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Connecting with Students. Using Case Studies to Teach Research Skills. Sharon Murphy, MLS, AHIP, RN Health Sciences Library - University at Buffalo. Our Scenario. A “one-shot” lecture introducing new students to library research. Sound familiar?. What did we do?.

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Connecting with Students

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Connecting with students l.jpg

Connecting with Students

Using Case Studies to Teach Research Skills

Sharon Murphy, MLS, AHIP, RN Health Sciences Library - University at Buffalo

Our scenario l.jpg

Our Scenario

A “one-shot” lecture introducing new students to library research.

Sound familiar?

What did we do l.jpg

What did we do?

UB Librarian and School of Nursing instructor teamed up

used case studies for 3 years

to introduce and foster research skills

to 90 freshman nursing students

each Fall semester

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What’s a Case Study?

Case studies are….


with an educational


Clyde Freeman Herreid

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  • engage students in recognizing when information is needed

  • foster the ability to find, retrieve, evaluate, and use it

Information Literacy Defined – ACRL Web Site

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Our Vehicles

  • UB’s award-winning

  • Library wiki

  • 2 hour class

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These vehicles were jumpstarts to help students…

  • Refine research questions

  • Explore library and internet resources

  • Constantly ask:

    Is this resource credible? Trustworthy?Does it add to my knowledge base?

  • Use another case study to hone research skills

  • Understand ethical and legal usage of information

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Sample Case Studies

  • Not an Old Person’s Disease

    Jennifer Miskowski and Anne Galbraith, University of Wisconsin—La Cross

  • Andrea: The Death of a Diabetic

    Clyde F. Herreid, University at Buffalo

  • And many others

National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York

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The Results

  • Engaged students

  • Improved quality of research papers

  • Random, anonymous, index card sampling of students – uniformly positive comments

  • Structured but flexible approach

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  • Successful model to teach effective research skills

  • Fun for instructors

    and students

  • Librarian/instructor/student partnership a “win-win” solution

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