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Ohio University

COMS 1030 Instructors

Resources for those teaching COMS 1030

So you want to do a scavenger hunt

First off, please know that your first year students are likely in a Learning Community course where they will likely do some sort of library tour or other activity where they talk about library resources in a general way. Each Learning Community has a faculty or staff instructor and a student Learning Community Leader. If you don't know who these are for your class, you would likely be able to find out by contacting the Learning Communities program in University College.

Secondly, in my experience, most students I've seen participating in scavenger hunts or the "Amazing Race" activity are concerned with completing the task as quickly as possible. From what I've observed, there doesn't seem to be much engagement with the actual sources of information that they've found.

Some suggestions for making scavenger hunt activities more focused on information engagement:

  • If you have the students find a book, ask them to also look at the books that they find around it on the shelves. Call numbers arrange books by subject, so browsing may lead students to additional relevant resources.
  • Ask them to tell you or their fellow students about the resources they find, sharing details such as:
    • Is the book written by a single author? Or edited? This will affect how they cite the source and think about the author.
    • Who is the author (of the book or a relevant chapter)? What is their education or experience in the topic area?
    • When was the book published? Knowing what you do about your research topic, is the information provided recent enough?
  • Want students to explore resources beyond books in the library? Consider an activity like this from the University of Montevallo where the students use Instagram to explore the library in groups and report back on what they've found.
    • You could, of course, ask students to post to any other social network, or email their photos to you or a designated account for the class and then report back on what they've found.
    • The library is on Twitter and Instagram as @AldenLibrary and on Facebook as well. I manage the social media and would respond to their comments/questions, especially if you give me a heads up of when they'll be in the library.
    • Things to have students look for in the library:
      • A good place to study
      • Where they can find course reserve materials
      • Where they can get help
      • Something that's confusing
      • Something that surprised them about the library
      • Something that is different from their high school or public libraries
      • Something they think other students should know about the library