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Literature review from reviewing literature

Peter Davis
Curtin University of Technology
Currently the writer teaches a unit in an honours program called Building Dissertation 441. An objective of the unit is that student are able to understand the theory and put into place the practice of writing a comprehensive literature review. An exercise the students undertake to meet this objective is known as "Literature review from reviewing literature". The purpose of the learning experience is to enhance a student's ability to synthesise and conceptualise into his or her own words ideas from various textbooks covering similar theory, whilst at the same time learn a practical point relevant to the current unit of study. The task for the student is to read and be able to discuss with their peers a concept of current study in a small group environment. The outcome is a negotiated and collectively approved understanding of the concept. It will usually take the form of a well drafted and appropriately referenced paragraph that will often form the opening statement of a literature review chapter within their final dissertations.

The forum exercise will follow the process set out above, delegates will initially work by themselves, subsequently they will form small groups to conceptualise the theory and finally, collectively, they will be asked to draft an appropriately referenced paragraph representing the opening statement of a literature review chapter of a typical dissertation from a new researcher's perspective.

The exercise will enable delegates attending the forum to see the simple but effective way that the hands-on activity assists learning in many tangible ways. In summary:

I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand (unknown source)
Author: Peter Davis, Senior Lecturer, Construction Management, Curtin University of Technology

Presentation format: Demonstration of teaching

Please cite as: Davis, P. (2002). Literature review from reviewing literature. In Focusing on the Student. Proceedings of the 11th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 5-6 February 2002. Perth: Edith Cowan University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2002/abstracts/davisp-abs.html

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Created 2 Dec 2001. Last revision: 1 Feb 2002. HTML: Roger Atkinson [ rjatkinson@bigpond.com ]