Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Flipping the classroom in business and education one-shot sessions: a research study

Next discussion: Thursday 30th March at 8pm UK time (3pm EST).
Article:Flipping the classroom in business and education one-shot sessions: a research study. Madeline E. Cohen, Jennifer Poggiali, Alison Lehner-Quam, Robin Wright, Rebecca K. West. Journal of Information Literacy, 2016, 10(2), pp. 40-63 http://dx.doi.org/10.11645/10.2.2127

Thank you to Madeline, Alison, and Robin for their article and for writing this kick-off post for our discussion.

Bios of Discussants:
  • Madeline Cohen is Assistant Professor and Head of Reference at Lehman College, CUNY. She has taught flipped information literacy instruction to business management courses.Email: Madeline.cohen@lehman.cuny.edu
  • Alison Lehner-Quam, Assistant Professor and Education Librarian, Lehman College, New York. She has taught flipped information literacy instruction to undergraduate and graduate education courses. Email: alison.lehnerquam@lehman.cuny.edu. 
  • Robin Wright, Assistant Professor and Health and Human Services Librarian, Lehman College, New York. She has taught flipped information literacy instruction to health and human services courses. Email: robin.wright@lehman.cuny.edu.
How does this discussion work?
Anyone can join this discussion!  Participants aim to read at least some of the article in advance, then come along at 8pm BST and join in the discussion by adding comments to this blog post. You can see how this works by looking at previous discussions (just scroll down the blog for previous posts). 

Library faculty at Lehman College, City University of New York, experimented with the flipped classroom model in an attempt to maximize the effectiveness of one-off information literacy sessions. As most academic librarians know, these one-shot sessions are often too short and assessment of student learning is challenging in such a short period of time. We saw students coming to the reference desk with basic questions after an information literacy class, even though that material had been covered in class.

We began to wonder about other strategies that would help us be more effective. We saw articles about the flipped classroom model, which incorporates pre-assignments and active learning, in the education literature, in blog posts, and at conferences. We were intrigued to try it as most of our information literacy sessions are limited to one-shot experiences.

We began working collaboratively when the Instructional Technology librarian sent an email to all library faculty to see if any of us were interested in participating in trying out the flipped model. Specialist librarians in education, business, and health and human services responded to the call. After a semester of experimentation, we decided to assess the impact of the model and to study it more formally, and so our research project developed. For the purposes of our research we focused on business and education, but the Health and Human Services librarian has been steadily using the flipped classroom model since our initial interest in the model.

We wanted to measure the effectiveness of the flipped classroom in the context of disciplinary one-shot information literacy sessions. We conducted a multi-semester study of flipped library instruction for business management and education courses. We hoped to gather information that would help us learn the following:

  • Do students in a flipped session demonstrate greater knowledge before their session than the students in a control session?
  • Do flipped and control students demonstrate significant, positive improvement in knowledge after their session?

These questions were explored through a quasi-experimental research design that included pre- and post-testing of flipped and control classes. Research was conducted over three semesters.

This was our first experience in quasi-experimental research design, so, in addition to learning about student response to the flipped classroom model in information literacy, we learned about research group composition, size of control and experimental cohorts, and random participant selection. As colleagues working on a multi-semester project we also learned from each other about ways to keep faculty engaged and to maximize student involvement.

The hypothesis that students in the flipped classes would score significantly higher on the pre-test compared to the control session was upheld by the scores of the business classes. These results were notable for a number of reasons. Most crucially, they indicate that students entered the flipped class with greater mastery of basic concepts than the control group. Students in the flipped sections of the education classes earned a mean score on the pre-test that was better than that of the control class, but this difference was not statistically significant. Perhaps a larger sample size may have erased or solidified this difference.

For our blog conversation, we thought the following questions might start our discussion:
  • Would you be motivated to try and to study a flipped model in your information literacy classes?
  • What subject disciplines might lend themselves to a flipped classroom model?
  • This model requires commitment from academic faculty. What can be done to encourage academic and library faculty partnerships and collaborations?
  • Based on the study, what could be next steps with homework and class assignment design being mindful of lower order and higher order thinking skills?
We can also respond to questions about lesson planning, homework and assignment design, in-class activities, and assessment measures as well as research design and next steps.

