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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

Connecting with Students

Using Case Studies to Teach Research Skills

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

our scenario
Our Scenario

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

Sound familiar?

what did we do
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

what s a case study
What’s a Case Study?

Case studies are….


with an educational


Clyde Freeman Herreid

  • engage students in recognizing when information is needed
  • foster the ability to find, retrieve, evaluate, and use it

Information Literacy Defined – ACRL Web Site

our vehicles
Our Vehicles
  • UB’s award-winning
  • Library wiki
  • 2 hour class

these vehicles were jumpstarts to help students
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
sample case studies
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

the results
The Results
  • Engaged students
  • Improved quality of research papers
  • Random, anonymous, index card sampling of students – uniformly positive comments
  • Structured but flexible approach
  • Successful model to teach effective research skills
  • Fun for instructors

and students

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