By Rebecca Scott
As an instructional librarian, I am continually seeking to improve my teaching practice, especially in the areas of academic integrity and research strategies. I find that the high school and community college students I work with often struggle with evaluating the quality of information sources, finding appropriate evidence to support arguments, extracting and synthesizing information, and properly citing sources.
Plagiarism is a frightening and confusing word to students and, as most educators know, it is often done by accident. Instructional librarians are tasked with showing learners how to extract information from articles and create paraphrases and citations. Additionally, we show students how to develop search strategies that lead to helpful articles and other information sources. We take these duties seriously. During my career, I have used various methods to help students with these skills, but it wasn’t until I found Scrible that I finally had the best tools to empower my students to become effective researchers and writers.
I teach my students to find relevant sources and save them to their Scrible Library using the Scrible Toolbar Chrome Extension, which they can also use to highlight, paraphrase, and comment directly on articles. These annotations are all autosaved to their Scrible Library. Students click the Citation Tab in the Scrible Toolbar to view the auto-generated citation for an article. Using our library citation guides, they verify the information and make corrections if needed. I absolutely love teaching citations using Scrible because our students like to work from the auto-generated model. It is clear and gives them a starting point.
Once students are ready to begin writing their papers, the Scrible Writer Google Docs Add-on makes it a breeze. (There’s a Microsoft Office Word Add-on too). They begin writing their papers and, when a quote or paraphrase is needed, they can browse and search their Scrible Library alongside their paper via the add-on. With a mouse click, the quote and its corresponding in-text citation are inserted into the doc and the citation is automatically added to the bibliography page by Scrible.
Perhaps one of my favorite features of Scrible is the interactive nature of the platform. In my high school work, instructors and I are able to access each student’s Assignment Library, which gives us the opportunity to interact with them and their articles. I can sit with students and show them how to comb through their articles for information that supports their claim or help them evaluate the credibility of sources. But this can also be done remotely; I can enter feedback and comments that the student can read at a later time.
As our students continue to face the onslaught of questionable information and ease of copy/paste research, we need to stress ownership of the research process. High school seniors must prepare for the academic challenges of college; community college students benefit from Scrible’s research and writing features (i.e., curation, annotation, citation); and faculty benefit from interactive and collaborative instructional capabilities. For these reasons, Scrible is my solution of choice for improving instructional practice to ensure student success.
Rebecca Scott is Adjunct Faculty at College of DuPage and Librarian at Downers Grove North High School in Illinois.
Scrible is an Innovations 2020 sponsor and exhibitor.