April 4, 2013

Using the I Search Research Project to Develop Critical Thinking and Analytical Skills in Developmental Education Courses

Our department has recently integrated both reading and writing courses for both Developmental Education first and second year students.  Research has been introduced to both courses to help students understand the importance of applying the strategies they learn in reading and writing.  The goal is to prepare students by providing opportunities where students can practice critical reading, thinking and writing strategies.

The “I Search” research project is a project where students in second year developmental courses are introduced to the research process.  The method of the “I Search” allows the student to actively engage in the research process with their peers, and work collaboratively to effectively develop research strategies, analytical and synthesis skills.  Through the I Search students combine literacy and writing skills to develop an in depth research paper. 

Learning Outcomes of the I Search Paper
  • The goal of the I Search research project is to help students understand the connection between research and writing.
  • Students develop their confidence as researchers and writers and as a result are able to think creatively about their topic.
  • Students develop collaborative learning skills through the process as they examine their research sources with groups.  This activity is known as Article analysis.  Students learn the valuable process of examining and evaluating research sources, which is an important high-order thinking skill.

As a result of completing the I Search, students are confident in their research skills and writing ability.  They develop the necessary information literacy skills and use MLA to present their papers.  

If you are interested in using an I Search in your writing class, please email writingcenter@pccc.edu

Today's guest post was by Heather Wojdylo, a full-time, Developmental Studies faculty at Passaic County Community College. Professor Wojdylo teaches integrated reading and writing courses. 

1 comment:

  1. Implementing some very important programs that could help students in their reading and writing skills is one best essential practice to be able to learn good aspects in education and it could probably help out some students to be successful in their different courses.

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