Day 2: Tuesday, May 31

Connecting libraries to the curriculum with Omeka

Presenter(s) – Becky Thoms, Utah State University

As the information literacy landscape expands to encompass digital literacy, academic libraries are utilizing framework-based instruction to experiment with new ways of reaching faculty and students. In Spring 2014 the Merrill-Cazier Library at Utah State University embarked on a pilot project to integrate the open source digital exhibit platform Omeka into the undergraduate curriculum. The targeted course focused on European History. A team of librarians worked with the professor to design a final research assignment that met the learning objectives of the course and resulted in the students, working in small groups, developing a digital exhibit as the cumulative result of a semester of research. Library staff introduced the students to the Omeka platform, conducted lessons on metadata and copyright, and provided additional training in exhibit creation throughout the semester. Subsequent to this successful pilot project, the Library opened discussions with additional faculty about integrating an Omeka project into their course. In fall 2015, the Library team collaborated with a Spanish course, and students created digital exhibits focused on Spanish-speaking authors and their poetry. Projects included literary analysis and interviews with the authors with Library staff again providing guidance on the tools, metadata, copyright, etc. For the Spring 2016 semester, planning is underway to partner with a multi-disciplinary Honors course focused on sustainability. This presentation will explain the benefits and challenges of this Library-based effort to integrate digital literacy into the curriculum across multiple disciplines. Assessments will be shared, including student surveys about their experiences and learning with this non-traditional research assignment. Finally, the presenters will discuss lessons learned and the scalability of implementing similar projects in additional courses.

Hands on, minds on: Using collections and a makerspace to develop library literacy for 21st century learners

Presenter(s) – Wendy Traas; Jo-Anne Naslund; Yvonne Dawydiak, University of British Columbia

For 21st century learners, what does it mean to be library literate? Can we design intersections that connect learners meaningfully with the unique spaces, resources, and people in our libraries during mass orientation sessions? And especially at a time when budgets and personnel are declining? The goal of this workshop is for participants to consider how to develop engaging and immersive library orientations in times of restraint using a collections-based learning stations model and incorporating a makerspace. In our session we will discuss how the concept of library literacy can be used to frame sessions that promote the value of unique library collections in an “inside-out” way. We will share how reflective exercises can create a bridge between the academic library and school and public libraries. We will discuss how we modeled pedagogical approaches for teacher candidates and enriched connections with educational technology. Finally, we will share our experience of how hands-on, minds-on activities in a pop-up makerspace can develop the dispositions that set the stage for effective information literacy development. Through discussion and participation in hands-on activities at a series of learning stations, participants will determine elements of library literacy of relevance to the learners in their institutions. Working with a reflective learning object in the form of a do-it-yourself “Passport to Library Literacy”, participants will identify the unique collections, spaces, and resources that are necessary for learners to know in order to successfully navigate their own libraries. They will gain an experiential understanding of how makerspace activities promote an open, curious, and self-directed disposition, and how QR codes can be used in educational contexts.

An interdisciplinary pilot project scaffolding course research assignments to incorporate information literacy skill development

Presenter(s) – Nadine Anderson, University of Michigan-Dearborn

Embedding librarians and systematic, multiple Information Literacy (IL) sessions into courses is gaining popularity. However, this is time-intensive for both faculty and librarians; faculty have to find time in their courses for multiple IL sessions, and librarians have to find time to teach all of these sessions across the curriculum. How can we embed librarian expertise and IL skill development into courses in a more sustainable way? This presentation will describe a cross-disciplinary partnership between the Behavioral Sciences librarian and four faculty in Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology at the University of Michigan-Dearborn on a pilot project which addresses this challenge. This pilot project began because faculty were finding that many of the students in their courses seemed to be getting overwhelmed by their research papers and projects, which was reflected in poor performance on these assignments. The pilot project team took an assignment scaffolding approach to address these issues. Assignment scaffolding involves taking complex assignments, such as research papers and projects, and breaking them down into smaller components. The pilot project team systematically restructured the research papers and projects in their courses to create scaffolded assignments reflecting the steps of the research process. IL skill development was integrated into these graded assignments, which built towards final research papers and projects. These scaffolded assignments were then piloted in six courses across Behavioral Sciences disciplines, with assessments to measure the overall effectiveness of this pilot project. This presentation will walk through the process of restructuring and rewriting research papers and projects to incorporate IL skill development in a systematic, meaningful way. This presentation will also discuss the benefits of adopting the assignment scaffolding method to integrate librarian expertise and systematic IL skill development into a course and across the curriculum, as well as the sustainability of this method.

