Recording for Management & Leadership Committee Discussion Series – Critical Assessment Practices: A Discussion on When and How to Use Student Learning Data

On March 13th,  the Instruction Section’s Management and Leadership Committee hosted a virtual event titled Critical Assessment Practices: A Discussion on When and How to Use Student Learning Data Without Doing Harm, which is now available for viewing via ACRL’s YouTube channel. Session slides are also available. Our speakers were Nicole Branch, Zoe Fisher, and Ebony Magnus.

Session Description: Attendees will gain perspective on critical assessment practices in libraries from three academic librarians currently working with and exploring approaches that incorporate and are rooted in ethical orientations, inclusivity practices, and have impact on student learning as the guiding goal. Critical assessment practices engage critical perspectives and theories to interrogate the structures of power and methodologies that both motivate and facilitate assessment work in academic libraries. This hour-long panel will offer short, ten minute reflections from panelists, followed by twenty minutes of Q&A and discussion.

  • Outcomes
    • Consider critical approaches to library assessment practices
    • Examine trends and implications of libraries using student data through various modalities
    • Explore practical approaches and methodologies for implementing critical assessment of student learning

Thank you to our speakers and participants.

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March 2019 Site of the Month

The Peer-Reviewed Instructional Materials Online (PRIMO) Committee of the Instruction Section of ACRL is pleased to announce that a new Site of the Month interview has been posted to our committee website.

March 2019 Site of the Month: Wheel of Sources
Interview with: Kian Ravaei and Doug Worsham
Interviewer: Emilia Marcyk

Project Description: UCLA WI+RE’s (Writing Instruction + Research Education) “Wheel of Sources” is an interactive tutorial modeled after a game show designed to help students differentiate between primary and secondary sources in specific research contexts. The tutorial uses H5P’s interactive video framework, which presents the learner with activities to complete at key points throughout the module. In addition to helping students understand the difference between primary and secondary sources, “Wheel of Sources” encourages learners to think of “primary” and “secondary” as context-specific characteristics instead of inherent qualities of sources. To help students with key terminology, such as “meta-analysis” and “empirical study,” definitions are included throughout the video. Equipped with this knowledge, learners are then asked to kickstart their own research process by brainstorming possible primary and secondary sources for a research topic of their choice. This module can be embedded in websites and libguides, and integrated into H5P-compatible platforms such as Moodle and Canvas.

The full interview is available at: https://acrl.ala.org/IS/instruction-tools-resources-2/pedagogy/primo-peer-reviewed-instruction-materials-online/primo-site-of-the-month/march-2019-site-of-the-month/

To see the archive of previous Site of the Month interviews, please see http://acrl.ala.org/IS/instruction-tools-resources-2/pedagogy/primo-peer-reviewed-instruction-materials-online/primo-site-of-the-month/

Look for more interviews this spring!

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Featured Teaching Librarian: Justina Elmore

Several times a year, the ACRL Instruction Section Teaching Methods Committee selects and interviews a librarian who demonstrates a passion for teaching, innovation, and student learning.

Justina ElmoreName:

Justina Elmore

Institution:

University of Rochester

Job Title:

Outreach Librarian for the Social Sciences

Number of Years Teaching:

13 (eek!)

Are you a dogs or cats fan?

I have a dachshund the size of a cat… .

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

Abbott’s Chocolate Almond Frozen Custard

Describe a favorite activity that you use with students (this could be for a face-to-face class, online, or hybrid class).

I’m embedded in a writing class called Comics and Culture, where I provide information literacy instruction sessions for research and visual literacy. Over the course of the semester, students develop an argumentative research paper, transform that work into a multimodal project, and present their projects at a Comic-Con event held in the library. The lesson plan for the visual literacy session is available in the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy Sandbox under a Creative Commons license .

Tell us about your favorite teaching tools (e.g. cool apps, clickers, etc.).

In the past few semesters, I’ve been working with classes to create digital scholarship projects using our Digital Scholar platform powered by Reclaim Hosting. For example, I’m embedded in a political science class which paired with a community partner in need of data to support advocacy for the creation of a Landlord-Tenant Court in Rochester, NY (which would require state legislation). Students in the course gathered and analyzed data on landlord-tenant cases heard in Rochester City Court during the 2017 calendar year to better understand landlord-tenant issues and the eviction process. The data analysis conducted by students was presented as a website using WordPress pages through Digital Scholar. I also love Mentimeter for polling in classes. During pop-up events, I’ve used Twitterfall to create an easy twitter wall on our 4K screens. Finally, if I’m teaching in a classroom without a whiteboard, I use Web Whiteboard. I like this tool because it’s easy to use and you can quickly get to it and share it without logins.

What class do you teach the most and how do you keep it fresh?

I am an embedded librarian mostly for introductory writing classes or upper level courses in psychology, political science, or gender, sexuality or women’s studies with a designated writing component. One of the easiest things to do is to get creative with and change up the anticipatory set. If it hooks you, it’s more likely to hook your students. I am also always looking for new/different approaches to hands-on activities (making these the bulk of any class!).

Are you involved as an embedded librarian?

Yep. When I negotiate with a faculty member, I always try to come armed with assignment ideas or assignment modifications to make it worth their while to change their syllabus and/or give up class time.

Name two things you would share with a librarian who is new to teaching.

If at first you’re given a no by a faculty member (whether you’ve pitched a one-shot or are trying to flip one into something more embedded), keep trying! Building relationships with faculty takes time and effort. Keep making yourself useful and they’ll come to trust you. Second, use wait time consciously and try not to call on the same student twice. Ask students open-ended questions and don’t fill the silence; it’s okay for them (and you) to feel a little uncomfortable in order to get them to engage.

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2019 Instruction Section Special Certificates of Recognition & Appreciation

The Instruction Section occasionally recognizes significant contributions to the field of information literacy alongside our established IS Awards. This year, we are pleased to join the IS Awards Committee in honoring two contributions with Special Certificates of Recognition and Appreciation.

The recipients will be honored as part of our recognition of 2018 and 2019 Instruction Section Awards and Honors at the ACRL National Conference in Cleveland, OH on Thursday, April 10, 1:00-2:00 in the Hilton Hope D. More details on this event coming soon. All are invited to join.

2019 ACRL Instruction Section Special Certificates of Recognition and Appreciation

Nicole Pagowsky and the Critical Librarianship and Pedagogy Symposium received a Special Certificate of Recognition and Appreciation. Nicole initiated the Symposium in 2017, which takes place at the University of Arizona. The committee that organized the Symposium for the previous two years includes: Scott Buchanan, Jessica Calderwood, Jen Nichols, Anthony Sanchez, Maribeth Slebodnik, and Niamh Wallace. The certificate is in recognition of the contribution that the Symposium makes in building community among librarians interested in recognizing and critiquing power structures inherent in information practices, and in library professionals’ work as educators. Addressing an immensely important and timely issue in librarianship, the Critical Librarianship and Pedagogy Symposium provides a much needed space for library professionals to explore critical pedagogy and how it may inform their efforts in academic libraries and in higher education.

Brad Sietz, Director of LOEX, received a Special Certificate of Recognition and Appreciation for his dedicated work organizing the annual LOEX Conference and as editor of the LOEX Quarterly. The LOEX Conference is a premier venue for the instruction librarian community and has made a huge impact on the work of information literacy for librarians around the world by providing space for us to share ideas, ask difficult teaching and learning questions, and to get to know one another often leading to new collaborations and projects. LOEX Quarterly and LOEX Currents are must-reads for librarians to keep up-to-date on new and best practices in higher education and libraries, provides a venue for librarians to publish their ideas in pedagogy, as well as check out the current job ads. Brad has also be active in the Instruction Section for many years as an ex-officio member of the IS Advisory group, where he has shared his knowledge and perspective including participation in the discussions sponsored by the IS Discussion Group Steering Committee.

Congratulations to our 2019 recipients!

Meghan Sitar

Chair, ACRL Instruction Section

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Recording for Management & Leadership Committee Discussion Series – Mindful Leadership: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Academic Library Instruction Program

On February 20th,  the Instruction Section’s Management and Leadership Committee hosted a virtual event titled Mindful Leadership: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Academic Library Instruction Program, which is now available for viewing via ACRL’s YouTube channel. Session notes and resources are also available.

Session Description: Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are not just politically correct buzzwords; they are complex ideas that should be addressed by leaders of instruction programs. Mindful leadership involves the thoughtful reflection about and integration of practices that support DEI in our work as instructional librarians. This webinar offers a panel discussion and question-and-answer session examining DEI through the lens of management and leadership featuring four well-known specialists: Toni Anaya and Charlene Maxey-Harris of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, authors of the ARL Diversity and Inclusion SPEC kits 2010 & 2017; Anastasia “Stacy” Collins of Simmons University, author of “Language, Power, and Oppression in the LIS Diversity Void” (paywall); and Ione Damasco of the University of Dayton and co-author of “Tenure and Promotion Experiences of Academic Librarians of Color.”

