2010 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (31 October 3 November 2010)
Paper No. 181-16
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-6:00 PM


SWOGER, Bonnie J.M., Milne Library, SUNY Geneseo, 1 College Circle, Geneseo, NY 14454, swoger@geneseo.edu and FARTHING, Dori J., Geological Sciences, SUNY-Geneseo, Geneseo, NY 14454

For undergraduate geoscientists, significant learning outside of the classroom is fuelled by the exploration of the geoscience literature to gather information for papers and projects. Faculty are often disappointed by the findings of their students or are concerned about the amount of hand-holding they must do. To help improve students’ out-of class literature exploration, a partnership was created between a geoscience faculty member and a science librarian to teach students about finding relevant geoscience literature, and the usefulness of different types of sources.

In two sequential sophomore level geology classes (Mineralogy and Petrology) students were assigned term papers. The science librarian provided two hours of library research instruction in each class. In Mineralogy, library instruction topics included an overview of the types of geological literature, sources for mineralogical information, and basic GeoRef searching. In Petrology, the library research session covered advanced searching techniques in GeoRef, introduced citation tracking using Scopus and Google Scholar, and introduced additional sources for geologic information.

The impact of using a thoughtful approach to literature research was evaluated through questionnaires, an analysis of student bibliographies, and student reports of their search strategies. Questionnaire results indicated that after completing Petrology, students had an increased awareness of particular resources (GeoRef, Scopus, subject encyclopedias, Google Scholar, etc.), used a wider variety of search strategies and had a more complete knowledge of the usefulness of various resources. Analysis of student bibliographies from Mineralogy and Petrology papers revealed an increase in the inter-connectedness of references cited, an increase in the percentage of scholarly references and a wider variety of resource types. Improved research skills have also been noted by faculty in other upper level geology courses.

The geological literature fuels learning outside the classroom. Teaching students to use a strategic literature search process that is bigger than GeoRef or Google equips them with the skills to discover and explore the work of other geoscientists.

2010 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (31 October 3 November 2010)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 181--Booth# 97
Learning Outside the Geoscience Classroom: Engaging Students Beyond the Lecture and Laboratory Setting (Posters)
Colorado Convention Center: Hall D
8:00 AM-6:00 PM, Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 42, No. 5, p. 442

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