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Primary Sources Web Tutorial for Undergraduates

A new web-based tutorial designed to teach undergraduates how to find and analyze primary sources is now available at www.lib.uci.edu/tutorial. The tutorial helps address the challenges that faculty and librarians face in teaching the use of primary sources to undergraduates in the humanities early in their academic careers.

In the limited exposure most undergraduates get to library-based instruction, it is rarely feasible to teach about the advantages of using primary resources. This new tutorial offers an opportunity for students to learn, at an individual pace, what primary sources are and how to use them.

Sample materials from Special Collections and Archives illustrate the techniques being taught. Items were selected to appeal to undergraduates to help them make connections between their own interests and the types of materials available.

Gary Lynch, Tom Blake. Corona del Mar: Croul Family Foundation, 2001.

For example, one of the sources featured is a drawing for a surfboard patent. Californian Tom Blake famously designed a hollow surfboard in 1931 that revolutionized surfing. He thus became a direct link between surfing in Hawaii and its popularity in California, which has continued to grow since the post-World War II era.

A comment form permits tutorial users to provide feedback on the tutorial’s effectiveness. Future enhancements will include mechanisms to help instructors assess how well their students are learning and to intervene appropriately.

The project was led by Cathy Palmer, Head of Education and Outreach, and Steve Macleod, Public Services Coordinator in Special Collections and Archives, in collaboration with Humanities Core course faculty. Funding was awarded by the Division of Undergraduate Education’s Small Grants for Instructional Improvement Initiatives program.

For more information, please contact Palmer (cpalmer@uci.edu or x44972) or Macleod (smacleod@uci.edu or x44967)


 

 

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