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Job talk delivered at Loyola University in Chicago on April 29, 2013.

Job talk delivered at Loyola University in Chicago on April 29, 2013.



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  • I’ve been asked to come here today to speak about my approach to planning and delivering instruction and outreach to new college students.
  • Specifically, I am going to address instruction and outreach to new college students in the context of new trends in higher education.
  • While I borrowed these categories, I took it further to develop a theoretical model that I hope has specific relevancy for Loyola, and we will see how this ties together by the end of my presentation.But to be clear about what we mean by these categories:Curricular instruction is instruction that takes place in the classroom or targeted around a specific assignment.Co-Curricular instruction is the content and services we apply outside the for-credit classroom, at the reference desk, online, and in workshopsExtra curricular instruction and outreach is teaching and learning activities outside any formal learning or research environment. It is “fun,” but as we will see, it can also be impactful/meaningful.I how to show how these three categories are interrelated and involve overlapping approaches to technology, teaching styles, and Collaboration. So I am going to go through these categories and describe my approach in each context, drawing on examples of work I have done on Illinois, highlighting things I have observed at Loyola, and outside examples I think could be implemented.
  • - Documentation is essential. The first step to curricular instruction is being explicit about what it is that we are going to to teach and why.INFORMED, not entirely dictated by the ACRL standards. We need to be in-line with professional objectives, but “their competency- and skills-based approach, with individual attributes inventoried, has often limited pedagogical innovation and foreclosed deepened collaboration with faculty, information technologists, teaching and learning centers, etc”- As we have more instruction responsibilities, we need to develop SLOs with associated lesson plans and activities that are adaptable, reusable and shareable – can be applied in different classes with minor revisions – especially relevant for consistency and reusability across classes with multiple sections- Assessment is a buzzword, and not a primary focus today, but SLOs enable assessment- Collaboration: we should develop these outcomes in concert with and through outreach to faculty and program administrators
  • And how, in curricular context are these things relevant to new student in particular?I see a major part of instruction and outreach as introducing students to the concept of research, and differentiating it from the concept of search. Everyone “knows how” to do a web search, but they do not know how to do research. Move beyond the materials locating the materials of a discipline to questions about the concepts, intellectual organization and ways of thinking used by experts in the field. NEW STUDENTS might not yet have a discipline, but we can introduce them to the idea of NEW STUDENTS might not yet have a discipline, but we can introduce them to the idea of disciplinarity. Badke Quote: “Academics are so concerned with what we know, of what we could know, that we have neglected how we know or come to know. The true academic expertise is that of the disciplinarian, the person who knows how to walk through the data until the answer emerges.” While I might argue that there is usually never “an answer,” the point is to teach student to navigate information with wisdom.”NEW TEACHING Style Threshold concepts: Authority is constructed and contextual; authority in a discipline is not de facto or absolute, rather it should be contested and engaged with – this is the type of critical thinking we want to develop/foster. We don’t simply – and faculty do no want – students to regurgitate information but analyze, process and evaluate it. - Importance of the Humanities: We need to foster the development of the skills that lie at the foundation of the humanities for students in all disciplines, as they are relevant to students personal and professional lives: these include, the ability to analyze and contextualize primary and secondary sources; texts are not neutral, but require interpretation; the ability to construct and deconstruct narratives and theories; and the ability to distinguish between better and worse forms of argument. THESE have real-world applications
  • SLOs have an active verb – “differentiate” – and specify what students will be able to do as a result of their learningThis is applicable in multiple disciplines, as it does not define what a primary source is, only that students should be able to identify appropriate ones within their disciplinary contextThreshold concept: primary source is an exact and conditional category: Primary and secondary sources are created and used differently in different disciplines.The same source could be considered primary material in one context and shift to secondarywhen viewed through a different disciplinary or temporal lens.Assessable: Quiz, which of these is an example of primary source? Vs. open-ended, what are the characteristics of a primary source? Each of these would give you different types of data based on the same learning outcome.
