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2015 Indiana University Libraries Information Literacy Colloquium: Session Descriptions

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Session Descriptions

Session 1: 9:30-10:30 a.m. 

Checking the Radar: Visually Analyzing Learning Objectives Within the Information Literacy Framework

Eric Bradley, Andrew Shields, & Fritz Hartman

Curious about how to implement your existing learning objectives with the information literacy framework? This working session will engage participants in an approach that emphasizes interconnected core concepts rather than a one-to-one assignment of learning objectives to standard competencies. By plotting the relationship of each learning objective to all six frames on a radar chart, participants will evaluate how well their learning objectives embrace the interconnected and holistic vision of information literacy which the framework offers. Polar graph paper and colored pencils will be provided for participants as they learn and apply a method of programmatically producing radar charts for information literacy frames. Interested participants are encouraged to bring between 3 to 5 learning objectives.

The Information Literacy Constellation: How Do Your Stars Align?

Cara B. Stone & Becky Canovan

Our first inclination when something new comes along is to start completely fresh. As we face this new addition to the constellation of information literacy documents, why not first identify how our stars align. Instead of starting from scratch with the Framework, let's take an inventory of the info lit instruction we are already teaching. Attendees will use an inventory checklist and curriculum mapping tool that simplify and transform the framework into something that is more accessible for everyday use. These tools will help users identify which areas of the framework their existing instruction already targets. They will also illuminate where content isn't yet addressed. Attendees may examine an activity, lesson, unit, or course, or work on sequencing the framework throughout their liaison departments. The facilitators will provide an introduction to these homegrown, but flexible, tools and models for attendees to consider as they examine their work. At the end, the group will reflect upon and discuss any patterns or gaps that arise from the activity. 

When Faculty Give You Lemons: Using the Frames to Revolutionize the “Library Visit"

Mark Robison & Nora Belzowski

Every instruction librarian is familiar with this scenario: a professor contacts you, wanting to schedule a "library visit".  With no hint of irony, the well-intentioned professor inquires, "Are you available next week to give your usual library talk?" In that instant, you aren't sure whether to scream, admit defeat, or exact your revenge. Despite our best efforts, many subject faculty still do not understand the role that we librarians see for ourselves in cultivating information literate students.  Even professors who are advocates for library instruction often expect a simple "library visit" to review some basic tasks, such as using the catalog or finding articles in a database. The Information Literacy Framework gives us a tool for approaching class time differently. Whereas the Standards emphasize the sequential achievement of discrete skills, the Frames aim to cultivate critical habits of mind, changing how students think about information.  Unfortunately, few students will become critical participants in the information landscape if we continue to deliver the task-based library instruction that many professors request. Even for novice teachers, the Framework holds wonderful potential to transform our lesson plans. In this workshop, you will be presented with a hypothetical scenario that asks you to turn a professor's "library visit" request into impactful IL classroom activities. First, you will communicate with the errant professor to get a fuller picture of the students and their upcoming assignment.  We all know that such communication requires confidence and political savvy.  Then you will get your hands dirty by creating instructional activities that introduce and/or reinforce IL competencies from one of the six Frames.  The activities you design will depend on your perception of what is appropriate for the assignment and the students' skill levels. This problem-based workshop is designed to be interactive and driven by group collaboration.  It will be a great opportunity to talk with colleagues about the pedagogy of information literacy. And while this session is about unpacking the Framework through instructional design, it also will help participants to explore strategies for communicating confidently and knowledgeably with subject faculty about the need for IL training.


Session 2: 10:45-11:45 a.m. 

