iL@b 2013: Effective Storytelling Through Research

The Basics:
  • Jenna Wolf & Melissa Alkire
    • Who we are & what we do
    • The Box Challenge: How not to present on research and storytelling
    • Name, Department, Question: What song would you have play every time you enter a room?
  • What do you know/What do you think you know about Beaver and how its tackles researching and storytelling?
  • What does research look like in each discipline?

Solid research vs. Weak Research
  • importance of understanding the question you ask in your research
  • understanding the evidence that you review
  • interpreting that evidence for an audience
    •     who is your audience?
    •     what do you want them to know?
  • framing the product in such a way that it conveys a clear message


  • How do we as teachers become better at telling stories? 
  • How do we impart these wisdoms on our students?
  • What are the elements that make a good story? What are the steps? 
  • How do we create a culture of curiosity? How do we turn the corner on students taking ownership over their researching? 
  • How does technology help or impede those stories/research? Is research as vital as product? 
  • What does the research phase look like across the disciplines?
  • Do what you ask of students
    • complete the project you design before assigning
    • tweak and adjust based on your experience
    • original plan v. eventual plan
  • How do you do research in the classroom? What does it look like?
  • What projects have you done to practice and perfect researching? What tools have you used?
  • How do you convey/instruct researching skills?

Research Trends
  • Internet searching has conditioned students to expect immediate and fast answers
  • keywords vs natural language
  • Google has all the answers; "I trust it if it comes from Google..."
    • digging in, reading deeply is not the default
  • The amount of information available to students can be overwhelming
    • deciphering details from essentials & strong from weak sources is hard
  • Looking for credible sources is a challenge
    • need for stronger advanced searching techniques & digital literacy
  • Researching only at the beginning of a project and not researching more precisely throughout project
    • evolution of thesis in the research process
  • Crediting sources
    • not citing sources while researching and writing
    • not citing sources properly
    • not understanding the difference between their own original idea, their paraphrased idea, the idea of an author

What trends or habits have you observed when students research? How to you help student adjust poor researching habits?

Fieldwork: Empowering Students in Research

Don't fight the tools students want and feel comfortable using; empower those students to use the tools in more efficient ways.

Fieldwork: Engaging Students in Research

Fieldwork: Practice and Product Outcomes 

Homework: Tools for Storytelling & Research