Thursday, September 11, 2008

23 Things: Thing 16 Student 2.0 Tools

I have been a college student for the last 5 years (this is my 6th, and last). I have used these assignment calculators on occasion...but I can tell you first hand that although they do a wonderful job breaking the assignment down into manageable pieces, sometimes it almost feels like just one more thing to have to deal with. Many students (not all), including myself on occasion, wait until the assignment reaches critical mass before starting. For that problem, there's no assignment calculator in the world that can help! For those who are a tad more organized, these are great tools-it definitely helps break the assignment into smaller parts when it looks so overwhelming when first assigned.

How might the RPC and the Teacher Guide help you help students plan and manage research projects? Like I said, from a student's point of view, hearing, "Write a research paper on this topic" sounds waaaay more overwhelming than "Come up with a topic by Tuesday, and formulate a working thesis by Friday." The assignment calculators also break down the project into steps, which can be helpful to also use as a checklist: "Did I remember to pull information from the different types of sources? Did I cite them correctly? What is next?"

Can you think of any uses for library projects—could you use it to help manage a timeline for a project of your own? These assignment calculators can be used for any kind of long-term project, academic in nature or not. There are other online tools that do basically the same thing that I might look at using for library projects before I used these calculators, but I can see where these might be useful as well.

For the right person, these are excellent tools, and definitely have their place.

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