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Developing storytelling as a critical thinking component in IL workshops for Corporate and Aviation Management MBAs
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Developing storytelling as a critical thinking component in IL workshops for Corporate and Aviation Management MBAs


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Paper presented at 4th QQML (Qualitative & Quantitative methods in Libraries ) conference Absolute Hotel, Limerick Ireland May 22nd - 25th 2012.

Paper presented at 4th QQML (Qualitative & Quantitative methods in Libraries ) conference Absolute Hotel, Limerick Ireland May 22nd - 25th 2012.

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  • Innovative teaching techniques incorporating brainstorming and storytelling as part of Research methodology to foster critical thinking among MBAs.Kemmy business School unique in Ireland since provides both a distance Corporate MBA & Corporate Aviation Management MBA programme. Challenge create IL workshop encourage peer to peer learning by creating environment conducive to group work. Creative & Practical sessions ensure participants are more inclined to engage with subject.
  • When you explore the ILI literature a lot has been written about the experience of undergraduate Business students, but very little on postgraduate one. although there have been several studies conducted in North America by Dunaway et al , Cooney & Hiris to name a few.I’m going to talk about my own experience of Teaching MBAs at the Kemmy Business School
  • The challenge was to develop InnovativeTeaching Techniques which incorporates brainstorming and storytelling. Create an environment conducive to group work which encouraged peer to peer learning. While at the same time ensuring they were practical hands on sessions and creative.
  • Corporate MBA Running at Kemmy Business School since 1984Block Release Programme, run over 2 year period , students on campus 3 days per month.Traditional middle Managers who aspire to higher echelons of senior management normally range in age between 35 -55Viewed as conduit for successful career change, and recently commence successful entrepreneurship enterprise.Student come from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds, Aircraft leasing, corporate finance, construction, Fisheries Boards, IT sector.
  • Aviation ManagementShannon Region synonymous with aviation industry in Ireland, lot of aircraft leasing firms based there MBA programme not meeting their specific needs. KBS developed Aviation Management programme to cater for this sector.Saw a niche in the market.Programme was developed in partnership with Dept of Aeronautical Engineering at UL & leading international aviation experts.
  • From the Library’s Perspective-4 issues need to be addressedFaculty compiled reading list for new modules.No new journals subscriptions due to budgetary constraintsNo print journals since distance based students. Aviation Databases OAG, ATI both available in their work places. KBS paid for ATI database subscription and library agreed to host and manage it. External faculty with expertise in Transport Economics from UCD employed to teach on programme.
  • Collection Development: In Autumn 2010 ten students enrolled on the programme comprising of 9 men and one woman each possessing significant aviation management experience. Rather than start a new programme from scratch, Faculty decided to modify the current programme by supplementing it with aviation related modules, ie; Aircraft planning, Aviation finance, Airport BusinessLibrary Aviation research collection was expanded by consulting the online collections of other international universities offering similar graduate programmes.
  • Mendeley was usedfor collection development purposes. Records were downloaded to Endnote from Warwick’s catalogue and exported to Mendeley.
  • Information Literacy Format:Librarian meet the group twice during course of their two years. 50 mins Library Induction session as part of orientation for new students.Four Objectives Access library Remotely Search for Relevant Material via Catalogue Confident in using electronic resources Aware of Faculty Librarian Services
  • Research Method:Advanced Research Methods workshop scheduled during Spring Semester of their second year. Focus is on practical rather than instruction based session.Librarian works in close collaboration with Course Leader to develop intended learning outcomes. The focus in these advanced sessions is precision based searching using Boolean, and TruncationDeveloping a Research strategy using brainstorming and storytelling. Student should be confident to undertake their dissertation successfully.
  • Verbally conduct Pre-assessment exercise to gauge students’ knowledge levels.Take into consideration students prior learning experiences.Build the workshop around their requirements. Search the databases more effectivelyFind journal articles relevant to my dissertation topicStore and manage references betterLearn how to cite properly and compile a bibliographySearch for similar dissertations on my topic
  • Storytelling as a research Strategy: As MBAs are from diverse backgrounds from fisheries boards to aircraft leasing firms a common theme has to be found which all can relate to. Since students will only engage with a topic which keeps them interested. No point in mind mapping or brainstorming a specific dissertation topic with limited appeal.Storytelling has a universal theme and transcends all cultures.
