We introduce ourselves and then ELIZABETH We came together for this presentation even though we are from very different institutions, We are librarians designing instruction programs We have both inherited IL programs that were narrowly focused on one/two-shot instruction scenarios within core courses And we found that we are actually running very similar programs to address challenges we’ve experienced and some of these challenges we see as pervasive within the field We’ll go through those challenges – Then share with you the programs we’ve developed to try to address those challenges and ultimately change the way we work in order to move toward sustainability and meaningful teaching and learning experiences
Elizabeth – To get us started, a few quotes from the literature -- Quote from librarians at Central Queensland University in Australia – “one shot sessions do not necessarily prepare them for the challenges of research, problem solving, and continuous learning”
Orr, D., Appleton, M., & Wallin, M. (2001). Information literacy and flexible delivery: Creating a conceptual framework and model.The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 27(6), 457-463. doi: 10.1016/S0099-1333(01)00263-4
Badke– known for his work on credit bearing IL courses embedded within departments arguing that “sessions” whether generic or subject specific does not make a student literate within the world of information –
For me– this really brings up the question of what OUR goal is and what the goal of the institution is regarding IL it also brings up questions for me of how we interpret the development of information LITERACY
The problems with one-shots “Can’t get no respect: helping faculty to understand the educational power of information literacy.” The Reference Librarian 43.89-90 (2005): 63-80
ELIZABETH These programs that focus on one-shot instruction scenarios are dependent upon successful collaboration Collaboration can not be forced – Programs that are built solely upon a collaborative model will only be successful where the collaborations are successful – which can hinder the program My experience with this model included “assigning” librarians to working with different sections of the same course. But over time this resulted in very uneven instruction loads among librarians – I had some faculty who would only work with X librarian and some librarians who would work with X faculty it was less about distributing instruction loads and more about matching librarians’ and instructors’ personalities and teaching styles– I used to call myself a MATCHMAKER instead of librarian I began to ask: What other discipline is so Dependent upon collaboration just to be allowed to do their work? Research has supported the idea that multiple class visits and embedded librarianship models have far greater sucess in terms of supporting lasting student learning – but these are not necessarily sustainable practices nor are they a model that necessarily will work when your trying to do something across a wide spectrum of courses
Perennial challenge is that the librarians ability to assess students readiness for the session is limited— How many times have we been in a session where the instructor said “I’ve covered what peer review means” only to find students have no idea? We’re often reliant upon the instructors assessment of the students and report of what they have covered in the class success of the learning relies upon students who have been appropriately prepared for the lesson that is going to be given – and librarians have limited control over that preparation because of the expertise we bring to the information search process, our assessment can be different from that of the faculty member – This can be addressed by providing an assessment prior to the session and the librarian reviewing that assessment and I believe Meredith has a good example to show of that – but this can be labor intensive– especially if the assessment is qualitative rather than a quantitative score from an automated standardized test IN addition – learning and critical thinking occurs as we recuperate from mistakes and librarians ability to provide ongoing feedback after the session, as students work through their process, is limited
Because of these challenges, myself and some of my colleagues BEGAN TO QUESTION THE STATUS QUO OF THIS MODEL AND DESIRE TO WORK IN A MODEL WHERE WE could prepare students , assess students, and provide feedback throughout their learning– we wanted to DEVELOP MEANINGFUL TEACHING & LEARNING RELATIONSHIPS WITH STUDENTS
Many of these challenges can be addressed through time intensive means – but at what expense? And for what gain? to address the sustainability challenge, some libraries have developed standardized lesson plans, including pre assignments and assessments – At Keene we did that to try to address the volume of the sessions – but these became robotic as we just churned them out – So when becoming efficient to handle the volume we must question-- does this model actually facilitate a recursive information search process and “integration” of IL into a course? Or does it reinforce the idea that we can drop these pieces, and ourselves, into the course? At Keene, while it became efficient it did not facilitate an iterative process – despite our concentrated effort, ultimately these sustainability efforts of efficiency moved us farther from integration and the development of meaningful teaching and learning relationships with students
MEREDITH starts The literature is full of case studies that show many other ways to impact student literacy beyond the one shot. One popular option is embedment. And as Kori Street and Megan Bowler in their article “Investigating the Efficacy of Embedment” illustrated in their assessment, embedment leads to improved information literacy. However, I appreciated their realism when they said that…” “
This takes tremendous time.