Informed Agitators: Stirring Up New Methods of Learning

Edith Campbell, Melissa Gustafson, & Kayla Siddell

A transformative definition of literacy is "a form of cultural citizenship and policies that increases opportunities for subordinate groups to participate in society and as an ongoing act of consciousness and resistance" (Lewison, Flint and VanSluys, 2002). We are librarians from a campus that has the highest percentage of African American students in Indiana, a high percentage of students with low income, and a disproportionate number of students with lower  SAT test scores (Environmental Scan 2012). We struggle to use the ACRL Information Literacy Framework to prepare our students using Lewison et al.'s definition of literacy. Educating our students with habits of mind, critical literacy skills, concepts of justice, privacy and security are literacy concerns educators must address in order to increase students' opportunities for an intellectually informed and successful future.  How do we reach our students to improve their information literacy abilities? What avenues should we take to introduce the power structures embedded in information? Which threshold concepts from the ACRL framework more appropriately address these essential sets of knowledge and abilities? We will begin the workshop with a brief presentation of critical information literacy theory and ways the ACRL framework may be perceived in relation to this concept. We will use this introduction to generate discussion of meaningful ways to build on students' prior knowledge, advancing their information literacy abilities now and throughout their lives. Participants will: 1) in small groups, interrogate an assigned threshold concept from the ACRL framework and identify any knowledge practices or dispositions that relate to critical literacy or social justice in order to develop a shared understanding of how such aspects of student learning are represented in the framework. 2) reconvene as a group to compare responses. 3) identify overarching challenges and opportunities generated by the discussion of the ACRL Framework threshold concepts: What avenues should we take to introduce the power structures embedded in information? Which frames move beyond library skill building to incorporate habits of mind and critical literacy? 4) Brainstorm learning activities to address these challenges in the library classroom and categorize them, based on the six frames of the ACRL framework. 5) be presented with a bibliography, as a living document, in GoogleDrive so that they may continue to share resources.

Translating Dispositions into Behaviors for Assessment Purposes

Christina Heady

With the advent of the Framework there has been friction between the Framework's new emotional approach and librarianship's culture of assessment. This new document is the first guiding document for information literacy that prioritizes the affective, in addition to the cognitive, aspects of learning. This brings forward questions about how we assess attitudes and emotions in any kind of meaningful way. Fortunately, the Social Sciences have been dealing with this issue for ages and they have an answer: you can't. Or rather, you can but only by proxy. Love, friendship, job satisfaction, none of these things can be measured directly but if we accept proxies like divorce rates, frequency of interaction, and turnover rates-observable behaviors we closely associate with those emotions-we can operationalize, and therefore measure, those emotions. It's far from perfect but it's also a heck of a lot better than guessing. The dispositions identified for each of the six frames in the ACRL Framework acknowledge our students' emotional states, and we can indirectly measure those emotional states by identifying measurable behaviors that we closely associate with those states. Take the first disposition of the first frame: "Develop and maintain an open mind when encountering varied and sometimes conflicting perspectives." It is not possible to directly measure open-mindedness, so we have to measure it indirectly. For example, "students will be able to utilize at least one source contrary to their perspective in order to incorporate counterarguments in an argumentative research paper." The use of contrary sources suggests open-mindedness, and unlike actual open-mindedness, contrary sources can be counted. In this workshop, participants will examine the Framework in order to identify dispositions relevant to their practice. After the introduction, participants will be divided into six groups. Each group will be given a large sheet of paper. On those sheets of paper, participants will collaborate to translate dispositions into measurable behaviors, like the example provided above. Periodically, participants will be prompted to share their progress and ask questions. After the workshop, participants will be given a master list of measurable behaviors for the dispositions produced by all of the groups.

Aligning Disciplinary Ways of Knowing to Information Literacy Threshold Concepts 

Lisa Jarrell   

The Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education challenges librarians to integrate information literacy skills into course content in deeper and more meaningful ways. In order to integrate the frames and align them to learning goals in other disciplines, we need to understand how students interact with, evaluate, produce, and share information within that discipline. We have to understand the specialized information skills in that discipline. How do we begin to understand if we are not experts in that field? How do we begin a conversation with faculty about knowledge practices and dispositions in the framework? Participants in this workshop will examine options for practical application of the Framework by connecting one or more of the frames to specialized information skills in a specific discipline that students must develop in order to be successful in that discipline or profession. We will brainstorm a list of clues to help us uncover the knowledge practices and dispositions that are valued in various disciplines. Based on the clues we find, we will brainstorm practical ways to support students' learning and faculty teaching based on the Framework. We will also consider possible pitfalls and limitations of the frames in this context. Participants will leave with practical ideas for integrating the knowledge practices and dispositions in at least one frame into discipline specific information literacy instruction and into conversations with faculty. 


