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Instructional programs in the career college library

April 24, 2012
Another week, another guest blogger!  I am super excited to introduce Jessica McQuade.  Jessica is the  library assistant at a career college in Cary, North Carolina, just right around the corner from me actually – though we have never met in person.  She is starting here career similar to how I did by pursing her MLS at North Carolina Central University – Go Eagles!  You can connect with Jessica on LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/jessica-mcquade/26/25a/145 ) and via email (jmcquad1@eagles.nccu.edu).
Thanks Jessica for this great post.  A reminder that programs and events in the career college library are important.  Without further ado….
Each quarter, our school’s library staff, past and present, has worked tirelessly to implement information literacy sessions in as many classes as possible.  The sessions range from bibliographic instruction and conducting research to writing technical reports and Criminal Justice Jeopardy.
Criminal Justice Jeopardy? Why yes, how else can a poor Library Assistant make learning campus plagiarism policy, APA citation, and general research skills fun? Most of the students had sat through my APA and plagiarism sessions before, so I really wanted something more engaging and hands-on. This session combined 3 Criminal Justice classes with roughly 26 students, so it needed to entertain and educate a large group. Through team building and healthy competition, our students reviewed necessary research and writing skills and general criminology terms.
April 4th marked our inaugural CJ Jeopardy game night. The game included a regular Jeopardy round and final jeopardy. Our Librarian and I created categories on school-wide plagiarism policy, general Criminal Justice resources in the virtual and physical collections, APA style, plagiarism in the news, and general criminology questions. Initially the students seemed hesitant, but they came around pretty quickly! The instructors, students, and I had a blast.
The 90-minute session culminated in a final jeopardy round, this required groups to compile a reference page with 3 sources relating to a topic of my choosing. Students had to research “hot pursuit” in the virtual library, provide a listing of keywords used and an explanation for the database(s) selected, and a reference page in compliance with APA style guidelines. Groups had multiple opportunities to submit answers and corrections. This portion was harder for students, but allowed them to apply their previously acquired skills and what they learned in the review game.
Ultimately, Criminal Justice Jeopardy night was a big success. The instructors enjoyed it so much that we plan on doing it every quarter. Sometimes you need to think outside the box to reach your audience.
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