Getting Faculty Buy-in on Library-based Information Literacy Instruction
Cultivating strong information literacy skills in students takes a well-built partnership between the library and faculty members. However, convincing instructors of the value the library can bring to their classrooms can be a challenge. This case study describes how Case Western Reserve University turned to Credo to help tackle information literacy on campus and bolster dialogue with faculty members.
Instruct has Students Talking at Cairn University
When Cairn University’s librarians began preparations for Middle States Accreditation they realized that many of their information literacy tutorials were out of date. Read this case study to find out how they used Credo's Instruct (at that time called InfoLit Modules) to achieve their goal of implementing an engaging, standards-based solution across campus.
Highlights from the Georgia International Conference on Information Literacy
For those who missed last month’s Georgia International Conference on Information Literacy, or simply couldn’t make it to all of the stellar presentations, Credo offered a reprisal of some of the presentations in a webinar on October 25. The webinar featured the event’s keynote speaker ahead of presentations by three of the many librarians who were featured at the conference.
Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, Executive Director of the National Writing Project and co-author of Because Digital Writing Matters and Writing for a Change: Boosting Literacy and Learning through Social Action, offered a taste of her keynote address, “We’re Doomed: Now What?” The speech concentrated on the problem of disinformation, with Eidman-Aadahl describing that the initial feeling of the world being consumed by dishonest news and rhetoric has, for her, been dispelled by students’ reactions to it. The speaker offered many resources for teaching students how to detect dishonest material and for tapping into their interest in how professionals such as journalists cut through the noise.
Next was April Sheppard of Arkansas State University, who described a bridge program her library conducted with regional high schools, in which the library offered access to Credo Reference to the schools. While the material helped students regardless of where they planned to go to college, a significant number of the students in the program opted to attend Arkansas State, showing that an institution considering offering such a program can see considerable benefits. Sheppard discussed best practices for bridge programs and offered inside details on how her library made the program a success.
The final two speakers, Shannon Johnson and Sarah Wagner of Purdue University, offered a joint presentation on digital badging. The coworkers described their experiences providing information literacy training for library student workers, with digital badging tracking the students’ progress and offering them an incentive to continue. Johnson and Wagner discussed the technology they used in this project and the ups and downs of using digital badges in education.
An Assessment Plan How-to
Credo's IL Strategy Handbook is being released in several stages. October saw the release of a section covering curriculum design; in November we look at continuous improvement through assessment. Ahead of that, take a look at Megan Oakleaf's "Writing Information Literacy Assessment Plans: A Guide to Best Practice."
Library Marketing 101
Do you struggle to get faculty on-board with incorporating IL into their classroom, or inviting you in to discuss how the library can help students in their work? Credo's IL Strategy Handbook has you covered. We recently released a section covering how to make students, faculty, and even parents aware of how your information literacy services and resources--not just the Credo ones--can benefit them. See Section One of the IL Strategy Handbook, "Marketing your IL Program."
Disinformation and Media Bias
Vanessa Otero on Media Bias
In this interview with Credo, Otero discusses what bias is, whether it’s always bad, and how to make students care about finding reliable information.
IL Elevator Pitches to Engage Faculty
Promotion of your IL instructional work to faculty can take many forms, from formal presentations at committee meetings right down to chats in the hallway. Don’t discount the chat approach as ineffective, as it can have many benefits. Not least is that faculty who may find the library intimidating (there are some!) might be more open to hearing what you can do for them in a casual chat than in a committee meeting.
While a friendly conversation might feel unacademic, you can still pack in plenty of information by having a prepared elevator speech ready to go—this means a talk that offers a quick pitch or a few key facts about something important to your role. An IL-related elevator pitch for faculty could include details of what classes you’re offering lately, statistics on how IL instruction can benefit students, and facts from professional development literature. For example, the current issue of College and Research Libraries includes “The Academic Library’s Contribution to Student Success: Library Instruction and GPA,” an account of a study that found a small but statistically significant increase in GPA among students who had taken library instruction.
