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LILAC Instruction Chat 2/23/21

On this installment of the LILAC Instruction Chat, we heard from Emma Antobam-Ntekudzi, on her experience conducting instruction for a Nursing 100 (Gerontology) class.

The class was tasked with finding evidence based practice research with very specific criteria (authored by a nurse, published in a nursing journal, published within the last 7 years, etc.). The traditional approach to this course included a one shot session with a librarian followed by appointments with individual students or groups who needed more help. The sessions were more demonstrative with scheduled follow ups expected later.

Challenges to the session included the short time constraints, the difficulty of the research parameters and too much time spent reviewing citation tools like Refworks rather than learning and attempting the research process. The students also proved challenging as they had different levels of experience in research, were often hesitant to research things of their own interest (more interested in finding and writing about an easy topic to research) as well as anxiety about the course load of the nursing program in general.

Instructor Emma Antobam-Ntekudzi decided to change the format of the session in the hopes of creating more time for group work and conversation. The instructor divided the session equally between a lesson and group work. The instructor demonstrated how to use the PICO model (Patient/Population/Problem, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome) to identify sources as well as explaining what an evidence based research article includes. Students were asked to conduct research and then answer specific prompts: provide article citation, what were your keywords, does the article have methods, result, and conclusion (Evidence Based Research), what journal is it coming from, and lastly an explanation of the article based on the abstract. While some groups were able to complete the assignment, others were not.

Future suggestions for the session include additional sessions to spend more time helping the students, requesting more session time from the professors, reviewing and discussing the assignment parameters with the nursing program, and creating a flipped model to give the students more time to observe and learn the research process before arriving to the session.

Instruction Librarians Talk about Teaching and Learning: Hunter College Libraries’ 2015 Library Instruction Day

Instruction day icebreaker
Icebreaker: Would you rather be able to fly, or be invisible?

At Hunter College Libraries, we often complain that there is rarely time available for us (those who teach) to talk about our teaching and share ideas, both best practices and biggest challenges. This spring, Sarah Ward and I began considering a time and space for such a conversation. In an attempt to be as inclusive and democratic as possible, we (the organizers) invited interested library faculty and staff to complete a Doodle poll to choose the best date and then, following an “unconference” model, to nominate topics via a Padlet “wall.” Expenses for the event were minimal: adjunct coverage at the reference desks.  We invited folks to bring brown bag lunches, and we organizers contributed some cookies.

Library Instruction Day became a reality on Tuesday, June 23 from 10-1, with approximately 14 of us attending, representing all four of Hunter’s libraries; members of the technical services team, as well as reference and instruction. We began the day with an icebreaker: Which super-power would you rather have, flight or invisibility, and why? Participants, fairly evenly divided, shared their answers on a white board.

Hunter's library instruction day
Take-aways from Hunter College’s Library Instruction Day

We then spent about an hour gaining context in an interactive workshop lead by Meredith Reitman, Hunter’s Director of Assessment, titled “What are your students really learning?” The remaining two hours were spent in informal discussion of ideas from the participant-generated list (seeded with a few additional items by the organizers).  Attempting to practice what we preach, we closed by asking each participant to generate a three-item “to do” list, based on ideas generated by the event. Each person then shared his/her top item on the white board.

Our discussion was great and the feedback was generally positive, with interest in making the event annual. What do you do in your library to meet this need?

Intentional Informationists

Among the 2013 top twenty articles recommended by ALA Library Instruction Round Table, <http://www.ala.org/lirt/sites/ala.org.lirt/files/content/archive/2014jun.pdf> Hoffmann and Wallace’s “Intentional Informationists” is of particular interest. [See citation below] The case study depicts IL practice at California State University-Channel Islands, a young institution of ten years history (as of the time the article was written). Their goal is to shift “the emphasis from literate to informed, from passive receptors of information to intentional users and consumers of information.” The authors define an “intentional informationist” as a person with “the contextual, reflective and informational skills to identify information opportunities, tackle complex information problems and pitfalls, and provide solutions or considerations that do not just meet her individual needs.” (Full text can be retrieved in ScienceDirect)

Hoffmann, Debra, and Amy Wallace. “Intentional informationists: Re-envisioning information literacy and re-designing instructional programs around faculty librarians’ strengths as campus connectors, information professionals, and course designers.” The Journal of Academic Librarianship 39.6 (2013): 546-551.


A recent PIL report on workplace readiness

Information literacy is an important component in a set of critical thinking skills. Or, do we all agree that information literacy is a ‘prerequisite’ in critical thinking skills?

Back in April 2012, LILAC and Gale co-sponsored an event at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The theme was ‘Workplace Readiness: Gaps in critical thinking skills of early career professionals’. (Check Amrita Dhawan’s posting on this blog on March 27 and on April 17, 2012 for a description of the event.)

A newly released research report coincides LILAC’s April event “Workplace Readiness”.

Founded in 2008 at University of Washington, Project Information Literacy (PIL) carries its mission that is to conduct ‘ongoing, large-scale research about early adults and their research habits.’< http://projectinfolit.org/about/> The organization investigates issues on college student, especially freshmen, to see how they adjust from high school environment to the college information landscape.  Now, PIL moves a step further with its current report: How College Graduates Solve Information Problems Once They Join the Workplace. The report is written by Dr. Alison J. Head, Director of PIL and a Fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society and the Harvard Library Innovation Lab.

The PIL report is based on interviews with 23 employers and 33 recent graduates in the U.S. Among findings, I found the lack of social skills to be prominent and profound. Our current IL practice is usually focused on college course work in the form of classroom learning while students’ life after graduation is less of a concern.  Students acquire knowledge and get information from their professors. When they joined the workforce, however, they are on their own. No teachers, no mentors, no professor to teach them how to find/filter/sort/synthesize/utilize information when their boss wants; traditional Google search won’t do the trick; and there is a deadline. The people they can turn to now are colleagues but the new grads don’t know how and when to ask. Apparently, a set of social skills is necessary, to say the least. We are aware that campus mentality is different from real world in the form of workplace; hence we shall teach students surviving skills for their future. How do we teach this set of skills and integrate the content into the current IL curriculum is an open question. After all, the mission of information literacy programs is to create lifelong learners. Another notable finding is that new college graduates are not ready for corporate’s deadline pressure because they are so used to casual schedule in college. It gives us something to think about.

1) Watch the preview/summary of the report: <http://youtu.be/5gOtjexhyvE>

2) The full report is available at <http://projectinfolit.org/pdfs/PIL_fall2012_workplaceStudy_FullReport.pdf>

3) Read Barbara Fister’s comments on the report (posted on Inside Higher Ed)  <http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/library-babel-fish/project-information-literacy-inventing-workplace>

VALUE rubrics at LaGuardia Community College

At LaGuardia Community College, faculty are using VALUE rubrics to assess student learning.  A modified VALUE rubric for information literacy was used to assess students’ research and information literacy competency.   Work from students with 25 credits or less and from students with 45 credits or more was examined, and the scores compared.  The observed increase demonstrated that “the college is effectively helping students to make gains in research and information literacy throughout the curriculum, cumulatively over time”  (Clark & Eynon, 2011, page 8).

Association of American Colleges and Universities. (n.d.).  VALUE: Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education.  Available at http://www.aacu.org/value/

Clark, J. E. & Eynon, B. (2011).  Measuring student progress with E-portfolios.  Peer review, 13(4) & 14(1): 6-8.  Available at http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=71944246&site=ehost-live

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