LOEX Conference 2010 Pre-conference

Perspectives Beyond the Library: A Teacher’s Method for Advancing Information Literacy Programs and Initiatives

Presenter: Dr. Caroline M. Stern, Ferris State University

Session 1: Information literacy resources and strategies

Recommends Made to Stick by Heath and Heath

One of the challenges of teaching info literacy is the discrepancy between the understanding of the librarian and other stakeholders, otherwise know as the curse of knowledge – it’s difficult to understand how others might not understand what is so clear to you

Strategies for promoting info literacy to those without the same understanding/appreciation:

  • Think of info lit as a sales pitch – keep it simple
  • Clarify the vocab you use and be consistent
  • Emphasize that IL is not something new – you’re just re-framing and repackaging what faculty have been invested in for a long time
  • Show that it works to faculty’s advantage to recognize what they’ve already been teaching
  • Show that it has value to them as stakeholders

For administration:

  • Demonstrate the need – we are saturated with info and students can and are tricked, also people do not regularly use reliable sources any more (many get news from blogs, comedians, social media, etc.)
  • Librarians are not gatekeepers but guides
  • Not just books – Libraries provide info management, digital pathways to web, access to subscription databases, and professional guides and teachers (every chance you get, emphasize that librarians are faculty and teachers)
  • Promotion of lifelong learning – when other faculty say they do this, ask them what tools they give their students, just theory is not enough – must have research tools (today’s grads change careers 5 to 7 times and must have lifelong learning tools to adapt and learn new information)
  • Information literacy is common to all disciplines, learning environments, and levels of education

Teaching model is changing – more process oriented, collaborative work – IL needs to be infused, cummulative, and systematic

Addressing faculty’s concerns and obstacles:

  • overloaded – implied message: what I have to teach is more relevant and important than what you have to offer
  • requires new skills
  • more work
  • not relevant

Session 2: Instructional Design

  • create cummulative objectives
  • decide on basic IL outcomes and advanced outcomes and work on getting students from one to the other
  • contextualize for students and use real world applications
  • include students’ responses to the info gathering process
  • place as much weight (grade points) on process as on product – research log with transparent process
  • give students rubics and check sheet so they know what good research should look like
  • make your lesson visuals – people can store more info in a picture

Session 3: Assessment

  • Must illustrate IL as value added
  • rubrics for IL are available – community colleges have taken leadership role
  • model an attitude toward learning – willingness to throw away unhelpful sources, realistic goal setting
  • teach them to go to authority for help – librarian over peer

Ideas for website evaluation:

  • Give sites with names and logo stripped out, ask if authoritative, ask what bias is
  • Ask students how they would build a credible website
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