The business world offers tips on how to create elevator pitches that flow smoothly and include lots of pertinent facts in a short time. In an article in Forbes, Judy Coughlin, CMO and co-owner of Chic CEO, made the recommendations to the left below. Look to the right for recommendations on how you can translate them to your library!
|Elevator Pitch Recommendations||How You Can Implement Them|
|It’s fine for your speech to sound a little like a sales pitch as long as it includes relevant information||“Students who took one or more of our library’s instruction classes showed an increase of half a GPA point last year. I’m free this Friday morning if you’d like to come by and discuss how I could help your class.”|
|Check for jargon and stop words—terms that the person you’re speaking to might not be familiar with and that could make them pause.||Instead of saying, “Library instruction can help your students to detect disinformation online,” Try: “Library instruction can help your students not to be taken in by disinformation—what they might call ‘fake news’”|
|Use a question in your pitch||“I heard you’re trying an annotated bibliography assignment this semester. How’s it going?”|
For more on how to get your short, punchy speech down pat, see this article from The Muse. While it’s not for librarians per se, it has much to offer, from how to use index cards to prepare your points to how to practice your speech—alone, in an elevator. Also, check out this recent Learning Community webinar on “How to Implement the Framework for Information Literacy with Classroom Faculty,” in which Professor Janice Baskin discussed ways to get faculty on board with library work.
From C&RL News: Apps for IL Instruction, Students Views of the Research Process
The latest edition of College and Research Libraries News is out, and it offers several articles of interest to IL librarians. On the tech side is “Is There an App for That?:A Review of Mobile Apps for Information Literacy Classes,“ in which Abbie Basile, engineering and physical sciences librarian at Old Dominion University and Sherry Matis, research librarian I and user experience coordinator at Virginia Wesleyan University review Padlet, Socrative, Mindomo, and Answer Garden. The authors describe each app and discuss how it can be used in instruction.
Also helpful to IL librarians is an article that looks at student views of the research process, identifying problem areas. In “Exploring Information Literacy Assessment: Content Analysis of Prefocus Essays,” Jesi Buell, instructional design and web librarian, and Lynne Kvinnesland, information literacy librarian, both at Colgate University, examine how students tackle and feel about research, as described in essays they wrote about the process. The “Lessons Learned” section, which discusses issues such as student anxiety and reluctance to ask for librarian assistance, is well paired with Lisa Janicke Hinchilffe, Allison Rand, and Jillian Collier’s “Predictable Information Literacy Misconceptions of First-Year College Students” in order to understand how students experience library use and what might need to change.
Reference Consultations and Student Success Outcomes
A new article from Reference Services Quarterly cites reference interactions as drivers of information literacy skills and student confidence. Robin E. Miller, Associate Professor and Assessment and Instruction Librarian at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, discusses a student-data collection program at the university that helped show that students who participated in reference interactions had higher GPAs than others. Miller also addresses the questions of how, and even whether, student reference data should be collected.
Academic Library Assessment: Barriers and Enablers for Global Development and Implementation
In the November 2018 issue of College and Research Libraries News, Martha Kyrillidou, research associate at the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, discusses global benchmarking for academic library assessment as one factor that could help fight library inequality across the world.
Register for Library 2.0's Instructional Design Conference
If instructional design has you puzzled, or you want to hear the latest best practices in the field, register for Library 2.019: Shaping the Future of Libraries with Instructional Design. Full details have yet to be announced for the free, online event that is organized by Library2.0, but registration is already open, as is the conference's call for proposals.
How Do Students Use the Library? PIL Explains All
In this infographic, Project Information Literacy (PIL), " a nonprofit research institute that conducts ongoing, national studies on what it is like being a student in the digital age" and home to a range of resources that can help in your work, offers a succinct look at how students use the library and perform research. In a sobering statistic, the infographic notes that 80% of students don't ask a librarian for help; also of concern is that students find research more difficult than ever. On the positive side, PIL has found that students use the library as a place of refuge.
Booklist Review of Merrilee Proffitt’s “Leveraging Wikipedia: Connecting Communities of Knowledge”
This review, by Credo’s Henrietta Verma, appeared in the October 4, 2018 edition of Booklist Online. The collection of essays by librarians and educators describes innovative classes and projects that use Wikipedia to advance information literacy.
Leveraging Wikipedia: Connecting Communities of Knowledge. Proffitt, Merrilee (editor). Feb. 2018. 263p. ALA Editions, paper, $68 (978083891632); e-book 97780838917329). 030. Review first published October 4, 2018 (Booklist Online).