  • - The previous SLO was from a project I have done that involves more thoroughly integrating primary sources – already found in abundance in our archives and special collections departments – into undergraduate educationThere is a growing body of literature on this: Peter Carini, towards new standards? Mention this as an area of collaboration within the libraryThese are hands-on, active learning exercises – describe lesson plan at DePaul: getting students to analyze, identify author, perspective, chronology, etc.NEW Technologies: this can be put into place outside archives, using abundant, growing, free online collections of primary sourcesSo, one way to innovate in our teaching is to move away in IL education from instruction based entirely on secondary sources
  • An activity that can be incorporated into any class is My “Mike” Mason – A collection I processed at the Student Life and Culture Archive, Mason was a 1916 Illinois graduate, track star, and officer during WWI.Prompt can be creative, for writing classes, foreign language classesOr scholarly, short essay, criticismPoint: to get students familiar with primary sources, how to find them, and use them. Introduces students to primary sources, and shows them how they are the ones telling the story; sources do not give “the answer” but we must interpret them
  • A quite different example of curricular instruction and outreach for new students is ESL courses at Illinois.Point: for this type of one-shot curricular instruction to be successful, it requires close collaboration with program administrators and the library. We need to have clear communication and establish relationships with faculty and program administratorsHow do you tell if it goes well? Minute papers and overall sense
  • Authenticity: tutorials should enable students to perform relevant/necessary tasksPoint of need: they should be incorporated into websites where they will have the most impactsWorkshops – provide areas to apply learning, as well as building blocks to supports and reinforce learning- SCREWING AROUND is different that SLOs, but I am a believer that libraries are rightly evolving to be places of experimentation where there might sometimes not be an end product or assessable learning outcome. The real value is in the process of experimentation. Ramsay “each path through the vast archive as an important moment in the world’s duration—as an invitation to community, relationship, and play”
  • UGL offers a drop-in services that is perhaps more accessible/less intimidating to students than traditional reference desk – applicable for new studentsA sort of middle ground between embedded librarianship and reference deskA way of experimenting with alternate service locations; have office hours around campus?Scheduling services also allows collaboration with other departments, eg., the Writer’s Workshop at Illinois
  • I lead a number of sessions in the Savvy Researcher workshop series at IllinoisThese were developed to provide both tool-based and skill-based workshops on topics like citation managers, basic research skills, to GIS services
  • Another activity that supports curricular instruction and workshopsDescribe SavvyIMPORTANT for us: document processes so there is no reinventing the wheel in regards to technologies we as librarians use. I did this for Camtasia and Audacity at Illinois
  • When invited to classes, try to find relevant new resources, digital collections, participatory projects, digital critical editions, etc. that can somehow be related to curriculum, even if tangentiallyDescribe ORBISPoint: introducing students to tools and getting them to understand the technologies behind them is exploratory, active learning AND relevant to understand DH for students planning to continue in the HumanitiesLibrarians can be apprehensive about teaching things we don’t fully understand.We don’t necessarily need to be proficient in all the skills required to make DH projects – but we need to be prepared to connect students with resources on campus who are.
  • You can of course do more in-depth mapping with this resource, do things like export data in CSV format to use in other applications
  • Building on the last point, the emerging field is highly collaborative, and there are opportunities to work with constituencies outside the library to develop workshopsI was involved in collaborating with staff at Campus IT at IllinoisDigital Humanities M.A. program – people who are actively participating and can be brought in to teach skills. Mutually beneficial: young scholars there might be looking to gain teaching/instruction experience
  • Extracurricularoutreach and instruction is perhaps the most relevant to new students, because if done well, it is going to be their “easiest” point of contact with the libraryBecause the stakes are low – no covert teaching is going on – the impact can still be highIt can use social media, and be mission-orientedBut it is also cheap or free. Borrowing from an open-source software called Curator’s Workbench, this service is often “free like kittens” – it is given to you but takes time and energy to cultivate and thriveStudents can tell when we are invested in activities and when it is half-hearted, so if we are going to do it, it requires effort.
