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Q for Success | Overview

Q for Success helps students become better academic writers and researchers.

By demystifying complex library resources and bringing them inside the tools students are using to create content (Microsoft Office and Google Docs), Q meets students where they are. Modules help students practice and learn how to integrate quotes into their writing, come up with pros and cons to support their arguments, and quickly communicate with key campus resources. Think of Q as your institution’s custom research & writing app, embedded in Microsoft Word 2016 or Google Chrome:

Learn how Q will help your students become better academic writers:

Q for Microsoft Word 2016

Q for Google Chrome

Q is a friendly Ribbon in Microsoft Word 2016 that opens a ‘taskpane’   – a window into your institution or organization’s most important research and contact info. With their  document open and visible, students can enter search terms, choose from a select set of resources (full-text scholarly, magazines – whatever your institution defines) and view results in a new default browser window. They can also use modules to practice integrating quotations or develop and refine their thesis, then insert the results directly into their Word document in progress.

Q is a friendly icon in the Chrome toolbar – click it to open a window into your institution or organization’s most important research and contact info. While students are working on a project in Google Docs (or any web solution) a quick ALT-1 pops open Q and lands their cursor on a search box that you’ve defined. Scholarly sources? Magazines and newspapers? A particular database? A limited number of additional choices are available, guiding students to use high quality sources and more deeply use your large investment in research databases.

Research: Streamlined & Demystified

Students are still easily overwhelmed by scholarly research; they default to Google and Wikipedia. While sophisticated and easy to use, most university library websites are intimidating for undergraduates. Q helps break down resistance and removes the friction students experience when trying to fulfill research requirements. Remember, this is the generation that uses an app to order pizza or ice cream. It’s easy to create a custom instance of Q for your campus – a handful or specific URLs and we’re off and running. Your students can install both the Chrome Extension and Word Add-in to gain streamlined, guided access to your most important databases, resource/subject guides, and general info about your library and related services.

Number of search choices on the average university library homepage:

These are fantastic resources, but often overwhelming for undergraduate students and so they turn to Google and Wikipedia for all their research needs.

Get a quick sense of Q:

Click to make this screenshot walk-through larger and get a sense of the Q user experience in Word 2016 and Google Chrome.

Deliberate Practice: Helping students construct knowledge

Inside Q students will find modules to help them practice and become academic writers. These modules, tightly integrated into Microsoft Word and Google Chrome, are optional for the institution. Click a screenshot below to get a larger view and flip through the user experience.

Integrate Quotes

Students often struggle with getting their research into their own writing.

They’ll take a quote and drop it into their writing, (sometimes without quotations!) without ‘framing’ it with their own words. Pervesley, the motivation for this can sometimes be a feeling that they’re cheating or using someone else’s words.

Q helps break down this complex task and walk students through the process, helping them create a polished, properly cited sentence and – in the process – learn proper academic writing skills.

Develop Your Thesis

High school and even undergraduate students often struggle with devleoping an original argument. They confuse “thesis” with main idea, and end up with a paper that ‘argues’ that “Huckleberry Finn is about the South and slavery.” That isn’t an argument; it’s a statement.

The Develop Your Thesis module helps students construct a thesis using simple fill-in-the-blank, then searches the web for quality resources that agree and those that disagree. The web search is intended to help generate ideas and speed experimentation.

Engagment: removing friction and creating dialog

We firmly believe that small changes can have a big impact.

Does placing the phone number of a reference librarian in a one-click-away Chrome Extension make a difference? How about a number for text messaging? Or an email address? Or chat (as many libraries already offer)? What about direct access to writing center tutors or similar? We build this info into an institution’s customized Q solution, giving students yet another easy way to reach out and establish contact. To engage.

Your institution defines exactly what info/links/content appear in this view. The student experience is very similar across Q for Google Chrome and for Microsoft Word 2016 (click image for a larger view).