It is that time of the year again – oh, yeah! Bachelor`s mania. It is stressful for us, for the students and for the guidance counsellors, but it is also fun to work with the students on their theses. Most of them are really into it. They all want to get a good grade, of course, and maybe that even is the main reason to work hard for many of them. But many also seem genuinely interested in their subjects, and that kind of motivation is always easier to further encourage, of course.
The nursing students who are writing their bachelor`s theses are organised into groups of 2-4 students. This year there are 75 or 76 groups, I think. A few years ago we decided to offer workshops for nursing students, as they were just too many to handle on individual sessions for our staff. Students who are interested in tutoring from the library can sign up for a workshop at a given time (usually we give them four, two-hour sessions to choose from), and I team up with guidance counsellors from the institute. I use Google Forms for the sign-up forms, and then I divide them into their sessions. The students state their research questions/ purpose when they sign up, and that gives me an opportunity to check out some areas of research beforehand. When the deadline is up, then “the ship has sailed”, and the students who did not sign up will receive no offer of tutor sessions from the library during the work with their bachelor`s thesis. Troubleshooting? – yes. Help with searching strategies etc.? – no. It`s just a survival thing.
This year, 36 groups signed up for the sessions before the deadline. The workshops took place in a computer lab, and there were nine groups per session. I got help from four guidance counsellors, though not all four in every session – usually two helpers in each session. The students sit in groups and search for articles for their thesis, and I work my way through the groups until I have seen them all. Some need help finding search terms, some need a little help with narrowing down their searches, some need help to identify sources, some need a little encouragement, some need some guidance when it comes to methodology and so on. It really is great to meet them this way. I learn a lot, too.
I really find it interesting to work this way, but I cannot stress enough how important it is to do this together with the teachers/ guidance counsellors. We all learn from each other, and I wish we could do the same for all the other students and institutes, too. It is really intense, though, so I went to bed at 9.pm both days, totally exhausted:) Well – thats Bachelor`s mania for you!