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Collaborations for the Common Good: Building Communities of Practice


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Librarians Meggan Press and Meg Meiman gave this presentation at the Information Literacy Summit at Moraine Valley Community College on April 20, 2018. CC-BY-SA 4.0

Abstract: Working in teaching and learning is an inherently collaborative field. Whether it’s collaborating with classroom faculty or other librarians, working together is the best way to achieve a common goal. This presentation will use a case study to highlight three essential elements of a successful collaboration among Indiana University-Bloomington Libraries’ Department of Teaching & Learning and primary source collections across the campus. We will report on the results of a collaborative initiative designed to engage students in the use of primary sources, and to assess student learning in the context of primary source literacy and information literacy.

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Collaborations for the Common Good: Building Communities of Practice

  1. 1. Collaborations for the Common Good: Building Communities of Practice Meg Meiman, Head, Dept. of Teaching and Learning Meggan Press, Undergraduate Education Librarian
  2. 2. ACTIVITY Three words or phrases that characterize a productive collaboration --what’s happening? --what do you look for? Three words or phrases that characterize an unproductive collaboration -what’s happening? --what do you look for?
  3. 3. Primary Sources Immersion Program Make this two-column Three-day program for instructors Explore sources on campus Integrate primary sources into courses
  4. 4. Elements of Collaboration Serendipity “Making happy and unexpected discoveries by accident” (OED) Pragmatism Ensuring everyone’s needs are met Flexibility Using/adapting what you have on hand
  5. 5. Serendipity --met with Heather Eastman-Mueller, a 2017 participant --wanted to use primary sources for her college sex education course
  6. 6. Pragmatism --Use primary sources to illustrate intersectionality --Assess what students learned from engagement with primary sources
  7. 7. Flexibility --RBMS/SAA Guidelines for Primary Source Literacy --ACRL Framework --survey software and rubrics
  8. 8. H395/595: Practicum in College Sex Education and H350: Topics in Peer Health Education How did engaging with primary sources inform students’ beliefs as students and as peer educators?
  9. 9. Survey
  10. 10. Authority is Constructed and Contextual Information Creation as a Process Research as Inquiry
  11. 11. The results…. such as they were…. Data from our assessment of Heather’s class yielded very few results: ▹ A very small sample set ▹ Few students opted to participate ▹ Too few artifacts to make a conclusion
  12. 12. And so we return to serendipity
  13. 13. BUS375: Ethics and the 21st Century Business Leader ● Do students learn differently when interacting with physical vs. digital materials? ● Do students interact with materials differently when they are physical vs. digital?
  14. 14. Elements of Collaboration Serendipity - April reached out to Teaching and Learning - We included Archives in the lesson planning - The course had two sections Pragmatism - April wanted to use primary sources - We wanted to conduct a study - Design of the assignment Flexibility - Adapting previous rubric - April was willing to treat her two sections differently
  15. 15. Case Study 1. What kind of document are you looking at? When do you think it was created? Why do you think it was created? Give a brief description of what is going on in this document. 2. What perspective(s) are present in the document? Who do you think the audience for this document is? What do you think was going on in the culture/time this document was written? 3. After reading this document, imagine you’re a female student at the time this document was published. How do you think you might have felt about these policies? How would you feel about these policies if you were a fe/male student at the time? 4. How far have we come, or not come, as a result of these policies? Have these policies done what they intended to do? What could be some unintended consequences of these policies that are playing out now in our time? 5. What pressures were on those in charge of students such as the President & Trustees in making the policies (or changing them when they were unpopular)? If you were in charge, what pressures do you think would have been the hardest to resist? 6. Can you defend a policy you saw today under one of the frameworks we’ve studied (virtue, Everybody Matters, etc.)? Would any framework say these policies are wrong? 7. In what ways does IU still treat women and men differently? Are any of those things unethical in your view?
  16. 16. Engagement Rubric Results
  17. 17. What We Learned ▹ About collaborations ▹ About IRB studies ▹ What we’ll do differently next time ▹ Communities of practice
  18. 18. ACTIVITY Take 5 minutes to share with your partner that collaboration how you think it's going well how your characteristics match up with ours
  19. 19. Participants’ responses -- unproductive collaboration ▹ Unclear assignments from instructor ▹ Unrealistic expectations about feasibility of assignment ▹ Failure to communicate directly with others ▹ Actively avoiding communicating with others ▹ Going over your head; engaging multiple librarians and departments ▹ Making lots of assumptions about who will do what
  20. 20. Participants’ responses -- productive collaborations ▹ Set clear parameters/boundaries about what’s possible ▹ Listen; communicate often; be willing to exchange ideas ▹ Make sure collaboration is mutually beneficial ▹ Cultivate a good spirit of invitation when beginning a collaboration
  21. 21. Participants’ responses -- productive collaborations(cont’d) ▹ Know priorities ahead of time; be mindful of workloads and looming deadlines of other projects ▹ Clarify your ultimate destination ▹ Make sure collaboration is mutually beneficial ▹ Develop a vision statement; include a description of how everyone should interact with each other
  22. 22. QUESTIONS? Contact us! Meg Meiman / Meggan Press / Presentation template by SlidesCarnival / CC-BY-SA 4.0