Teaching The Teachers


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Presentation at New England Library Instruction Group, 12/5/08, describing collaboration between UMass Amherst Libraries and Writing Program to deliver information literacy instruction to first-year university students.

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Teaching The Teachers

  1. 1. Teaching the Teachers A large-scale information literacy collaboration at UMass Amherst
  2. 2. The problem <ul><ul><li>How to reach 100% of student with information literacy instruction/programming </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Intrinsic motivation: graduate information-literate students </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Extrinsic motivation: accreditation standards </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. NEASC Accreditation Standards <ul><ul><li>4.6   The institution ensures that students use information resources and information technology as an integral part of their education. The institution provides appropriate orientation and training for use of these resources, as well as instruction and support in information literacy and information technology appropriate to the degree level and field of study. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>7.8   The institution demonstrates that students use information resources and technology as an integral part of their education, attaining levels of proficiency appropriate to their degree and subject or professional field of study. The institution ensures that students have available and are appropriately directed to sources of information appropriate to support and enrich their academic work, and that throughout their program students gain increasingly sophisticated skills in evaluating the quality of information sources. (See also 4.6 ) </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. The campus <ul><ul><li>Public, land grant university </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enrollment (Fall 2007) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>20,114 undergraduate </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>5,759 graduate </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1,175 faculty </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Severe shortage of computer classrooms </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. The Library <ul><ul><li>17 instruction librarians from among Research & Instructional Services, Integrated Sciences & Engineering Library, Learning Commons </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Liaison program : each librarian works with 1 to 10 or more departments, including instruction responsibilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Three instruction rooms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>19 student workstations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>11 student workstations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>15 student workstations (Science Library) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Writing Program <ul><ul><li>Independent academic unit serving entire campus community </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Part of General Education </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Three major components: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>First Year Writing Program </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Junior Year Writing Program </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Writing Center (located in Learning Commons) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. First Year Writing <ul><ul><li>Required course: reaches 100% of campus population  </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>  90-100 sections per semester </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Taught by a combination of graduate student teaching associates (mostly) and faculty </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Administrative staff including director, assistant directors </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. History of library involvement in First Year Writing <ul><ul><li>Librarian-led one-shot instruction courses </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Percentage of sections reached would wax and wane with library staffing levels </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One-shots were often general intros to library research (in 50 minutes!) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Librarians competed with many other campus entities for a &quot;piece&quot; of First Year Writing (e.g. Alcohol Education) </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. A New Approach <ul><ul><li>2006-2007: Library partnered with Writing Program administration to write information literacy instruction into existing First Year Writing curriculum </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unit 3: Adding to a Conversation: &quot;locate multiple sources of information and ideas on your own and communicate what you learn from them with a more public audience.&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Librarians would &quot;train the trainers&quot; to lead their own students through the basics of locating and evaluating appropriate information for the assignment </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Components of new approach <ul><ul><li>In-person library training sessions for all First Year Writing instructors: basics of navigating library website, database searching, retrieving articles </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Supporting documentation : detailed step-by-step sample searches aligned with model essay topics from course text </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Instructors who completed training became eligible to reserve a library instruction classroom for one of their course meetings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Supplementary evening drop-in help sessions for students to get one-on-one help from librarians </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Sample Searches <ul><li>Database; Topic; Concepts </li></ul><ul><li>1. Academic Search Premier; School Violence; Narrowing a Topic & Dealing with Results </li></ul><ul><li>2. Google Scholar; Ethics of Stem Cell Research; Getting Access to Articles Without Paying, Basic Searching, Following a Conversation </li></ul><ul><li>3. ERIC; Standardized Assessment in Education; Using Specialized Subject Databases/Special Database Limiters </li></ul><ul><li>4. LexisNexis Academic; Censorship in School Newspapers; Finding Television/Radio Transcripts, Finding Articles from University Newspapers </li></ul>
  12. 12. Evolution of support model <ul><ul><li>Expanded online documentation and information to support instructors  </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>LibGuide to support students, including video tutorials . </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Measuring success <ul><ul><li>No formalized assessment program in place--yet. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Number of classroom reservations has grown each semester (most recent: 65) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>LibGuide: 1992 page hits in Fall 2008 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>  Attendance at optional drop-in help sessions: small, but meaningful </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Positive feedback from program directors, instructors </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Future Needs <ul><ul><li>More formal assessment plan </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Better tailoring of targeted databases/sources to support level of information students are seeking </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More support for instructors </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More video tutorials </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More, bigger, better teaching spaces </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Other Library-Writing Program Collaborations <ul><ul><li>Junior Year Writing: subject liaisons work with faculty to present discipline-based information literacy instruction </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Writing Center: service partner in Learning Commons </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Librarians serve on Faculty Senate University Writing Committee, General Education Council </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Thank you! Emily Alling Coordinator, Learning Commons & Undergraduate Library Services University of Massachusetts, Amherst [email_address] Presentation available at: http://www.slideshare.net/ealling