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Teacher's Guide: Ethical Use Games in this Kit
This guide provides instructions and ideas for using the Action Zone activities that are bundled in this Ethical Use Kit. The Sorting Hat Challenge requires searchers to dig for information within a site to find its author. Four new MicroModule Companions test skills in finding information about Copyright, Citation and Plagiarism (2 sets). In addition to serving as tutorial resources, each one may be used to assess the extent to which students are able to demonstrate skills in secondary searching and citing resources properly.
Sorting Hat Search Challenge
This timed challenge combines primary search techniques and some deft secondary searching to find the author of the resource. The resource itself is rather interesting: a personality test that claims to place individuals into one of the four Hogwart's Houses: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff or Slytherin. It's fun to complete and compare results with others. By reading information on the site it becomes apparent that someone is collecting the results as part of a research study. Wouldn't you like to know who that is?
While the name of the person responsible is not posted on the site, it is possible to track down the author using some secondary searching techniques. This timed search is unusual in that it starts at a web page, not a search engine. A search engine may be used to verify the author's name, but that's not the way to find our mystery person.
Techniques for uncovering an author include: scanning the web page, clicking links on the page for more information, truncating the URL and searching outside the site. The best place to start is almost always on the page, then the root site after that. In this case, the only link on the test page leads to the consent form. A list of names is included on that form. None of these turns out to be the author of the Sorting Hat Test. Verifying that a name found is also the author of the Sorting Hat test requires using a search engine. More about that later.
Looking for the owner (publisher) of the site using Whois.net also returns the name Christopher Soto. To search the Whois database, use the URL as the query: personalitylab.org.
With specific information to verify, in this case several potential authors' names combined with the name of the test, we recommend searching for information outside the site. Lacking sufficient information often renders an external search ineffective. For example, having only the URL, one could conduct a link: operator search. The results are not helpful. Searching for the name of the test in Google with "The Harry Potter Sorting Hat Personality Test," retrieves additional tests besides the one in question. A shorter search string could be tried, but since we have some potential author's names, we recommend searching with them and something unique about the test like Hogwarts or "Sorting Hat"
The name in the email and whois.net turns out to be the author: Christopher Soto. Google retrieves a newspaper article about his work with the Sorting Hat test. One of the other names--found on the Consent Form ("Jack Block")-- is also linked to the newspaper article. However, reading the document makes it apparent that Christopher Soto is the one responsible for the Sorting Hat test.
Using the Search Challenge in class: With most search challenges it is recommended that students try them as individuals. This particular challenge is difficult without knowledge and practice using what we are calling secondary searching techniques. Therefore, this challenge could be posed as a group problem, testing and demonstrating various possibilities for finding the author as described above.
A note of caution: the consent form states that an individual must be at least 18 years old to participate in the research. Moreover, taking the test will eat up a lot of time on its own (the test consists of 112 questions, plus some optional background questions). Encourage students not to take the test but to be detectives and uncover the author. The test does not have to be completed to find the author. Ethically speaking, there's nothing stopping any individual from taking the test. If someone completes it who is not 18 (and is honest about the age question on the form), the researcher is obligated to exclude that person's results from the study.
On the topic of ethical use, three Micromodules are particulary helpful: Citation, Copyright and Plagiarism. To enhance the effectiveness of these self-guided learning modules, four new interactive MicroModule Companions are now available.
Companions may be used as a self-guided tutorial, allowing students to test their understanding of MicroModule content and demonstrate their skills. If time is limited, the examples in a Companion may be used as a classroom demonstration, but student involvement should still be encouraged.
Copyright Companion -- basic level exercises:
Citation Companion -- basic to intermediate level exercises:
Plagiarism Companion 1 -- three sets of contrasting plagiarized references with and without proper references :
Plagiarism Companion 2 -- three more sets of contrasting plagiarized references with and without proper references :
Plagiarism Companion 3 -- three science-themed sets of contrasting plagiarized references with and without proper references :