Thank you to our speakers and participants.

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IS Member Orientation & Office Hours

The ACRL IS Membership Committee hosted our first virtual Office Hours & Member Orientation featuring special guest, IS Chair Meghan Sitar, on Thursday, December 6, 2018. Click here for the recorded session, in which you can explore some ways to engage virtually and keep current on events and offerings within our section. Live attendees of the webinar participated in an open Q&A, but all IS members and prospective members are welcome to send questions and/or ideas to IS Membership Committee Chair Marjorie Lear anytime at marjorielear@gmail.com. Look for another virtual Office Hours session to be announced prior to the April 2019 ACRL Conference!

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Accepted PRIMO Projects – Fall 2018

The Peer-Reviewed Instructional Materials Online (PRIMO) Committee of the Instruction Section of ACRL is pleased to announce that the following projects were accepted into the PRIMO database during its fall review cycle:

  1. Copyright Q & As: What kind of right is copyright? (Rumi Graham, Taryn Kromm, Rob Horlacher – University of Lethbridge)
  2. Reading Scientific Research (New Literacies Alliance)
  3. Wheel of Sources (Kian Ravaei, Jennifer Pierre – University of California, Los Angeles)
  4. Understanding Fair Use (Arizona State University Library, Anali Perry, Online Tutorials & Learning Team – Arizona State University)
  5. Using Videos for Teaching (Arizona State University Library, Anali Perry, Online Tutorials & Learning Team – Arizona State University)
  6. Writing a Research Data Management Plan (Arizona State University Library, Matthew Harp, Samuel Dyal, Online Teaching & Learning Team – Arizona State University)
  7. Selecting Keywords to Search (Toni Carter, Delaney Bullinger, Auburn Online – Auburn University)

Look for interviews with some of the creators of these projects at the PRIMO Site of the Month website during the spring.

If you would like to nominate a project to be considered for inclusion in the PRIMO database, the spring deadline is April 26, 2019. Submit your own project for consideration no later than May 10, 2019.

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Call for Nominations: ACRL Instruction Section Featured Teaching Librarian

Do you know someone who is an amazing teaching librarian?
If yes, consider nominating them as a Featured Teaching Librarian!
If you’re an amazing teaching librarian, consider nominating yourself.

The ACRL Instruction Section Teaching Methods Committee wants to highlight excellent teaching librarians. Several times during the year, the committee selects and interviews a librarian who demonstrates a passion for teaching, innovation, and student learning. This feature provides a way to showcase amazing teaching librarians on the ACRL Instruction Section website and share their best teaching practices with others in the field. Consider nominating yourself or someone you think is amazing!

Nominations are due by January 18, 2019.

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Featured Teaching Librarian: Paul Showalter

Several times a year, the ACRL Instruction Section Teaching Methods Committee selects and interviews a librarian who demonstrates a passion for teaching, innovation, and student learning.
Paul Showalter

Name:
Paul Showalter

Institution:
College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA

Job Title:
Coordinator of Library Instruction & Assessment

Number of Years Teaching:
17 and counting

Are you a dogs or cats fan?
Have both. Love both.

What are you reading right now?
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

Describe a favorite activity that you use with students (this could be for a face-to-face class, online, or hybrid class).
With new students, I often start class with a “Road Trip” activity. In small groups, I have them spend a few minutes thinking of the top ten things they’d need to plan for a road trip to Las Vegas. What do they need to do before they leave? What happens between Williamsburg and Las Vegas? What will they do when they get to Vegas? As they share their plans, I capture the ideas on a whiteboard.

Once we’ve spent a few fun minutes on that, I congratulate them on their road-trip planning skills and then ask them to consider a different kind of journey, one that also can benefit from good planning: the research assignment. On the whiteboard, I make a dot for the point of departure (when the assignment is given) and the destination (when the assignment is due). I ask them to work in their groups again for a few minutes to draw a hypothetical map of the trip between those two points. I then have each group share aloud a one-minute explanation of their map. That gives us a chance to highlight common elements between groups and note the ways in which processes can differ, but arrive at the same goal. I pay particular attention to where in their “journey” research occurs and whether they imagine the trip as a straight line or as something a bit more circuitous, as both of those concepts can foster discussion about process and mindset.

Name two things you would share with a librarian who is new to teaching.
While I won’t presume to call it wisdom, with a librarian who is new to teaching, I would share a couple hard-won bits of advice:

(1) Get the students involved in their learning. It’s tempting to try to control the class by talking at the students for the entire class period, showing them all the things you think they should know and all the amazing library tips and tricks that you know. But, if you’re willing to let some of that go and focus on a few tried-and-true activities, students will learn more during your time together.

(2) Your own learning doesn’t stop just because you’ve become a teacher. We can all get better at our jobs, so embrace professional development. Seek out learning opportunities from your peers, colleagues, and on your own. Get involved (or start!) discussions about teaching and learning with librarians and faculty at your institution and beyond.

Describe your experience with instructional technologies (e.g. Kaltura, Captivate, Articulate Storyline, CMS).
All incoming first-year students at W&M taken an online summer course called “College Studies.” It’s administered in Blackboard and is comprised of two main parts. Part two, called “Welcome to the World of Information,” is an introduction to information literacy concepts and to the W&M Libraries. For part two, I worked with a handful of excellent partners to build a library of video tutorials using Camtasia and quizzes using Blackboard. As we’ve revised and (hopefully) improved the tutorials and quizzes each year, I’ve spent around 500 hours on the project, all told. Once I got the hang of it, I found Camtasia fairly easy and enjoyable to use. My editing process goes much faster now than it did when I was starting the project in 2015, which frees up time for me to try to think of ways to make the tutorials more engaging. With Blackboard, there was a pretty steep learning curve for building tests and question pools, but that was largely due to our desire to have multiple random question options for each quiz. I feel pretty adept at it now, but as I was learning, I relied heavily on a few Bb experts at my institution and on tutorials I found online. In our last round of revisions, we added captions to the videos (using YouTube, mostly) and uploaded our videos to Panopto in Bb for easy streaming. If anyone wants to take a look at our tutorials, they’re publicly available at guides.libraries.wm.edu/infolit.

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Featured Teaching Librarian: Jenny Stout

Several times a year, the ACRL Instruction Section Teaching Methods Committee selects and interviews a librarian who demonstrates a passion for teaching, innovation, and student learning.

Jenny Stout

Name: 
Jenny Stout

Institution:
Virginia Commonwealth University

Job Title:
Teaching and Learning Librarian

Number of Years Teaching:
8

Who’s your favorite fictional villain?
Hannibal Lecter. He’s evil and violent, but also a gentleman!

What is your favorite movie based on a book?
So many, but most recently “Call Me by Your Name”, based on André Aciman’s novel. It’s just such a tender, beautiful story of first love and heartbreak.

Describe a favorite activity that you use with students (this could be for a face-to-face class, online, or hybrid class).
My favorite activity to use in the library classroom is ridiculously simple: I ask the students to brainstorm keywords/search terms for their own research topic for two minutes. Then, I get them into small groups (three to four) and each student gets two minutes to share their topic and have the rest of the group brainstorm additional keywords/related concepts/ideas/questions to consider. I find that it gets the students outside of their own heads when it comes to their research topic. Other students giving them ideas or feedback, or asking them questions about their topic, can unlock ideas that never occurred to them before.

Name two things you would share with a librarian who is new to teaching.

  1. Don’t take yourself too seriously or get visibly upset if students aren’t participating or seem bored. Instead, approach teaching with a sense of humor and even irreverence. Sometimes learning about databases is boring or confusing, and it’s OK to admit that to students. They appreciate authenticity.
  2. Never make a student feel stupid. If you ask a question and they give a wrong or incomplete answer, always say something like “That’s not what I was thinking, but you’re going in the right direction” or “Interesting idea! Anyone else want to build on that?” If you make a student feel embarrassed or stupid, you will lose their trust.

What’s your teaching philosophy?
The most important aspect of teaching is connecting to students on a human level. All the things we think teaching is about–giving students the correct information, making sure students can find all the resources they need, assessing how well we taught, etc.–are actually a byproduct of what’s truly important: earning students’ trust as someone they can come to for help who isn’t going to judge them or grade them. If a student leaves my library class remembering nothing except “wow, that librarian was nice and I feel comfortable contacting her with questions,” I consider that a success.

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