The MAPIT and GETIT approach to introductory instruction sessions: A protocol for novice researchers
College & research libraries news
TheMAPITandGETITapproachto introductoryinstructionsessions Aprotocolfornoviceresearchers W hat should I cover?" and "What can I cover?" are questions all of us who provide library instruction struggle with on a regular basis. These questions sur face because most introductory library instruction sessions mirror other classes on campus. This typically translates into 50 minutes of contact with students. As such, we have to decide what to cover and how much depth to provide. Increasing pressure
... r accountability (e.g., information literacy, accreditation) and incorporating i nstruction about computers (e.g., networking, printing) absorb an increasing number of precious minutes. To help address these concer ns, I have developed an instructional protocol to electronic information resources for "novice researchers" that recognizes the time limitations typically imposed on instruction, yet still gets across "the basics" without sacrifi cing quality. The acronyms MAPIT and GETIT characterize my approach which has a few underlying assumptions: • Emphasize process over product. First and foremost, I'm a fi rm believer that if beginner researchers are taught to focus more on developing good search strategies and research techniques, the results will take care of themselves. • Recognize different ability levels. I recognize I'm going to bore some at the upper level and lose some at the lower level. Still, because of the diverse range of computer and/or research skills , I direct my lecture to the majority of students who tend to fall somewhere in the middle. • Build a foundation before build ing a house. Good research involves fi ve steps (as defined in the "Infor mation literacy competency standards for higher education"). However, I acknowledge that most topics and features cannot be covered in a 50-minute session and, as such, focus only on the elements that are relevant to most, if not all, resources (e.g., keyword vs. subject searching). • Avoid jargon. If there's a way to discuss something without jar gon, do it! Technology and research can be frustrating enough without unnecessarily clouding the water further. The MAPIT and GETIT approach, which keeps the above in mind, has three components. The first two attempt to incorporate the first two standards for information literacy: 1) Determine the nature and extent of the information you need. 2) Access needed infor mation effectively and effi ciently.