Teaching Las Vegas style!

I haven’t as yet posted anything on this blog about classroom exercises I’ve developed over the years. With that in mind, I thought that I would share this one with you; partly because it’s one of my favourites and also because it’s great fun. Of course, it’s a useful way of showcasing the digital resources our libaries pay a lot of money for. Similarly, I  like the idea of encouraging students to get their hands covered in digitial dust.

So I introduce to you…

Source Roulette

This week you are asked to look at  [NAME OF DIGITAL DATABASE], available through the database section of the LJMU library website. You are asked to explore the delights of this database.

Your task is to choose THREE sources and to consider the following questions:

  • What kind of source is this? What do you need to consider when using this particular type of source.
  • Who was its intended audience? How do you know?
  • What does this source tell us about
  1. Lecture topic in general
  2. Gender
  3. Class
  4. Life-stage
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of this source?
  • What is silenced/marginalised in this source?
  • Think about the database as well. How user freedly is this database? What do you think you need to be aware of when using this database?

Your three sources must be different from one another and can include text-based sources and visual sources.

Once you have chosen your three sources and unpacked them using the questions above you are asked to email them to me with each source on a separate PowerPoint slide and send them to me.  We will then reconvene as class where you will present a source chosen by me to the group for 2 minutes!

[Please feel free to use the above & adapt it for any classes you might want to enliven. Do let me know if you do use it!]


  • I’ve used this task for small groups and individuals in classroom time.
  • I’ve used it showcase the Victorian Popular Culture Database and also newspaper databates we subscribe too.

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