• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Finally, you can manage your Google Docs, uploads, and email attachments (plus Dropbox and Slack files) in one convenient place. Claim a free account, and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) can automatically organize your content for you.


Facilitating Student Research (redirected from Online Research Models and Slam Dunks)

Page history last edited by Amanda Lanza 3 years, 5 months ago

 Facilitating Student Research

 Table of Contents



Description:  Participants will explore resources and strategies for facilitating student research to build and present knowledge, including implementing BCPS Online Research Models and Slam Dunks and using the BCPS Research Guides for grades K-4, 5-8, or 9-12.

Outcome:  Participants will be prepared to facilitate student research to build and present knowledge in the content areas.  
Indicator:  Participants will use BCPS resources to facilitate student research to build and present knowledge in the content areas.


 Tiny URL for this Workshop wiki page: http://tinyurl.com/bcpsorm     Session PowerPoint     NOTES: ORM/Slam Dunk Exploration & Analysis



Learning Standards



Increased emphasis on student research/inquiry and associated skills in K-12 learning standards across content areas:


The BCPS Online Research Models and Slam Dunk lessons also support the S.T.A.T. initiative (Students and Teachers Accessing Tomorrow), the multi-year transformation of BCPS into a complete 21st century learning environment to prepare globally-competitive graduates, including redesigning curriculum for blended learning using digital resources and a stronger emphasis on 21st century skills.  


Collaboration with School Library Media Specialist




Whether it's called Research to Build and Present Knowledge, Inquiry, Investigation, or Project-based Learning ...
research shows that Librarians are essential instructional partners for facilitating students' development of research skills.

  • “School librarians provide the blueprint for teaching students research skills, digital citizenship, safety online, and information communication skills.” (AASL

  • “Students learn how to evaluate and use information—not just how to find and access it —from school librarians.”  (ALA)

  • “Students value the library media specialist’s help in teaching unique skills not covered in the classroom —especially information, communication, and technology skills essential for students in the 21st century.” (Scholastic)

  • "The more often students receive information literacy instruction from library media specialists, the higher their test scores.” (Scholastic) 


Issues & Challenges

BCPS Online Research Models (ORMs) and Slam Dunk digital lessons are designed to address a variety of issues which have made implementing K-12 student research challenging for school library media specialists, teachers and students.


Critical Issue: Low-level Student Research 

Over a decade ago, Dr. David Loertscher addressed the critical issue of inadequate, low level,  and misguided instruction with regard to student research his book and action research project Ban Those Bird Units. Unfortunately, this problem remains an issue in some classrooms and school libraries:


"Too many of the learning activities in school libraries are low-level cut and paste activities, such as transferring
facts from library resources on to worksheets or just cutting information off the Internet to pass in for a report.
Little learning results and plagiarism dominates. Such activities are termed "bird units" after the ubiquitous
4th grade bird reports, but they can be on any topic: explorers, state reports, old famous dead men, or other common K–12 topics and across all disciplines.  Many teachers, feeling pressured to have their students achieve, have stopped all interaction with library research reports, because they understand that the time invested in these reports will not produce any positive results. Library media specialists are reluctant to have such activities continue because the potential of the library media center and its resources are being ignored."


View the video Research Shift.  Does the addition of technology & digital resources increase real-world relevance or rigor?



Reflect & Connect: What are some issues that have made implementing student research challenging for you?

  • Turn and talk to share your perspective with a colleague. 


Development & Implementation



Development of BCPS Online Research Models (since 1998) and Slam Dunk digital lessons (since 2004) have been informed by our study of information literacy process models and research-based pedagogy, and we worked directly with these experts at workshops and institutes:


Library media staff participates in annual BCPS summer Curriculum Writing Workshops to integrate ORMs/Slam Dunks across the curriculum.

  • Our team of library media specialists collaborates with content area curriculum writers to design ORMs/Slam Dunks for specific grade level content curriculum units.

  • ORMs/Slam Dunks are linked in BCPS One Course Maps/Curriculum Units and aligned to content learning objectives.

  • Teachers are encouraged to collaborate with their library media specialists for planning and facilitating information literacy/21st skills instruction at identified "zones of intervention" (skills needed by students given the research task and their prior learning). 



  • Online access to models from school and home.
  • All student and teacher resources are linked.
  • Teachers are encouraged (in curriculum guides) to collaborate with their library media specialist for planning & teaching/co-teaching.
  • Face-to-face information literacy instruction provided at identified “zones of intervention” based on research task and students' prior learning.
  • Independent access to support resources at time of need (e.g. skill-builders and tools from K-12 Research Guides)
  • Best Practices:
    • Plan ahead! Familiarize yourself with research process steps and resources in the lesson BEFORE you begin with students!

    • Consult with your school Library Media Specialist for collaborative planning, co-teaching, integration of information literacy instruction.

