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Evolution of a summer research/writing workshop for first‐year university students

Janneka L. Guise (Eckhardt‐Gramatté Music Library, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada)
Janet Goosney (Queen Elizabeth II Library, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St John's, Canada)
Shannon Gordon (Queen Elizabeth II Library, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St John's, Canada)
Heather Pretty (Queen Elizabeth II Library, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St John's, Canada)

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Article publication date: 16 May 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to describe a framework for a summer research/writing workshop for new university students, and its evolution over time and across institutions.

Design/methodology/approach

The University of Toronto at Scarborough (UTSC) has successfully offered its award‐winning two‐day Summer Learning Institute on Research, Writing and Presentation Skills for four years (2004‐2007), to increasing enrolments. Memorial University of Newfoundland (Memorial) adapted the UTSC model and successfully piloted its four‐day workshop, Summer Program in Academic Research and Communication (SPARC), in August 2006. Both programs were low‐cost, non‐credit summer workshops for new students to help them prepare for university‐level research and writing. Memorial offered its program a second time in August 2007. This paper focuses on the Memorial experience.

Findings

The success of these programs is attributed to a common framework used in each case: program planning, marketing, and delivery and assessment.

Practical implications

The framework described in this paper could be adapted by other institutions wishing to implement such a program. In addition, the SPARC team will continually improve the program by reflecting on each part of the framework.

Originality/value

Much research has been done to identify and address the specific needs of first‐year university students. For example, some institutions offer “first year experience” courses for credit, while others place first‐year students into Interest Groups. Most academic libraries offer information literacy sessions to groups of undergraduate students during the regular semester. This paper presents a model for reaching first year students before they take their first class at university.

Keywords

Citation

Guise, J.L., Goosney, J., Gordon, S. and Pretty, H. (2008), "Evolution of a summer research/writing workshop for first‐year university students", New Library World, Vol. 109 No. 5/6, pp. 235-250. https://doi.org/10.1108/03074800810873588

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited