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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Revamping a Freshman Seminar Information Literacy Program


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Revamping a Freshman Seminar Information ... How can we make our dog-and-pony-show student-powered? Two Models of Instructional Design ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Revamping a Freshman Seminar Information Literacy Program

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Revamping a Freshman
Seminar Information Literacy Program  
  • Amanda IzenstarkMary C. MacDonaldUniversity of
    Rhode IslandUniversity LibrariesKingston, RI

Why Reduce, Reuse, Recycle?
  • Reduce
  • Student library anxiety, mentor boredom,
    instructor frustration, librarian apathy
  • Reuse
  • Previous successes in instruction (activities,
    questions, techniques, methods)
  • Recycle
  • The things about your sessions that meet your
    goals and outcomes

Our Raw Materials
  • URI 101 Freshman Seminar Program, started in
    1995.Introduced new students to the University
    Library and catalog.
  • Short tour of Library
  • Demonstration of the catalog
  • Hands-on practice with the catalog
  • Worksheet
  • In 2006, 1853 students in 87 sessions came to
    the library.

Is it worth recycling?
  • What did we like about our previous format?
  • Easy-to-do tour, demonstration, and worksheet
  • Worked well on its own when the program was
  • Nice face-to-face session with many new students.
  • Easily facilitated by both busy librarians and
    grad student trainees.
  • However, the original format was looking a
    little used.
  • Student mentors were not enthusiastic.
  • OPACs commonplace by now!
  • Sense of pervasive boredom.
  • Some no-shows and cancellations.
  • ...And the future of URI 101 was not clear.

Using Renewing Resources
  • Departmental change
  • Appointment of a Head of Instruction
  • Addition of the Reference Instructional Design
  • Collaborative opportunity
  • Meeting URI 101 Student Mentor Representative
  • What we wanted to know
  • What does the mentor think students should know?
  • What vision did he have for the program?
  • How can we incorporate his ideas -- including a
    scavenger hunt -- into a deliverable model?

Part 1 What We Wanted
  • Originally, really wanted a tutorial...Plan B
    Keep the small-group Library visit
  • Importance of "Library as Place"
  • Importance of librarians as approachable people
  • Importance of positive public relations
  • How can we make our dog-and-pony-show
    student-powered?Two Models of Instructional
  • Backward Design
  • Deb Gilchrist's Five Questions for Assessment

Model 1 Backward Design
  • From Making the Most of Understanding by Design,
    p. 17The best instructional designs are
    backward that is they begin with desired
    results, rather than with instructional
    activities... involving three interrelated
  • Identifying desired results (such as enduring
    understandings, essential questions, and enabling
    knowledge objectives).
  • Determining acceptable evidence to assess and to
    evaluate student achievement of desired results.
  • Designing learning activities to promote all
    students' mastery of desired results and their
    subsequent success on identified assessment tasks.

Model 2 Gilchrist's 5 Questions
  • Five Questions for Assessment Design
  • Outcome What do you want the student to be able
    to do?
  • IL Curriculum What does the student need to know
    in order to do this well?
  • Pedagogy What activity will facilitate the
  • Assessment How will the student demonstrate the
  • Criteria for Evaluation How will I know the
    student has done this well?
  • Above, and following two slides
  • Gilchrist, D. (2007). Improving student
    experience Assessment-as-learning. ACRL
    Institute for Information Literacy Illinois
    Immersion Program Participant Notebook. Chicago

Instructional Design Process
Identify Problem
Conduct Needs Analysis
Evaluate Solution
Develop Solution
Implement Solution
Learning Outcomes in Instructional Design
Identify Problem 1. What do you want the student
to be able to do?
Needs Analysis 2. What do they need to know in
order to do this well?
Evaluate Solution 5. How will the student know
they have done well?
Develop Solution 3. What activity will
facilitate the learning?
Implement Solution 4. How will students
demonstrate their learning?
Part 2 Collaboration
  • Used Gilchrist's 5 Questions to determine
  • What the URI 101 Mentors wanted the students to
  • What we wanted the students to know
  • Tips that smoothed the collaboration process
  • Using the mentors' jargon to level the playing
  • Willingness to try to align our expectations with
  • Listening to their ideas about students and the

The Result A 3-Part Program
  • Pre-Activity
  • Brief Web searching exercise that asked students
    to find a source suitable for college-level
  • Classroom Session
  • Re-used maps and exercises created in several
    different, highly successful instruction
  • Post-Activity
  • Adapted scavenger hunt "The Information
    Excavation" with subject focus whenever possible.
  • Required thorough search of Library's resources
    online, not in person

The Major Changes
  • Moved from the tour/demo/worksheet to an
    interactive format
  • Built questions that were discovery- and
  • Emphasized in-class investigation of answers to
    questions about library services and resources.
  • Devised questions that would show rather than
  • Created a flexible framework that made it easy
    to use subject-specific examples to lead students
    toward tools that relate to their major.

Goals and Learning Outcomes
  • Goals of the Library Experience instruction
  • Introduce students to the Library as place (for
    group work, study, research and information
  • Introduce the array of services the Library
    provides that support student research and
  • Learning Outcomes
  • Students will identify primary service areas of
    the library in order to become familiar with the
  • Students will explore features of the Library's
    web site in order to locate services and
    materials for college-level research.
  • Students will use the Library catalog in order to
    find books.
  • Students will discuss searching the open web in
    order to evaluate a source's suitability for
    college-level research.

Aligning Goals Outcomes with Standards
  • URI 101 has no research component, but the
    Library Experience introduces IL Standards 2 and
    3Standard 2 - The information literate student
    accesses needed information effectively and
  • Performance Indicator 1c - Investigates the
    scope, content, and organization of information
    retrieval systems.
  • Standard 3 - The information literate student
    evaluates information and its sources critically
    and incorporates selected information into his or
    her knowledge base and value system.
  • Performance Indicator 2 a-d - The information
    literate student articulates and applies initial
    criteria for evaluating both the information and
    its sources.

Assessing the Program
  • How will I know the students have done this
    well?Our assessment asked students
  • Name three things you learned
  • Two things you're unclear about
  • One thing you'll do differently when researching
  • Results showed that most students learned the
    things we had identified as our goals and
    outcomes for the session.

Making it a Habit
  • Getting buy-in from colleagues
  • Preview sessions to elicit feedback
  • Training sessions to prepare instructors
  • Re-emphasizing need for active and spontaneous
  • Collaboration with the first-year coordinators
  • Remember that you may have to compromise a little
  • Posted our session materials on their web site
  • Compare assessments and bridge the differences

  • 2007 resulted in 108 sections with 2259 students.
  • Reached 21 more sections, 406 more students.
  • Almost no cancellations, two no-shows.
  • Students were more engaged.
  • Comments
  • URI Students Noted availability of help, variety
    of resources available (beyond Google!)Mentors
    "We liked it." "Very helpful." "Informative."Inst
    ructors "300 better!" Prof. Cathy
    EnglishLibrarians So much more fun!

For Next Time More Re-Use!
  • After meeting with URI 101 staff
  • Seeing assessment helped refine instruction.
  • Morphed the post-activity into the pre-activity
    moved some activities from pre-activity to
    in-class session.
  • In-class activities adjusted and re-ordered to
    reinforce and ensure the coverage of formalized
    goals and desired outcomes.
  • Built/added more support for librarians.
  • Tweaking our evaluation/assessment forms to get
    more specific information.

At Home Revamp Your Session
  • Select strategies to help you plan and assess
  • Instructional Design Principles
  • Deb Gilchrist's 5 Questions for Assessment Design
  • Reduce apathy and anxiety
  • Use Active Learning techniques to lead students
    to discovery
  • Prevent student frustration - highlight tools
    that lead to success
  • Create opportunities for discussion
  • Tailor activities to subject interests whenever
  • Remember collaboration is not just coordination
  • Find and aim for common goals.

Questions We Asked Ourselves
  • Do freshmen use books anymore?How much do first
    semester freshmen need to know?How much do you
    have to give up in order to collaborate?How do
    you make the program scalable and adjustable for
    your institution's needs?What do you do with
    colleagues who are not the best presenters, but
    who you need to present, due to specialized
    knowledge, limited staff, etc?

  • Brown, J. L. (2004).  Making the most of
    Understanding by Design. Alexandria, VA
    Association for Supervision and Curriculum
  • Gilchrist, D. (2007). Improving student
    experience Assessment-as- learning. ACRL
    Institute for Information Literacy Illinois
    Immersion Program Participant Notebook. Chicago
    Association of College and Research Libraries.