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A practicum project was developed and implemented to teach information retrieval literacy skills to Grade 12 regular English students in a public high school. The research skills that the students were learning by mastering the electronic information systems in the school media center were used to research a "real world" problem to be written up in a student newsletter. The target group of 105 regular English students (85 by the end of the project) included nonnative speakers. Project implementation strategies involved collaborative learning in heterogeneous groups--collaboration was on every level, from choosing the research topic to locating the information on the electronic retrieval system to mastering the skills of correct research report writing. Notes and drafts for the research projects and a journal entry by each student served as a check on the project. Students decided the newsletter format, spacing, and typesetting, and completed paste-ups of the prototype newsletter. When the newsletters were published, each group made a presentation of its "survival guide" newsletter to the whole class. Among recommendations for the future are: (1) skills for research writing and publishing should be mastered before the project begins; (2) project should be made available to the English department head for use and shared with the school media specialists; and (3) the county's newly adopted competency-based curriculum should include this project as an alternative to the traditional research report now required for 12th-grade classes. (Contains 30 references; appendixes include interviews, data, and surveys.) (NKA)

Descriptors: Collaborative Writing, Cooperative Learning, English Instruction, Grade 12, High School Students, High Schools, Information Literacy, Public Schools, Research Papers (Students), Research Skills, Skill Development, Student Projects, Student Publications, Student Research, Writing Assignments

Autor: Coleman, Michael W.


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