References

Arnold-Garza, S. 2014. The flipped classroom teaching model. Communications in Information Literacy [Online] 8(1), pp. 7–21. Available at: http://www.comminfolit.org/index.php?journal=cil&page=article&op=view&path%5B%5D=v8i1p7  [Accessed: 25 July 2016].

Datig, I. and Ruswick, C. 2013. Four quick flips: Activities for the information literacy classroom. College and Research Libraries News [Online] 74(5), pp. 249–257. Available at: http://crln.acrl.org/content/74/5/249.full [Accessed: 25 July 2016].

Gibes, E. A. and James, H. 2015. Is flipping enough? A mixed approach to introductory information literacy instruction. College and Research Libraries News [Online] 76(1), pp. 10–13. Available at: http://crln.acrl.org/content/76/1/10.short [Accessed: 25 July 2016].

Goetz, J. E. and Barber, C. R. 2015. Evaluating a pre-session homework exercise in a standalone information literacy class. Communications in Information Literacy [Online] 9(2), pp.176–185. Available at: http://www.comminfolit.org/index.php?journal=cil&page=article&op=view&path%5B%5D=v9i2p176&path%5B%5D=220  [Accessed: 25 July 2016].

Rivera, E. 2015. Using the flipped classroom model in your library instruction course. The Reference Librarian 56(1), pp. 34–41. http://doi.org/10.1080/02763877.2015.977671

Friday, March 10, 2017

An assessment of library instruction: its influence on search behaviour of first- and third- year students

Next discussion: Thursday 16th March at 8pm UK time (4pm EST, 9pm Norway).
Article: An assessment of library instruction: its influence on search behaviour of first- and third-year students. Torunn Skofsrud Boger, Hanne Dybvik, Anne-Lise Eng, Else Helene Norheim. 2016, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 64-77. http://dx.doi.org/10.11645/10.2.2135

Thank you to Torunn and Hanne for their article and for writing this kick-off post for our discussion.

Torunn Skofsrud Boger, Hanne Dybvik, Anne-Lise Eng, Else Helene Norheim are all academic librarians at the Østfold University College, situated south of Oslo, the capital of Norway. Else has a master’s degree in English language and literature, Hanne has a master’s degree in Educational science, and Anne-Lise has a master’s degree in Pedagogy. Torunn will defend her master thesis in Organization and Leadership in May.

How does this discussion work?
Anyone can join this discussion!  Participants aim to read at least some of the article in advance, then come along at 8pm BST and join in the discussion by adding comments to this blog post. You can see how this works by looking at previous discussions (just scroll down the blog for previous posts). 

Librarians in academic institutions invest a huge amount of time in providing library instruction, but what is the outcome of the use of these resources? We wanted to find out, and interviewed our own first-year students about this topic in 2011. In 2015 we published the article The impact of library information literacy classes on first year students’ searching behaviour. Torunn Skofsrud Boger, Hanne Dybvik, Anne-Lise Eng, Else Helene Norheim. 2015, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 34-46. http://dx.doi.org/10.11645/9.1.1979

We conducted a follow-up study interviewing the same students in 2013, and the results of the follow-up study were published last year. We found that the library instruction given to the first-year students was not as useful and spot-on as we might have thought, and changed our instruction based on the results from the first interviews. The biggest change was to introduce Google as the starting point of our instruction for first year-students.

The follow-up study among the third-year students were slightly more encouraging. This study showed that there are differences between first-year and third-year students as regards search behavior, that there was a decrease in the use of Google as the students’ first choice for searching, and that the students showed more experience in using academic databases in their third year than in their first year.

