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Evolution of the thesis literature review: A faculty-librarian partnership to guide off-campus graduate research and writing

Rosemary Green
Graduate Programs Librarian, Shenandoah University, Winchester, Virginia USA
Mary Bowser
School of Arts and Sciences, Shenandoah University, Winchester, Virginia USA
This paper describes a recent change in practice in a graduate teacher education program delivered to off-campus students at rural sites in Virginia and West Virginia. In a team taught thesis course, a graduate education professor and graduate librarian emphasise the importance of the literature review in thesis preparation. The faculty-librarian team guides students in identifying and evaluating research sources, developing a comprehensive, scholarly review of the literature, and applying the literature to the students' research projects.

In the interest of determining whether the quality of thesis literature reviews has increased as a result of the faculty-librarian collaboration, the authors investigated literature reviews produced by students in control and experimental groups. A 10-criteria rubric was developed and used to rate literature reviews in areas of content, presentation, and writing; the ratings of the two groups were then compared. Trends in the data suggested that the quality of thesis literature reviews has improved. Literature reviews produced by students who receive concentrated instruction and guidance from the faculty-librarian team showed higher quality.

This study adds to the literature that examines the scholarly literature review and offers an instrument for evaluating literature reviews. This study also contributes to the relatively small body of research that examines faculty-librarian collaboration in co-teaching graduate distance education courses. The paper describes the faculty-librarian partnership, identifies instructional methods that are effective in literature review preparation and construction, presents an instrument used to evaluate literature reviews, and analyses results derived from data collection. A PowerPoint presentation supports the discussion.

Early research described in this paper was presented as part of a larger pilot study in April, 2002, at the Tenth Off-Campus Library Services Conference. The paper will be presented again with revisions at the 11th National Conference of the Association of College and Research Libraries in April, 2003. Keywords:

Please cite as: Green, R. and Bowser, M. (2003). Evolution of the thesis literature review: A faculty-librarian partnership to guide off-campus graduate research and writing. In Partners in Learning. Proceedings of the 12th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 11-12 February 2003. Perth: Edith Cowan University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2003/abstracts/green1-abs.html


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Last revision: 14 Jan 2003. This URL: http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2003/abstracts/green1-abs.html