Syllabus language and resource quality grids: Exploring new curricular crossroads

Presenter(s) – Marsha Miller, Indiana State University, Terre Haute

For libraries where traditional instruction sessions are the norm (no info lit-specific courses), we are always looking for ways to meld with courses. Two approaches will be covered, and attendees can weigh in on their potential for their academic institutions and their subject areas. First, syllabus language: syllabi contain many standard/required components; why not add standard language about the resources and levels of use students will need to know how to use as part of the course? I will present a four-level, 10-category chart, inspired by classroom laptop usage standard language developed several years ago by my university. Developing syllabus language may allow for opportunities to re-visit assignments, not just as they are written, but also to look at the learning objectives for those assignments, which may need to be adjusted/further elaborated. If students see similar information across their curriculum, it may impress upon them that we are serious about their needing to learn how to use and then actually use the many resources tied to their academic path. For faculty within a specific department, adding language like this to all courses, not just first-year, may create opportunities to discuss requirements for research papers. Second, requirements for resources for assignments can be notoriously vague (e.g. “use a minimum of 20 quality resources”). Students lack the critical thinking skills needed to judge the quality of Googled resources in relation to the assignment, and are increasingly prone to not using library-based resources. Why not create a ‘resource quality’ grid that can be used by students as they search and by teachers/librarians as a scoring rubric? I will present a five-level, 12-category chart (subtitled Don’t let Google do your thinking for you, just your searching!), developed for a freshman-level political science course.

Constructivism theory, information literacy frames and active learning: Implications for the delivery of library instruction

Presenter(s) – Evelyn Ugwu-George, Curry College

One of the most remarkable recommendations of the new ACRL Framework is to empower students to be active participant in their education. The document goes on to say that “Students have a greater role and responsibility in creating new knowledge, in understanding the contours and the changing dynamics of the world of information and using information, data and scholarship ethically.” Overall, the Frames offer new approach to teaching and learning. The complexities and challenges of achieving the promises of the Framework have been expressed in debates and questions on how best to adopt or integrate them into traditional library instruction. This presentation will explore constructivism theory as a way of designing Information literacy instruction from one shot classes to full curricula integration. According to Mayer and Hendry (as cited in Karagiorgi and Symeou, 2005, p.18) “Constructivism theory is when knowledge is being actively constructed by the individual and knowing is an adaptive process which organizes an individual’s experiential world.” The aim of this presentation is to show how constructivism can provide us with a new structure for planning and designing IL instruction with the new Framework. Some of the basic constructivism principles such as active learning, collaborative learning and the importance of prior knowledge will demonstrate how this theory can effectively be used to design an IL session. This presentation will therefore highlight the reasoning of the new Framework, and attempt to achieve the promise of restructuring Information Literacy instruction from prescriptive teaching to a more robust inclusive engaging learning environment using the constructivism theory. Benefits and limitations of this theory will be examined, and the presentation will conclude with some recommendations for practice.

Translating information literacy instruction for multimedia projects

Presenter(s) – Bo Baker; Emily Thompson, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga

Media assignments for faculty and students tend to be an act of translation. Supposed digital natives are assumed to be adept communicators in all media despite the fact that most of their education focuses on the research papers with little to no training in media creation. Framing media projects as an act of translation helps students and faculty make the jump into video, audio, graphics, and other media by building on the literacy skills they already have while sliding technical acumen into the passenger seat. This presentation will look at how our Studio, a multimedia creation space, adapts library instruction pedagogy for multimedia projects. Much as traditional Library Instruction teaches students critical thinking skills and how to evaluate resources, we encourage students to think beyond consuming media into how its made. We draw parallels to the writing skills they already possess and teach them how to apply them in a multimedia environment. While the technology is helpful, we stress the concepts and ideas necessary to support an argument in a multimedia environment. This session will walk through our process using a case study of a recent class: from the first meeting with faculty, to the in-class sessions, to helping students through the process of gathering materials and turning them into a final project. We will go over our model and answer questions as to how attendees can adapt it for their own libraries.

