Week Two Goal for 102: Develop FOCUSED Knowledge

First, a Fun YouTube Clip that Jen thinks Relates to Our Class and to the Rest of Your Lives.

Big Picture Goal this Week (Week Two out of Ballenger’s Five Week Process): To move from a WORKING knowledge (a 1 minute dinner conversation) to a FOCUSED knowledge (a 15 or 20 minute presentation to the class).

Ballenger says, “Focused knowledge is the product of smart research [italics mine] this week and the next” (69).

So . . . this week . . . you should be RESEARCHING!  🙂

Ballenger gives three steps to researching:

  1. Refine your search terms
  2. Know where to look for useful information
  3. Use your time efficiently

Then he gives two important questions to ask yourself WHILE you are researching:

  1. Is this information RELEVANT [bold font mine] to my Inquiry Question?
  2. Does this information CHANGE [bold font mine] my Inquiry Question?

On Wednesday, we will cover refining search terms and finding information.  Today, Monday, we will focus your inquiry question to help you use your time efficiently.

Class Today

Part I: Model Refining/Inventing More Focused Inquiry Questions Using Your Research Proposal (we will use pages 155 to 156 in Ballenger).

Sample Research Proposal

Task: Pretend this is YOUR topic.  We will read the text aloud in class, and then look at the various types of inquiry questions on page 155.  In groups of four, you will brainstorm

1) A Question of Policy about teenage pregnancy

2) A Question of Interpretation about teenage pregnancy

3) A Relationship Question about teenage pregnancy

4) A Hypothesis Question about teenage pregnancy

5) A Question of Value about teenage pregnancy

Each group will then post their questions as a response to Christina’s proposal.  Remember to use her ideas as a jumping off point!  We will then look at the questions generated to model INVENTION.

Part II: Brainstorming More Inquiry Questions

Read through your research proposal.  Invent five specific questions (policy, interpretation, hypothesis, relationship, value) about your proposed topic.  Post them as a response to your research proposal.

Part III: Reader-Response

We will stand up and move around the room (this might be more efficient than scrolling through blogs and this will ensure everyone gets feedback). Read through your neighbor’s new inquiry questions.  Let him or her know which question you find most interesting/provocative.  OR a more specific version of a question you find interesting.  OR another inquiry question you thought of that was triggered by your reading.  Please write your response as a comment and then post.  Don’t forget to identify yourself for the writer, as they are still logged on to their own site.

Final Memo to Jen:

  1. Please write your e-mail and full name on a sheet of paper.
  2. Please write your BEST inquiry question as of the end of today’s class.  Take some time with this and really flesh it out (use concrete specific language).  Tell Jen what kind of question this is.
  3. Please tell Jen one thing you have learned about inquiry questions as a result of today’s class/activities.
  4. Please tell Jen one thing you are still wondering about in terms of inquiry questions that Jen might re-address on Wednesday.

2 thoughts on “Week Two Goal for 102: Develop FOCUSED Knowledge

  1. Pingback: A Few Thoughts on the Library Visit | Jennifer Whetham's Summer Courses at Clark 2013

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