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GNED 1403 - Winter 2024 Library Session

Session OutlineStock image picture of a human figure with a question mark.

Here is a plan for what we will cover today:

  1. Go over assignment details.

  2. Provide an overview of how to search LibrarySearch and Google Scholar for scholarly sources.

  3. Learn the difference between primary and secondary sources and scholarly and non-scholarly sources.

  4. Explore artificial intelligence as a research tool and its limitations.

  5. Practice information evaluation skills.

  6. Talk about the podcast creation resources available to you from MRU Library.

  7. Show a couple of different ways to get help if you have questions.









Public Domain MarkThis work (Question Mark Symbol Icon Character, by Peggy_Marco), identified by Pixabay, is free of known copyright restrictions.

Assignment Details


Assignment Two: Blog (regularly updated webpage)

Due date: Wednesday, February 28th

Submission details: Please email Professor Moxham the link to your blog by 09:30am

With a partner: Yes, to be completed with a partner

Topic: Artificial Intelligence in Higher Learning

Details: For this task, you will create a blog about the positive and/or negative value of artificial intelligence in post secondary education. Specifically, I would like you to focus on AI use in research, analysis, and composition; for each, take a stand on whether it is positive or negative. You can use any free blogging platform for this task and do not need to use your real name or images of yourself, if you have any privacy concerns.

Five academic sources – this assignment requires a small amount of research to back up your ideas. Please cite five academic sources in the blogs (five total, not five for each blog entry), and properly reference them in a link that opens a separate References page.

Three blog entries – these do not have to be long (250 words per entry). Focus on clear, effective communication. Research must be cited appropriately in APA format. Consider your target audience when writing these entries. What type of writing style is most appropriate for your topic, audience, and overall goals?

An About the Authors section – tell about yourselves as the authors of this blog (500 words). Focus on ethos, logos, and pathos. Why should a reader trust the information on your blog? Where does your credibility come from? Consider your target audience when crafting this section. Consider these questions: when did your interest in this subject begin; what real-world examples do you have linking yourself to the topic; what lessons have you learned exploring your interest in this topic; what ideas do you hope to share with readers; what do you hope their takeaway will be? Please craft an argumentative thesis statement in this section.

Appropriate images – use images that support and enhance your content. Each blog entry should have at least one accompanying image or visual (it can be realistic, a drawing, a symbol, etc.). Include an appropriate image for your About the Author section that communicates your identity and enhances your messaging. Images need to to be properly referenced.

Design elements – think about design elements and how you can use them to enhance your messaging. Make use of Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, and Proximity in terms of font choices, color, and physical layout to ensure readers can easily follow along.


Assignment: Students will work in groups of four (4) to create an explicit argument and distribute it through a podcast. As such, make sure you incorporate a claim, reasons for that claim, and evidence within the body of your podcast. The topic for this assignment is the place of expert opinion in a world of social media that has become dominated by personality, allegiance, and emotion.

You will need to do research on your topic. In your written script, you will cite your sources. In your podcast, you may mention where your information is coming from. For example, you might embed authors names or the names of books/articles in your sentences. You must cite at least five (5) sources, three (3) of which must be scholarly. Two (2) can be popular but they must be reputable. Your Reference list must be properly formatted, using any referencing style you prefer, as long as it is correct and consistent.

The goal is to speak to your ideas freely and comfortably in the podcast and not read off the script, but the written script should follow along closely with the actual audio.

Conducting Academic Research With LibrarySearch 

LibrarySearch is MRU Library's one-stop search interface/catalogue that brings together resources across format, time, and subject. 

We have about 1.3 million e-resources and 221,000 physical resources in our collection, and LibrarySearch searches across those.

Things to remember when using LibrarySearch:

  1. Sign in to save searches, items, and to request materials.

  2. Use the pin icon to save books and articles to your Favorites for future reference.

  3. Use the filters on the right. You will use Availability, Resource Type, and Date filters most often. Filter settings can be "locked in" so that you don't have to reapply them to every search that you make.

  4. Some items may not be available, however, you can request unavailable items using what is called interlibrary loan.

  5. When viewing an item record, scroll down to the Get it (for hardcopy/physical items) or Access options (for electronic items) section to get access to the item.

Helpful Search Operators to Use in LibrarySearch

You can use what are called search operators to search in a way to combine or omit different terms by telling the search engine exactly what you want and this can help you save some time (and frustration!)

