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            ‘Journals contain facts unlike the daily mail’
Implementation of an inquiry-based learning task enabling evaluation of
                        information sources.

                   Myles Jones1 & Pam McKinney2

                     Department of Psychology1,
  Centre for Inquiry-Based learning in the Arts and Social Sciences2
                     The University of Sheffield
•   Background
•   Information literacy and group work
•   Tutorial Task and implementation
•   Examples of Student work
•   Student and Tutor Feedback
•   Discussion
Psy 101 Discovering Psychology: The

                         • Didactic lectures
                         • „factual knowledge‟
                         • MCQ exam
                         • Post-graduate led
                           MCQ tutorials
 Dinosaurus Didacticus
• Large numbers of students (~300)
• Changes in number of students with A-
  level Psychology
• Ill prepared for psychology as a discursive
Skills Sought by Graduate Recruiters
(AGR 2006):
• Commitment and Drive
• Motivation and Enthusiasm

• Team working

•   Oral Communication
•   Flexibility and Adaptability
•   Customer Focus
•   Commercial Sensitivity
Psychology in the
popular media
The Task
• Find BBC internet news articles and
  newspaper articles (Newsbank)
• Work in groups (Collaborative Inquiry)
• Find corresponding scholarly article using
  WoK (Web of knowledge)
• Fill in power point assessment to reflect
  on searching process
The Implementation: 3 Tiers



The Implementation: Web Tools
The Implementation: Web Tools
BBC online Newspaper Articles
• Search terms used: Child Development,
  Babies development, Psychology,
  Development, Children, Babies.

                               Emily Jones (Post-
     George Thomas             graduate associate tutor)
     (undergraduate Student)
BBC online Newspaper Articles: Provide any information you
wish about your articles and searches (feel free to insert
additional pages!)
•   Breast fed children handle stress better. Among almost 9,000 children that were
    bottle fed, found it harder to deal with stressful events, such as parental divorce.
    Swedish researchers believe close physical contact and mother-baby bonding during
    the first few days of life may be important factors to the development of the ability to
    cope well with stress.
•   Research in children as young as 4 months shows a preference for certain
    colours. Researchers used a special camera which was initially designed to test RAF
    fighter pilots and their reactions, however in this case it was used to to track the
    babies eye movements when presented with different colours. However, a criticism of
    the study already discovered is that the research was only conducted on 30 babies.
•   Babies are said to be able to remember music that they heard after 6 months of
    pregnancy, when still in their mothers womb, more than a year after birth. It was
    previously thought that babies could only have a memory span of around a month,
    however the research carried out on 11 babies which showed preference to specific
    pieces of music and disregard for moderately similar music.
Did you find a journal article relating to your BBC news online
article (if so provide any information about article)?
• Yes we did. It was called “New Evidence for Infant Colour
  Categories” by Anna Franklin and Ian R. L. Davies at the
  University of Surrey. It was one of the journals which comprised of
  the British Journal of Developmental Psychology 2004.
• It contained experiments carried out by both adults and infants to
  investigate colour preferences to “novel” (new) colours which were
  presented to both sets of participants after habituation had been
  used with a single colour.
• It was shown that contrary to popular belief, infants do posses
  the ability to distinguish colour categories at 4 months old and
  are consistent with “Bornstein's” results of a similar experiment.
• The article was in depth and detailed, presenting graphical
  representations of the data, as well as the statistical results.
 Did you notice any differences between the BBC online
 news article and the journal article?
There were massive differences between the BBC article and the journal. First
of all, the respective titles of both pieces of research were totally different,
however similar. The BBC was titled “Babies „have favourite colours‟” in
comparison to the journal title, “New evidence for infant colour categories”.
The journal itself was detailed, containing graphs and reliable statistics, none of
which were mentioned in the BBC article. The journal also used several
different experiments to ensure the validity of the initial experiment, of
which none was mentioned in the BBC article. The BBC article also
managed to miss out the fact that adults were used in the research experiment
as a form of control, to allow the infants results to be compared to an adults, to
see if the presence of colour categories existed in 4 month old children.
I feel that the BBC article took all the interesting and easy pieces of
information from the journal article and summarised it into a readable,
public format, which could describe the results in a round-about way, to keep
the public updated with current infant research, without providing too much
information which may cause confusion to the reader.
More Examples of student work:
Student tutorial evaluation
       As a result of doing this tutorial task I feel more
          confident in using Library resources for
                                                             60% agree
                          psychology                         or agree
50                                                           strongly
30                                                           undecided
10                                                           disagree or
 0                                                           disagree
     Strongly   Agree    Undecided   Disagree   Strongly
      agree                                     disagree
Student tutorial evaluation
      As a result of doing the activities in the tutorial         71% agree or
      task I can use the web of knowledge database
                                                                  agree strongly

