Information Research Demonstration Assignment
You are now in groups of 5. You will be assigned a topic along with your group number.
1. Research, Design and present a 15 minute Informational Demonstration presentation that teaches library
research and information literacy skills to your class
2. Work in groups as a group, (not as a number of separate individuals), and to document your group
3. Learn to use the library, its services and materials and to follow a research agenda
4. Engage in peer teaching to demonstrate the results of your research
At the completion of this assignment, students will
1. Be familiar with the library, the materials, documents and services in order to be able in future to perform
complex academic, commercial, recreational, fact, value or policy directed research projects
2. Improve their ability to work cooperatively in groups
3. Improve their ability to demonstrate and inform via a public speaking presentation
4. Gain insight by reflecting upon their group actions and assess the skills and competences of themselves as
individuals and as a group
It is a cliché that we are now living in the information age. There is so much information out there that we are
constantly engaged by it, and we are in constant need of more of it to keep up with it. We are saturated with
information, and the result is that we feel “informed”. The trouble is that much of that information is like junk
food from commercial fast-food outlets. It is superficial fast-facts. It is all gloss and no substance. We feel
bloated, but it is “empty carbs.” Tweets and sound-bites.
We think that it's “all on the web”, it’s all common knowledge. All we have to do is log on and the world is ours
for the taking. We think if we just “Google” something, we will find "the-right-answer."
Genuine research requires more than the "ATM" approach.
If you do not know where to go to get high quality, reliable information, and how to find it, recognize it and to
make good use of it, you will sink in the overwhelming perfect storm of hype and spin, false claims and pseudo-
science. You will not know what to believe. In fact, you will believe all sorts of rubbish.
The library and its links to the world-wide library system is still the greatest storehouse of information that has
ever evolved and now it has adapted to the electronic information age. “The Internet” is dumb. It is the
library/information system that is smart.
Knowledge really is power. In this demonstration assignment, you will be doing the electronic information
equivalent of learning to ride a bike. Once you have learned how to do good research and where to go to get
reliable, rich information, you will never forget it, and you will be able to do the most essential requirement for
our information age: use knowledge!
1. Once you have been assigned to a group and topic, your first task is to meet as a group and use the
Standard Agenda and a reverse timeline, to create a plan of action.
2. You must all, ~as a group, learn everything you will need in order to teach your classmates about the area
of the information system that has been assigned to you. You must not break up the information into 5 parts and
only do your own bit, because you will all (each) be teaching all of the group information.
We will be using the Carrier Library. You must go to the library, find and become familiar with the materials and
the theory or research skills particular to that area. You should meet with and engage the help and tuition of the
reference librarians as necessary. Our primary contact for this is Jody Fagin, but any of the Reference librarians
are ready and happy to help you.
3. You must design your presentation/demonstration. You have to visualize and plan how you will actually do
You will be given 15 minutes in the class time to demonstrate to the other 25 members of class. You may divide
up the time of the presentation as a team of 5, but most of the presentation will be broken up into single-person-
led small groups. You will each act as a tour guide to your own group of five students.
You must: While you are planning the presentation, think of specific examples of the particular types of search
that would be relevant to your area, so that you can walk your students through a SPECIFIC EXAMPLE RESEARCH
PROJECT STEP BY STEP.
Design handouts, assignments or any other visual aids or demonstration aids you can think of that might best
illustrate the process.
4. Create a SINGLE group outline of your presentation, following the outline template as before. You can write a
script if that helps you practice your presentation, but DO NOT HAND IN THE SCRIPT. HAND IN AN OUTLINE. Keep
to the full-sentence, main-points and sub-points format.
Do not work as individuals on this and hand sections to one person to put the final product together. You must
all know all of the information.
You must meet and all of you must be involved in putting together the final product. Attach any extra handouts
or materials to your group outline ready to hand it in to your instructor before the start of your presentation.
(Your handouts or materials may be submitted to the library as suggestions for them to use. Any such materials
adopted for use by the library will win you a door prize. Prize to be announced.)
