018 schedule.

home Workshops LibWIS Wednesday: Research Strategies, Part 1

LibWIS Wednesday: Research Strategies, Part 1

Research Strategies, Part 1
February 14
3:15-4:15 pm
Ellis Library Room 4D11

Learn how to find books in our library and how to request books from other libraries. Learn how to do basic research to find peer-reviewed journal articles.

For more information on LibWIS, see the Spring 2018 schedule.