ALA Unit/Subunit: ACRL
Meeting Type: Program
Cost: Included with full conference registration.
Librarians and disciplinary faculty showcase four collaborative projects that have provided students with a high-impact learning experiences in information literacy. These projects cover a range of methods, including a program that allows education students a chance to teach information literacy skills to a cohort of public school students, a summer scholars program, the creation of an open education resource (OER) by a writing class, and a class built around designing materials to teach college students information literacy terminology. The panel will discuss how these projects achieve many of the practices identified by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) as high-impact learning practices.
The Association of American Colleges and Universities has identified ten practices as highly influential in higher education. These practices range from first-year experiences to capstone courses, from global learning to writing-intensive courses. The common thread for all of these practices is the level of engagement and connection to the work. The work of nearly all academic libraries and librarians supports the AAC&U practices, such as information literacy instruction for capstone, writing, and first-year seminars and research support for collaborative assignments and projects. Librarians doing the work described in this panel, however, go beyond the traditional librarian role; in these projects, librarians have taken initiative to engage in projects that highlight some of the salient, experiential facets of the practices identified by AAC&U.
The value of the following four experiences is the significant learning impact on students, potentially affecting overall higher education goals like student retention and career success, but also on the information literacy skills that are essential to both academic work and lifelong learning.
Two university librarians work with a college of education professor and public middle school teacher on a series of weekly information literacy classes. Over the course of a semester, pre-service education students work alongside middle school students in their classroom on a research project, helping sixth-graders to build research and information literacy skills, from developing a topic to citing sources. The community-based learning project gets college students into a K-12 classroom early in their education, placing them into a mentorship role where they can apply what they learn, gain confidence, and practice teaching methodologies and techniques.
Librarians created and led a summer-long research program for undergraduate student researchers. This annual program provides students with the opportunity to have an intensive research experience using the library’s resources and collections. Mentored by a librarian faculty member, students develop and enhance information literacy skills as a means to engage in the scholarly discourse of their discipline. In this program, students learn about library resources, engage deeply with collections and resources to support scholarly exploration. Using information literacy skills honed during the project, students create a finding aid, exhibit, learning object or other product that supports other students’ use of the library and contributes to the library’s mission.
What started as a disappointing search for an affordable textbook option for returning/nontraditional students became the focus of an entire business writing course in which the class revised a chapter of an OER and republished it, using research skills to inform their writing. The writing professor reached out to collaborate with the librarian to identify viable open access textbooks and support with student research. Over time, the plan is to continue revision of this OER in order to provide a viable, affordable textbook option for all business writing students while providing a collaborative learning experience for the students who take this course. In this course, students engage deeply with the topic and practice of writing and communicate to a very real audience, students like themselves.
The “Learn the Terms” visual information campaign is a cross-disciplinary, faculty-student collaboration in which graphic design students create a series of posters, table signs, digital images, and bookmarks, consisting of geometric shapes and lines and vibrant colors designed to illustrate information literacy terms used in college instruction. The project gives graphic design students a real-world, hands-on learning experience, taking them through the entire design process, from ideation to production. Student work in groups, taking on, in turns, the various design roles in the process, engaging in serious listening, responding to feedback,and incorporated the concepts and terms into their creations, They gain experience in problem definition, information gathering, concept development, and critique. The project offers an innovative, creative way to transform understanding of the language all students need to be effective learners and equips design students with the skills and practices they need in future careers.