Positive Disruption: How an Accidental Online Learning Module for a Large STEM Lab Became a Permanent Solution

Poster Description: The University of Kentucky (UK) Libraries has been providing information literacy instruction to undergraduate biology majors since 2013. As originally conceived, the Libraries collaborated with the course coordinator of a large, multi-section biology course to take over the content for one of the course labs. Using the train-the-trainer model, the Libraries supported course teaching assistants in delivering information literacy instruction, in person, via a presentation, course guide, and an accompanying worksheet. When the pandemic began and UK shifted to remote instruction, the Libraries rushed to move the biology lab content online. This poster will describe the evolution from emergency remote teaching to a robust online module that has outlasted remote teaching and is fully integrated into the in-person class. Collaborative, iterative development, Universal Design for Learning principles, and the use of multiple online tools to create a robust experience will be highlighted.

Poster: Link to poster on Microsoft Sway

Presenter Names: Aja Bettencourt-McCarthy, University of Kentucky Libraries and Valerie Perry, University of Kentucky Libraries

Presenter Bios: Aja Bettencourt-McCarthy is the STEM Instruction Librarian at the UK Libraries. Before joining UK, she was the Head of Public Services at the Oregon Tech Library. Her primary research interests include pedagogy, critical thinking, creativity, and organizational communication. Email: Aja.BettencourtMcCarthy@uky.edu

Valerie Perry is Interim Director of the Science & Engineering Library and Library Liaison for Biology at the University of Kentucky. Previously she served as the Head of the Agricultural Information Center for 22 years. Her primary research interests include STEM instruction, assessment, liaison programming, and organizational management.

4 replies on “Positive Disruption: How an Accidental Online Learning Module for a Large STEM Lab Became a Permanent Solution”

This is great! We had a very similar situation at our institution, and it’s great to hear how others have embraced the opportunities afforded by online instruction in the context of a STEM lab course. Are there any ideas about teaching citation managers that you’re exploring and able to share?

What a timely question! We are currently working with the course coordinator to build-out the citation manager portion of the lab. In particular, we’re hoping to demonstrate the value of citation managers outside of this particular assignment. Currently, students use EndNote Online to save Web of Science citations and create a short bibliography (tutorial here: https://libguides.uky.edu/c.php?g=223278&p=6273007), but we’re planning to expand this activity to include an overview of the different ways scholars use citation managers and information on the Cite While You Write function. We’re still in the brainstorming phase and aren’t 100% sure what it will look like yet, though!

Thank you so much for sharing! I have a colleague who is trying to figure out how to approach a multi-section environmental science class in a sustainable manner, I’ll be sure to point her toward your poster.

Thank you in advance for sharing this poster! Please don’t hesitate to have your colleague reach out to us directly if they have any questions.

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