And in many cases, we’re being asked to do much more with much less. Staffing is decreasing and yet the responsibilities of liaison librarians are ever-increasing What Alliance librarians actually do in terms of instruction (a lot):
MEREDITH While it would be lovely if we could tell you our one amazing solution that you can go back and implement at your library, that silver bullet just doesn’t exist. We both have used a variety of methods to improve how we serve our students and faculty and, at least in my case, it’s still very much a work in progress. But we found some interesting commonalities in the constellation of methods we’ve used to improve our support to students and faculty. We both capitalized on peer learning models in different ways. We both took a train-the-trainer approach in working with faculty around information literacy instruction. And we both developed learning objects and created self-service DIY toolkits. Though we came from two very different contexts, we both found some creative and similar solutions to support student information literacy beyond the one-shot.
Portland state is a large public urban research university. We have over 30,000 students with around 12 instruction librarians when I was there and even fewer now. As you can imagine, workload was a major issue for us. We are on a 10-week quarter system, which makes it more difficult to get into the classroom because faculty see every moment of that ten week term as precious. Portland state is known for having a nationally-recognized General Education program which include Freshman Inquiry. Freshman Inquiry is a year-long program where students take classes in cohorts with the same instructor. They also have a peer mentor who leads smaller classroom sessions each week. While a lot of institutions focus a great deal on their first-year programs, 2/3 of our students come in as transfers either at the sophomore or junior level, so they don’t benefit from our Freshman Inquiry program. Consequently, those of us who worked with this population got a lot of pushback from others in the library about the amount of time we were devoting to the program. Our library faculty, by and large, were skeptical of the efficacy of one-shots. Dipping students into tea analogy.
A year into my time as head of instruction, we had a meeting in which the majority of librarians argued passionately that we need to be doing less instruction for Freshman Inquiry so we could devote more time to upper-division and graduate-level instruction.
The literature supports the idea that peer-mentoring can be extremely powerful when done well. Unlike the instructor, the mentor is not grading the students, nor are they all that different from the students. Our peer mentors were juniors and seniors. This creates a totally different dynamic in the classroom. Because they’re not-so-different, they can model good research practices with a different sort of credibility than we have as faculty. They also remember what it’s like to be new to research because it was such a recent thing, which can be helpful in supporting student learning. And because they work with Freshman inquiry classes several times each week, they spend a lot more time with the students and develop a rapport that we don’t have the luxury to develop as librarians.
The toolkit was great, but it was a veritable information buffet, with lots of options for faculty and mentors to customize their own lessons. What we discovered is that most faculty didn’t actually want a lot of choices; they wanted something they could grab and stick into their class.
So we saw phase two of our work being about packaging the content we’d created for the toolkit LibGuide into modules that faculty could just assign students to do. The problem at the time was that we really didn’t have time to do that.
But then opportunity knocked on our door. Our new Provost announced a program called reTHINK PSU, which offered 3 million dollars for innovative ideas to improve student learning and retention. One of the front-runners for this money was a project to create online GenEd classes to support other majors going online, so a student could conceivably do all of their required classes for a BA online. I got involved in this project as a collaborator to develop self-paced modules to teach information literacy. Sound familiar?
So we were able to take all of those short videos from the toolkit
And repurpose them in tutorials for reTHINK. These tutorials were developed in Qualtrics and were interactive, designed to allow students to do work on their own research assignment within the tutorials.
Each tutorial had content chunked in such a way that it allowed them to learn a bit and then practice what they’ve learned. While we designed these for the online classes, we fully intended to market them for the face-to-face Freshman Inquiry classes as well.