In addition, the students in the nursing faculty showed greater growth in academic maturity and they had received more library training due to the requirements for their assignments. The growth in academic maturity in the teacher education faculty was slightly smaller, and they received less library training. Accordingly, cooperation with the academic staff is very important for the library in order to make an impact on the development of students’ information literacy.

Questions

·         How do librarians at different academic institutions develop their library instruction, considering the difference in learning outcome from first-year and third-year students?
·         Are the learning outcomes significantly different among students groups, and which strategies are we implementing to meet differing expectations and demands?
·         How do we find the best ways of cooperation with the academic staff in order to provide the best library instruction?

References

Bausman, M. and Ward, S. L. 2015. Library awareness and use among graduate social work students: an assessment and action research project. Behavioral & Social Sciences Librarian34(1), pp.16-36. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/01639269.2015.1003498.

Christie, H., Tett, L., Cree, V. E. and McCune, V. 2016. ‘It all just clicked’: a longitudinal perspective on transitions within university. Studies in Higher Education 41(3), pp.478-490.Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2014.942271.

Daugherty, A. L. and Russo, M. F. 2011. An assessment of the lasting effects of a stand-alone information literacy course: the students' perspective. Journal of Academic Librarianship 37(4),pp.319-326. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2011.04.006.


Rempel, H. G. 2010. A longitudinal assessment of graduate student research behavior and the impact of attending a library literature review workshop. College & Research Libraries 71(6),pp.532-547. Available at: https://doi.org/10.5860/crl-79.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Student perspectives: redesigning a research assignment handout through the academic literacies model

Next discussion: Thursday 2nd February at 8pm UK time (3pm EST, 9pm Sweden).
Article: Hicks, A. (2016). Student perspectives: redesigning a research assignment handout through the academic literacies model. Journal of Information Literacy, 10(1) 30-43 http://dx.doi.org/10.11645/10.1.2049

Thank you to Alison for her article and for writing this kick-off post for our discussion.

Alison Hicks
Alison is a PhD candidate at the Swedish School of Library and Information Science as well as a research librarian at the University of Colorado, Boulder and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Denver where she teaches the library instruction course. Originally from Somerset in the UK, her works centres on sociocultural approaches to information literacy. She is very good at wrangling time-zones…

How does this discussion work?
Anyone can join this discussion!  Participants aim to read at least some of the article in advance, then come along at 8pm BST and join in the discussion by adding comments to this blog post. You can see how this works by looking at previous discussions (just scroll down the blog for previous posts). 

I first came across Academic Literacies research as part of my PhD reading. Frustrated by  the focus on skills and competencies within information literacy research and practice, I had turned to the field of literacy studies for inspiration and almost immediately came across the New Literacy Studies work of David Barton (2007) and Brian Street (1984). Centered upon the idea of what people do with reading and writing, Barton and Street’s research positions literacy as multi-purpose and multi-functional rather than as a series of neat steps that will automatically lead to social good. It was these same precepts that influenced Lea and Street’s work into academic literacies over a decade later, or the idea that academic reading and writing practices are as situated and contextual as more everyday literacy practices - to say nothing of opaque to most new learners. Further highlighting that conventions and values are often made explicit through academic documentation (such as syllabi), Lea and Street’s two articles inspired my own exploration of how these ideas played out within research education and more specifically, research paper assignment handouts.
Librarians have a long history of using supplementary paper and digital materials to support face to face teaching- from the pathfinder to the handout and the now ubiquitous LibGuide. Yet, while these resources serve a variety of pedagogical purposes, there has been little research into either the design of these tools or how they can scaffold the disciplinary values that drive and are driven by community knowing. In exploring how situational (or the purpose of research) and disciplinary (such as ways of knowing) context can be used to structure a handout, this paper aimed to both provide a model for the design of this type of instructional material as well as to draw librarian attention to the need for this work more broadly. Most importantly, in basing this research around an exploration of student experiences with the handout, this paper positions students as experts of their experiences, and aims to encourage the inclusion of student voices within future information literacy research studies.