5. Bring three feedback forms with you to the first day of the presentations; you will do one feedback form on
the day your group presents, and you will do two feedback forms on the day your group does not do a
presentation. You will be writing evaluations of three groups in total and your evaluations will be taken into
account for the presentation grade of those groups.
6. Keep notes in your Group Log of all your group meetings and interactions as usual.
7. Next, when you have done your presentation, you must complete the survey form: Click for survey form here
You must hand the completed survey to me within one week of the day of your demonstration.
You need to fill in the scaled responses and then write comments for each section of the survey form. Just like
your feedback sheets, the more comments you give, the better.
When I return them to you, you should keep them with your Group Observations Log as part of your notes about
the group process. Get used to using professional jargon, --go to Rothwell textbook and apply the concepts to
On demonstration days, we will all meet in the library Room 310. Either you will be demonstrated to and fill in
your feedback forms, or your group will have 15 minutes to team-teach the details of your assignment.
[Your instructor will videotape your demonstration]
Group Topics by number:
In each of the following cases, your group has been charged with teaching your peers how to find or complete
a specific research task, using the resources of Carrier Library. (The Principal reference librarian who is working
with us on this assignment has recommended reviewing the modules of Go For the Gold for basic information
on this task). You should also ask for help at the Reference Desk. Keep in mind your own information seeking
habits and experiences while mapping out the best way to advise someone how to use this resource. Ask
questions, use the librarians, (remember that they are all big-brain folks with degrees up the valley, so do not
treat them like gofers!), then think up practice searches, and try to write directions that would make sense to
someone else with your level of experience.
Group 1: Introduce us to the library services and to the basic concepts of citing
sources of information.
Present all the services offered by the library, including circulation/reserve, Interlibrary Loan, Media Resources,
and the layout of the library building itself. Use 5-10 minutes to explain “Citation”, --why citing sources is so
important, what MLA and APA styles are, what style manuals are, where to find them and show us how to do
“in-text” citations and create a basic bibliography and a Works Cited page. Explain the concept of a “search
Group 2: Demonstrate How To Search, research and find information using
Discuss all the options, and the exact resources and process beginning with identifying the item you want to
find, to physically locating it, (this means you will need to know the Library of Congress classification and call
number system and show us the stacks, as well as the computer search facilities, Leo and the audio/visual
media section. Everything that circulates!
Group 3: Demonstrate How To Search, research and find information using
You should include examples of how to find different kinds of newspapers, such as recent, local, national, or
international papers, as well as issues prior to the current year. How do we get copies of articles, how can we
use this facility in a research project? Demonstrate the machines in the microfilm room.
Group 4: Demonstrate How To Search, research and find information using
Discuss all the options and the exact resources and processes for identifying, reading and physically and
electronically locating popular periodicals. Discuss the qualities and usefulness of a popular periodical in a
research project, as compared to scholarly journals and websites.
Group 5: Demonstrate How To Search, research and find information using
Discuss the definition, the qualities and usefulness of scholarly periodicals. Discuss all the options and the exact
resources and processes for identifying, reading and physically and electronically locating scholarly journals,
and show us how to review abstracts quickly so that a researcher can cover a wide area of topics in order to
narrow their search.
Group 6: Demonstrate How To Search, research and find information using the
Present the resources of the reference area, electronic and physical. Discuss all the types of resources. This
includes Editorial Index, CQ Research, research-aids handouts, information handouts, style manuals,
dictionaries, atlases, everything, (the different kinds of sources, as well as the people!) as well as the layout and
purpose of reference sources.
Each group will receive more specific details regarding the expectations for and the precise content of their
presentation when you meet with me as a group.
Your group is expected to show the initiative and organize a meeting with me. You should make that meeting,
even if not all of your group members can attend.
At that meeting you will be coached and tutored and helped to design and perform your task. You will be able
to email me with questions, and you should seek help from the Reference desk librarians. Your task as a group
is to put together this demonstration, preparation is everything!