Trends in Information Literacy Instruction – November 2020

In this edition of Trends in Information Literacy, we see five articles that outline opportunities for interactive teaching, workshop design, critical thinking assessment, and library programming.

For interactive classes both in-person and online, there is a profile of the Rain Classroom application from China that allows a suite activities accessible to students from their mobile devices.

We see again the themes of backwards design and rubrics pop up again as a method of designing and assessing library workshops that have critical thinking as a major learning outcome.

Finally, two articles suggest that teaching around social media and library programming are creative ways that we can integrate the goals of the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education into our larger goals as an institution.

Read below the jump to find the full citations and a brief summary.

Han, L., & Lu, Z. (2020). Enhancing student participation in information literacy course based on Rain Classroom: a case study. Library Hi Tech, 38(3), 522–536. 

Rain Classroom is a Chinese application in the Educational Technology field that allows students to interact with different class materials through their phone. It is designed to increase student participation and engagement with materials through “pushing off-class materials… to students’ smartphones; checking class attendance; assigning real-time exercises; developing learning outcome tests, surveys and voting; and automatically generating statistical reports of full-cycle teaching data from pre-class and in-class to after-class.” The authors incorporated Rain Classroom into their information literacy session as a pilot project with very positive results both in terms of student participation and satisfaction, but also in terms of learning outcomes and pre- and post-survey results. While applications used in the classroom should be carefully evaluated to ensure student privacy and autonomy, this case study does make a good case for including technology enabled interactive elements to IL classes to keep students engaged 

Black, E. L. (2020). Instructional design for single information literacy sessions. Public Services Quarterly, 16(3), 161–171.  

While folks in the Information Literacy Instruction field have long been pushing for teaching that goes beyond the one-shot course, the 60-90-minute information literacy workshop is still the norm for most library instruction classes. This can make it difficult to design and plan classes that have meaningful assessment opportunities. In their re-design of the information literacy instruction workshop, Black and her colleagues used the well-established Understanding by Design techniques marked by backward design principles.  

Mastley, C. P. (2020). Information literacy instruction and social media: A survey of Mississippi academic librarian Attitudes. Mississippi Libraries, 83(3), 34–46. 

When it comes to information literacy instruction, teaching librarians will sometimes disagree about what is and is not our job to teach. In this survey, Mastley asks instruction librarians about whether teaching students about social media literacy falls under the umbrella of larger information literacy goals. For these librarians, the overwhelming majority felt that social media was absolutely part of teaching information literacy at the post-secondary level and intend to incorporate messages about social media into their teaching practice.  

Goodsett, M. (2020). Best practices for teaching and assessing critical thinking in information literacy online learning objects. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 46(5), N.PAG.  

Assessment of learning objectives for information literacy can often be a challenging prospect as librarians are not necessarily integrated into formal classroom assessment practices. For critical thinking, this sometimes becomes even more difficult considering that assessing tasks and behaviours associated with critical thinking often involve more intensive methods of assessment – discussion groups, reflection papers, and interactive online activities. Assessing these activities also requires a greater degree of subjectivity in response, which is often hard to capture. In this paper, Goodsett explores the literature surrounding ideas of critical thinking assessment and presents a rubric that can be implemented to help assess and discuss activities centered around critical thinking.  

Kasten-Mutkus, K. (2020). Programming as pedagogy in the academic library. Portal: Libraries & the Academy, 20(3), 425–434.  

In this article, Kasten-Mutkus highlights the benefits of library programming that goes beyond traditional information literacy workshops. Offering programming like lecture series, social events, and student-led presentations makes the library a more attractive place for “community, diversity, and exchange,” and encourages students to see the application of critical thinking and engagement with the scholarly community.  

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