Academic Literacies and Research Skills
for Social Science Graduate Students

About Us

S2S video thumbnail

About Student2Scholar

The Student2Scholar (S2S) modules provide a self-paced, interactive e-learning resource designed to help graduate students in the social sciences succeed at their research assignments and develop a scholarly approach to their field of research. Its production was funded in 2014-2015 by the Ontario Online Initiative, and developed by the S2S team from Western University (Faculty of Education, Western Libraries), the University of Toronto (Ontario Institute of Studies in Education Library), and Queen's University (Queen's Education Library).

S2S Module Design Framework Overview

S2S focuses on the development of academic literacies, which include critical thinking, organization, research, and communication skills. Based on the Association of College & Research Libraries’ Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, and understanding research and scholarly development as an iterative process, S2S takes a holistic approach in the organization of its content. The S2S content is presented as nine modules, plus a pre-module on citation management. These modules are loosely based on a four-phase process of research:

The image below is a map of the S2S journey. It illustrates how the ten S2S modules address four distinct but overlapping phases of social science research: Inquiry and Exploration (green), Investigation and Organization (blue), Analysis and Evaluation (red), and Creation and Communication (yellow). The research process is also iterative, multi-layered, and multi-directional. Each star on the module map represents a module (M-1, M-2, etc.) The stars on the map are interconnected to reflect how any of the modules may be accessed at any time. 

This image also represents the symbolic journey of graduate students who, through engaging in research, aim to become social science scholars. These modules provide a structured yet personalized and self-directed learning experience that will bridge the student and scholar roles.

To learn more about how to use S2S, select Module Guide from the Modules menu above. To begin your journey through the S2S modules, select Modules Overview from the Modules menu, or enter any of the modules directly. A Facilitator's Guide accompanies the modules, offering extension activities and ideas for incorporating the modules into lesson plans.

concept map

These categories loosely model the process of conducting research, but we encourage students to browse through the modules and jump to various sections as needed. Thus, while the modules may be completed sequentially, they may also be entered at any point. This module organization models the non-linear, iterative, recursive, and strategic nature of research and writing. The Module Guide and Module Overview sections provide information for self-directed learning and discovery.

While the S2S modules aim to build core competencies in academic literacy and research skills, they have been designed to complement and supplement instruction and have not been designed to develop research knowledge and skills at the mastery level. While the modules provide a general overview of social science research, they do not provide detailed information or activities related to research within specific areas or fields within the social sciences. The Facilitator’s Guide provides an in-depth explanation of their design and interactive elements, offers strategies for integrating modules sections into curricula, and suggests extension activities for mastery-level learning. 

Using the S2S Logo

Please share the S2S modules widely with your community and organization using the URL ( and logo below. There are two versions of the S2S logo: a horizontal full logo and a thumbnail.

student2scholar logo S2S LogoThumb

Users are free to reproduce the S2S logos, but please be conscious of the size and legibility. Generally, the logo should never appear less than 2 cm (54 px) wide in digital format. Refer to the Graphic Standards Manual for guidelines to use the S2S logos properly. If you have any questions, contact S2S using the Contact Form.

Download the S2S Graphic Standards Manual   |   Download the S2S Logos for Web   |    Download the S2S Logos for Print

Acknowledgements and Funding

S2S was developed by experts in library and information services, graduate research, and online learning for adults. The modules were developed with the support of an advisory “expert feedback” committee, and tested by a range of stakeholders to ensure that the module design suited the needs of a range of students.

S2S is a project funded by the Ontario Online Initiative. The project was developed collaboratively by the S2S team of staff members of Western University’s Faculty of EducationEducation Library, D.B. Weldon Library, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education Library at the University of Toronto, and Queen’s University’s Education Library. See below for a list of individual contributors.

Contributors and Thanks

Organizational and Module Development Committee: Colin Couchman (Faculty of Education, Western University), Monique Flaccavento (OISE Library, University of Toronto), Denise Horoky (Education Library, Western University), Cory Laverty (Education Library, Queen’s University), Christena McKillop (Education Library, Western University), Melanie Mills (D.B. Weldon Library, Western), Elan Paulson (Western), Jenaya Webb (OISE Library, University of Toronto), and Caroline Whippey (Faculty of Education, Western University).

Writers: Melanie-Anne Atkins (Western), Colleen Burgess (D.B. Weldon Library, Western), and Caryl-Anne Stordy (Western).

Design and Development of Modules and Assets: Melanie-Anne Atkins, Caleb Domsy, Red Meat Games, Mary-Lynne Snedden (hiLight Design), Trevor Tyre, and Caroline Whippey.

Expert Feedback Committee: Wanda Beyer (Queen’s), Martin Douglas (Western), Indigo Esmonde (OISE), Sue Fostaty-Young (Queen's University), Laurie Harrison (University of Toronto), Elizabeth Lee (Queen’s), Kim McPhee (Western), Marge Sloan (Western), Esme Fuller Thomson (Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto), and Gavan Watson (Western).

Project Citations - Initial Formatting: John Tyndall (D.B. Weldon Library, Western).

Module 4 Search Techniques "Blast Tutorials": Alex Beaulieu, Cecilia Bernasch, Alex Heintz, Fatika Mirza, Travis Pulchinski, and Allyson Steward (ITRC, Western).

Module Focus Group and Testing:  Melanie-Anne Atkins, Paige-Tiffany Beck, Tina Beynen, James Budrow, Colleen Burgess, Jeremy Colangelo, Colin Couchman, Wendy Crocker, Heather Crowe, Monique Flaccavento, Jeff Johnson, Sandra Halliday, Lisa Harness, Yang Lan, Cory Laverty, Judith Logan, Lori Maddigan, Christena McKillop, Brian McMillan, Melanie Molnar, Kristen Niles, Stephanie Oliver, Elan Paulson, Lisa Philpott, Alicia Robinet, Dan Sich, Caryl-Ann Stordy, Tiffany Trudgeon, and Caroline Whippey.

APA Formatting: Alyson Watson.

Assessment and Revisions: Jim Seale

Special Thanks To: Tom Adam (Western), Larry Alford (Chief Librarian, University of Toronto), John Doerksen (Western), Bobby Glushko (University of Toronto), Joanne Paterson (Western), Todd MacIntyre, Stephanie Oliver (Western), Catherine Steeves (Vice-Provost & Chief Librarian, Western), Mark Swartz (Queen’s), and Martha Whitehead (Vice-Provost and University Librarian, Queen's).

Thank you to the Ontario Online Initiative (OOI).



Access the modules