Friday, August 29, 2014

KLA LIRT Library Instruction Retreat 2014 Notes for Morning Sessions

The Kentucky Library Association LIRT (Library Instruction Round Table) Library Instruction Retreat took place on July 11, 2014 on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University. I must say up front that I found this to be a useful learning opportunity, and it did spark some ideas for me to bring back to my library. I am also giving serious consideration to joining the state association as I see some good opportunities to do some good things, but let's not digress further and get to my notes. As usual, I will try to put the notes of what I saw and heard; any comments of mine that I add I will put in parenthesis.

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After the welcome and opening remarks by the KLA LIRT officers, I went to the following sessions:

Session 1: "Gauging our Impact: Assessing Outreach and Student Learning Using Readily-Available Technologies." 
  • (Going to this was pretty much a given to me. Assessment has become the new big word in my workplace, and I am pretty much expected to take part in anything that has that word in it. That aside, library outreach is an interest of mine, so attending this made sense.)
  • The presenters discussed a self-reflection pilot exercise for students attending library instruction sessions, getting statistics on use of library tutorials out of BlackBoard CMS for distance education students, and student feedback on course-embedded SoftChalk modules. 
  • Reflective opening question: What are the implications of the session for your own instruction at your library? How will today's session influence your approach to library instruction? (Question actually applicable throughout the day.)
  • Context from the presenters: 
    • 2012-2014: They conducted a survey of professors who brought their students in for library instruction. 
    • 2014: Surveyed students who scheduled research consults (this I may be interested in replicating for our library). 
    • 2014: Embedded their LibGuides into BlackBoard. 
  • Suggestion to look over University of Louisville's Critical Thinking QEP. This can give ideas for partnerships and other initiatives or projects.  
  • On online information literacy and online modules. 
    • Their module objectives: 
      • Distinguish how information comes to be in popular sources. 
      • Explain the need for information evaluation. 
    • Informed feedback.
      • Describe the biggest takeaway from the module. 
      • Provide comments on the modules themselves. 
      • You can use pen and paper or the questions feature on BlackBoard. 
    • They mentioned using NVivo research analysis software.  (This may be more than I would want at this time, but jotting down for reference.)
    • Implications: 
      • Develop specific outcomes for modules. 
      • Have formalized assessment to demonstrate grasp of learning outcomes. Allows students to reflect on module content. 
      • Incorporate real-life examples and multimedia.
  • On BlackBoard statistics tracking of SoftChalk tutorials (this is for distance learners, but I suppose can be applicable locally too). 
    • Instead of sending a marketing e-mail with a lot of text containing the library and information literacy information for students, you can use tutorials to be a visual and concise message tool. You still need good instructions, including screenshots. 
    • The idea is to encourage our users to be empowered and more independent as distance learners. 
    • SoftChalk does provide tools to generate statistics reports for tutorial content. The statistics can help librarians know things like if there is a need for an online chat service and when to have it. 
    • Make tutorials for basic and foundational needs. Then track them to help with marketing and knowing what student needs have been met. 
  • On a self-reflection pilot for library instruction students. (Of the three parts in this session, this was the one that I was really interested in since we are exploring use of self-reflection exercises for assessment. If nothing else, it helped give me some validation for that work.)

Session 2: "How's it Different from an Annotated Bib? Helping Students Survive the Literature Review."
  • A common faculty gripe: students fail to synthesize sources for a literature review. 
  • Common faculty expectations (as if): 
    • Assume students already know how to do research (oh, I could say so much about this, but we are just taking notes here). 
    • Assume that students understand the purpose of a literature review (especially without bothering to actually explain it to them). 
    • That students understand how to use research to construct a literature review (see previous assumption). 
  • (Reminder to self that the presenters provided some sample handouts, which I have on my folder. If I manage to scan or such, I may include later.)
  • It is important to discuss critical reading (yes, even in library instruction, but discipline faculty need to do it too). This can be done with their literature matrix (again, this was a handout).
  • A question for us librarians: on using source management software, like Zotero for example, do we need to cover this a bit more in our instruction sessions? (I'd say probably, but then we get into the question of just how much time we have to cover how much content again?)
  • Something to teach the students: To pull together the literature review, you do need to do prewriting, reading, annotation. Identify themes rather than just authors.
  • Key questions to ask students. Get them to think about this:
    • What do we know? How do we know it? 
    • What don't we know? Why don't we know it?
  • How librarians can help faculty and students: 
    • Offer multiple library instruction sessions. 
    • Recommend building scaffolded assignments.
    • Recommend other resources as needed. 
    • Offer workshops. 
    • Partner with the campus writing center and other relevant campus units. 
  • Citations to check out: 
    • Rempel and Davidson, "Providing Information Literacy Instruction to Graduate Students through Literature Review Workshops." Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship Winter 2008.
(Coming next: Notes for the Afternoon Sessions)