Questions

  • While not all librarians are able to get access to class syllabi or assignment handouts, LibGuides have the potential to form a similar purpose. How do we translate Academic Literacy ideas into the use (and abuse) of LibGuides?
  • Information literacy research often tends to focus more on testing students rather than listening to them. How can we integrate more student voices into our research and practice? 
  • This paper was directly inspired by findings from the field of literacy studies. Recognising that literacy studies suffers from many of the same issues as information literacy (eg political rhetoric around falling standards, skills-based agendas), how else can we draw from their research (successes and mistakes) to develop information literacy research and practice?


Reference List

Barton, D. (2007) Literacy: An Introduction to the Ecology of Written Language, Malden, MA:Blackwell.

Lea, M. and Street, B. 1998. Student writing in higher education: an academic literacies approach. Studies in Higher Education 23(2), pp. 157-172. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03075079812331380364

Lea, M. and Street, B. 2006. The “academic literacies” model: theory and applications. Theory into Practice 45(4), pp.368-377. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s15430421tip4504_11

Street, B. (1984) Literacy in Theory and Practice, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Using the I-LEARN model for information literacy instruction

Next discussion: Thursday 29th September at 8pm UK time (3pm EST)

Article: Greenwell, S. (2016). Using the I-LEARN model for information literacy instruction. Journal of Information Literacy, 10(1), 67–85. http://doi.org/10.11645/10.1.2045  

Thank you to Stacey Greenwell for her article and for writing this kick-off post for our discussion. 

Stacey has been a member of the University of Kentucky’s (Lexington, KY, USA) library faculty for fifteen years and is currently Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Research. She teaches an academic libraries course in the School of Information Science and is currently working on the second edition of an academic libraries textbook. The article she will be discussing is based upon her dissertation research.
How does this discussion work? 
Anyone can join this discussion!  Participants aim to read at least some of the article in advance, then come along at 8pm BST and join in the discussion by adding comments to this blog post. You can see how this works by looking at previous discussions (just scroll down the blog for previous posts). 

While working on a degree in instructional design, early on in my studies I had the opportunity to meet Delia Neuman whose work intersects instructional design and information literacy. Her latest book had just been published, Learning in information-rich environments: I-LEARN and the construction of knowledge in the 21st century. Naturally I was excited about this as I knew I wanted to specifically investigate information literacy instruction in my instructional design program. I immediately read the book and began thinking about how designing instruction with the model might facilitate learning in the instruction we do for first year students in the library. That was sort of an interesting leap as Dr. Neuman’s model was developed with the U.S. K-12 school audience in mind. However, librarians in higher education and school media specialists do tend to have a good bit in common, and there are certainly commonalities in what our clientele need. After all, the difference between a high school senior and a college freshman is only about three months.

Neuman, D. (2011).  Learning in Information-Rich Environments: I-LEARN and the Construction of Knowledge in the 21st Century.   New York:  Springer.


So what is I-LEARN? The mnemonic is simply Identify, Locate, Evaluate, Apply, Reflect, and kNow.  Library instruction often focuses on identify, locate, and evaluate.  We're pretty good at those things, and that’s often all we have the time or opportunity to do with a group of students. The model digs deeper into those areas and emphasizes the recursiveness of those steps.  Most importantly, the latter parts of the model focus on using information--actually thinking about what you've found, synthesizing it into an information product, revising it, rethinking it, perhaps going back for more information, but ultimately adding to your own knowledge base through this experience.


Neuman, D. (2011).  Learning in Information-Rich Environments: I-LEARN and the Construction of Knowledge in the 21st Century.   New York:  Springer.
While the experimental study described in my article found no significant difference, students who used a course guide designed with I-LEARN used it more often and self-reported how beneficial they found it in helping them complete an assignment to write a paper. Further study of using I-LEARN to design instructional materials is warranted. Recently I have built an assignment guide using the model to help break down the process of writing a literature review for a graduate course. There are other examples of I-LEARN being used to design instructional materials which can be found at http://libguides.uky.edu/ilearn

I’m happy to discuss any aspects of the article, the experimental study, or the model itself. Certainly it can be challenging to successfully translate theory into practice, and I am curious what ideas others have for creating instructional materials using I-LEARN.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Inclusivity, Gestalt principles, and plain language in document design

Next discussion: Thursday 25 August, 15:00 BST

Article: Turner, J. and Schomberg, J. (2016) ‘Inclusivity, Gestalt principles, and plain language in document design’, In the Library with the Lead Pipe.

