Wednesday, May 01, 2013

ACRL 2013 Conference Notes: On Course Integrated Research Narratives

ACRL Panel Session
Topic: "Visible Thinking: Using Course-Integrated Research Narratives to Engage Students and Assess Learning."
Date: Thursday April 11, 2013, 10:30am

I recently read an article on using undergraduate personal research essays for library instruction and assessment, so when I saw that there were some programs on the topic of research narratives, I knew I had to go to those programs. This is a topic of interest, and as I work on writing up a new information literacy assessment plan for our library, this is an element I want to include in the plan. So, I tried to learn as much as I could on this topic.

My notes:

  • Do note that presentation handouts are available, as PDF's, on the conference website, in the schedule section. Link to the schedule here:  (I did print them out and added them to my print notes). 
  • Concept based on narrative theory. 
    • "...theory about what happened and why it matters" (Bruce Jackson, 2007. As usual in many presentations, heaven forbid they give a complete and accurate citation. Anyhow, based on date and some searching, I think they are referring to the book The Story is True: the Art and Meaning of Telling Stories. Sounds like something to add to my TBR list. I do remember reading bits and piece).
    • Drawing on the concept of literacy narrative assignments. A story about how a person learned to read and write, how they acquired literacy. Explore the relation of individual and society in terms of literacy. 
  • Develop a story to make meaning. Writer presents a theory of what happened and why.
  • Modify literacy narrative to review and focus on research experiences. 
  • Prompt sample (partial, can refer to handouts for others): Tell a story about an experience where you had to research something for school.  How did this experience influence your current attitudes or feelings about academic research? 
  • Emerging theme: research and writing are inseparable. However, from the study, positive and negative student research experiences emerged as well. 
  • Part of a sample student response. This student criticizes the research experience as a waste of time. (By the way, this is probably one of the best lines I heard at the conference, if not one of the best lines on college paper writing I have heard ever): ". . . a collage of plagiarism that people actually accepted as a real paper." 
  • Applications: 
    • Librarian narratives to engage students (this I found intriguing. I may try to write one out before I try it out in a classroom). 
    • Narratives as meta-cognitive reflection.
  • (I think we could do a pilot of this at my library and campus. When I spoke to the director about it, she said we love pilots in this place. I think we can adapt it to our General Studies program). 
  • Works cited analysis can reveal diversity of sources students use in their research. It does not tell you why they chose a source or not (which is what interests me personally). Pair up citations with the narrative to see the full picture. 
  • Begin with a single course and section. Leverage an established relationship with a professor who may be friendly and/or supportive of the library and information literacy. Then increase impact by involving colleagues in reading and assessing the pilot. 
    • Reminder, whether on research or other writing, students are more invested if they can choose their own topics. 

No comments: