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Reflecting on 23 Things: using 23 Things in an Information literacy class


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This is a presentation given by Sheila Webber (Information School, University of Sheffield) on 13th December 2011 in the virtual world, Second Life. In SL she is Sheila Yoshikawa. Firstly, she describes what is meant by a "23 Things" initiative, and she identifies some characteristics and examples. Secondly, Sheila describes a "23 Things" initiative she has used in a Masters-level class that she coordinates.

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Reflecting on 23 Things: using 23 Things in an Information literacy class

  1. 1. Reflecting on 23 Things: using 23 Things in an Information literacy class Sheila Yoshikawa / Sheila Webber University of Sheffield, Information School December 2011
  2. 2. Origins of 23 Things43 Things website“Join over 3 Million peoplewho list their goals, sharetheir progress and cheer Abram‟s (2006) “43 Things Ieach other on” might want to do this year” e.g. “Register at Blogger and start a blog.” “brainstorm-in-the-shower idea” (Blowers, 2008) Helene Blowers at the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County Hundreds of 23 Things initiatives around the world Sheila Webber, 2011
  3. 3. Common characteristics• Team of facilitators; often based in one institution• Main blog or wiki + individual participant blogs• 23 Things timetable announced in advance• Programme usually lasts 11-13 weeks (plus extensions!)• Focus on discovering Web 2.0 tools• Includes reflection & interaction• Each starter posting has information on the “Thing” + instructions for one or more tasks• May be face to face support sessions• Celebration at the end including voting for favourite bloggers, posts etc.; parties• Certificate for those completing all 23 Things in given period Sheila Webber, 2011
  4. 4. The originator‟s tips 1. “Encourage networking and the learning will follow 2. “Allow participants to blog anonymously 3. “Use 1.0 methods to communicate 4. “Encourage group discovery 5. “Design the program for late bloomers 6. “Focus on discovery, not skill building 7. “Reward staff for learning 8. “Online means hands-on, not hands-off 9. “Enable transparency and practice radical trust 10. “Continually encourage staff to play”Blowers, 2008. Sheila Webber, 2011
  5. 5. Recent examples• 23 Things @ Sims Library, USA (April-August 2011):• 23 Things City University, UK (June-September 2011):• University of Saskatchewan‟s (Canada) University Library 23 Things (January-May 2011):• 23 Things for Professional Development (CPD23) (UK) (June - October 2011):• List of 23-things-type blogs on Delicious: Sheila Webber, 2011
  6. 6. “Over the next 11 weeks we will be looking at arange of Web 2.0 technologies, testing themout and seeing how they have been used inlibraries and exploring how we could use themhere at City. Each week well also have a CoolExtra Thing, which you can look at if yourealready familiar with that weeks Things, ifyoure feeling adventurous or if you want tolook at concepts in more depth” Sheila Webber, 2011
  7. 7. 23 Things Warwick (UK university)• Publishing on the Web (Things 1-3) Create a blog; Write a post; Register your blog with the programme)• Keeping up to date (Things 4-6) Create iGoogle start page; Learn about RSS; Subscribe to an RSS feed• Time Management (Things 7-9) Using Doodle; Firefox• Networking (Things 10-12) Using Twitter & Facebook• Reflection (Things 13 & 23)• Getting organised (Things 14-16) Diego; Zotero; EndNote• Multimedia sharing (Things 17-19) Flickr; Creative Commons; Youtube.• Office 2.0 (Things 20-22) Wiki; Google Docs; Slideshare.
  8. 8. Completions• For 23 Things based at one institution, stated completion rates vary between 24% (Evans and Barrett, 2009) and 80% (Whitehead, 2009)• For CPD23 “780+ registered; 78 completed the evaluation survey; 54 registered for completer‟s certificate” (Birkwood 2011) Sheila Webber, 2011
  9. 9. “The four most frequent reasons given by the group for not completing the Learning 2.0 program were: 1. lack of time; 2. other priorities; 3. [lack of] relevance; and 4. being a part-time staff member” (Gross and Leslie, 2010: 661) Edith Cowan University, Australia Sheila Webber, 2011
  10. 10. Community & networking important “Library and careers staff had a sense of community and shared learning because they were already cohesive units and had opportunities to discuss the programme at coffee or during their working day. This was not the case with staff across many different departments” [Irish programme aimed at faculty and other non- library staff] (McCaffrey et al, 2010: 27) Sheila Webber, 2011
  11. 11. Follow-ons in individual workplaces?• Adding new “Things” to the original exercise• Incorporating learning new skills into appraisals (Titangos and Mason, 2008)• “Lite” version with 5 or 6 Things (Leech, 2010)• Short face-to-face training sessions on specific Web 2.0 tools“23 Things provided us with the opportunity to reach a critical mass ofstaff and raise awareness of Web 2.0 technologies. However, we havefound that to maintain current awareness of new technologies, we need toincorporate a wider choice of options when giving staff opportunities forworkplace learning.”(Gross and Leslie, 2010: 665) Sheila Webber, 2011
  12. 12. OutcomesKey outcomes:• more comfort with Web 2.0;• more use of Web 2.0 tools in workplace;• more innovation;• more networking.(Though evaluation not always rigorous) “The Learning 2.0 program has had a great impact on staff, who now know they are capable of learning new technologies, and that it is OK to learn through exploring and playing with web applications, rather than having to wait for more formal structured training to be scheduled.” (Lewis, 2008) Sheila Webber, 2011
  13. 13. “With the incentive of the sure prize of an MP3 player and the possible grand prize of a laptop, and more meaningfully, inspired by the newly-acquired knowledge of Library 2.0, 43 of 98 learners managed to overcome all obstacles and completethe program. On February 14, 2008, over 40 people gathered in the Central Branch‟s meeting room to attend „23 Things Valentines Day Celebration‟.” [Santa Cruz Public Libraries] (Titangos and Mason, 2009: 48-49) “The project is like a forceful storm, sweeping away mental dust and cobwebs, along the route.” (Titangos and Mason, 2009: 54) Sheila Webber, 2011
  14. 14. 23 Things in: Inf6350:Information Resources and Information Literacy Sheila Webber, 2011
  15. 15. Basics about the class• Core class for Masters students (worth quarter of all credits in semester 1)• 115 students: 29 British, 63 Chinese, rest from 10 other countries• MA Librarianship (32) and most of rest MSc Information Management: majority of class have not worked, and do not intend to work, in libraries Sheila Webber, 2011
  16. 16. Module aimsTo enable students to:• understand from both theoretical and practical perspectives the notions of information needs, information literacy and information behaviour;• understand the nature and function of different types and forms of information resources;• develop their own information literacy and understanding of its application to their future lives; and• develop specialised skills in searching for, evaluating and packaging information in response to a user query using a variety of information resources.
  17. 17. Learning environment• Base room: long lab, with bays of 8 computers either side• Use of Blackboard for powerpoints, handouts, sign- up/information on assignments etc.• Variety of sessions, for example – “Information literacy in our future careers” - preparation and exhibition in a large hall – Smaller-group seminars, on abstracting & discussing a research article – Lecture + workshop on the information interview – Focus on types of searching (search engines, Dialog, journals etc.)
  18. 18. Videos (trailers and exhibition vid)Search Inf6350 on Sheila Webber, 2011
  19. 19. (My) aims for the 23 Things• Students learn more about blogging and some other tools• Provide a small-team focus in this large class (socialisation aspect)• Place to share resources (e.g. of items about information literacy) and perceptions (e.g. of the “IL in our careers” exhibition)• Opportunity to practice writing, and presenting information• As I was aware of the growing pressures of assignments, there was deliberately less focus/pressure on the blogs in the later weeks of the semester Sheila Webber, 2011
  20. 20. Organisation• Put students in teams of 4, each paired with another team• Used Blogger as Sheffield uses Goggle for uni email• Cultural mix in each pair of teams• Some exercises required teams to interact• Reasons for not making them individual blogs: – Socialisation – Learning from each other – Logistics: easier to keep track of 30 team blogs than 115 blogs! Sheila Webber, 2011
  21. 21. Followed standard practice in -• Publicising Things & Timetable• 12 week schedule• Main blog, with team blogs linked into home page• Making first activity setting up the blogs & posting• (Mostly) Identifying topic and setting tasks - but – Most tasks at least started in class – Later on, tasks framed as more optional, or a task which is not blogged (e.g. critiquing an article in the seminar) Sheila Webber, 2011
  22. 22. The Things 1. Blogs (Present) 14. Auditing information behaviour (IB) 2. Information Literacy: Seven Pillars 15. Favourite IB models 3. Abstracting (Present) 16. Information interviewing (Identify & 4. The new information universe (Scope) Scope) 5. Information Literacy: global picture 17. Favourite Things 2 6. Google secrets (Plan and Gather) 18. Teaching information literacy 7. Monitoring (Gather) 19. Extracting information from databases 8. Communicating using posters (Plan & Gather) (Present) 20. Critiquing an article 9. Legal & ethical use (Manage) 21 Effective use of Dialog (Plan & 10. Documenting events Gather) 11. Wise use of Wikipedia (Evaluate and 22. Evidence Based Information use Manage) (Evaluate & Manage) 12. Uses of social media 23. Evaluating 23 Things 13 Favourite Things 1“Present” etc refers to the SCONUL 7 Pillars of Information Literacy Sheila Webber, 2011
  23. 23. Difficult to decide on Things!• Not trying to cover all the learning outcomes with the Things• Wanted the Things to support the outcomes, intertwined with the other approaches to learning, teaching and assessment Sheila Webber, 2011
  24. 24. Example: Thing 5: IL Global Picture 資訊素養“1. Each of you individually should find an item about informationliteracy that is in your own language. It can be a website, a tutorial,an article or a report, but it must use the phrase that means"information literacy" in your native language.2. Each of you should post a link to that item on your team blog. Ifmore than one person in one team posts the same item - the firstperson to post it keeps it - the next person has to find somethingdifferent and post that instead.3. Next week, I will ask you to explain to someone who is not anative speaker of your language what the item is about. [They hadto explain to their partner teams]4. Please then add a sentence or two in English to your blog postexplaining what the item is, if you have not already done so.In this way we will create a collective international bibliography ofmaterial about Information Literacy through your blogs.” Sheila Webber, 2011
  25. 25. Example: Thing 6: Google secrets“Immediately after the Alastairs session, make anindividual post on your team blog, listing one newthing you learnt about Google (or about someother search engine) … if you were already asearch engine wizard when you came to Sheffield,say what your best Google search tip is.” Sheila Webber, 2011
  26. 26. My reflections• Am just getting formal feedback now, so mainly my views + informal feedback/ observation• Team aspect was helpful: – Teams sat in the same place in the lab each week – Got to know their team members – We could more easily monitor who was missing & who was not contributing: blogs good way of starting discussion on this – Some students not comfortable with the web, helped by teams (sometimes too shielded by them too?) – also logistically useful when students divided up & going to different rooms! (they knew their Team) Sheila Webber, 2011
  27. 27. 23 Things aspect• Visible learning about blogs (i.e. they improved) & some more confidence in using features like embedding pictures and videos• Blogs were more creative focus (than Blackboard) for sharing links, pictures, videos, reflections – Good way for everyone to share in class exercises like the “IL in my language” one• Useful (for educators) being able to highlight the “tasks for you” in the blog• Creative and thoughtful posts• Attendance has been better this year (though no research as to cause/effect!) Sheila Webber, 2011
  28. 28. Negatives/ Things to change• Too many major Things, especially in mid-point! Could have split some Things into smaller chunks• Despite efforts, some teams disengaged in last weeks• Did not do enough to encourage interaction between blogs (student suggested today that we have subsets of blogs)• Needed more of a team doing the online part (mostly me, although more help from colleagues in class)• Some Things worked, others so-so• Some students needed some even more basic help at start• Could have more of a Web 2.0 slant (though some of the non-Web 2.0 Things worked well) Sheila Webber, 2011
  29. 29. Will I do it again next year??I think I will Sheila Webber, 2011
  30. 30. Sheila & SL: Sheila Yoshikawa
  31. 31. References• Abram, S. (2006) 43 things I might want to do this year. Information Outlook, 5. Retrieved from• Alcorn, L. (2011) Beyond 23Things. Presented at: Computers in Libraries 2011. Retrieved from libraries-2011• Birkwood, K. (2011) 23 things for professional development, training and networking in hard times. Retrieved from professional-development-training-and-networking-in-hard-times-katie-birkwood• Blowers, H. (2008) Ten Tips About 23 Things. School Library Journal, 54 (10), 53-57. Retrieved from• Evans, J. and Barratt, L. (2009) Getting to know Web 2.0 tools. Library and Information Update, November, 40-43• Greenhill, K. (2009) Why learning about emerging technologies is part of every librarian‟s job. Paper presented at: EDUCAUSE Australasia 2009, Perth, W.A., 3-6 May 2009. Retrieved from• Gross, J. and Leslie, L. (2010) Learning 2.0: a catalyst for library organisational change. Electronic Library, 28 (5), 657-668 Sheila Webber, 2011
  32. 32. References• Gross, J. and Leslie, L. (2008) Twenty-three steps to learning Web 2.0 technologies in an academic library. Electronic Library, 26 ( 6), 790-802.• Leech, H. (2010) 23 Things in Public Libraries. Ariadne, (24). Retrieved from• Lewis, L. (2008) Library 2.0: taking it to the street. Paper presented at: VALA2008 14th Biennial Conference, Melbourne, Australia from 5 - 7 February 2008. Retrieved from• McCaffrey, C. , Reilly, P. and Feighan, H. (2010) 23 Things @ UL: A Web 2.0 Learning Experience for Faculty and Staff at the University of Limerick. SCONUL Focus, (50), 25- 28. Retrieved from• Titangos, H. and Mason, G. (2009) Learning Library 2.0: 23 Things @SCPL. Library Management, 30 (1/2), 44-56.• Whitehead, D. (2009) 23 Things: How Librarians learned to love Web 2.0 through a unique staff development program. Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Retrieved from Sheila Webber, 2011