Session 3: 1:00-2:00 p.m. 

Thinking Through Information Literacy in the Disciplines: Using the Framework to Make Expert Processes Visible

Sara Miller

The new ACRL Framework for Information Literacy makes possible a wide range of approaches for helping students move beyond the simple consumption of information to focus on the creation, use, and interpretation of information sources in disciplinary contexts. This workshop will focus on identifying tacit disciplinary practices and approaches to information, provide space to examine our assumptions about student experience with information across disciplines, and explore ways to make disciplinary processes more visible to students. The process draws on approaches from the "Decoding the Disciplines" project (Middendorf and Pace, 20041), which involves identifying "bottlenecks" for students and related steps that an expert would address the issues. Participants will work in groups to reflect on information practices and processes in their own disciplines or subject areas through the individual IL frames, identify related gaps in student knowledge, and strategize approaches to address the gaps. Identifying specific disciplinary applications of the IL Frames will stimulate ideas for liaison, pedagogical technique, collaboration, and activities related to the Frames. Participants should read and familiarize themselves with the Framework beforehand. If librarians have responsibilities in a subject area, they should also bring a copy of any disciplinary standards in their area that relate to information literacy.

Addressing the Affective Aspects of ACRL’s Framework: Personal Experiences Translated into Educational Stories for the Classroom

Joshua Vossler

Advances in neuroscience have revealed that stories possess the ability to alter listeners' emotional states and promote the formation of new memories. Basically, stories can help people learn and can even affect their attitudes. The timing of this research is serendipitous, given that it can inform how instruction librarians approach the Framework, and especially the challenge of teaching to the dispositions. Rather than, for example, trying to find an engaging way to explain an information literacy concept, instructors can construct memorable and captivating stories capable of affecting student attitudes toward information literacy, or, frankly, whatever is being taught. Furthermore, these stories do not need to take up huge amounts of class time in order to be effective; even five minutes can produce the desirable effects. Stories, as opposed to narratives, possess common structures that persist across cultures and are immediately recognized, if only unconsciously, by anyone who comes across them. By taking a suitable anecdote and mapping it onto one of these fundamental story structures, instructors can create powerful learning experiences. In this workshop, attendees will view a brief video canvassing the research regarding neuroscience and story. They will hear an example educational story told and analyzed. They will identify experiences suitable for adaptation into an educational story, and connect them with one or more dispositions. Finally, attendees will examine a list of story elements and identify elements they can apply to their experiences in order to create the foundation of an educational story.

Teaching Visual Literacy with Maps

Theresa Quill & Heiko Mühr

People are visual creatures. Younger generations of learners are accustomed to visual messages permeating their lives and their learning. However, the requisite skills to think critically about visual information, to make sense of it, and to creatively generate one's own visual content are not always among the skill sets of these learners. As advocates for the importance of visual literacy to student success, it is essential for librarians to teach concepts related to the understanding of visual images through information literacy instruction. Visual content, particularly images in the form of maps, are relevant learning tools across a variety of disciplines. The act of reading a map, understanding a map, creating a map, or asking questions about a map can lead students to higher-order thinking that involves the consideration of spatial relationships and the myriad ways in which maps display and distort information. Applying the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy to the use of maps in the library classroom allows for creative, concrete approaches to teaching high-level concepts. The two facilitators for this workshop will apply what they have learned from a collective 12 years of teaching with maps to the ACRL Framework by providing a successful model for how maps can be integrated into library instruction lesson plans. After this model is presented, workshop participants will engage in an example learning activity using mapping in order to better understand the student learning experience when it is enhanced with visual methods. This learning activity will involve tapping the spatial consciousness of participants in order to collectively map out the top ten attractions in the state of Indiana. Workshop participants will realize that map-making is a subjective process. Differences in perspective and scope matter when we create visual content in the form of maps. Following this example, workshop participants will be convened in small groups and given an information literacy instructional scenario to guide their own process for developing a learning activity focused on maps or the process of mapping. Each scenario will include suggestions for mapping strategies/tools, but participants will come up with their own learning activities and will ensure the connections of these activities to the ACRL Framework. Following this hands-on collaborative work, each group will have the opportunity to present their "Learning through Mapping" activity for the library classroom, thereby allowing all participants to gain new instructional approaches from each other. As part of the small group sharing session, participants will discuss the opportunities and challenges around the application of maps to the ACRL Framework. The ideas generated during this session will be collected on a LibGuide and shared with participants following the Colloquium. 