  • ACRL panel: there were many excellent suggestions running the gamut from food/social events, wikipedia edit-a-thons, book arts, etc. But two I would like to highlight are button makers: experience shows it is something that students really love, formal or informal branding- Pop up (special) collections – at orientations, departments, prospective student gatherings – an activity that demonstrates we are serious about introducing ourselves and our collections to students
  • My approach to social media is that it should be used with specific goals in mind, not used for its own sake. That said, it is an excellent way to reduce barriers to participation in the library. Goal is to make students familiar with library spaces, services, and staffLoyola has a great example that I saw recentlyYou have knowledgeable users who seemed to get everything pretty quickly, but this type of activity could be directed at new students during things like orientations
  • Learning outcomes that we develop through curricular, co-curricular and extracurricular introduction and outreach that can be employed in real-world contexts. We need to communicate to these potential partners how information literacy skills can be used in service.- But also, you may be thinking that this aspect of engaged and service learning would more appropriately be part of curricular instruction because it is a major focus at Loyola.
  • However, as I said at the outset, I believe this model has particular relevancy for Loyola because it is integrated, and cyclical. These three contexts – curricular, co-curricular and extracurricular – should be integrated. We need to constantly consider how students are going to apply what they learn in the library both in future classes, and in the outside world.
  • Describe steps, starting with ExtracurricularOther contexts include future classes, major, capstone; but also social justice work in- or outside of the classroom; students own extracurricular activities
  • Students will pass through this cycle at several stages in their careers at Loyola – but when they pass through for the first time, as new students, we want them to gain familiarity with library spaces, services, and staff, begin to develop critical thinking skills, and develop an exploratory mindset to use while engaging new technology. Students will take these skills and apply them in the world – hopefully in service, if we can establish strong relationships with potential partners on campus.This, in the end, is why I believe this approach to instruction and outreach for new college students is particularly relevant to Loyola. In addition to providing “user-focused services and collections in an inviting, collaborative, and innovative learning environment” the ultimate goal is to offer “service that promotes justice; values-based leadership; and global awareness.”This model is broad, and perhaps there are aspects of it already in place. However, I also strongly believe in its relevance and value, and would very much enjoy working with all of you to implement it.Thank you.

LoyolaSlides LoyolaSlides Presentation Transcript

  • An Integrated Model forInstruction and Outreach to NewCollege StudentsBen MurphyM.S. Candidate, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaignbenjamin.p.murphy@gmail.com
  • Describe your approach to planning anddelivering instruction and outreach to newcollege students.
  • Trends in Higher Education• New Technologies• Development ofalternative teachingmethods• Collaborations withdepartments outsidethe libraryImage: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Universit%C3%A4t_Bologna_Deutsche_Nation.jpg
  • ContextsforInstructionandOutreachCurricularCo-CurricularExtracurricularCarissa Tomlinson, Lindsay Miller, and Maureen Barry,“Inspiring our New Students: The Role of the Library inFirst Year Experience.” (Presentation, ACRLConference, Indianapolis, IN, April 10-13, 2013). Thinking icon: Anne Marie Nguyen, from The NounProject
  • Curricular instruction and outreachApproachStructured Learning Outcomes– Informed by ACRL Standards– Scalable, adaptable, but targeted– Assessable– Developed with faculty, program administrators
  • Curricular instruction and outreachApproachNew Students– What is research?– Disciplinarity– Threshold Concepts for Information Literacy– Relevancy of the HumanitiesBadke, William. "Information as Tool, Not Destination." Online 34, no. 4 (July 2010): 52-54Image: Voynich Manuscript, Beineike Rare Book and Manuscript Library:http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Voynich_Manuscript_%28180%29.jpgHofer, Amy R., Lori Townsend, and Korey Brunetti. "Troublesome Concepts and Information Literacy: Investigating Threshold Conceptsfor IL Instruction." portal: Libraries and the Academy 12, no. 4 (2012): 387-405.