~5,000 undergrads Primarily residential Liberal arts college 90% of sessions occurred at the lower level -- not equally distributed among the library faculty A majority of the sessions (50% ) occurred in the same lower level gen ed courses – Integrative Thinking & Writing Had been in place since 2007, and was built upon bibliographic instruction– we’d made great progress in moving from tools/resource focus to process focused sessions and practicing classroom assessment– we’d streamlined, strategized, made sessions as efficient as possible
BUT— Other projects and initiatives were left untouched because all focus was on this course – was interpreted by librarians as their “IL program” but outside of library was not recognized – Idea within the library was for IL to be developed “across the curriculum” -- but there was no institutional mechanism provided to actually accomplish this – and certainly not for the library to accomplish this– so while we felt responsible for IL “across the curriculum”, it was a self-induced responsibility without the support of the institution for us to accomplish it Language within the library of furthering the program used words such as “targeting courses” and “aiming” or “trying to get in” – while there was much talk about working with other courses, little was accomplished because most all of our time was spent in on this one course – I began to question the model that was historically in place and the language used --
At the same time – the predominant language on campus and in the higher education landscape was about this concept of Integrative learning, which is REALLY ABOUT THE DESIGN OF PROGRAMS- Integrative learning IS ABOUT THE INTENTIONAL DESIGN OF PROGRAMS TO FACILITATE STUDENTS MAKING CONNECTIONS BETWEEN COURSES, EXPERIENCES, AND THE APPLICATION OF THEIR LEARNING
comes in many varieties: connecting skills and knowledge from multiple sources and experiences; applying theory to practice in various settings; utilizing diverse and even contradictory points of view; and, understanding issues and positions contextually. Significant knowledge within individual disciplines serves as the foundation, but integrative learning goes beyond academic boundaries.
And – also dominant in the language on campus was talk about “high impact practices” -- opportunities for integrative learning are fostered through these types of learning experiences – in addition -- The ACRL Framework drafts were being shared for public comment – The Framework highlighted these trends in higher education – especially the first draft-- such as integrative learning, collaborative projects, undergraduate research, and other high impact practices, and at Keene we heard a call upon the community of information professionals to engage in these practices to increase student understanding of the processes of scholarship and knowledge creation, and information development and impact on self and society. WE DECIDED TO COMPLETELY REVISE THE WAY IN WHICH WE WORK AND FOCUS ON WAYS WE COULD ENGAGE IN HIGH-IMPACT PRACTICES Quality not quantity Aim for meaningful teaching and learning experiences
I read this article by Brett Bodemer from California Polytechnic State University –inspired by this article and based on model of a center for writing & writing tutor programs – where I saw an institutional structure supporting development of writing across the curriculum– I designed the Research & Technology Fellows program/wrote up an action plan— and with colleague we developed and implemented the training program Training occurs through face to face workshops, and Canvas modules – takes about 40 hours of training Fellows: Hold one-shot sessions for a variety of courses – on demand – resource focused/ basic database demonstrations Hold one-on-one research consultations Work at the library’s Information Desk Provide training for new Information Desk student workers Work with small groups of students 2 models – 1)Fellows are either employed by the library WHERE THEY provide workshops for courses on demand and some are also aligned with Living & Learning Communities, and with the 1st year Research & Writing course 2) OR – they are employed by an academic department, usually within their academic major and we provide training and ongoing mentoring –
One of the main purposes of the program was to provide an on campus work opportunity for students to connect their academic interest with on campus employment opportunity – WHILE GAINING DESIREABLE SKILLS FOR THEIR RESUME allows for application and extension of their learning – they are also embedded into the department in a way that a librarian could never achieve – they understand the discipline, know the faculty, the assignments, and the students – they are involved in related clubs etc., More than just a job– a learning experience for the Fellows – BECAUSE OF THIS OPPORTUNITY FOR CONNECTION BETWEEN THEIR MAJOR AND THEIR WORK EXPERIENCE WE CONSIDER THIS ONE WAY WE ARE ENGAGEING IN HIGH-IMPACT PRACTICES
play from 1:43-3:15
And from a faculty member’s perspective -- “Students were engaged with the Fellow in a way I haven’t seen when we’ve worked with library faculty. They listened better, they asked more questions, they participated more readily in applying the strategies the Fellow outlined— in short, they accomplished a lot more than students did in previous sessions and I think that’s absolutely because the help and advice were coming from one of their peers, rather than from just another faculty member.” -- Professor Steve Kessler
