Monday, May 13, 2013

ACRL 2013 Conference Notes: Contributed Papers on Learning and Information Literacy

ACRL Contributed Papers Group 1
Topics: on problem-based learning, narratives, and emotional intelligence
Date: Friday, April 12, 2013, 11:00am

As before, notes on these are going to be brief (for some reason, paper presentations do not lend themselves as well to taking notes. Part may be the over-reliance on PowerPoint). The good news is that papers are available online (so my four readers and I can review them later. Direct links, leading to PDFs, included in title).

I. "Using Problem-Based Learning to Facilitate Student Learning Across the Curriculum."
  • Problem-Based Learning (PBL): 
    • Librarian as facilitator. 
    • Focus on cognition and metacognition. 
    • Uses real life problems. 
    • It is a conceptual model of facilitated learning. 
    • Encourages student-directed solutions. 
  •  PBL and metacognition: 
    • Believes the problem-solver can change his/her thinking and thus their behavior. 
  • PBL: 
    • Promotes critical thinking. 
    • Promotes peer-to-peer learning, which is more closely aligned to student preferences. 
  • Some concepts taught: 
    • Open versus hidden web. 
    • Primary/Secondary/Tertiary sources. 
    • Scholarly versus Popular sources. 
  • Move students from googling everything to entering the academic conversation. 
  •  It is important to meet with faculty to agree on outcomes and class activities as well as to collaborate. 
  • Sample idea: give students cards listing sources to sort out, say for primary, secondary, and tertiary sources. See then how they sort them, which can reveal how they are thinking. 

II. "Tell Me a Story: The Use of Narrative as an Instructional Tool.
  •  Definitions of narrative. 
    • Literary: linear. Beginning--> events --> conclusion. It is a representation of events. See Cambridge Introduction to Narrative (2008).
    • Social science: Events are framed in larger structures. People do not deal with the world event by event. 
  •  Learning theories
    • Constructivist. 
      • Learning occurs from experience. 
      • It only occurs if the learner has experience, interacts with it, and change occurs. The process is recurrent. 
    • MBE (Mind, Brain, Education) Science. (This link out of Johns Hopkins School of Education might help).
      • Learning involves emotion, cognition, reflection, and there are changes in the brain. The brain needs practical context, including narratives. 
  • Sample class exercise/lesson: Find a banana (or some other item):
    • The general store: Google Scholar (ok, you can probably get a simple banana here).
    • The grocery store: A database, say CSA or Web of Science. 
    • The farmers' market: Specialized databases, say ERIC or Education Full Text. 

III.  "Feeling our Way: Emotional Intelligence and Information Literacy Competency."
  • Students who better manage emotions can better navigate information literacy skills and tasks. This is the paper's hypothesis. This positive element was supported by their research.
  • Emotional intelligence affects learning and thinking. 
  • Awareness of intervention points for instruction and reference. Watch for cognitive overload. 

As was the case before, I really did this session for one of the papers, in this case the one about narratives given my interest in the topic. (Again, a case of it is not easy to leave the room once you are in it, plus not to mention locations are not exactly close enough to get to another paper on time. That was not a feature that endeared me to the conference planners). The third paper sounded good, but the presentation was just not that great (means I would probably be better off reading the paper to see what I can get out of it. I just think there could have been more to the presentation).

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