Down to business

It is down to business.

Orientation is over. Modules are bade for and secured. Lectures have started.

Well, we started our library sessions too. DSC2006 Operations Management was the first one. Prof Hum’s Term Paper requires a literature review of articles from only 4 core OM journals and only within 2006-2008. And there’s this thing about not doing the googley-goog in the Internet. How wonderful.

That’s where we come in. We have been giving library sessions for DSC2006 for ages. This year we decided to try something new. We asked the students to bring their laptops. We promised them they would leave the LT with at least one article. Some might just leave with at least 3 articles which means they get to begin reviewing articles straightaway. How wonderful.

I started off with the usual step-by-step. Look at your handout, this is the database you should use, the most important steps are No. 8 and 9, sort your articles, email your articles, yada, yada, yada. After that I stopped and asked the students to get their laptops ready to search. I looked up at the massive 150 crowd and asked for a topic to try out. A student shouted “inventory management”. I did a “live” search with his topic and emailed him his articles there and then. I stopped again and looked around. There was a moment of dead silence. Just a slight nanosecond of it. Then, the furious clickety-clacking of keys started, conversations went up a couple more decibels and my colleagues were kept busy attending to raised hands. The second half our library session had begun. The students were doing their own searches and downloading the articles they found.

Some of them who did not have their laptops left. Some stayed and continued to watch more examples of searches on the big screen. Finally, I spoke to them about getting the competitive edge over their classmates. Showed them related searches that brought them away from their first topic to other topics and different lists of articles. More to choose from, more to think about and more to work with.

And here’s a question from one of the students – how do you search all 4 journals without a topic in mind?

Easy – don’t put any keywords in the search box. So this means your search would look like this:

To manage the results list better (you are going to be looking at a lot of articles), do 3 searches – one for each year. Therefore, your first search is only for the date range 2006-2006, the next search is for 2007-2007 and the 3rd one is for 2008-2008. So you get to see 3 separate lists of articles each time.

Easier to manage, right?

Told you we’re getting down to business.

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