  • Use quotation marks to keep specific phrases together:

    • "public space"

    • "inclusive design"

    • "artificial intelligence"

    • "fast fashion"

    • "#FreeBritney"

  • Use AND to combine search terms (LibrarySearch automatically creates an AND when you write terms one after another, but it can be good practice to use an AND to help you understand the searches that you build) (AND narrows your search):

    • "inclusive design" AND "public libraries"

    • "artificial intelligence" AND labour

  • Use OR to connect two or more near synonymous or similar terms (OR broadens your search):

    • "climate change" OR "global warming"

    • "artificial intelligence" OR "AI"

  • Use wild cards to substitute a letter or suffix with a symbol:

    • access* (in this example, the search access* will search for records that contain strings such as accessible and accessibility)

Conducting Academic Research With Google Scholar

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is another great way to find high quality resources.

Besides providing links to resources in MRU databases, Google Scholar links to online repositories that contain articles the author has been allowed to upload. and ResearchGate are among the repositories searched by Google Scholar.

By clicking on the Settings icon, you can select library links to show library access for up to 5 libraries (type in Mount Royal and click on save). If you are logged into MRU library, links should automatically populate if you are running a Google search in another window. 

Google Scholar has a nifty citation chaining function. The Cited by function will forward you to indexed scholarly material that has cited a resource that you may be interested in. The Related articles link will direct you to similar articles that may have the same metadata or keywords. 

Helpful Search Operators to Use in Google Scholar

Google Scholar's Advanced Search is found by clicking the menu icon in the top left.

You can also add search operators to Google Scholar searches to build your own custom advanced searches in similar ways to LibrarySearch:

  • Use quotation marks to keep specific phrases together:

    • "climate change"

  • Avoid using AND to combine search terms with Google Scholar, as the search engine automatically creates ANDs between concepts and sometimes adding an additional AND can confuse the search syntax.

  • Use OR to connect two or more similar terms:

    • "climate change" OR "global warming"

  • Use wild cards to substitute a letter or suffix with a symbol:

    • ethic* (in this example, the search ethic* will search for records that contain strings such as ethics, ethical, and ethically)

  • Use intitle: to limit your search to search terms only appearing in the title of a resource:

    •  intitle:"climate change"

  • Use filetype: to specify the type of file you would like to retrieve in your results:

    • filetype:pdf

  • Use site: to limit your search to specific web domains:



  • Use source: to limit your search to results from a specific publication:

    • source:global challenges

  • Combine operators to power search!

    • intitle:"climate change" source:global environmental change

Figure 1

Peter Steiner's Famous 1993 New Yorker Cartoon Illustrating an Issue Central to Information Evaluation

Note. From "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog" [Cartoon], by P. Steiner, 1993, Wikimedia (

Evaluating Information

It is good to find lots of search results, but, in order to use information skilfully, you need to know how to evaluate that information to determine whether a specific resource is appropriate to use in a specific use case (i.e. for a specific assignment).

The phrase "evaluating information" actually stands in for a wide range of judgments that we make about information in many different contexts, whether those judgments are about relevance, timeliness, quality, etc.

Librarians have developed several different acronyms to help people remember useful criteria to use in information evaluation. One of my personal favourites is RADAR!

RADAR stands for





Reason for Creation

We can ask the following questions to help us assess each criterion:


  • Does this source fit my topic?

  • What is this source's intended audience?

    • Is that intended audience appropriate for my use case in this assignment?


  • Is/are the creator(s) of this source clearly identified or known to us?

  • How important is it in this use case to trust the source's creator(s)?

    • If it is important, why should we trust the source's creator(s)?

    • Is the source's creator credentialed or an expert in their field?


  • Is the creation or publication date of this source identified or known to us?

  • Is this source too old?


  • Do this source's facts "check out"?

  • Does the source have references of its own?

Reason for Creation (take your best guess at this question using judgments from earlier criteria):

  • Why was this source made?

  • Was this source made to sell a product or service, to inform/educate, to entertain, etc?

Scholarly vs. Popular Sources

scholarly publication contains articles written by experts in a particular field. The primary audience of these articles is other experts.

Many of these publications are also referred to as "peer-reviewed," academic, or "refereed." They all mean essentially the same thing and refer to the editorial and publication process in which scholars in the same field review the research and findings before the article is published.


Scholarly / Peer-Reviewed

Popular / Not Scholarly (but possibly still credible!)


  • Expert

  • Journalist / professional writer

Review Process

  • Reviewed by an editorial board or other experts ("peers")

  • Reviewed by an editor

Audience /

  • Scholars and students

  • Technical language

  • General public

  • Easy to understand


  • Original research

  • Uses previously published literature for background

  • News and practical information

  • Uses a variety of sources for background 


  • Always cited

  • Sometimes cited


  • Peer-reviewed articles

  • Scholarly books

  • Literature reviews, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses

  • Theses and dissertations

  • Magazine articles

  • Newspaper articles

  • Blog articles

  • Encyclopedias

  • Textbooks

  • Websites

  • Social media

Some Helpful Questions for Identifying a Scholarly/Academic Article

  1. What are the author’s credentials? Was it written by an expert?

  2. Was it published in a journal (is there a DOI?)? (If you are not sure if a source is a journal article, you can enter the title of the publication into Ulrichs Web to check.)

