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LDT 9105 - Conducting Research in Instructional Technology

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Reference Desks

Undergraduate (UGL): 313-577-8852
Purdy/Kresge: 313-577-6423
Arthur Neef Law: 313-577-6180
Shiffman Medical: 313-577-1094

About the LDT9105 Library Guide

This library guide will introduce the library resources and services you can use for your literature review assignment for the course LDT9105.

Writing a Literature Review

A literature review is a survey of scholarly articles, books and other sources (e.g. dissertations, conference proceedings) relevant to a particular issue, area of research, or theory. The purpose is to offer an overview of significant literature published on a topic, not provide an annotated bibliography. Analysis of works revolve around topics, themes or issues related to the area of research or theory.

Getting Started: Subject Resources and How-To Guides

If you have not already done so, explore the Learning Design & Technology Research Guide by selecting the Learning Design & Technology option on the left navigation bar of this page.

The guide provides access to library databases that have books, articles, conference papers, online journals, citations and full-text articles related to Learning Design and Educational/Instructional Technology.

Additional Resources

Want to look at more guides? Use the link below to browse through a list of all of the library's Research Guides. Depending on your topic, you may find searching other disciplines will be helpful, such as Business resources for Performance Improvement, Communication resources for message design, and Psychology resources for learning.

Citation and Writing Resources for APA Style

Additional Resources

Following are more resources to help you with writing your papers and citing your sources.

Zotero is a free app that helps you manage your citations, build a database of articles and citation elements, then integrates with Microsoft Word to construct your in-text citations and bibliography. You should consider using a citation management tool like Zotero, which will be especially useful when you begin writing your Dissertation. Watch the following video for an introduction to Zotero.

Types of Information Sources and Identifying Empirical Research

What is Empirical research?

Empirical research is research based on observed and measured phenomena. Using empirical research articles as sources for your papers strengthens your arguments. Your literature review assignment will require you to locate empirical research articles.

Review the following Powerpoint presentation on the components of an empirical research article.

Searching Library Databases and Google Scholar

Using Connector (Boolean) search strategies can increase the precision of your search in information discovery tools such as library databases and Google Scholar.

Watch the following video for an explanation of Connector (Boolean) searching.

Using Subject Headings

You will begin your search in a library database using a keyword search, but you will find powerful tools available in the databases to increase the precision and efficiency of your searching. Using Subject Headings is one way to accomplish this.

Watch the following video, which explains the differences between keywords and subject headings, and how to locate subject headings in different databases.

Using Library Databases

The Wayne State library system subscribes to hundreds of library databases. Following are a few databases I recommend you become familiar with as information sources for your course assignments in the Instructional Technology program.

Review the handout or video associated with each database, and explore the linked database by trying out a search. In each database, see if you can:

  • Find the Advanced Search
  • Identify how to limit your search results to peer-reviewed journal articles
  • Understand how to limit your search results to empirical research articles
  • Locate the selection that will allow you to email your search results
  • Locate the tool that will create an APA citation for you

Before you begin exploring the databases, watch the following video to understand how to use the 360 link to full-text button to access or order full-text when it is not immediately available in your database search results.

Searching Google Scholar

You can search Google Scholar for articles, but make sure you link to Google Scholar from the library homepage, or search it by using the searchbox below. Linking to Google Scholar through the library will assure you get links to the library's full-text articles included in your Google Scholar search results.

Review the Power Searching Tools handout for special commands you can use to refine your Google Scholar search strategy. (You will find the Power Searching Tools handout linked under the Keyword vs. Subject Searching video above).

Other Relevant Guides

Finding Articles and Other Information Sources When You Have a Citation

The library databases and Google Scholar are just a starting point for researching a topic. In many cases, articles and other information sources you find will contain substantial reference lists, which you can use to identify other sources of information for your research.

Watch the following video, which demonstrates 3 ways you can find an article when you have a citation.