Session 4: 2:15-3:15 p.m.  

Traveling Into the Eye of the Hurricane: The Framework, One-shots, and Beginning Researchers

Lisa Jarrell & Brenda Yates Habich

Librarians who are tasked with providing library instruction for beginning researchers are often confronted with a request for a one-shot session and expectations set by the course instructor and department curriculum. These expectations typically extend beyond the scope of a single session with a librarian. How will the Framework influence how librarians teach students with little or no research experience in a one-shot setting? How can the Framework guide librarians' transition from the one-shot session into other instructional approaches? How can the frames be applied in instruction situations with students who have varying levels of research experience or different cultural/language backgrounds? Through this workshop experience we hope to address some of these questions and, together, brainstorm solutions for how to best integrate the threshold concepts from the ACRL Information Literacy Framework into students' learning. Workshop participants will first work in small groups to analyze scenarios for library instruction in order to identify how they might connect with the Framework. Scenarios will range in topics and audiences will include international students, incoming Honors students, and new graduate students. A full group discussion will follow this scenario-based activity, as a way of illuminating shared challenges and common approaches for implementing the Framework. With these challenges in mind, participants will re-engage in their small groups as part of a problem solving activity intended to generate effective strategies for applying the Framework to library instruction. At the end of the workshop, participants will share the practical strategies that emerged from their small group problem solving and engage in a discussion of related challenges and opportunities specific to the context of their own campuses. 

Teaching “Troublesome Knowledge” through Instructional Scaffolding: A Sequenced Approach to the ACRL Framework

Andrea Baer

A common response to the ACRL Framework is that its emphasis on complex conceptual understandings and knowledge practices presents significant challenges to instruction librarians:  while our teaching traditionally has focused largely on the immediate needs of students to locate sources within a short amount of time, we know that deeper learning necessarily occurs over a much longer duration. The Framework similarly acknowledges that if IL education is to be treated as integral to lifelong learning, librarians will need to rethink our pedagogical approaches, both within and beyond individual class sessions. While there is no single and easy solution to curricular change, instructional scaffolding is a key piece to the larger puzzle. Through scaffolding - an approach to sequencing instructional content and materials so that students engage over time with increasingly complex concepts and processes - breaks learning material down into simpler steps. This enables students and instructors to work in more focused ways to address common stumbling blocks to learning. In this workshop librarians will share and develop their understandings of instructional scaffolding, particularly as it relates to the ACRL Framework. After an introduction to key principles of instructional scaffolding, participants will work in small groups to develop a scaffolded instructional approach to a learning outcome that relates to one or more of the ACRL Framework's threshold concepts. 

Inside the Frames: Process and Personal Information Management (PIM)

Sue McFadden & Lora Baldwin

The practice of active information management for college students provides an example of the IL Frame "Information Creation as a Process" and places the student at the center of learning. This practice is demonstrated in credit IL courses, but can be part of a comprehensive information literacy plan for academic institutions and libraries. This method is demonstrated in the practice of Personal Information Management (PIM) in a credit course. Students use tools in the form of e-portfolios, personal LibGuides, shared cloud space, blogs, and other emerging options to develop their own PIM. The practice offers a basic organizational tool, and specifically a way to manage, reuse, mark-up, evaluate, and select discrete information resources for student analysis, creation, and storage. Through reflection, students identify the PIM process to be helpful in creating quality research projects. One student, with a family health crisis, remarked that the PIM allowed her to access completed pieces of the process to build the final-project while at the hospital. / How can students develop skills and practices to discover and manage the complex information environment? A possible answer: students need to be active information managers and develop PIMs! The workshop offers usable examples while helping attendees consider their own options. Librarians will consider ways to engage students in the frame through brainstorming, discussion, and a little planning to expand standards' learning to include the valuable ideas found in the frame, "Information Creation as a Process" and provide a method of assessment.

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