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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Revamping a Freshman Seminar Information Literacy Program

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Revamping a Freshman Seminar Information Literacy Program






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    Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Revamping a Freshman Seminar Information Literacy Program Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Revamping a Freshman Seminar Information Literacy Program Presentation Transcript

    • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Revamping a Freshman Seminar Information Literacy Program   Amanda Izenstark Mary C. MacDonald University of Rhode Island University Libraries Kingston, RI
    • Why Reduce, Reuse, Recycle?
      • Reduce
      • Student library anxiety, mentor boredom, instructor frustration, librarian apathy
      • Reuse
      • Previous successes in instruction (activities, questions, techniques, methods)
      • Recycle
      • The things about your sessions that meet your goals and outcomes
    • Our Raw Materials
      • URI 101: Freshman Seminar Program, started in 1995. Introduced new students to the University Library and catalog.
        • Short tour of Library
        • Demonstration of the catalog
        • Hands-on practice with the catalog
        • Worksheet
      • In 2006, 1853 students in 87 sessions came to the library.
    • Is it worth recycling?
      • What did we like about our previous format?
        • Easy-to-do tour, demonstration, and worksheet format.
        • Worked well on its own when the program was started.
        • Nice face-to-face session with many new students.
        • Easily facilitated by both busy librarians and grad student trainees.
      • However, the original format was looking a little used.
        • Student mentors were not enthusiastic.
        • OPACs commonplace by now!
        • Sense of pervasive boredom.
        • Some no-shows and cancellations.
        • ...And the future of URI 101 was not clear.
    • Using & Renewing Resources
      • Departmental change
        • Appointment of a Head of Instruction
        • Addition of the Reference & Instructional Design Librarian
      • Collaborative opportunity
        • Meeting URI 101 Student Mentor Representative
      • What we wanted to know:
        • What does the mentor think students should know?
        • What vision did he have for the program?
        • How can we incorporate his ideas -- including a scavenger hunt -- into a deliverable model?
    • Part 1: What We Wanted
      • Originally, really wanted a tutorial... Plan B: Keep the small-group Library visit:
        • Importance of "Library as Place"
        • Importance of librarians as approachable people
        • Importance of positive public relations
      • How can we make our dog-and-pony-show student-powered ? Two Models of Instructional Design
        • Backward Design
        • Deb Gilchrist's Five Questions for Assessment Design
    • Model 1: Backward Design
      • From Making the Most of Understanding by Design , p. 17: The best instructional designs are backward; that is they begin with desired results, rather than with instructional activities... [involving] three interrelated stages:
        • Identifying desired results (such as enduring understandings, essential questions, and enabling knowledge objectives).
        • Determining acceptable evidence to assess and to evaluate student achievement of desired results.
        • Designing learning activities to promote all students' mastery of desired results and their subsequent success on identified assessment tasks.
    • Model 2: Gilchrist's 5 Questions
      • Five Questions for Assessment Design:
        • Outcome : What do you want the student to be able to do?
        • IL Curriculum : What does the student need to know in order to do this well?
        • Pedagogy : What activity will facilitate the learning?
        • Assessment : How will the student demonstrate the learning?
        • Criteria for Evaluation : How will I know the student has done this well?
      • Above, and following two slides:
      • Gilchrist, D. (2007). Improving student experience: Assessment-as- learning. ACRL Institute for Information Literacy: Illinois Immersion Program Participant Notebook. Chicago: ACRL.
    • Instructional Design Process Identify Problem Conduct Needs Analysis Develop Solution Implement Solution Evaluate Solution
    • Learning Outcomes in Instructional Design Identify Problem 1. What do you want the student to be able to do? Needs Analysis 2. What do they need to know in order to do this well? Develop Solution 3. What activity will facilitate the learning? Implement Solution 4. How will students demonstrate their learning? Evaluate Solution 5. How will the student know they have done well?
    • Part 2: Collaboration
      • Used Gilchrist's 5 Questions to determine:
        • What the URI 101 Mentors wanted the students to know
        • What we wanted the students to know
      • Tips that smoothed the collaboration process:
        • Using the mentors' jargon to level the playing field
        • Willingness to try to align our expectations with theirs
        • Listening to their ideas about students and the library
    • The Result: A 3-Part Program
      • Pre-Activity
