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Interactive Technologies in Library Instruction: Using Technology and Active Learning to Engage Students and Promote Information Literacy Outcomes
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Interactive Technologies in Library Instruction: Using Technology and Active Learning to Engage Students and Promote Information Literacy Outcomes


Librarians' Association at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (LAUNC-CH) Annual Conference. Chapel Hill, NC, March 7, 2011.

Librarians' Association at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (LAUNC-CH) Annual Conference. Chapel Hill, NC, March 7, 2011.

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  • Thank you. The topic of this lightning talk centers around the use of instructional technology and in the context of information literacy instruction sessions and has the overly lengthy title of Interactive Technologies in library instruction: using technology and active learning to engage…This presentation stems from a series of experiments where instruction librarians at UNC-Pembroke decided to employ a variety of instructional technology into our information literacy sessions to see if we could not only engage students in what we were teaching, but also to see if we could possibly increase learning outcomes that we had designed for these sessions.
  • So there were two specific experiments that we conducted using interactive technologies in both freshman and upper level courses. In the first scenario, we used clicker technology which has been around for a while and then in the second we combined the use of wireless slates and a document camera for projecting images.
  • Before setting out do conduct these experiments, we had reviewed a lot of the literature regarding the use of technology and library instruction. What we found is that in almost all cases where clickers were used in the to find that just the use of technology alone layered on top of the typical library instruction session design such as lecture and demonstration does not do anything to improve learning achievement in these sessions. However, when the instructor implements a shift in pedagogy, in other words the way instruction is carried out, such as active learning, increases in learning outcomes may in fact be made. In a few different studies, it’s been shown that technology alone will not promote learning. Technology for the sake of technology will rarely produce learning outcomes. Conversley, West has said that only a combination of a change in pedagogy (such as active learning) with the implementation of the technology can provide any meaningful increase in learning outcomes. So this would actually be the focus of our study, if we could show that the teaming of active learning (class discussion) with interactive technologies (clickers) could actually lead to an increase in information literacy outcomes. A good percentage of the articles available on clicker research only cite the impact that the technology has on affective learning.Most of the research available provides only instances where the technology was either layered on top of traditional methods or the study did not compare clicker groups versus non-clicker groups.
  • Facilitate class discussion, peer-to-peer learning where students teach each other what they have learned, group projects, etc.
  • This pyramid adopted from Dale’s Audio Visual Methods in Teaching describes many examples of passive versus active types of learning activities. You see that after two weeks since instruction students tend to remember….
  • So one of the things that we decided to do was to incorporate the use of clickers into our instruction sessions for freshman english and to switch to an approach that more resembles an active learning pedagogy. This is a list of some of the active learning characteristics that clickers bring to the classroom.
  • As part of our information literacy program, we designated a set of learning objectives for these freshman english instruction sessions that are derived from the ACRL’ Information Literacy Competency Standards
  • And one of the other experiments that we did involved the use of wireless slates and a document camera. I’ll assume that most of you have knowledge of what document cameras do, but the wireless slates are kind of new. They’re basically like tablets that are wireless and can be circulated around the classroom where you can have students annotating screens, images, and videos projected on a SmartBoard.
  • So what we did was incorporated these technologies into an upper classmen business management course. The three main objectives for the sessions was to familiarize students with the differences between scholarly and trade publications, which was the main focus for the business faculty member. But in addition, we wanted to make these sessions more engaging for the students by


  • 2. Interactive Technologies Student Response Systems (Clickers) Wireless Slates Document Cameras
  • 3. Previous studies indicate: Clickers = increased engagement Technology alone does not increase learning Shift in pedagogy + technology = success (West, 2005)Technology and Library Instruction
  • 4. What is Active Learning? Active Learning is a pedagogical approach to learning derived from Constructivism Can be referred to as problem-based learning, experiential learning, discovery learning, or cooperative learning Emphasis on students’ involvement in their own learning process (learner centered) Accommodates a variety of learning styles
  • 5. What is Active Learning?
  • 6. Active learning with clickers 3 Key Active Learning Characteristics Actively engage students over the course of entire class period (anonymous participation) Gauge level of understanding for the content being presented Provide prompt feedback to student responses and questions
  • 7. Clickers in our classroom… ENG 1060 Research Experiment Aimed to determine any increase in learning outcomes Seven classes using clickers vs. eight classes using traditional teaching methods Learning outcomes gauged by pre-test/post-test Affective learning outcomes via open-ended/likert Results showed differences in both cognitive and affective learning
  • 8. Clickers in our classroom… Learning ObjectivesACRL Information Literacy Standards:-1.2.b, 1.2.d-2.1.d, 2.2.b, 2.2.d, 2.4.c, 2.5-3.7, 3.7.a, 3.7.b, 3.7.cWhich essentially means…
  • 9. Clickers in our classroom… Learning Objectives (cont.) We wanted our students to be able to: Create effective search strategies Use basic database functions Properly identify citations Revise searches (narrow,broaden) Manage extracted information
  • 10. Clickers in our classroom… Session Designk Paper-based pre-testt Question relating to background/experienceg Keywords, Boolean Operators, Truncationn Organization of academic information (choose databases)a Question relating to item 3/discussg Database search demonstration (10 min.)d Parts of a citationi Question relating to item 6/discussg Managing citationsn Paper-based post-test
  • 11. Test Results Traditional (117) Clicker (117)Pre-test Score 63.33 mean 67.26 meanPost-test Score 77.94 mean 85.89 meanDifferential 14.61 mean 18.63 meanOverall 4.02 meanResults of Pre-test/Post-test
  • 12. Test Results Traditional (117) Clickers (117)How much did you enjoy today’ssession? 3.62 mean 3.79 meanHow engaged did you feel duringtoday’s session? 3.68 mean 3.82 meanDid you prefer using clickers overtraditional classroom lecture? 4.15 meanHave you used clickers in class atUNCP before? Yes = 37, No = 80Not at all = 1 Very much so = 5Affective Learning Questions
  • 13. Other TechnologiesWireless Slates and Document Cameras
  • 14. Use in the classroomManagement 3090 Familiarize students with differences between trade/scholarly Promote in-class participation Stimulate group interaction
  • 15. Use in the classroomSession Design Lecture/discussion using doc camera Class activity using wireless slates Demonstration of business databases Individual hands-on searching
  • 16. Use in the classroom (cont.)AssessmentFive question survey Characteristics (92%) Audience (67%) Citation information (50%) Appropriate database (83%) Confidence (All but one)
  • 17. Thank you!Questions about…Active learning?Technologies?