Instruction Updates

September 9, 2015

Upcoming Classes

Week of September 8
  • Thursday, September 10 at 9:45 in LB311: SLS1301 with John

Week of September 14

  • Monday, September 14 at 9:30 in SS104: Western Civ II with Wendy
  • Monday, September 14 at 11:00 in SS104: Western Civ I with Wendy
  • Monday, September 14 at 12:30: American History with Wendy
  • Monday, September 14 at 5:30: Nutrition with John

Teaching Connectors (AKA Boolean operators)

This threshold concepts incorporates using different searching language types. Connectors may seem like a foreign language, but students can grasp the concepts with fun activities.
Consider introducing connectors when teaching advanced search in databases. The databases will do the work, but students need to understand the power behind these three words.

Classroom Activities

Hands-on and interactive

(Audience appropriate OR discipline specific) phrases should be used.

Ask students to "stand up" based on connector search phrases such as who has on
  • glasses AND flip flops?
  • glasses OR flip flops?
  • glasses NOT flip flops?


Pass out oversized playing cards (available from Connie), ask students to "stand up" if their card meets the following criteria

  • is red AND has a face
  • is red OR has a face
  • is red NOT a face


Have students predict search results based on using connectors in a database search. Students log on to search and test their predictions.

Learning Outcomes

Here are two examples.

Following an introduction to connectors, students will create a search phrase using topic key words and connectors to retrieve 1 article in a library database.

After classroom exercises, students will identify the correct connector to be used in order to obtain the greatest* number of results. *fewest or other criteria

Assessment Ideas

Create an assessment with audience and discipline appropriate search phrase questions. See the Connector Activity Using LibSurveys section below.

Here is an example using Google Forms, the Connector Quiz.
BONUS: Try it! After your response has been recorded, click to "see previous responses."
How could you use the results of this activity?
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