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Curating Student Work, Reflections

Written by Traci Fong
April 30, 2015

As classes transitioned, Jennifer and I quickly tidied up tables and captured student work with a digital camera and our iPhones to curate and share with all classes and teachers. It was a day that was energizing (and a little exhausting) as the work and pace were pretty intense, but we were really pleased with student responses and participation. We got verbal feedback from several students about how much they enjoyed the activity and, for several, the process had given them some topics to think about for subsequent investigation that we’re now starting this week.

In the spirit of crowdsourcing our thinking, we collected all of the “big takeaway” responses and linked to each album on the LibGuide (scroll toward the bottom of the middle column to view by period). We also had our library science students transcribe all of the responses from the butcher paper; I then captured all of them using my scanner app on my phone and uploading the PDFs of the scans to Google Drive, which made it easy to then send to SlideShare and download the PDFs to my PC for transfer to the LibGuide. We did consider providing laptops and shared Google Docs for students to record their thinking, but our experience with our students has been that the tactile aspect of composing and experiencing seeing each other’s thinking on physical paper is powerful; in hindsight, we feel we made the right choice.

Not only did we build prior knowledge through this activity, but we accomplished our goal to engage students in collective thinking and build/play off each other’s ideas. Think, Puzzle, and Explore also provided students a medium to learn a little about a topic and tease out some initial thoughts. Now that we have all of their work uploaded, students can visit it if they want to revisit any initial thinking from last week or use it as a brainstorming tool to further investigate one of those topics although they certainly can go in other directions. This activity was the bridge to our next phase of presearch, Presearch Search Term Strategy Mapping, an activity we adapted from our friend and fellow librarian Tasha Bergson-Michelson.