Lifting the veil on my “system” by Meredith Farkas.
From the post:
I am a huge fan of research log and research process reflection assignments. Because research is a means to an end (the paper) and because people are often doing it in a rush, there is little reflection on process. What worked? What didn’t? What can I take from this experience for the next time I have to do something similar? Because this reflection is not usually written into the curriculum, students don’t learn enough from their mistakes or even the good things they did. Having a research log helps students become better researchers in the future and, most importantly, helps them to develop a “system” that works for them.
I definitely remember the many years that I did not have a system for research and writing. Most reference librarians have probably encountered a frantic student who realizes just before his/her paper is due that s/he can’t track down some of the sources they need to cite. Yeah, that was me (though I would have been too embarrassed to come to the reference desk). I probably never followed the same path twice and wasted a lot of time doing things over again because I wasn’t organized. Looking back, I wish a nice librarian had provided an session for me on developing a system for finding, organizing, reading and synthesizing information, because I wasted a lot of time and sweat needlessly.
What do you think? Would a topic mapping tool do better? Worse? About the same?
While you are at it, give Meredith some feedback as well.