Friday, June 09, 2006

A Little Help In Due Season

Sometime during each graduate education research session, the group appears at my doorway for an introduction to library resources. Since these sessions occur only once, one instructor has assigned students to review a database tutorial for ERIC, and I make a point in that class to refer to this assignment several times.
One conversation went something like this:

Me: Do you remember from the tutorial the part about the thesaurus?
Student one: " I started it but didn't finish it."
Student two: "Me too. It was confusing."
Me: "What was confusing?"
Student two:"Oh--you know-- the what do you call it? Boolean?"
Me: Huh? Well, uh, please send me an email describing the areas you found confusing. I'd like to make changes.
Silence,because the students are looking at articles they've found.

I definitely intend to pursue this but entered this post specifically because of the recent newsletter from Idea Sandbox : "Take a step back and ask Why" Is the true problem here the tutorial or is it something else. Sometimes in the education classes, I preach to the choir. They understand basics many other classes don't. Clearly, this group while facile searchers missed a relevant point. Why? The mystery deepens.

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