At a crossroads: After a college wide assessment of information literacy – partnering across campus for curricular change

Presenter(s) – Brandy Whitlock, Anne Arundel Community College

After instituting a set of college-wide core competencies at Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) and creating a map to identify when degree-bearing programs develop and assess these competencies in their curricula, we did not know to what extent our graduating students could demonstrate these competencies, nor how to revise and support program curricula and pedagogies to improve student proficiencies. To this end, AACC’s Learning Outcomes Assessment Plan established a system and schedule for assessing each of AACC’s core competencies, information literacy among them. Additionally, as a participant in the Association of College & Research Libraries’ Assessment in Action (AiA) program, a team from AACC investigated the mechanisms at the college meant to develop and assess this competency, from program curricula to the teaching strategies and research assignments deployed by faculty. The results of the college-wide assessment indicate that AACC’s students still struggle to demonstrate appropriate information literacy skills by the time they graduate, but the results have also provided college practitioners and stakeholders with data that can inform decisions about how to better infuse program curricula with opportunities for developing and assessing information literacy skills, as well as how to foster more effective teaching and learning. To improve students’ competencies, AACC’s Andrew G. Truxal Library has initiated collaborations across the college to “close the assessment loop,” that is, to modify curricula and pedagogies in order to strengthen students’ opportunities to develop and demonstrate their information literacy skills. Presentation attendees will hear lessons learned from AACC’s college-wide assessment—especially those learned from deploying multiple, mixed assessment measures simultaneously—and will discuss strategies for partnering with stakeholders and practitioners to affect curricular and pedagogical change across the college.

Helping our students learn how to learn: Metacognitive strategies and activities for information literacy instruction

Presenter(s) – Eveline Houtman, University of Toronto

“One of the best gifts teachers can give students are the experiences that open their eyes to themselves as learners” (Weimer, 2014). To help students to become self-regulated learners, we need to support them in learning how to learn. Research shows that many university students have little insight on how they learn and that teaching them strategies for metacognition and self-regulated learning has a high impact on their academic success. The new ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education in fact recognizes the importance of metacognition and dispositions. But what does this mean in our practice? How can we develop students’ self-awareness and learning skills in the context of information literacy instruction? This session will discuss metacognitive strategies and activities used in library instruction at the University of Toronto – what worked, what didn’t work, what we might try next, how it shaped our thinking on teaching. This session will also allow participants to share their own strategies. Participants will be given a resource list where they can learn more about self-regulated learning and metacognitive strategies.

Taking the show on the road: Helping institutions implement the ACRL IL Framework and develop an IL strategy

Presenter(s) – Sarah Shujah, Centenial College; Colleen Burgess, Western University

The ACRL Framework for Information Literacy (IL) for Higher Education presents librarians with a unique challenge to the design and delivery of IL instruction at academic institutions. Also, it invites an opportunity for collaboration among librarians beyond their home institutions to study, engage, and counter its approach to IL. Through revision and feedback opportunities, threshold concept trainings and immersions, conferences and workshops, and now implementing the Framework in our institutions’ IL strategies, librarians are building partnerships to engage and contend with the Framework. The presenters, originally from TRY (Toronto, Ryerson, and York University Libraries), want to share their experiences with developing effective workshops that explore the Framework, that help implement the Framework in teaching, and build ideas for institutional IL strategies. Furthermore, they will introduce participants to a community generated, instructor led wiki where librarians can share examples for intersecting, implementing, and integrating the Framework pedagogy. By expanding beyond their home institutions, the presenters found intersections in their pedagogical approach to IL. They have collaborated on the Framework feedback process, and facilitated a fishbowl conversation on the Framework at the 2015 OLA Superconference. Recently, the pair ‘took the show on the road’ to establish partnerships with librarians across Ontario to build capacity in the theoretical approach to IL, analyzing the threshold concepts, and using the document to inspire a revitalized approach to IL. The presenters will discuss workshops that they have offered at York, University of Toronto, Western, and Carleton, including session plans, best practices for Framework workshops, lessons learned, and how librarians can join the community and bring the conversation to their institution. Participants will leave the session with IL workshops ideas to engage librarians with the Framework at their home institutions, best practices for developing workshops, and an enthusiasm to join the TRY wiki community.