  • Curricular instruction and outreachExamplesStructured learning outcomes– “Students will be able to differentiate betweenprimary and secondary sources in order to selectappropriate resources for assignments.”– Applicable in multiple disciplines– Assessable: quiz or query?
  • Curricular instruction and outreachExamplesTeaching with Primary Sources– Growing body of literature: Information literacystandards for primary sources?– Hands-on activities at DePaul University andStudent Life and Culture Archives– Active learning– Outside the archives: DPLA
  • Curricular instruction and outreachExamplesTeaching with Primary Sources– My “Mike” Mason– Pick a letter or photograph• Creative response• Scholarly response– Works with any physical or electronic set ofsourcesMcCoy, Michelle. "The Manuscript as Question: Teaching Primary Sources in the Archives—The ChinaMissions Project." College & Research Libraries 71, no. 1 (2010): 49-62.Image: The Illio. Urbana, Ill. : University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign, 1915, p. 193.
  • Curricular instruction and outreachExamplesESL at Illinois– Problem: Many instructors, different expectations– Students at different levels– What if your one-shot misses?– Instruction more effective when tied toassignment
  • Co-Curricular instruction and outreachApproachDesign instruction and services that reflect andexpand on curricular instruction– Authentic tasks– Point of need tutorials– Workshops– Active learning as “hermeneutics of screwingaround”Stephen Ramsay. "The hermeneutics of screwing around; or what you do with a million books."Unpublished presentation delivered at Brown University, Providence, RI 17 April (2010).
  • Co-Curricular instruction and outreachExamplesOffice Hours @ UGL– Pressure-free environment– Familiar, unintimidating– Collaborative: Writer’s Workshop
  • Co-Curricular instruction and outreachExamplesWorkshops– Services that support curricular instruction
  • Co-Curricular instruction and outreachExamplesPoint-of-Need Tutorials: Savvy Shorts– Demonstrate tasks; summarize workshopsSavvy Short videos:http://www.screencast.com/users/LearnLibL’Annee Philologique Tutorial:http://webapps.luc.edu/ignation/video_detail_flash.cfm?id=1583125425
  • Co-Curricular instruction and outreachExamplesDigital Humanities: Seek out and employinnovative tools in teachingQ: How long did it take St. Paul to sailfrom Ephesus to Jerusalem in Acts18:19-22?http://orbis.stanford.edu/
  • Co-Curricular instruction and outreachExampleshttp://orbis.stanford.edu/A: 9.1 days, covering 1227 kilometers
  • Co-Curricular instruction and outreachExamplesDigital Humanities– Many new avenues for collaboration and“screwing around”– Workshop integration with campus partners,such as campus IT at Illinois– Digital Humanities M.A. program at Loyola
  • Extracurricular instruction and outreachApproachReduce library anxiety– Low stakes, high impact– Incorporate social media– Mission-oriented– Cheap, or free!Image: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Globe_kittens_%28HS85-10-13446-3%29.jpg
  • Extracurricular instruction and outreachExamplesACRL panel “Love your Library”– Button Makers– Pop-up (Special) CollectionsAdrienne Lai, Lia Friedman, Alice Whiteside, Char Booth, “Love your library”: building goodwill from the insideout and the outside in” (Presentation, ACRL Conference, Indianapolis, IN, April 10-13, 2013).
  • Extracurricular instruction and outreachExamplesParticipatory Social Media– Use with purpose– Facebook imagesearch– Orientation fornew students
  • Extracurricular instruction and outreachExamplesCommunity Service and Engaged Learning– Many potential partners
  • Goal: An Integrated Model forInstruction and Outreach to NewCollege Students
  • CurricularCo-CurricularExtra-curricularIntegrated Model: Librarian PerspectiveTeaches skills, influencesco-curricular modulesRefines skills that can beapplied in other contextsPrepares students forengagement with library
  • CurricularCo-CurricularExtra-curricularIntegrated Model: Student PerspectiveGain information literacyChange World!Reduce Anxiety
  • Questions?Ben MurphyM.S. Candidate, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaignbenjamin.p.murphy@gmail.com