Projects this autumn

Autumn leaves

Image: colourbox.com

It`s October already! Boy, time travels fast sometimes.. I have had a number of projects both at home and at work this autumn, and I have neglected my blog. Too bad, because I really feel that writing about my experiences enhances my learning.

I am currently reviewing a journal article that I am writing for an international journal. It`s about faculty-library collaboration and our pedagogical approaches. I hope that I can make all the necessary changes in time for the deadline so that it`ll get published this year. More about that to come..

These last few weeks I have been very, very busy with a master`s course in scientific methodology here at GUC. The last few years I have been invited to give a lecture on academic honesty for our international students. Usually, I have been given two hours to talk about this issue as a way of trying to inform them better on proper academic writing styles and to avoid cheating and plagiarism; something that a lot of students do, but in our experience the international students are over-represented on all plagiarism statistics. This year, however, I was asked to play a bigger part in this training. I have been saying for a few years that I don`t really believe that me giving these students a double lecture on academic honesty will help them understand these issues, and this year I was asked if I could, in addition to the double lecture, could give the students an assignment. I agreed to do this, and I asked them to write a two-page paper (plus bibliography) on academic honesty, choosing one of three possible subtopics (“Open Access: challenges and possibilities”, “The five pillars of ethical research” or “Plagiarism and cheating: two rotten eggs in the research egg basket”). I will not write a full review of what happened in this course, but if we got one thing proved it was that a lecture without a practical assignment attached, has very little effect. Writing well, with proper use of citations, is not a gift that  we are born with. It takes a lot of practice, and I don`t know if you are ever fully trained in this (something that my many revisions of my own article should prove:) Anyway, working with these students have been incredibly fun – and I`ll admit quite challenging, mostly because of time and resource issues.

Other projects this autumn has been working to finalise the GUC library pedagogical platform. My boss and I have been working on this document on and off for a year. We took our time, to make sure that we had thought things through and that we had made the right priorities. The document is now on circulation among the deans and other administrators here, and I hope that they will respond to our questions and statements in a positive manner.

So – lots of things going on! Loving it..

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