Minding the gender gap: Building representation through Wikipedia edit-a-thons

Presenter(s) – Emily Kingsland, McGill University

Wikipedia is one of the internet’s largest and most popular general reference works, with over 18 billion page views and 500 million unique visitors every month. However, only approximately 15% of Wikipedia’s editors are female. In an effort to close Wikipedia’s gender gap, the uOttawa Library and the McGill Library both forged unique partnerships to hold Wikipedia Edit-a-Thons. In 2015, the uOttawa Library partnered with the Institute for Feminist and Gender Studies and in 2016 McGill Library partnered with the Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies. These inclusive, instructor-led events encouraged a diverse community of students, staff, and faculty to create a Wikipedia account and edit articles broadly relating to interdisciplinary topics, including those related to their respective universities and feminist issues. The edit-a-thons interwove both information literacy and digital literacy, as participants linked back to open access resources available in the Universities’ digital repositories, promoting their discoverability and encouraging serendipitous discovery of the library’s digital assets. This presentation will touch on how the partnerships with the respective Institutes were formed and how it nurtured an information-literate community. It will also examine how open access resources and Wikipedia articles were selected for the project and how this encouraged life-long learning. Lastly, the presentation will share challenges and lessons learned, an analysis of participant feedback, and a look ahead at possible traditional and non-traditional partnerships outside of our own institutions.

Thresholds of privacy: How librarians play a role in educating patrons about online privacy

Presenter(s) – Nikki Tummon, McGill University; Paula Cardozo, University of Lethbridge

Discussing privacy in a society under surveillance doesn’t need to be boring or fear-based. It can be thought-provoking, interactive, empowering, and surprisingly funny. The ACRL Framework for Information Literacy (IL) for Higher Education states that learners who are developing their IL abilities should “make informed choices regarding their online actions in full awareness of issues related to privacy and the commodification of personal information.” In an increasingly complex digital landscape, librarians have a vital role to play in educating users about privacy. Understanding how libraries collect, store, and share user data contribute to a person’s ability to use information technology responsibly. This session will explore how Canadian university libraries use privacy policies as one approach to educating patrons about their rights as they access licensed electronic resources and hand over personal information. Of course, protecting privacy rights goes beyond the library. Contemporary examples enable us to evaluate the consequences of online surveillance and engage patrons in stimulating classroom discussions on a diverse array of topics including Bill C-51, Hello Barbie, Runaway Surveillance Blimp (a.k.a. “Fled Zeppelin”), the Ashley Madison hack, Facebook, FitBit, Google Street View, Maher Arar, and Rob Ford. We will provide a short overview of privacy policies at CARL institutions and different viewpoints on their effectiveness, share insights on key IL threshold concepts related to the value of information creation and privacy, discuss new technologies to protect our online privacy, and reflect on our own agency in demanding better from governments, corporations, and libraries.

Discovering the junction: Professor expectations and student interpretations of academic skills

Presenter(s) – Melanie Parlette-Stewart, University of Guelph

As reflected by the movement in higher education to develop and assess learning outcomes, there is a demand to demonstrate the competencies, sometimes referred to as graduate attributes, a university education will provide. These competencies or attributes include skill sets required to succeed in academic pursuits, broadly including writing, learning and research skills. As members of the Learning Commons, we provide front-line support to students and witness, first-hand, the challenges in student skill development in the areas of information literacy, learning and writing. Through a collaborative, cross-unit research project funded by the University of Guelph’s Scholarship of Teaching and Learning research grant, we have identified, in the teaching and learning in third year university courses, a series of disconnects A. between the learning, writing and information literacy skills professors expect students to possess and the skills students actually possess when they enter the course; B. between professor expectations of student skill requirements and student interpretation of skill requirements from the course outline; and C. between professor and student understandings of where students should develop these skills (i.e. in class or outside of class). Based on our findings, we aim to inform the academic support delivery of units within the Learning Commons of the Library, as well as to encourage collaborations across units that support teaching and learning. This session will present the literature; introduce our research methodology and approach to recruitment of both students and faculty; offer interpretations on student understandings of course outlines; and demonstrate the value of both collaborative, cross-unit and cross-departmental research, as well as cross-disciplinary research. After the presentation, we will encourage dialogue and questions, and hope that these conversations will inform avenues for potential collaborations between staff that focus on student skills and curriculum development.