        • Brief Web searching exercise that asked students to find a source suitable for college-level research
      • Classroom Session
        • Re-used maps and exercises created in several different, highly successful instruction sessions.
      • Post-Activity
        • Adapted scavenger hunt: "The Information Excavation" with subject focus whenever possible.
        • Required thorough search of Library's resources online , not in person
    • The Major Changes
      • Moved from the tour/demo/worksheet to an interactive format:
        • Built questions that were discovery- and discussion-based.
        • Emphasized in-class investigation of answers to questions about library services and resources.
        • Devised questions that would show rather than tell.
      • Created a flexible framework that made it easy to use subject-specific examples to lead students toward tools that relate to their major.
    • Goals and Learning Outcomes
      • Goals of the Library Experience instruction session
        • Introduce students to the Library as place (for group work, study, research and information seeking).
        • Introduce the array of services the Library provides that support student research and learning.
      • Learning Outcomes
        • Students will identify primary service areas of the library in order to become familiar with the building.
        • Students will explore features of the Library's web site in order to locate services and materials for college-level research.
        • Students will use the Library catalog in order to find books.
        • Students will discuss searching the open web in order to evaluate a source's suitability for college-level research.
    • Aligning Goals & Outcomes with Standards
      • URI 101 has no research component, but the Library Experience introduces IL Standards 2 and 3: Standard 2 - The information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently.
      • Performance Indicator 1c - Investigates the scope, content, and organization of information retrieval systems.
      • Standard 3 - The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system.
      • Performance Indicator 2 a-d - The information literate student articulates and applies initial criteria for evaluating both the information and its sources.
    • Assessing the Program
      • How will I know the students have done this well? Our assessment asked students:
        • Name three things you learned
        • Two things you're unclear about
        • One thing you'll do differently when researching
      • Results showed that most students learned the things we had identified as our goals and outcomes for the session.
    • Making it a Habit
      • Getting buy-in from colleagues:
        • Preview sessions to elicit feedback
        • Training sessions to prepare instructors
        • Re-emphasizing need for active and spontaneous learning
      • Collaboration with the first-year coordinators:
        • Remember that you may have to compromise a little
        • Posted our session materials on their web site
        • Compare assessments and bridge the differences
    • Success!
      • 2007 resulted in 108 sections with 2259 students.
        • Reached 21 more sections, 406 more students.
        • Almost no cancellations, two no-shows.
        • Students were more engaged.
      • Comments:
      • URI Students: Noted availability of help, variety of resources available (beyond Google!) Mentors: "We liked it." "Very helpful." "Informative." Instructors: "300% better!" Prof. Cathy English Librarians: So much more fun!
    • For Next Time: More Re-Use!
      • After meeting with URI 101 staff:
        • Seeing assessment helped refine instruction.
        • Morphed the post-activity into the pre-activity; moved some activities from pre-activity to in-class session.
        • In-class activities adjusted and re-ordered to reinforce and ensure the coverage of formalized goals and desired outcomes.
        • Built/added more support for librarians.
        • Tweaking our evaluation/assessment forms to get more specific information.
    • At Home: Revamp Your Session
      • Select strategies to help you plan and assess instruction:
        • Instructional Design Principles
        • Deb Gilchrist's 5 Questions for Assessment Design
      • Reduce apathy and anxiety:
        • Use Active Learning techniques to lead students to discovery
        • Prevent student frustration - highlight tools that lead to success
        • Create opportunities for discussion
        • Tailor activities to subject interests whenever possible
      • Remember: collaboration is not just coordination
        • Find and aim for common goals.
    • Questions We Asked Ourselves
      • Do freshmen use books anymore? How much do first semester freshmen need to know? How much do you have to give up in order to collaborate? How do you make the program scalable and adjustable for your institution's needs? What do you do with colleagues who are not the best presenters, but who you need to present, due to specialized knowledge, limited staff, etc?
    • Bibliography
        • Brown, J. L. (2004).  Making the most of Understanding by Design . Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
        • Gilchrist, D. (2007). Improving student experience: Assessment-as- learning. ACRL Institute for Information Literacy: Illinois Immersion Program Participant Notebook. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries.