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.
- Do note that presentation handouts are available, as PDF's, on the conference website, in the schedule section. Link to the schedule here: http://s4.goeshow.com/acrl/national/2013/conference_schedule.cfm. (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."
- 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.