What’s the Process?
Research is complex. It requires and reinforces literacy, technological, and thinking skills, as well as encourages the development of metacognition (knowing how one learns best) and the affective domain (persistence, honesty). To assist teachers and students in understanding the process, research has been delineated into four stages.

Why teach a process?
  • students have a “learning map” of the process; they know where to begin and where to go next
  • T-Ls and teachers can focus on teaching specific skills
  • specific skills can be reinforced and practised for understanding (e.g., thesis development)
  • T-Ls and teachers can assess each stage to monitor and facilitate student learning

Designing effective projects Well-designed research projects engage students and improve the chances for academic honesty. Creating an authentic “real world” scenario for the context of the research is the spark that ignites student interest. It provides the “big picture” of the research with a rationale and makes the connection between school and the world of work. See samples.
GRASPDesigning projectswithchecklist.doc

Assessment & Evaluation
a) Student Success
To monitor student

work, each stage of the process should be formally or informally assessed to ensure that students understand the task, meet timelines and know the next steps. Whether a conversation or a conference, whether a rubric or rating scale at the end of each stage (see Research Success) it is an opportunity for the teacher-librarian and teacher to facilitate the learning by:
  • questioning for clarity
  • answering student questions
  • recommending resources
  • discussing next steps
  • encouraging the student

b) Overall Expectations and the Achievement Chart
Whatever assessment strategy is used (e.g., rubric, rating scale, checklist, anecdotal record), teachers and teacher-librarians can use the achievement chart for the specific subject for evaluating this project (see Fresh AER: Assessment, Evaluation, and Reporting in Elementary Schools, 2006). Although the rubric may be specifically designed for the research project, it should be clear what overall expectation(s) is being assessed and how each section of the rubric relates to the achievement chart.
Is it Knowledge? Thinking? Communication? Application?

c) Learning Skills
Research projects provide an opportunity to articulate and assess the learning skills found on the report card. Through student self-assessment or teacher assessment, these skills are highlighted.
Learning Skills
  • Works Independently
  • Teamwork
  • Organization
  • Work Habits/Homework
  • Initiative
E = Excellent,
G = Good
S = Satisfactory
N = Needs Improvement
School-wide Approach to Research
Some schools are working with their CLs and ACLs to develop a school-wide approach to teaching research skills. Deciding with your staff which research skills should be taught within the library program in Grades 9, 10, 11 and 12 ensures that all students are receiving the skill lessons. For example, note making, the School Library Website and SmartIdeas may be the Grade 9 focus. Developing a thesis statement and accessing databases may be the Grade 10 focus. Involving all school departments brings awareness to the curricular library program and the importance of all students receiving these important lessons in a sequential and purposeful way. Some schools have begun work on this. See attached file for more details.