Subject: English. Course title: Research skills and academic methods. Level: BA, first semester. Course size: 25.

Part of the methodology course is online where the students search for sources for their essays. It proved hard for students to broaden keywords (if they get too few hits) or to narrow down keywords (if they get too many). During the activity I used to walk about the classroom and make myself available, but I found it hard to make time for all students when they needed my help.

To be able to identify central concepts and ideas in a research question and to use these concepts in a systematic literature search.

As a preparation, the students bring their proposed research question (for an essay for another course – this course is a process course, so we collaborate on the content side with other courses in the semester).

Students sit down opposite each other so that each has a 'date'. They each get 2 min. to read each other's research question and to give feedback. The feedback should result in two search-/keywords and one suggestion of a database in statsbiblioteket.dk, based on the content of the research question. Subsequently one row moves one seat to the right and the exercise is repeated until all students have dated everybody on the opposite row. If 2 minutes seem too short, you may divide the group in two (12 + 12) and let them ’date’ twice, the first round concentrating on one research question, and the second on the other.

In this instance (see the photo/video) the inner row remained seated, while the outer row moved one seat to the right every two minutes. The (extra) student at the end would spend the two minutes going behind the row to jump in at the other end.

After 25 minutes, the students got ½ an hour to search for literature, based on the suggestions raised.

As a course requirement, students make accounts in the databases consulted, to save any sources found (or use refworks). As the teacher I am the time keeper and circulate during the last ½ hour.

In the second half of the seminar we follow up by discussing how to write a 'literature review' based on the sources found.

Homework for next session is to fill in a form with their list of sources. This counts as a part of their Guidelines for beginning your master's thesisportfolio exam.

First and foremost students learn to engage with each other's work-in-progress and to give feedback – to be active peers. The exercise sharpens the students' analytic sense because they have to break down research questions into their components: Specific keywords and concepts, and to reflect on which academic (sub-)discipline the topic is part of, and hence which database to search from (sociological, philosophical, historical?).

The activity inspires their own searches, and I overheard them during break continue discussions on how to approach topics. When they hit the wall in their own literature searches, they would have new suggestions and combinations to draw from.

Speed dating may seem a little 'gimmicky', but due to the time constraint the students plunged right into the collaboration – there was no time to hesitate and wait for others to take charge. I am confident that academic speed dating will prove useful in many contexts, if you delimit the task for something immediately useful. Last but not least, the students found it fun and rewarding! (as emphasised in many evaluations).

Here is a short video from the course for English BA first semester 2011.

- THEME: Activities in sessions
- THEME: Teaching and digital media
- THEME: Exam and forms of examination
- THEME: Teaching evaluation
- THEME: Feedback
- THEME: Student teachers
- THEME: Internationalisation
- THEME: Activities between sessions
- THEME: Questions in sessions
- THEME: Teaching strategies of studying
- THEME: Conducting research with students
- THEME: Supervision
- Example of practice: Academic skills development
- Example of practice: Academic speed dating
- Example of practice: Academic weekend
- Example of practice: Academic quiz
- Example of practice: Analysis introduction
- Example of practice: Asking questions in academia
- Example of practice: Bridging cultural periods, teachers or courses
- Example of practice: Classroom activity with Prezi as a collaboration tool
- Example of practice: Classroom fieldwork
- Example of practice: Collective supervision
- Example of practice: Conceptual speeddating
- Example of practice: Discussion practice
- Example of practice: Exercises in oral presentation
- Example of practice: Extracurricular student presentations
- Example of practice: European Capital of Culture on the curriculum
- Example of practice: Facilitating study groups
- Example of practice: Feedback on written exercises
- Example of practice: Feedback on web communication
- Example of practice: Fieldwork in rural districts
- Example of practice: Form for assessment and feedback
- Example of practice: Group feedback on individual papers
- Example of practice: Group supervision on individual projects
- Example of practice: Guidelines for beginning your master's thesis
- Example of practice: Handling language issues
- Example of practice: Ideas for master’s thesis at graduate intro
- Example of practice: Interdisciplinarity in teaching
- Example of practice: Interpretation with hermeneutic shock
- Example of practice: Language education with relevant digressions
- Example of practice: Learning diary
- Example of practice: Learning with blogging
- Example of practice: Lightning round evaluation
- Example of practice: Logbook course
- Example of practice: Looped feedback on student products
- Example of practice: Master´s thesis idea bank
- Example of practice: Master’s thesis supervision - Matching the writers and the supervisors
- Example of practice: Material exercises: Study of archaeological source material
- Example of practice: Memory exercise
- Example of practice: Mentor instruction
- Example of practice: Multicultural group work
- Example of practice: Neighbour discussion
- Example of practice: Online intercultural exchange
- Example of practice: Oral feedback on audio file
- Example of practice: Oxford Debate
- Example of practice: Participation in Aarhus Food Festival
- Example of practice: Participatory academic communities
- Example of practice: Peer feedback with the Text Feedback Game
- Example of practice: Peer-to-peer feedback with Google Docs
- Example of practice: Portfolio for research and academic methods
- Example of practice: Poster session
- Example of practice: Presentation with response
- Example of practice: Questioning texts I
- Example of practice: Questioning texts II
- Example of practice: Repetition sheet
- Example of practice: Research workshop with students
- Example of practice: Round Table
- Example of practice: Search exercise with student teachers
- Example of practice: Scheduled group assignments
- Example of practice: Semester reflections
- Example of practice: Student seminars about youtube
- Example of practice: Student teachers in language courses
- Example of practice: Students as guest lecturers
- Example of practice: Students collaborating with Aarhus 2017
- Example of practice: Students collect research data
- Example of practice: Students contribute to web portal
- Example of practice: Study group and feedback guidelines
- Example of practice: Submission with audio or video file
- Example of practice: Supervision on supervision
- Example of practice: Supervision seminar for lecturers
- Example of practice: The academic youtube video
- Example of practice: The art of asking questions
- Example of practice: Treasure hunt at the library
- Example of practice: Wiki for preparation and presentation
- Example of practice: Working with student teachers
- Example of practice: Written exercise with peer assessment