Project 2: Research-Net

Logo General Information
Project Overview
Curriculum Connections
Resource Connections
Evaluation

  General Information

Lead Teachers: Victoria Pennell - (Lead Teacher)

Rex Roberts

Amanda Joseph

Cathy Reid

Bryce Hodder

Susan LaCour

Grade Level: Level II
Number of Students: 200 (approx.)
Project Start and Finish Dates: February 1997 - June 1997 will be the initial phase, with the project continuing into the following years with new groups of students.

  Project Overview

Learning to Learn: Policies and Guidelines for the Implementation of Resource-Based Learning in Newfoundland and Labrador Schools , a policy document released by the Division of Program Development in 1991 states:

As students in today's schools approach the 21st century, they find themselves in an era of rapidly increasing knowledge and changing technology. It is no longer adequate for students to acquire a select body of knowledge and expect it to meet their needs as citizens of the next century. The need for lifelong learning is shifting the emphasis from a dependence on the 'what' of learning to the 'how' of learning - today's students must 'learn how to learn' (1).

One of the major components of learning how to learn in today's educational milieu is information literacy, the term currently being applied to the skills of information problem solving. Information literacy is rapidly becoming a survival skill and indiv iduals must be able to identify and access information effectively, organize that information for analysis and present the outcomes of their work in meaningful ways.

One of the most recent sources of information to which students have access is the Internet. Because of the vast amount of information available on the Internet, the lack of any standard kind of organization or indexing and the lack of control over the a ccuracy of information, it is unlike any resource previously available and requires the development of new research strategies in order to use it effectively.

The project Research-Net is designed to help students develop the information literacy skills of accessing, evaluating, analyzing, synthesizing and presenting information using the Internet, within the context of the Language 2102 course. These skills ca n then be transferred to other areas of the curriculum, as they are generic to all subjects.

  Curriculum Connections

The main curriculum connection addressed in this project is the area of information literacy which spans all subject areas at all levels of the Senior High Curriculum. For this particular project, however, the main focus will be in connection with the Language 2101 course where the emphasis is on research writing.

The general course objectives from Language 2101 and the link with the objectives of this project are as follows:

Language 2101 Research-Net
The student should learn to become familiar with the general subject through introductory sources of information such as:
(e) reference works
Students will learn to access information relevant to their research topics and presentations using Internet resources such as gopher, telnet, ftp, e-mail and the World Wide Web

Students will become familiar with a variety of Search Engines to aid in their search for information ( e.g Alta Vista; Lycos; InfoSeek Guide; WebCrawler; Yahoo)

The student should learn to take usable notes Students will learn to download pertinent information for research and presentation purposes
The student will learn to compile a working bibliography of sources. The student will document evidence through footnotes and bibliographies Students will learn how to cite electronic sources in their presentations using on-line resources such as MLA Citation Guide (http://www.cas.usf.edu/English/walker/mla.html) and Citing Computer Documents (http://neal.ctstateu.edu/history/cite.html)

Students will become familiar with copyright policy as it relates to electronic information

The student will evaluate sources being used Students will learn how to evaluate sources of electronic information using established criteria (eg. Kathy Schrock's Critical Evaluation of a Web Site - http://www.capecod.net/Wixon/eval.htm; Thinking Critically About World Wide Web Resources - http://www.ucla.edu/bruinonline/trainers/critical.html; Evaluation Techniques by Jan Alexander & Marsha Tate, Widener University, Chester, PA - http://www.science.widener.edu/~withers/webeval.htm .
The student will write a first draft, revise writing to eliminate errors in mechanics, spelling, punctuation, usage appropriateness, syntax, and to improve clarity and style

The student will become confident and relaxed in making an oral presentation of research

The student will use appropriate media in presentation of the report

Students will learn to incorporate information retrieved electronically into their papers and presentations

Students will learn to create Web Pages and multi- media presentations using HTML (hypertext markup language) and/or Microsoft Word to share their research with and invite feedback from other students worldwide

  Resource Connections

Having a STELLAR School Internet connection will enhance this project by providing simultaneous access to Internet searching for large numbers of students. It will allow students to:

  1. access various sites to find information relevant to their research topics
  2. access search engines to assist with information retrieval
  3. access sites to assist with the evaluation of information
  4. access sites to assist with the citation of electronic information
  5. access tools and programs necessary for the construction of Web Pages and multi-media presentations
  6. allow students to post their completed Web Pages for public access and interaction

Other resources which are being brought into the school will also assist this project. Some of these resources are:

  1. a network version of Microsoft Office
  2. electronic encyclopedias and other data-base programs on CD-ROM
  3. electronic magazine indexes

While these resources are not specific to this project, they will contribute greatly to its scope, and will assist in broadening the project to incorporate other areas of the curriculum.

  Evaluation

Student evaluation for this project will be part of the on-going evaluation of Language 2101. In the context of the research assignments which students complete they will be evaluated on the following skills in addition to the ones already identified in the curriculum guide.

  1. use of the Internet as a source of information
  2. evaluation of various Internet sites for accuracy and reliability of information
  3. citation of the electronic sources used
  4. the incorporation of electronic information through written papers, oral and multi-media presentations
  5. the creation of Web-Pages and multi-media presentations as a means of sharing research findings

The impact of the project on the school will be measurable by teacher's and student's increased facility with the use of Internet resources. It will also be measured by the increase in accessibility to resources from around the world from within the Lear ning Resource Centre and the school in general. Overall, students and teachers should have access to a much greater quantity of current information than they presently have from existing resources. The quality of the Web Pages created will also be an ind ication of the project's success.

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