Another KEY way we sought to engage in high-impact practices was by offering an Information Studies minor – This is a unique program for a liberal arts college because we do not have an Information Science program like at some universities who offer MLS degrees We believe that having our own courses is what will ultimately allow us the opportunity to engage students in high-impact practices: undergraduate research, providing internships, and making connections with our local community organizations for service learning projects and to REALLY DEVELOP information literacy and not just research skills -- We went pretty quickly from a program of one-shots focused on one lower-level course to providing a menu of support services available to all academic departments AND an academic program recognizable by more than just the librarians to concentrate on development of information literacy – which we believe requires the study of the information environment as content 5 courses: the minor is a VALUE ADDED & ADAPTABLE to any major delve into complex issues such as copyright, censorship, privacy, and the economics of information. information lifecycle focusing on understanding how information is produced, shared, and preserved. explore how society and government impact interactions between people, information, and information technology. navigate the complex information environment and ethically use information to participate in knowledge creation. Develop advanced research skills and information literacies which are in demand in all sectors of the job market as well as graduate and advanced professional programs.
Part of trying to become more efficient and not re-invent the wheel when we were doing so many sessions was to start a repository of instructional materials and lesson plans. As we transitioned away from that model, toward a train the trainer model we developed a Faculty DIY page that pulled the materials together into modules/ sets of materials that could be used together to develop a skill – this facilitated and made available the materials we’d been using to faculty.
Now– moving toward more integration-- Importable Can be created for department Could be used with badge system Our Research Guides are also more process focused rather than resource focused
How’d we “pull out” of doing all those sessions for ITW ? – It was a process of providing the support through a variety of services – it is an ongoing focus of effort on supporting the faculty SO THAT IL is no longer viewed as “sections” of the course but an iterative part of the writing process – the Fellows continue to provide a lot of support
Information search process theory – Kuhlthau Provided materials: worksheets, handouts, videos, Research Booklet Brainstormed ways to address challenges they frequently see with research
In 2011, I was serving on the University’s Learning Assessment Council when we did a campuswide look at Junior-level writing using the AAC&U rubric. One side thing we discovered from this assessment was that the best work we saw from students also tended to come with well-designed assignments. Also, the worst work we saw, tended to come from poorly-designed assignments. It was a revelation to me and made me realize that focusing on assignment design might be a very important way for librarians to impact student learning.
And luckily, opportunity knocked again just at the right time.
Because there is no way we’ll ever reach every student, we wanted to focus strongly on point-of-need instructional support for our students.
The research shows that library anxiety is a real thing and that students who often need our help the most are the least likely to ask for it. We also know that students are usually coming in with a very specific information need. They don’t want to learn about the research process or how to evaluate scholarly materials. They have a specific question that requires a more concrete specific answer. And yet our tutorials are really designed in the way that we teach in the classroom, not at the reference desk. Which doesn’t make a lot of sense if they’re meant to be used at the point of need.
So I had the crazy idea of developing a system designed to mimic a reference interaction. Library DIY is a system of small pieces of instructional content that is designed to give students quick answers to their research-related questions. Each content module in Library DIY answers one question and is designed to get students in-and-out in 1-2 minutes. We link to more in-depth tutorials and support if students need or want that, but this is designed to be quick and simple. The information architecture is task-focused and based very much around the model of a reference interview, where students can drill down to just the information they need. I used to tell students that it’s like a reference librarian in a box that you have access to 24/7.
Let’s say you’re looking to access a specific journal. So you’d click on “I’m looking for a specific item.”
MEREDITH There is no magic bullet. There is no one way to support student learning beyond the one-shot. It’s totally dependent on your context and the opportunities open to you.
