Spoon-feeding students and St Abbs Head

There was an interesting comment (thanks Jill Wilson) on the post about not using Google. One of the criticisms of learning websites which provide students with mediated sites is that the students are being spoon fed in that they don’t have to look for their own resources. I think that this can be the case if too much help is given to students butI think that, if students are to learn from what they read, view or listen to, the crucial part of this exercise is when the students are, to quote David Wray’s still relevant 1990s research, interacting with the text. So we as TLs and SLs can be a bit precious about the value of searching for information. If we can get the students more quickly to the learning resource, then the students are more likely to use their information literacy skills in order to select, read, understand, analyse and synthesise what they are reading, viewing or listening to. I don’t think that there is one way of getting students to the right resources for them. In some cases, letting them do their own research – even if they dojust use Google – is fine but it is clearly not fine all the time.

At the weekend, went walking at St Abbs Head which is a picturesque village with an attractive harbour as well as spectacular cliff walks – of which more later. From St Abbs, if you want a shortish walk, you can take the clifftop trail to Coldingham Beach – no surfers there on Sunday but there often are. Lots of people out walking and they all said hello and, having lived in Australia for a good part of the last 4 years, I’m often tempted to say ‘G’day’ although I’ve never come across the definitive spelling of this greeting.

One Response to “Spoon-feeding students and St Abbs Head”

  1. Clenda Wockner Says:

    I completely agree with you. I find that we spend so much time focussing on the location of information with students because that is what they spend most of their time doing. They can come into the library with their assignment sheet in hand and spend the entire hour googling without actually interacting with the information – except for the stuff they cut and paste and then show me as being their notes!!
    We are gradually beginning to get the teachers on side and from time to time they will ‘gate’ their students. We put websites onto our library Delicious and it is amazing the difference in location time for the assignment. The students get to the point of actually interacting with the information before the due date and can learn from it rather than just regurgitate it.
    I don’t advocate always restricting students to books and online resources which have already been found for them but there are times when it certainly makes sense to do so.

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