    • Broken links or other issues?  Notify your Library Media Specialist or Kelly Ray, Resource Teacher - Office of Digital Learning  


Accessing the ORM/Slam Dunk Portal:

  • From BCPS One (before logging in), select the ACADEMICS tile.
  • Select the LIBRARY MEDIA tile 
  • Under STUDENT RESEARCH, select Online Research Models & Slam Dunks



Online Research Models for In-Depth Research


Structure and Evolution of BCPS Online Research Models:

  • Three page structure: 

    • Home page:  Research Process steps

    • Student Resource page:  Links to digital content, targeted Websites, databases for searching, school & public library resources 

    • Teacher Resources page:  Time frame, Curriculum Standards alignment, Notes to the teacher, supplemental resources 
  • 1998-2010: Seven process steps in our own model - Scenario, Task & Product, Assessments, Questions, Gather & Sort, Organize, Conclusion

  • 2012Guided Inquiry Design phases merged with our existing process steps.

    • Eight Guided Inquiry Design steps: Open, Immerse, Explore, Identify, Gather, Create, Share, Evaluate

    • Consideration of "Third Space" - the intersection between curricular content and students' own lives and real world. 

  • 2013-present:  ORMs designed with Guided Inquiry Design process steps exclusively.


ORM Design:

  • Elements that reflect UDL (Universal Design for Learning), including:
    • An engaging research scenario with real-world relevance 
    •  Some resources for activating prior learning and building background knowledge 
    • Information resources/digital content in a variety of media formats (multiple means of representation)
    • Student choice of topic, process, and/or product (multiple means of expression)
    • Text at a range of independent reading levels 
  • An Inquiry Question requiring analysis & synthesis of information from multiple sources.

  • Opportunities for students to engage in the P21 4Cs -  critical thinking, communication, collaboration & creativity 

  • Digital tools for organizing information and creating content to demonstrate and share their learning

  • Opportunities for library media specialist to provide instruction for information literacy/21st century skills at identified "zones of intervention" 

  • Support for developing & applying 21st century/information literacy skills at time of need (e.g. skill-builders and tools from K-12 Research Guides)

  • Formative and summative assessments & scoring tools

  • Opportunities for student reflection & extension of learning


ORM Examples:



Slam Dunk Digital Lessons for Brief, Focused Research


View the video below: What are the characteristics of a slam dunk basketball shot? Share adjectives/descriptive phrases.



Slam Dunk Design:

  • Six-slide PowerPoint structure: Question & Research Task, Information Sources, Student Activity, Assessment, Enrichment, Teacher Resources  

  • Brief, focused research: Typically completed in 1-2 class periods

  • Aligned with learning standards

  • Learner-centered: Real-world relevance, "third space" connection between students/curriculum, student choice of information sources

  • Inquiry Question requiring critical thinking, analysis, synthesis of information from multiple sources

  • Targeted information sources in various media formats

  • Variety of assessment formats; students do not necessarily create a product.

  • All resources included: Note-taking organizers, direct links to digital content and tools, scoring tools, etc.

Slam Dunk Examples:


BCPS K-12 Research Guides


Structured online guides with links to skill-builders and tools for each step in an inquiry-based process.


Exploration & Planning


Explore ORMs & Slam Dunk lessons created for your own grade level/content area:

  • Access the ORM/Slam Dunk Index from the ODL Library Media Webpage http://www.bcps.org/digitallearning/librarymedia 
  • Search for ORMs/Slam Dunk lessons for your grade level/content area.
  • Use ORM/Slam Dunk Exploration & Analysis   to make notes
  • Use one of these organizers to begin thinking about how you might implement this research task in collaboration with your school librarian:  
  • No ORMs/Slam Dunks for your grade level/content area?  Use one of these organizers and collaborate with your library media specialist to design a research task using one of our process models:


Reflect, Act, Wonder


Reflect, Act & Wonder about this learning using the questions below. Then share your responses with the group:

  • REFLECT:  How does implementing student research support a learner-centered environment? How does student research support development of 21st century skills including the 4 C's (critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity)?

  • ACT:  Which Online Research Model(s) and/or Slam Dunk Lesson(s) do you plan to implement in your classroom? How will you use resources in the Online Research Guide for your grade level to facilitate research/inquiry-based learning included in your curriculum?

  • WONDER:  Do you have any questions about facilitating student research?  (Consult with your school library media specialist for help at school.)
    Would you like to see a new ORM or Slam Dunk developed to support your curriculum? (Suggest a topic; instructor can share with C & I Office.) 


DLU Workshop Reflection


DLU Reflection: Required for DLU CPD course credit

  • BCPS teachers must register for the Digital Learning University CPD course in order to earn one CPD credit for 5 DLU Workshop Modules.

  • Digital Learning University CPD course registrants are required to complete one Reflection for each DLU workshop module attended.
    This reflection is to be sent as an attachment or link to DLU@bcps.org within 10 working days after the workshop module. 
    The reflection is expected to take 1 hour in order to meet the 15 hour CPD requirement.   




One higher-level essential question guides the inquiry.

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.