Tutoring the Virtual Student


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Presentation on scaffolding theory in virtual reference from the WILU 2009 Conference at Concordia University, Montreal.

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Tutoring the Virtual Student

  1. 1. Tutoring the Virtual Student An Instructional Framework for IL Objectives in Chat Reference Erin Fields, York University Irene Tencinger, Wilfrid Laurier University WILU 2009
  2. 2. Unified Theory of Virtual Reference <ul><li>It is important to have a united opinion of the service provided in Virtual Reference </li></ul><ul><li>If we don’t actively engage the students it might leave them with an erroneous mental model of the information seeking process </li></ul><ul><li>Instruction is important in reference regardless of format </li></ul>Westbrook, L. (2006) Virtual Reference Training: The Second Generation College and Research Libraries.
  3. 3. Scaffolding – Theory of Choice <ul><li>“ The digital format actually reinforces that staged process by putting control of the communication in the user’s hands during…the stages of the reference interview.” </li></ul>Westbrook, L. (2006) Virtual Reference Training: The Second Generation College and Research Libraries.
  4. 4. Theoretical Framework of Scaffolding <ul><li>Social Constructivist approach to knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Assumes all knowledge is social in nature and people learn in the context of social interactions that lead to comprehension </li></ul><ul><li>Links new knowledge to already existing mental models </li></ul>
  5. 5. Theoretical Framework (con’t) <ul><li>Requires a shared understanding of the task </li></ul><ul><li>The instructor leads the student to this understanding – involves both challenging and supporting the student </li></ul><ul><li>The instructor controls elements that are initially beyond the ability of the student </li></ul><ul><li>The student focuses on the tasks that are within their range of ability </li></ul>
  6. 6. Recursive Breakdown
  7. 7. <ul><li>Stage 1 </li></ul><ul><li>RUSA Reference Guidelines </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clarification and identification </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Stage 2 </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding the information need (RUSA) </li></ul><ul><li>Cognitive process </li></ul><ul><li>Selection of area to focus on based on student level </li></ul>
  8. 8. Stage 1 & 2 – Transcript Example Librarian: Hello Student in order for me to effectively answer your question it would help if I know what you are working on? Student: I am working on an annotated bibliography for my humanities class Student: I went to the library today and got some of my secondary sources but I had to leave before I could finish and I need the rest of the information in order to complete my assignment Librarian: ok so you need more information on a topic ...or you want to find the information of specific sources so you can complete the citation Student: I need information on the specific sources so I can complete the citation, exactly Librarian: ok...do you remember where you were searching when you found them...which database you were using? What subject are you researching? Student: I was at the lilian smith childrens library downtown searching through periodicals to find anything pertaining to &quot;The Outsiders&quot; by S.E. Hinton as well as anything regarding gangs, violence etc... in childrens literature I am wondering where I can find bibliographical information for periodicals that are not available at X University Question
  9. 9. <ul><li>Stage 3 </li></ul><ul><li>Simplifies the task by reducing the number of acts required to reach a solution </li></ul><ul><li>Marks features of a task that are relevant for learning </li></ul><ul><li>Allows you to edit, modify, or add to the search process </li></ul>
  10. 10. Stage 3 – Transcript Example Student: I need help locating articles with respects to the paper that I have to write. I tried last night, but I couldn't find many that would pertain to the topic Student: I am researching on different aspects of groups (ie. Group Formation and Structure, Conflict, Leadership, Decision Making and Performance) Student : There's Norm Development, Group Development, Social Support, Sources of Conflict, Managing Conflict, Sex differences in dealing and Resolving Conflict, Gender Differences in Leadership, Leadership Styles, Social Loafing, Decision Making Librarian: ok so for those topics you will need to do separate searches. Are you familiar with using AND / OR to create a search strategy? Student: No, that's what I am confused about Librarian: Ok the key thing to remember is that AND will narrow your search ( you get fewer records) because it means the other terms must be there and you use it to connect keywords that represent the different concepts in your topic... Librarian: so for your topic one search might be sex differences and conflict and resolution Librarian: Now if you need to pull up more records you would connect keywords that represent the same idea with OR so for the same search to expand it I could use the following keywords ....(sex differences or gender differences) and conflict and resolution Could you assist me with using PsycInfo in locating articles that can be found on the Library X server? Question
  11. 11. <ul><li>Stage 4 </li></ul><ul><li>Providing structure to the search but allows for student input (self efficacy) </li></ul><ul><li>Idealization can occur here </li></ul><ul><li>Assists in building the blocks to generalize the task to apply in future contexts </li></ul><ul><li>Modeling </li></ul>
