Successful completion of this course fulfills the General Education Area VII: Information Competency Requirement. After completing the Information Competency Requirement, a student will be able to;
Grading: credit/no credit; online tests 50% and annotated bibliography 50% of total points
Type of course: six weeks, online
Computer access requirements: students must have regular access to a computer with access to the Internet and browser software such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox.
- Develop effective research strategies.
- Locate, retrieve, evaluate, and use information ethically and legally.
Course objectives (Student Learning Outcomes)
By the end of the course students will be able to:
- State a research problem, question, or issue.
- Determine information requirements in various disciplines for the research question,
problems, or issue.
- Use the World Wide Web to locate and retrieve information relevant to his or her
- Analyze and evaluate information.
- Apply the Modern Language Association citation style.
- Organize and communicate information.
- Understand the ethical and legal issues surrounding information and information
Students will need to complete course requirements in an online environment and should begin the course with some computer literacy. They will also need to be self-motivated learners.
Stebbins, Leslie, F. Student Guide to Research in the Digital Age: How to Locate and Evaluate Information Sources. Westport: Libraries Unlimited, 2006. Print.
This book is available full text in ABC-CLIO eBooks, an Ohlone Library database (available from off campus also). A quick way to find it is to search for Stebbins digital. In addition you can buy it at the Ohlone College Bookstore. The ISBN number is 1591580994.
This course is delivered using Blackboard course management software. Information about this process is available at the Ohlone College Distance Learning Web site.
Students must login within the first two days of the course. Students who do not login will be dropped.
Weekly topics & reading assignments
Week one: successful research and the library.
Overview of library and range of resources.
Introduction to the research process.
Selecting your topic.
Reading: preface, xi-xii; and chapter 1, "Research and Critical Evaluation," p.1-10 (to end of step 4).
Week two: evaluation of sources.
Finding reference articles.
Selection criteria for evaluating sources.
Plagiarism and writing a citation.
Reading: finish chapter 1, 10-19 (step 5 to the end). Also read 23-24 ("Use a Subject Encyclopedia") from chapter 2; and 158-160 ("Steer Clear of All Types of Plagiarism" and "Choose a Style Manual") from chapter 8.
Week three: finding and selecting books.
Library of Congress Subject Headings.
Finding books in the library.
Reading: chapter 2, "Finding Books and Ebooks," 21-40. Review chapter 1, 7-10 ("Step Four").
Week four: finding and selecting periodicals.
Narrowing and broadening a search.
Online periodical databases.
Applying selection criteria to periodicals.
Reading: chapter 3, "Scholarly and Popular Articles," 41-59.
Week five: searching the Internet.
Limitations and complexities of general Web searches.
Useful sources on the Web.
Types of Web search tools.
For reading for this week, see the course content pages.
Week six: writing the bibliography.
Review of citations and annotation.
Final assignment due.
Each week includes the following required assignments:
- Read online course material.
- Read textbook assignment.
- Complete online quiz based on reading assignments and use of library sources.
- Complete assigned work on research topic leading toward completion of the final project.
- Read and participate in the course's online discussions. Instructors will post important news and information in the course bulletin boards. All work must be completed by end of day Sunday of that week.
The final project is an annotated bibliography due at the end of this course.
The bibliography must focus on a topic of your choice. For example, you could do your
bibliography about a topic that you are writing a paper on for another class. You could also
choose to explore research on an issue in your life that you need more information about.
The bibliography will demonstrate your research skills: you should aim to find the best research on your topic. Any reader should be able to use your bibliography to become informed about your topic.
The bibliography is graded as follows:
There are a total of 200 possible points. 100 points are given for turning it in. Then up to 20 points are awarded for each of the five elements below:
- Plagiarism is not permitted at Ohlone. The annotations must be in your own words.
- There should be at least 10 total sources.
- There should be at least two of each of the following; reference sources, books, articles, and Web sites.
- Each source should be annotated. The annotation should use at least two of the five evaluation criteria discussed in week two; authority, purpose, accuracy, currency and relevance.
- The citations should be in correct Modern Language Association citation format. The bibliography should be in alphabetical order.
- The sources chosen should be, overall, appropriate to the topic: relevant, timely, and authoritative.
There is an example annotated bibliography on the course home page.
How to approach what you learn in this class
We want to show you the different types of resources, as well as the different types of search strategies, that are available
to you. This does not mean that every time you do research you need to use, for example, all of these strategies. It does
mean though, that you will know that those options are out there, and you can try to use them if you are not finding what you
The strategies and resources are like a tool box that you can open whenever you need to.
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