WSU Technology Knowledge Base:Casey Finnerty Discusses Zotero

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General Information

  • Audience - All WSU instructors interested in collect, organize, and analyze research articles and share this research with others in a variety of ways.
  • Interview Date - 8/30/2013
  • Tools Used Zotero [1]

Meet the Faculty Member

Dr. Casey Finnerty, Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Winona State University. His research focuses in the areas of Pathobiology; Entomology; Structural Biology; Biological Computing; Analysis of baculovirus-host interactions; Protein structure/function relationships; Molecular evolution. He earned his Doctor of Entomology at Cornell University.

Viewing the Interview Segments

The full interview is divided into four segments. Select play to begin viewing Segment 1. To advance to another segments at any time by using the Next Next button.

Segment Descriptions

  • Segment 1 Could you describe what Zotero? Casey explains how this bibliographic management software that can be loaded on your computer and used in the cloud.
  • Segment 2 & 9 Please unpack that a bit more and tell us how you use of this use of this tool? He explains here how Zotero is used to collect, organize, and site scholarly research articles. Within his courses he has students build biographies as they research their topics and save this research to their Zotero database.
  • Segment 3 & 10 What would you recommend to another faculty members considering this type of online bibliographic management tool for their research? Here Casey explains how professionals can use this tool to organize and curate your research and share with students or colleagues as you collaborate on research projects.
  • Segment 4 & 5 What impact has using this tool had on student learning? Here he explains how much less resistance there was to using and properly siting research articles in their papers. However, the major impact on student learning could be found in the increase of correctly referencing article as they search for research on their topics. Casey enplanes that this may be due to the fact that Zotero makes it so easy to site the research they are more likely to acknowledge the work that they are finding in the literature accurately in their papers.
  • Segment 6 What other considerations would you recommend to faculty thinking about using Zotero? First, it is free and with an easy learning curve you really can give this tool a try to see if it makes a difference with your own scholarly research. I would roll this out in a few assignments to see if it is going to work for you and your classes.
  • Segment 7 What does the paid version of Zotero give you? Here Casey gives a few examples of how this tool can be taken to a new level where you and students can share documents, create groups, comment on the research and collaborate with each other.
  • Segment 8 Could you describe the way Zotero works for someone who is on the go? The tool allows you to download the articles to your tablet, make comments without being connected to the internet, and then upload this content when you are able to connect to the internet again.
  • Segment 9 Could you summarize how you see this tool impacting research and your student work? Here he summarizes the tool and how it is impacting student research.
  • Segment 10 Please describe how this tool work within the research workflow. Here Casey describes how the tool works within Word as you site research in your papers and reference sections.

Good Practices

  • Making the process of referencing primary and secondary research easier allows students to spend more time focused on the meaning of this knowledge, implication for conducting new research and contributing to the body of knowledge.
  • Collaboration begins with sharing research, having collaborative dialogue around this research, and posting new research to add to the body of knowledge for the group.

Key Outcomes

  • Students are referencing the research more and correctly.
  • The tool can be used for research groups and team based collaboration.

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