MEREDITH - A lot of this sort of work is front-loaded. It’s a lot of work at first, but, in-time, will free up time for the librarians to focus more on meaningful collaboration with faculty and (hopefully) less on one-shots. AND free up time to focus more on relationships with STUDENTS
What are the institutions goals? Who’s responsibility is it? Have they provided the library the mechanism/resources to develop information literacy “across the curriculum” ?? If not-- then argue for why it is necessary and consider relieving yourself and your library from the expectation to achieve this –
Look for opportunities to foster change wherever they can be found. Internal grants, program redesign, new programs, new faculty; all of these can provide golden opportunities to do something new.
Faculty perceptions can be a pretty major roadblock. Many faculty think that the only thing we can do is provide one-shots (focused on collections and resources). Helping faculty to see other possibilities and pushing them out of their own comfort zone can be difficult. Start with low-hanging fruit and use those instructors to promote what is possible. Elizabeth: Question your own perceptions: what makes a “program” on your campus? – has your IL program followed the same processes as other programs on campus? Is it recognized as a “program” outside of the library? Does that matter?
Doing this is not just about conserving our time and energies. We also need to think about how the changes we make will impact instructors. If what we want to do makes more work for them, chances are it will not be successful. We need to find ways to save the time of the instructor or peer mentor.
Creating learning objects with an eye to reuse will save tremendous time in the future. It’s been wonderful to be able to create learning objects for one project and then reuse them in another. The more general and interdisciplinary you can make things, the more likely you will be able to use them in other contexts. AND create them in formats that can be used by others – by faculty/instructors and that will save them time!
The most important thing we need to do is be flexible. The context in which we are working is changing all the time and we need to remain open to different ways of doing things. I think the key is defining what our values are and what are the goals of our instruction program and then being flexible in how all that is operationalized.
Leaving the one shot behind: Transitioning from Status Quo to Sustainable Integration
status quo to
Faculty, Information Literacy
Keene State College, NH
Faculty Librarian at Portland
Previously: Head of Instructional
Services, Portland State
"It has become clear that the 'one-off,' demonstration-
style information skills classes delivered out of
curriculum context do not necessarily coincide with the
students’ need for information, are sometimes not
valued by the students, and do not necessarily
prepare them for the challenges of research,
problem solving and continuous learning.”
Orr, D., Appleton, M., & Wallin, M. (2001). Information literacy and flexible delivery:
Creating a conceptual framework and model. The Journal of Academic Librarianship,
27(6), 457-463. doi: 10.1016/S0099-1333(01)00263-4
The problem"We continue to do one-shot generic and subject-specific
sessions, as well as offering point-of-need guidance at
the reference desk, recognizing that such
“training” does not even begin to
make a student literate within the
world of information.”
Badke, William B. “Can’t get no respect: helping faculty to understand the educational
power of information literacy.” The Reference Librarian 43.89-90 (2005): 63-80.
Ability to assess students readiness for the
session & engage in best practices in teaching
Bowler, Meagan and Kori Street. "Investigating
the efficacy of embedment: experiments in
information literacy integration."Reference
Services Review 36.4 (2008): 438-449.
"As the level of librarian embedment increased
students' performance on the research
component of the rubric increased as well."
"Although the improvement in IL among students in
WMST 3305 was astounding in some ways,
the resource cost is not sustainable.”
Bowler, Meagan and Kori Street. "Investigating the efficacy of
embedment: experiments in information literacy integration."Reference
Services Review 36.4 (2008): 438-449.
Phelps, Sue F., Heidi E.K. Senior and Karen R.
Diller. “Learning from each other: a report on
information literacy programs at Orbis
Cascade Alliance libraries.” Collaborative
Librarianship 3.3 (2011): 140-153.
“Lack of adequate staffing is reported to be
a contributing factor to unmet instruction
goals. Respondents complained about
‘demand outgrowing capacity.’”
Phelps, Sue F., Heidi E.K. Senior and Karen R. Diller. “Learning from each
other: a report on information literacy programs at Orbis Cascade Alliance
libraries.” Collaborative Librarianship 3.3 (2011): 140-153.