Thank you to Helen Farrell for suggesting our next discussion article and for writing this blog post.

How does this discussion work? 
Anyone can join this discussion!  Participants aim to read at least some of the article in advance, then come along at 3pm BST and join in the discussion by adding comments to this blog post. You can see how this works by looking at previous discussions (just scroll down the blog for previous posts).

I’m a big fan of Plain Language. Sometimes people express concern that it simplifies language too much, but it’s often the most popular format for the majority of users, when they are given a choice. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) goes beyond language and looks at connecting with people’s different learning styles; some learn best by visual methods; others prefer text or hands-on experimentation. There are so many ways that we can make teaching materials and our written communications more accessible and easily understood, by all.

I was really intrigued by the scope of the title “Inclusivity, Gestalt Principles and Plain Language in Document Design” (http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2016/accessibility/), recently published in the always-interesting, open access peer reviewed international library journal “In the Library with the Lead Pipe”. I’d read about Gestalt Principles in a very basic psychology-context, so I didn’t know much about them. Turner and Schomberg use these Gestalt components to illustrate the process of writing and designing material for users and librarians so that they are usable and understandable for all. I’m not sure this is the simplest method for explaining accessibility to the novice reader, but it was an interesting new approach to the topic of the design process using UDL and accessibility.

The section dealing with Plain Language was especially useful with clear directions and relevant examples, and I know I’ll refer to it when writing documentation in the future.
I was amused by the reworking of Ranganathan’s Five Laws of Library Sciences (do you remember him from Library & Information Studies?) into “Turner’s Five Laws of Document Design”. These five new laws give a nifty 5-point checklist for Librarians to refer to, when creating documentation that’s accessible and usable by all.

I particularly enjoyed the link to the examples of pre-redesign library handouts, compared with the new handouts that used the Gestalt and Plain Language principles described in this article.
This document design process covers writing, design and usability. Putting accessibility to the forefront of the creation process means that you aren’t working backwards to retrospectively make documents accessible, but considering the variety of user-needs and learning styles from the very beginning. Although it’s written from an American context referencing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the principles and processes described are all transferable to any local context.


This work, “Visual Gestalt,” is a derivative of “7 Laws of Gestalt” by Valessio used under CC 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons. “Visual Gestalt” is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by Jennifer Turner.

No matter where I go when I’m writing, I always bring the same banker’s box with my favourite resources to keep beside me. One of these documents is a short booklet containing useful Writing and design tips by the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) in Ireland that encourages the reader to use Plain English. The other booklet is “Written communication: Universal Design toolkit for customer engagement” from the National Disability Authority (NDA) in Ireland. Both are full of usable, practical and transferable guidelines that help me try to write clearly and simply, and avoid jargon. I will certainly be adding this new article to my banker’s box.

Our live discussion on 25 August 2016 15:00 GMT will no doubt be very diverse, but perhaps to begin the discussion, I’d be interested to hear how others are implementing (or considering implementing) Accessibility, Plain Language and UDL in Libraries around the world?

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Helen Farrell is a job-sharing Faculty Librarian for Social Sciences in Maynooth University, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland, having joined in March, 2016. Previously she has worked in e-publishing, web-design and mark-up languages (including XML), and as a Librarian/Webmaster for NGO’s and State Agencies. She was Librarian for the NDA up to 2008 and after 2012 she provided a Library service to the National Disability Authority (NDA), Ireland as well as the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design (CEUD) - co-located in the NDA. She has interests in accessibility issues, universal design (UD), user experience (UX), mark-up languages, and information literacy.
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