  • Brainstorming process. Class is broken into groups or 4 or 5.Each group is assigned a number by librarian and elects a spokesperson and scribe to write down their ideas.The imaginary essay title written on the board “ Importance of Storytelling in Modern society” Students encouraged to pick out keywords, and then brainstorm term storytelling only.The group learns about team dynamics and at the end of the five minutes Some find this quite challenging, but librarian interacts and with each group.Librarian calls out a number and spokesperson describes their experience of the process. Group discusses any problems encountered. And applies same principles to their own research topic. Learn about core and related terms. See how a research strategy is developed.Use this vocabulary from strategy to search databases using various combinations.Exercise reinforces to the student the importance of contemplation throughout the entire process.
  • The students applying what they have just learnt in the workshop ensures that learning is re –inforced
  • Technology:The last ten minutes of the session are devoted to demonstrating cloud based applications which help students work smarter in both their academic and work environment. These should compliment the student’s overall workflow rather than dominate it.After a workshop several students have approached the Librarian and explained how they could see the benefits of using both Evernote and Dropbox in the work environment.
  • Delicious was another tool which many students found extremely useful.
  • Learning outcomes.Librarian and Course leader collaborate on developing learning outcomes.3 TypesBehavioral – more aware of available resources at their disposalPsychological – more confident in using library resourcesBenefit – leads to improved performance.Learning outcome aligned with Glucksman IL Strategy.Connect users with information to support them in teaching and researchFoster digital innovation.
  • Librarians Reflection:Impossible to cover everything, workshops are general. Class supplied with extensive notes. Measure impact of workshops by number of subsequent email queries I receiveAs the old English proverbs says “ you can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink” Individual student consultations The purpose of these is to probe individual’s dissertation topic deeper.
  • How do you measure the impact of the workshops. Started off with reflective writing. Used Stephen BrookfieldsCritical Incidence Questionnaire. Ask students to pinpoint exactly where the learning occurred and when they disengaged.Have found this an extremely useful tool to improve the quality of workshops and keep the students engaged.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Developing storytelling as acritical thinking component in IL workshops for Corporate and Aviation Management MBAs By Peter Reilly Librarian, Kemmy Business School University of Limerick
    • 2.
    • 3.
    • 4. MBA Students
    • 5.
    • 6. No New JournalsExternal Library No PrintFaculty View Databases
    • 7. Off Campus CatalogueE -resources Librarian
    • 8. Research Method
    • 9. “Information sessions cannot be built as a one size fits all. Each one has to beconstructed to tailor to the specific group needs". (Dunaway et Orblych 2011)
    • 10. /
    • 11.
    • 12. Re- inforces through practisevalue of the lesson justdelivered through retentionof new knowledge andexperiential learning (Rutledges & Maehler, 2003, P 8)
    • 13.
    • 14. Librarian’s Reflection
    • 15. / Measuring Impact
    • 16. References:Cooney, M., & Hiris, L. (2003). Integrating information literacyand its assessment into a graduate business course: Acollaborative framework. Research Strategies, 19(3-4), 213-232.doi:10.1016/j.resstr.2004.11.002Detlor, B., Julien, H., Willson, R., Serenko, A., & Lavallee, M.(2011). Learning outcomes of information literacy instruction atbusiness schools. Journal of the American Society for InformationScience and Technology, 62(3), 572-585. doi:10.1002/asi.21474Dunaway, M. K., & Orblych, M. T. (2011). Formative assessment:transforming information literacy instruction. Reference ServicesReview, 39(1), 24-41. doi:10.1108/00907321111108097Lindauer, B. G., & Woodard, B. S. (2004). The Three Arenas ofInformation Literacy Assessment . Reference & User ServicesQuarterly; Winter2004, Vol. 44 Issue 2, p122-129. Retrieved from
    • 17. McInnis Bowers, C., Chew, B., Bowers, M., Ford,C., Smith, C., & Herrington, C. (2009).Interdisciplinary Synergy: A Partnership BetweenBusiness and Library Faculty and Its Effects onStudents’ Information Literacy. Journal of Business& Finance Librarianship, 14(2), 110-127.doi:10.1080/08963560802362179Rutledges, D. P., & Maehler, A. (2003). AnAssessment of Library Education Contributions toBusiness Student Learning. Journal of Business &Finance Librarianship, 9(1), 3-19. Routledge.doi:10.1300/J109v09n01_02Strittmatter, C. (2012). Developing and Assessing aLibrary Instruction Module for a Core BusinessClass. Journal of Business & Finance Librarianship,17(1), 95-105. Routledge.doi:10.1080/08963568.2012.630645
    • 18. Peter ReillyLibrarian Kemmy Business School GLO-032 Glucksman Library University of Limerick Ph: 061 23 4380 Email: