Teaching Internship – Week 3

Class this week began with a visit from one of the reference librarians whose specialty is education research. The focus was on finding appropriate sources for a literature review. Although I have heard her presentation before, I did get some tips and learn a few new things. I learned the difference between ED and EJ in ERIC.  (I think I probably new this at one point in my educational journey, but it had somehow slipped my mind.)  I also got a better appreciation for the importance of keeping track of your search criteria, and I learned how to check the library’s directory of publications to see a journals’ percentage of manuscripts that are accepted. The information will definitely help me as I assist the students in this course with their research projects/proposals, but it will also help with my own dissertation research… an added bonus!

For the second half of the class, we covered primary sources vs. secondary sources and what makes a good research question. The takeaway messages that I got:

Primary sources should be used for a lit review. Secondary sources should be used for background, significance, etc. Research questions should:

  • be clear/specific
  • include variables
  • include the logic of the research design (i.e., Experimental studies should include wording like “affect” or “impact” while non-experimental studies should use “relationship”)
  • include information about the population and/or sample

So… what did I learn this week about teaching? I discovered that it’s important to give students the resources they need to be successful. The students in this class all brought their laptops to class (or borrowed one from the SOE cart that Dr. M had arranged to have available).  I knew that hands-on, active learning was helpful, and in this case, students seemed to be engaged.

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