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Health & Human Resources Faculty Guide: Student Engagement


CRAAP Worksheet - Currency, Reliability, Authority, Accuracy and Purpose; this worksheet is used to help student analyze resources for numerous classes and assignments.

Research Guide Worksheet - This document helps students define their topic, identify keywords, synonyms, phrases, and discover search strategies for research.  This exercise is more focused on the beginning of the research process.

Discovery Tool Worksheet - Help students navigate and effectively use the Discovery Tool. This is an exercise aimed at introductory research. 

PICO(T) Question Development - Population, Intervention, Comparison,  Outcome, and Time are identified and discussed in this exercise to assist students when creating research questions in nursing research. This exercise would best be used for 200-400 level classes.

Popular vs. Scholarly - Understanding the difference between popular and scholarly resources is incredibly important in nursing.  This exercise helps students identify the different emphasis and audience for popular and scholarly materials.

Mind Mapping Your Topic - This exercise shows students a visual way of working through a topic, identify more specific aspects of a topic and recognize links between subcategories to create a topic that is well thought out and appropriate for the assignment length and purpose.

Identify Your Audience Comparison - Audience is a very difficult concept for students to understand, from branding to vocabulary to format and tone.  This exercise focuses on comparing methods of communication to  effectively convey information to various audiences .

Group Work in Class

Patient Zero/Seminal Work - The Zombie Apocalypse is upon us and we must locate patient zero to learn the virus' origin and impact. Tracing the impact of patient zero is much like impact that a seminal work has on practices in a profession. This group work is fun and engaging, while also impactful for students learning about theory and research. 

So Many Sources, How Do I Choose? - This exercise gets students working in groups to find the best resources on an assigned topic. As the students find resources, they choose their BEST resource and then present to the rest of the class on WHY that resource is best. The students learn to focus on the merits of the source instead of simply locating a source.

Research Instructions - The students create instructions on HOW to do research for the class topic. The class gets in a circle and each student, in succession, must provide 6 words in the set of instructions. Through this process the class has an opportunity to discuss which aspects of the research process where missed, if some steps needed moved ahead of behind others. Ideally, students will take away a guide to perform better research for their class.

Tracking Seminal Work Through Time... -  We will begin by finding a recent article and then finding the reference that is the oldest, we will then locate that article and track that oldest reference, until we end at the original work. This shows students how to track down resources to the original work and also how information changes through time.

Research Log - Students get into groups and are assigned a topic to do research on. One person is designated the recorder for the group.  As the group works to find resources the recorder writes down search strategies, keywords, etc. The group will determine what source is the best and then present their resource to the rest of the class, including how they got to the source and which strategy was the most effective. This activity encourages the students to learn from one another and allows the students to hone their presentation skills in a easy, low pressure environment. 

Let's Debate! - This exercise will break a class in to 2 groups; one pro and one against an issue. The 2 sides will then meet and start researching to find their stances on the topic and the resources they are going to use to defend their argument. The next session, they will debate the issue.  There will be one designated speaker from each side, although each side can give their speaker talking points along the way. At the end of class, a winner will be decided for the debate. However, both sides will have to turn in their research to be judged for credibility, currency, accuracy, relevancy, authority and purpose. The quality of references could just change the winner of the debate!

Create a Research Question - Students will get into groups with a basic assignment parameters and a general topic. Students will then do background research and mind-mapping to create a research question.  The Librarian will walk around the class asking and answering questions.  The exercise allows students to work through a topic from the general idea, through background information, to crafting an actual researchable question.

Respect My Authority! - Students will be broken into groups and given a topic and then a list of characters/people who students will rank in order of their authority on the topic. This exercise requires students to think about authority when looking at a topic. This ranking will then lead to a discussion on authority and what determines authority when researching.

Peer Evaluation - Students break up into groups to evaluate their peers search strategies. This exercise requires students to have a completed research guide that they will trade with other group members. The students will then look at their partners search strategies and make suggestions to improve search results and source outcomes.

Rank Your Sources - Students will be broken up into groups and given a list of articles pertaining to an assigned research question. The students then must evaluate the sources and rank them most to least relevant to the topic. This exercise is interesting because it will force the students to have conversations about relevancy to a topic, which students tend to have difficulty with. This activity stresses quality over quantity. 

Poke Holes in My Topic - After students have chosen their topics and have a working thesis, they will break up into groups and present their topic and thesis to their group members. The group members will then ask questions about the topic, the presenter doesn't answer the questions, but makes notes to address the questions later when they are organizing and researching their information. This activity forces students to think differently about their topic and to address possible issues they may encounter later, but in a way where they don't have to defend their topic, they just get to adjust it instead.

Is This a Nursing Journal? - Students will get into groups and be given an article. The groups will have to determine if it is a nursing journal and why. The groups will then present there belief to the rest of the class. This activity encourages peer to peer learning and fosters discussions about nursing journals and their validity. 


Fact-Cards Question Creation - Students will get into groups to create a research question. The first student will draw a fact card and must make a research question out of it. The next student will draw another car and have to make a research question with the first card and the card drawn. The third student will draw a card and attempt to make a research question out of the card drawn and the previous 2 cards, and proceed until a student can't create a research question (who will be out). The next student will draw a new card and the game will begin again. The student with the most cards will win the game! This activity shows students how to create research questions and make connections between concepts.  

APA: Spot the Mistake - Jeopardy style game where students battle to "spot the mistake" first!  This presents APA citations, references and formatting in a fun, engaging way, with bragging rights for the winner!

Survivor-Nursing - The plane goes down, the pilot is injured, which resources and supplies are needed to treat the pilot.  This game will show the difference between knowledge and resources and how they work together in the health field.

Name That Search Strategy - A game where the study are divided into teams to create prompted search strategies.  The team that gets the most correct wins!   

Identify the Medical Study! - Students will compete to identify the evidence-based study.