I give a term assignment that involves cataloging 10 books. I use all books
because it is a bit easier for me but you could provide a mix of materials.
The students are asked to work in small groups of their own selection.
During the course of the term, the students practice by working on that
aspect of their ten books. I always begin the class session with questions
about what they've been doing with their books. We usually have a lively
discussion. We work through description, access points, subject analysis
and classification with all of the books. Then we put all of the
information prepared onto a MARC workform. At the end of the term, the
students turn in one set of MARC workforms for the 10 books. I offer the
option of having them turn in 1 set with all of their group's names on them
and having them share the same grade.
Because I'm teaching at an off-campus center and because former classes have
recommended it, this term I will be putting 10 books on reserve on the main
campus in the library and 10 on reserve in the off-campus center library.
The library in the off-campus center has very limited hours in the evening
and weekends and students were having difficulty accessing the needed
materials. This situation will not occur most places.
I do change the titles on a fairly regular basis so the students can't use
assignments done in previous classes.
Anaclare F. Evans, Ph.D.
DALNET/ 605 SEL
Wayne State University
Detroit MI 48202
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----- Original Message -----
From: <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, May 11, 2004 10:20 AM
Subject: Effective use of practice work
> A couple of questions about class practice items for cataloging and
> metadata assignments:
> In-class practice work can be fun and effective in getting across the
> theory. Brief standards like Dublin Core are fine for this purpose, but
> with AACR2, LSCH, MARC, LCC, DDC, etc. being so cumbersome, it is no
> practical for students to work with these tools in a classroom
> especially with large size classes. Has anyone from the group been
> successful in finding workarounds for this?
> In discussing practice homework assignments, I am noticing that many
> students seem eager for intellectual stimulation in addition to practical
> and professional relevance. Students who plan to be catalogers or who see
> some other direct practical application to the material will have a
> built-in interest, but others will be looking for content which is
> intellectually engaging in its own right. Work involving subject analysis
> is easy to make interesting on both a theoretical and practical level, but
> topics like descriptive cataloging present more of a challenge. Can anyone
> recommend ways of structuring practice work that are particularly
> in generating lively discussion on both a practical but a theoretical
> C. Olivia Frost
> Associate Dean and Professor
> School of Information
> University of Michigan