                                                                  19% undecided
40                                                                10% disagree or
30                                                                disagree strongly


     Strongly     Agree     Undecided     Disagree     Strongly
      agree                                            disagree
Student tutorial evaluation
       As a result of doing the activities in the tutorial
     task I feel I have the skills to evaluate information I       59% agree or
                                                                   agree strongly

50                                                                 28%
40                                                                 undecided

20                                                                 13% disagree
10                                                                 or disagree
 0                                                                 strongly
     Strongly      Agree     Undecided     Disagree     Strongly
      agree                                             disagree
Future: actually measuring information
 Postgraduate tutor focus group
 ‘what worked well’
• Students are already accomplished searchers, just need
  to transfer skills to new medium
• Unfamiliar with term „Information literacy‟ but “it makes
• Positive response to open-ended nature of the task -
  ability to pick topics of personal interest
• Skills students learn through this activity are “vital”
Postgraduate tutor focus group
‘potential for development’
• Some difficulties in getting students to engage with
  collaborative work
• “Both the [news] articles they picked had no original
  article……they got quite upset and thought they were
  going to get marked down for that”
• More helpful to model the full process of the task before
  students start searching for news articles
Postgraduate tutor focus group
• Positive learning experience for both
  undergraduate and post-graduate
• Range of teaching methods
• Greater interaction and even linking
  teaching and research by finding novel
  research articles of interest.
       Tutors 06-07
Kate Bartlett       Hwan CuiKoh
Rebecca Beeken      Thomas Mcadams
Yael Benn           Charlotte McClelland
Lisa-MarieBerry     Nils Muhlert
Joanna Blackburn    Karen Niven
Maria Chu           Elinor Pegg
Becky Ciesielski    Adriano Peixoto
Tracy Epton         Clair Pond
Jilly Gibson        Iona Read
Victoria Hayman     Laura Rennie
Kathryn Holden      Yvonne-OliviaStocker
Clare Huyton        Drew Tarmey
Christopher Jones   Naira Taroyan
Emily Jones         Kate Thomason
Daphne Kaklamanou   Erin Walker
David Kelly         VictoriaYoung
                Tutors 07-08
Kate Absolom          Mathew Evans           Nichlas Stenning
AmnaAbdalla Almazam   Sheng-Yu Fan           Olivia Stocker
Kate Bartlett         Daphne Kaklamanou      Drew Tarmey
Helen Batey           Hwan Koh               Catherine Taylor
Rebecca Beeken        Suzannah Laycock       Maria Chu
Judith Bek            Jennifer Lewis         Alexander Cope
Yael Benn             Lynette Madeley        Michael Bruyns-Haylett
Lisa-Marie Berry      Tom McAdams            Thomas Bullock
Laura Bishop          Charlotte McClelland   David Cameron
Joanna Blackburn      Abigail Oldfield       Tracey Epton
Rufino Bolado-Gomez   Barry Orr              Laura Rennie
                      Joanna Peterkin        Alison Bromley
                      Clair Pond
• Large number of tutors and students
• Difficult to manage
• Difficult to know if reported problems are
  general or only affecting a small number of
Sandra Turkington (Sheffield; Library)
Clare Scott (Sheffield; Library)
Angela Newton (Leeds; Library)
Dr Amanda Harrison (Leeds; Psychology)
Dr Jon May (Sheffield; Psychology)
Dr Richard Rowe (Sheffield; Psychology)
Dr Jackie Andrade (Sheffield; Psychology)
We welcome comments,
observations and discussion

         PEBBLE: Psychological Enquiry-
         based Learning

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