  12. 12. Stage 4 – Transcript Example Librarian :   great, once you are in PsychInfo select the Advanced Search tab at the top Student:  ok Librarian:   now we have to select our keywords to perform the search Librarian:  you said you are interested in social facilitation theory and that there is a relationship to evaluation apprehension theory Librarian:   what do you think the two key ideas are in your search? Student:   social facilitation Librarian:  great! Librarian:   we can also connect that to the other key idea of evaluation apprehension to make sure you get articles that will talk about both Librarian: so in the fist search box put: social facilitation Librarian:   and in the second below put: evaluation apprehension Librarian:   then perform the search Librarian:   you should get 33 articles I need some help locating relevant information for my essay.. Question
  13. 13. <ul><li>Stage 5 </li></ul><ul><li>Approximation </li></ul><ul><li>Error recognition OR Breakdown </li></ul>
  14. 14. Stage 5 – Transcript Example Librarian: you can try different combinations of terms or even add a third line to make the search more specific Librarian: for example if you're interested in teachers, or gender/class, etc. Student: yes that helps Librarian: if you find anything good within your results, take a look and see what other terms they might be using and try adjusting your search strategy Student: ok great Librarian: give it a try and come back for more, I can wait online while you attempt this or you can log back in when you are ready. I would like some assistance finding informational articles regarding &quot;ascribed status&quot; and &quot;achieved status&quot; and the negative and positive effects both can have on each other, for my essay. Question
  15. 15. Activity – Transcript Analysis <ul><li>Stages of Scaffolding in VR </li></ul><ul><li>Is each stage present? </li></ul><ul><li>Were there sections/stages where the scaffolding was weak? </li></ul><ul><li>What were those areas? </li></ul><ul><li>What could the librarian have done to improve the support in those sections? </li></ul>*Remember* Co-construction of knowledge and dialogue
  16. 16. <ul><li>Librarian:   Hello Student, it's seems like you have some good search ideas but it's just a matter of narrowing your topic down </li></ul><ul><li>Librarian:  we can try that together </li></ul><ul><li>Librarian:   are you on the library homepage? </li></ul><ul><li>Student:   thank you Librarian, I would really appreciate your help! </li></ul><ul><li>Librarian:   no problem, it's why I'm here </li></ul><ul><li>Student:  yes I am on the library home page... </li></ul><ul><li>Librarian:  great let's got into psychinfo and see what we can do... </li></ul><ul><li>Student:  ok, I am in the advanced search page of psychinfo... </li></ul><ul><li>Librarian:  great now we have to find another search term to narrow out your topic... you are already using excellent descriptors for your topic </li></ul><ul><li>Librarian :  are you interested in perceptions of difference, or maybe from a particular sex </li></ul><ul><li>Student:  I am not sure... this assignment is in light of a library tutorial we had in lecture the other day; its purpose to help us to practice researching. there are no specifications just the question &quot;are there sex differences in spatial ability?&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Librarian:   that's not a problem, so the assignment is just for you to practice library skills right? </li></ul><ul><li>Student:  yes </li></ul><ul><li>Librarian:   ok well that actually is why they chose something so broad, a part of library skills is deciding how to narrow a topic </li></ul><ul><li>Librarian:   so you have to select how to focus it </li></ul><ul><li>Student:  ok, so i should just choose what I am interested in regarding this topic? </li></ul><ul><li>Librarian:  absolutely!  you have the best descriptors for your topic but now you get to select an area of it that interests you... for example you can look at spatial ability sex differences and highschool students </li></ul><ul><li>Librarian:  if that was of interest to you </li></ul><ul><li>Student:  sure! </li></ul><ul><li>Librarian:  if you use high school students as a search phrase you should get around 40 articles </li></ul><ul><li>Librarian:  much more focused = a  lot less articles </li></ul><ul><li>Student:  ok... i will try this.. </li></ul><ul><li>Student:  i received 0 hits :( </li></ul><ul><li>Student:  i put: </li></ul><ul><li>Student:  oops... i think i spelled a word wrong... i will try again </li></ul><ul><li>Student:  still 0! (human sex differences) and (spatial ability) and (highschool students) - journal articles; english only; human population </li></ul><ul><li>Student:  what did i do wrong? </li></ul><ul><li>Librarian:  are you putting that search all on one line? </li></ul><ul><li>Student:   no, one beneath the other using the connecter &quot;and&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Librarian:  ok separate out highschool to look like high school students </li></ul><ul><li>Student:  i got 22 hits! </li></ul><ul><li>Librarian:  excellent! </li></ul><ul><li>Edited to fit the screen </li></ul>
  17. 17. A Culture of Instruction in VR <ul><li>Elimination of Divisions </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual Reference Values </li></ul><ul><li>Instructional Framework in VR </li></ul><ul><li>Personal/Group Analysis </li></ul>
  18. 18. Scaffolding Instruction in VR <ul><li>Recognition of Instructional Moments </li></ul><ul><li>Co-construction of knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Reduction of Control </li></ul>
  19. 19. Photo “Stair in Scaffold” by andrewpaulcarr, flickr 2006 Thank you Questions? Erin Fields York University [email_address] Irene Tencinger Wilfrid Laurier University [email_address]