Carnegie Mellon University
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Combating a Zombie Apocalypse Through Subject-Specific Research: A Topic Selection Practice

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journal contribution
posted on 2014-01-01, 00:00 authored by Alicia Salaz, Teresa MacGregor

In library instruction, problem-based, course-integrated, and point-of-need instructional methods are widely recognized as best practices which enhance student motivation and learning. Topic choice is significant in this regard. In designing research projects for students, however, instructors often assign topics which lack authenticity or relevance, are too narrow or broad in scope, or fail to motivate. We propose a method for generating research topics by simulating a significant problem (zombie apocalypse) which requires discipline-based solutions and aims to enhance motivation and increase learning. We also report on the results of the use of this method with students.