Start Date

23-3-2018 8:30 AM

End Date

23-3-2018 9:00 AM

Location

RM 460

Author(s) Bio

Erin O'Toole is a member of the Library Research Support Services Department at the University of North Texas (UNT) Libraries. The department actively identifies and serves the scholarly needs of faculty and graduate students. Erin is also the subject librarian for the newly formed College of Science. Here research interests are library interventions for retention of STEM undergraduates and mentoring of academic librarians. She is entering her fourteenth year as a science librarian at UNT.

Presenter Status

Academic Librarian

Presentation Type

30 minutes (e.g. Individual)

Description

The proposed presentation will share the University of North Texas (UNT) Libraries’ experience of creating and refashioning workshops to prepare graduate students to write their dissertation or thesis proposals. Concurrently, it will challenge attendees to consider the impediments graduate students may face at their own institutions and possible partnerships and services to enable students to complete their proposals. Highlights of the presentation will be collaboration with UNT teaching faculty and the Graduate School, the structure and content of the workshops, and the evolution of the workshops in response to student evaluations.

The Library Research Support Services Department (LRSS) works closely with the UNT Graduate School to identify points in the graduate life cycle where numerous students stall in their path toward graduation. One of these bottlenecks at UNT is writing and defending the proposal for the thesis or dissertation. Many graduate students finish their coursework and comprehensive exams, and then linger for months without starting their proposals. The Graduate School and LRSS met in Spring 2015 to discuss how to move students past this obstacle. We started to offer the Proposal Preparation Workshops in Fall 2015 to give graduate students information and confidence to move forward on their academic pathway.

LRSS now offers the Proposal Preparation Workshops twice every long semester. Initially, we combined graduate students from all subject areas in the workshops, but starting in Fall 2016, we divided the students between STEM and Humanities/Social Science workshops. Each workshop is composed of three presentations given by faculty: 1) teaching faculty on how to write a proposal in a broad discipline, 2) library faculty on the best subject-specific databases and how to search them, and 3) library faculty on how to use RefWorks to make research and writing more efficient.

The presenter will foster participation by encouraging attendees to consider and record on a worksheet their thoughts on the following issues: 1) possible impediments to completing the dissertation or thesis proposal faced by students at their institution, 2) partners who might assist the library in moving students past obstacles, and 3) related programs and/or services they might implement or are currently providing. The presenter will pause after each of these main areas in the talk to let the participants reflect and record. During the last 10 minutes, the presenter will invite attendees to share their ideas, and will field any questions about the UNT workshops. The presenter will collect the worksheets and add the responses to the end of the presentation file after the conference. This valuable pool of ideas will then be accessible to all conference attendees through the Kennesaw State University Digital Commons.

Comments

Abstract for conference program:

Subject librarians at the University of North Texas have partnered with the graduate school and teaching faculty to help students achieve a major milestone in the graduate life cycle – writing and successfully defending the dissertation or thesis proposal. This presentation will share the impediments UNT graduate students faced, the partners gathered to support the students, and the resulting Proposal Preparation Workshop, which the library has offered since Fall 2015. Participants will be given time to reflect on their own institutions and record on a worksheet potential impediments, partners, and actions that may support their students in writing and defending their proposals. The presentation will conclude with Q&A and a discussion of participants’ ideas. Those who would like to anonymously share their ideas through the Kennesaw State University Digital Commons following the conference are encouraged to photograph and then submit their completed worksheets to the presenter.

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Mar 23rd, 8:30 AM Mar 23rd, 9:00 AM

Impediments, Partners, and Proposals: Preparing Graduate Students to Start Their Thesis and Dissertation Proposals

RM 460

The proposed presentation will share the University of North Texas (UNT) Libraries’ experience of creating and refashioning workshops to prepare graduate students to write their dissertation or thesis proposals. Concurrently, it will challenge attendees to consider the impediments graduate students may face at their own institutions and possible partnerships and services to enable students to complete their proposals. Highlights of the presentation will be collaboration with UNT teaching faculty and the Graduate School, the structure and content of the workshops, and the evolution of the workshops in response to student evaluations.

The Library Research Support Services Department (LRSS) works closely with the UNT Graduate School to identify points in the graduate life cycle where numerous students stall in their path toward graduation. One of these bottlenecks at UNT is writing and defending the proposal for the thesis or dissertation. Many graduate students finish their coursework and comprehensive exams, and then linger for months without starting their proposals. The Graduate School and LRSS met in Spring 2015 to discuss how to move students past this obstacle. We started to offer the Proposal Preparation Workshops in Fall 2015 to give graduate students information and confidence to move forward on their academic pathway.

LRSS now offers the Proposal Preparation Workshops twice every long semester. Initially, we combined graduate students from all subject areas in the workshops, but starting in Fall 2016, we divided the students between STEM and Humanities/Social Science workshops. Each workshop is composed of three presentations given by faculty: 1) teaching faculty on how to write a proposal in a broad discipline, 2) library faculty on the best subject-specific databases and how to search them, and 3) library faculty on how to use RefWorks to make research and writing more efficient.

The presenter will foster participation by encouraging attendees to consider and record on a worksheet their thoughts on the following issues: 1) possible impediments to completing the dissertation or thesis proposal faced by students at their institution, 2) partners who might assist the library in moving students past obstacles, and 3) related programs and/or services they might implement or are currently providing. The presenter will pause after each of these main areas in the talk to let the participants reflect and record. During the last 10 minutes, the presenter will invite attendees to share their ideas, and will field any questions about the UNT workshops. The presenter will collect the worksheets and add the responses to the end of the presentation file after the conference. This valuable pool of ideas will then be accessible to all conference attendees through the Kennesaw State University Digital Commons.