It is time librarians moved beyond decrying Wikipedia as something to warn against, say the authors of this useful theory and practice combination. The site is better viewed, they explain, as an information literacy tool, a way to expand awareness of the social construction of information, a means for libraries to collaborate with cultural institutions, and more. One of the most useful entries comes last; it is by Proffitt, the collection’s editor, a senior program officer at OCLC Research, and she discusses her path from a fledgling, mistake-making Wikipedia contributor to an experienced Wikipedian, along the way experiencing the possibilities and tensions inherent in the Wikipedia-library relationship. The preceding 14 entries build toward Proffitt’s story by offering compelling views on the various ways in which information workers have embraced, improved, and drawn from Wikipedia. In “Connecting Citizens and the Military,” for example, chief librarian Theresa A. R. Embrey discusses how staff, interns, and volunteers at Pritzker Military Museum and Library in Chicago have used information from the library’s collection to fill Wikipedia’s coverage gaps. “Minding the Gaps,” by Kelly Doyle, Wikipedian in residence for gender equity at West Virginia University Libraries, covers the reasons for and the dangers of Wikipedia’s editors being mainly white males from the Western world, and how to change that. On the more technical side are entries on the semantic web (“Wikipedia and Wikidata Help Search Engines Understand Your Organization”) and metadata (“Bringing Archival Collections to Wikipedia with the Remixing Archival Metadata Project Editor”). Many librarians will find something of interest in this wide-ranging work; the entries are also excellent springboards for library-school discussions. A worthwhile purchase.
Booklist Review of Nicole A. Cooke's Fake News and Alternative Facts: Information Literacy in a Post-Truth Era
This review, by Credo’s Henrietta Verma, appeared in the August 20, 2018 edition of Booklist Online. For more on fighting disinformation, see Verma’s review of Michelle Luhtala and Jacquelyn Whiting’s News Literacy: The Keys to Combating Fake News and the Know News report mentioned below.
Cooke, Nicole A. (author). June 2018. 48p. ALA Editions, paper, $35(9780838916360); e-book (9780838917503). 306.4. REVIEW. First published August 20, 2018 (Booklist Online).
This primer by Cooke (Information Services to Diverse Populations, 2016) prepares librarians to take advantage of what the author notes is a prime opportunity. The ubiquity of fabricated news and the public’s new awareness of it can be used, she notes, to promote the importance of media literacy and librarians’ related expertise. The report provides clear overviews of related topics such as the public overconfidence in internet use, emotional aspects of news consumption, and critical evaluation of information with regard to the producer’s power; it also offers a clear lesson plan for a media-literacy class and links to further such resources. Cooke helpfully emphasizes the uncertainty of what anyone knows about how disinformation works and discusses not only deceptive acts but also how the business practices of legitimate sources have led to our current, muddled environment. Both public and academic librarians can benefit from this work. Cooke’s lengthy bibliography will assist those who wish to delve deeper; these users will also appreciate Simmons College’s recent white paper “Know News: Understanding and Engaging with Mis- and Disinformation.”
Beyond Fake News: Strategies for Evaluating Information in an Era of "Alternative Facts"
At the Virginia Library Association Conference on September 27, 2018, Nancy Speisser of South University and Henrietta Verma of Credo discussed how to teach students to read laterally and fact check in order to weed misinformation from the resources they use for research assignments. Please see the slides here; the presentation drew upon Mike Caulfield's blog post "How 'News Literacy' Gets the Web Wrong"; both that post and his online, free textbook Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers are well worth a look.
Slides from the Georgia International Conference on Information Literacy
The Georgia International Conference on Information Literacy, which took place in Savannah in September, included a presentation on IL assessment by Karen Doster-Greenleaf and Sarah Kirkley, both of Georgia State University. “Sharpening Your Aim: Building an Instructional Assessment Toolkit” included tips for alleviating anxiety regarding assessment and building formative and summative assessments, all using an “assessment toolbox.” See the presenters’ slides here; they have also made available their learning outcomes checklist and an overview of the learning domains that you should be aware of when you are constructing lessons and assessments.
Other presenters included Jenny Dale of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, who discussed why authentic assessment is important in information literacy and how it is best performed, and Dr. Jim Shimkus from the University of North Georgia on using TILT (Transparency in Teaching and Learning) in IL.