The goal for this group was to create or adopt a flexible and comprehensive model that could be adapted for all grade levels, for any project, and for any subject while providing a common vocabulary that will become embedded in students’ frame of reference. The intent was to create a model which would serve as a guide for teachers as they design research projects and as a road map for students to ensure their research success. We also wanted to present clear expectations for responsible research practice, including critical evaluation of information sources and proper citation.
The group also discussed that it would be beneficial to create visuals to help students better understand key research vocabulary. Quality nonfiction texts employ this strategy with success. This method may improve comprehension for some technical research terms at a variety of grade levels and abilities.
As the district increases 1:1 with Chromebooks or tablets, students have access to more information than ever before. Intertwine the abundance of information with the high volume of misinformation on the Internet, and it is clear: navigating the Internet and digital information has become a very difficult process for students. (Stanford Study: EVALUATING INFORMATION: THE CORNERSTONE OF CIVIC ONLINE REASONING) Deciphering the validity and reliability of information are concepts that are further developed in subsequent grade levels, but we can begin to educate students to question the source of the information they read to be mindful users of information. This process makes up a large portion of our research model.
As librarians, we are eager to collaborate with classroom teachers on research projects. This is often difficult when we are not familiar with the teacher’s expectations for the process. A universal approach will facilitate collaboration between the library media specialist and all classroom teachers, regardless of the subject or project.