For 2017 Summer Instruction Camp we teamed up with staff from Raynor Memorial Libraries at Marquette University to expand the reach of our unique professional development experience and provide campers with networking opportunities.
The theme for 2017 was Information Literacy Beyond the First Year Student. We chose this topic because we felt that our IL programs are well established in the first year core courses and we sense a need to expand into the core courses of the majors. Our desire to do so stems in part from the vision set forth in the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education.
“ACRL realizes that many information literacy librarians currently meet with students via one-shot classes, especially in introductory level classes. Over the course of a student’s academic program, one-shot sessions that address a particular need at a particular time, systematically integrated into the curriculum, can play a significant role in an information literacy program. It is important for librarians and teaching faculty to understand that the Framework is not designed to be implemented in a single information literacy session in a student’s academic career; it is intended to be developmentally and systematically integrated into the student’s academic program at a variety of levels. This may take considerable time to implement fully in many institutions.” – ACRL Framework, Appendix 1
We identified two challenges to expanding our IL programs, one external and one internal. Expansion requires collaboration with disciplinary faculty. Meaningful information literacy instruction delivered throughout the major calls us to develop an instructional toolbox for progressive, incremental learning goals that recognize students growth from novice to experienced researcher. Thus our driving question was: how can we build upon what students learn in first year library instruction to differentiate upper level teaching so as to prepare students for capstone level work?
Here is a summary of our three workshops.
- Topic: Are my students really ready for higher order thinking?
- Readings: ACRL Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education and Mayer, Richard E., and Susan A. Ambrose. “How Does the Way Students Organize Knowledge Affect Their Learning?” How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching, Jossey-Bass, 2010.
- Takeaways: The Framework addresses post-secondary students as beginners with the expectation that their knowledge, application and disposition to information will change over time and experience. Authentic assessments such as case studies and reflective writing are better suited to collecting evidence of higher order learning than quizzes or satisfaction surveys. Rubrics are useful tools for making learning goals explicit to yourself and your students and evaluating for higher order learning.
- Homework: Process Thinking Activity. 1. What evidence of prior learning do you want to see from the students? 2. Think about what resources students in an upper level course might need to trigger their prior knowledge. 3. What kinds of activities could students complete to demonstrate their prior knowledge?
- Topic: How can I know if students are mastering the topic?
- Readings: Mayer, Richard E., and Susan A. Ambrose. “How do students develop mastery?” How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching, Jossey-Bass, 2010.
- Speaker: Amber Brice-Young of Marquette University, Clinical Assistant Professor in Nursing and Educational Consultant in the Center for Teaching and Learning.
- Takeaways: It is important to activate students’ prior knowledge or address students’ insufficient knowledge in order to help students apply their knowledge to the new situation or context. Students tend to lack a sophisticated knowledge organization for the concepts they have learned. As experts we can help them learn by providing the structure, making explicit connections between concepts and monitoring how their own knowledge structures are developing.
- Homework: Develop a prior knowledge assessment for one of your upper level classes. Or design a knowledge organization structure to help make explicit a concept that you want your students to learn.
- Topic: How can I incorporate these new strategies into my teaching?
- The final day was a hands-on workshop for campers to get peer feedback on the assessment or knowledge structure they developed, prepare their idea for implementation in the fall, and create a guiding question so they could study their idea and connect back with their peers after implementing.
Based on feedback we received campers really appreciated the opportunity to connect with colleagues from a neighbor institution and be challenged to set new instruction goals for themselves.