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Heartfelt Questions

At the end of most of my instruction sessions now I ask students to do a combination Metacognitive Exercise and assessment form that consists of three questions: What is one thing you learned that was new and/or helpful? What is one thing that is still confusing or that you would still like to know about? Overall, how satisfied were you with the instruction session (scale of 1-5)?

For my last instruction session I got this response in the “What is one thing you would still like to know” category:

Does researching get easier over time? With practice? Depending on the subject?

What would you tell this student?

Published inIn My ClassroomTeaching and Learning


  1. Wow. Great question! I am still waiting for research to get easier. :) In all seriousness though, I think the *mechanics* of research do get easier with practice—finding sources, vetting sources, figuring out what tools work best for you, keeping track of articles, etc. But I tend to believe that if research ever feels “easy”, then you’re doing it wrong—after all, isn’t research all about challenging assumptions and making new knowledge? That’s messy and hard.

  2. Hi Iris. I love the blog. Read it all the time and just a moment ago found myself reading the June version of the new ILL standards and wondered if you had weighed in on them yet. So, here I am. As for research getting any easier… I’m not sure “easier” is the right term. Maybe it gets less intimidating, more comfortable, more acclimated… But easier? Probably not. I think acdalal is right, the mechanics parts as with anything do get easier over time, but discovery, challenging your own assumptions, finding new information… that can never be easy, I’m afraid.

  3. Also, do you have your Metacognitive Exercise/Assessment posted somewhere for us? I’m just about to plunge into my summer revamping of my info lit assessment and I’m trying to soak in everything that already seems to be working for others that have gone before me. Right now I’m feeling like our current post assessment that we base our reporting off of really only tells me that the students weren’t repulsed by me or my teaching. I do some formative assessments (which are actually my favorite — but I haven’t found a way to communicate them in a report), but nothing else really assesses actual learning.

  4. Thank you for the kind words! I haven’t seen the latest revision of the IL framework yet. I’ll have to go take a peek soon. :)

    And you can see my Metacognitive Exercise here
    It’s super simple (just a google form embedded into a Libguide box) but it’s been really informative for me and hopefully helped students think back, even briefly, over the class session before they move on to other things in their lives.

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