How we moved away…
• Student –to-student peer tutor
• Train the trainer programs
• Learning object/tutorial development
& DIY toolkits
Context at Portland State (PSU)
• 30,000+ students, 12 instruction librarians
• 10-week quarter system
• Nationally-recognized year-long cohort-based GenEd
program - Freshman Inquiry.
– Weekly peer mentor-led sessions
• 2/3 of students come in as transfers after first year
• Librarians increasingly skeptical of one-shot model
Our approach to Freshman
• Decrease quantity without decreasing quality
• Support peer mentors and instructors in
teaching information literacy
• Library instruction focused on library
awareness and comfort with the library
Student – to – Student
• Peer learning/mentoring is powerful
– Different power dynamic
– Role models
– Less distanced from what it is to be a beginner
– Mentors/TAs spend more time with students
Outreach to Faculty and Mentors
• Brief opportunities to reach all
– Mentor trainings (2 hrs + optional 1 hr. sessions)
– FRINQ Faculty Retreat (20 minutes)
• Librarian assigned to each instructor/mentor pair
– Keep in touch with mentors/instructors
– Custom LibGuides
– Custom lesson plans
What we discovered
• Survey at end of first year: 64% of instructors and
mentors had used materials from the toolkit
– Peer mentors were more comfortable teaching IL skills
• Built custom LibGuides for 1/2 of classes in first year,
2/3 in second year
• Mentors are students too
• Collaboration is more work than just asking for “library
Promoted by the intentional design of
programs to facilitate students making
connections between knowledge from
multiple disparate experiences, concepts,
or subjects and adapting skills learned in
one situation to problems encountered in
See report: Integrative Learning: Mapping the Terrain
& the Carnegie Integrative Learning Project
High Impact Practices
• First year seminars and experiences
• Common Intellectual Experiences
• Living & Learning Communities
• Writing Intensive Courses
• Undergraduate Research experiences
• Service / Community based learning
• Capstone Courses
“It's given me experience
with being on my toes and
learning to help students
with just the little
information they give me
and manage to create a
whole drafts of papers. It's
also open many doors for
me in my department and
is something I'm proud to
put on my resume.”
“Students implicitly trust the voices of
students… No matter how good the
working relationship is that I cultivate with
students, or that library faculty may
model, student teachers are able to
reach students effectively provided that
they are comfortable in their role as
workshop leader or facilitator.”
- Professor Mark Long
Information Studies minor
“However, the rapidly changing higher education environment, along
with the dynamic and often uncertain information ecosystem in which
all of us work and live, require new attention to be focused on
foundational ideas about that ecosystem. Students have a greater
role and responsibility in creating new knowledge, in understanding
the contours and the changing dynamics of the world of information,
and in using information, data, and scholarship ethically.” ACRL
• Engages students in the study of the
information ecosystem as content
• Develop critical thinking and information
Train theTrainer workshops
“After the workshop I feel more capable of
supporting students with research and teaching
information literacy – and I can integrate it
more, integrate it better, because I can do bits
and pieces throughout the course as challenges
- ITW Instructor
Advanced Design Process
• Led by Center for Online Learning
• Focused on backwards design
• Library gets four hours
– 2 hrs. integrating library resources in classes
– 2 hrs. research assignment design
What skills do your students need
to have to successfully complete
your current assignment?
Which of those do you explicitly
After the Advanced Design
• Positive feedback from participants
• Lots of collaboration with faculty who
participated in the workshops
• Quarterly library workshops on assignment
design for faculty
– Hampered by low attendance
• Many students do not like to ask for help from
a reference librarian
• Students are usually not looking to learn how
to do research, but to do something specific
• Students want quick answers to their
questions, not a tutorial
• Small pieces of instructional content
– Based on questions we get at the reference desk
– Each one answers just one question
– For in-depth help, link out
• Task-focused information architecture
• A reference librarian in a box
Results so far
• Lots of enthusiasm from students and faculty
• Usability testing =
• Reference librarians love to have something
to point students to in virtual reference
• Replicated at many other institutions
– 2014 ACRL IS Innovation Award winner