  3. Does it use academic or more technical language?

  4. Does it includes a reference list of sources that it is citing?

  5. How long is it? (Scholarly articles are typically longer than popular or news articles.)

  6. Does it have a "Received" and "Accepted" date on it?

  7. Is it an actual article? (Sometimes other types of content are included in scholarly publications, such as editorials/opinion pieces and book reviews. Make sure you are looking at an article.)

Activity: Is It Scholarly?

To make sure we are all on the same page, let's put our knowledge to the test.

Skim the following resources available through the links keeping in mind the characteristics we have discussed in class (for example: what is this information and where did it come from? Was it written by an expert? Where is this source published?).

Vote whether you think this source is Scholarly or Not Scholarly.

Scholarly: 1 votes (4.76%)
Not Scholarly: 20 votes (95.24%)
Total Votes: 21
Scholarly: 20 votes (100%)
Not Scholarly: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 20
Scholarly: 1 votes (4.55%)
Not Scholarly: 21 votes (95.45%)
Total Votes: 22
Scholarly: 0 votes (0%)
Not Scholarly: 18 votes (100%)
Total Votes: 18
Scholarly: 0 votes (0%)
Not Scholarly: 18 votes (100%)
Total Votes: 18
Scholarly: 4 votes (19.05%)
Not Scholarly: 17 votes (80.95%)
Total Votes: 21
Scholarly: 2 votes (11.11%)
Not Scholarly: 16 votes (88.89%)
Total Votes: 18
Scholarly: 13 votes (72.22%)
Not Scholarly: 5 votes (27.78%)
Total Votes: 18
Scholarly: 17 votes (100%)
Not Scholarly: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 17

AI as a Research Tool

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) is a hot topic these days that is having an impact on many areas of cultural life, education, and the economy.

Many people in education (including myself) are still getting their heads around generative AI as a topic, and this is made difficult by how quickly the technology changes and how little non-experts understand about it. It is incredibly complex, blackboxed technology.

Professor Moxham will allow you to use generative AI in this course, but do not use it to generate your writing for you. (Also, please know that you are not obligated or required to use generative AI if you have no interest in doing so.)

If you do choose to use generative AI, you may want to use it as a brainstorming partner early on in your exploration of a topic similar to how you might browse a Wikipedia article on a subject to get a quick grasp of it in the early stages of your research. Do not use generative AI as a research tool in complete replacement of LibrarySearch or Google Scholar. If you do so, your research (and thinking) will suffer.

Specifically, be sure to scrutinize any source(s) that generative AI provides you with on a topic. This is because, at this point, it is prone to error: what some have called "hallucination," but that I prefer to call "fabrication."

If generative AI provides you with a source:

(1) make sure that the source actually exists, and, if it does exist;

(2) make sure that the source actually contains the information that generative AI has attributed to it.

What is fabrication?

An Investigation of ChatGPT's Sources

  1. BookInfluencer Marketing for Dummies by Kristy Sammis, Cat Lincoln, and Stefania Pomponi

    • This source does exist and it was written by these authors, but it is a For Dummies book that wouldn't be considered scholarly.

  2. BookInfluencer Marketing: Building Brand in a Digital Age by Duncan Brown and Nick Haye

    • This source does exist and it was written by those authors, but ChatGPT has fabricated a subtitle for it that it doesn't have.

  3. Academic Article: "The Rise of Influencer Marketing and Its Impact on Consumer Behavior" by Liu, Hu, and Zhang (2019)

    • To the best of my searching abilities, this source does not exist.

  4. Academic Article: "Ethical and Legal Issues in Influencer Marketing" by Brenner, A. and Capron, L. (2019)

    • To the best of my searching abilities, this source does not exist.

  5. Academic Article: "The Dark Side of Social Media: A Consumer Psychology Perspective" by Phua, J., Jin, S.V., and Kim, J.J. (2017)

    • This source is a Frankenstein composite of 2 sources. The authors have been taken from this article and the title has been taken from this edited book with which those authors had no involvement.

Citation Help

Here is a document to assist you with the completion of the podcast assignment.

Student Evaluation of Instruction

Please click on this link and sign into Blue (the evaluation platform) using your Mount Royal University credentials.

Choose this class (GNED 1403 Writing in a Digital Context-GNED1403001) and fill out the evaluation of my instruction for this class.

This will take around 10 mins.

Thank-you so much! All of your feedback is appreciated and will be used to improve my instruction heading forward.



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Joel Blechinger
Phone: 403.440.8624
Office: EL4423E