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COMS 1030 Instructors

Resources for those teaching COMS 1030

Tools for collecting and sharing information

If the grid format doesn't work for you, you might also encourage the students to collect their sources with a web curation tool, asking them to annotate the source with information about the source as desribed above.

Here are some tools that would be useful for this sort of activity or assignment:

Research Grid

I first saw these used for full literature review projects, where students are collecting a large amount of information. But even for the smaller projects like COMS 1030 speeches, a research grid could be a useful way of having students collect information and describe how they are going to use it without going the full annotated bibliography route.

The basic idea is that students fill out a table or spreadsheet and list details of particular information sources. I'd recommend having them do this in Excel or in Google Drive Spreadsheets rather than Word tables, which can get messy very quickly.

Here is an example grid that I used with an MDIA course, to see how this works. You'd adapt the questions for your own needs of course. I'd suggest asking:

  • Who wrote the information
    • what is their area of expertise? do they have eductation in this area? are they an advocate? a journalist?
  • What type of information source is this?
    • this is surprisingly hard for students to decipher, especially when you get to things like blogs hosted by major newspapers, but for better or for worse, the type of container that information comes in influences how we think about it.
  • What is the author's point of view? Are they trying to convince you to accept a particular point of view? Or do they attempt to provide an overview of the topic.
  • When was this information published?
  • What sort of information do they use to make their argument?