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A Guided Active-Learning Activity for Sophomore-Level Library Experiences by Caroline Geck, Kean University Librarian My presentation describes the process.

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Presentation on theme: "A Guided Active-Learning Activity for Sophomore-Level Library Experiences by Caroline Geck, Kean University Librarian My presentation describes the process."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Guided Active-Learning Activity for Sophomore-Level Library Experiences by Caroline Geck, Kean University Librarian My presentation describes the process of creating an active-learning exercise that can be used in place of a traditional library instruction session (a lecture and hands-on experiences) for sophomore-level Research and Technology general education courses, especially when I serve as a traveling librarian and visit the students’ classroom labs.

2 My Goal I wanted to design an activity that meets a major learning goal for a research-geared course like that of Research and Technology. I decided to focus on further developing students’ meta-cognitive schemas or strategies for scholarly article identification. (The recognition of the difference between scholarly journals and trade and popular magazines also meets ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education 1.2.d and 3.2.a.)

3 Meta-Cognitive Schemas?
Meta-cognition refers to thinking about one’s thinking. Meta-cognitive schemas can be defined as a process of learning in which individuals build upon their prior knowledge representations or schemas. New learning occurs when new connections are constructed from prior schemas. Meta-cognitive schemas or knowledge representations are also called mind maps and visually represented by concept maps.

4 Concept Map for the Definition of a Scholarly Article

5 Let’s Team Up to Explore Scholarly and Popular Articles Online: An Active-Learning Activity
Students work in groups of three to five, and the activity has three explicit objectives: Learning to access electronic resources (E-resources) from the library’s homepage. Being able to distinguish quickly between scholarly and popular articles by noting differences in content, writing styles, and formats. Developing skills in evaluating information while working in multi-window environments. The objectives are followed by brief directions about how to begin retrieving the full texts corresponding to an APA-formatted References list and then completing the worksheet with critical skills questions comparing and contrasting scholarly and non-scholarly items. These questions are then used to answer the final question “Define a scholarly article?” Students are also told to be prepared to present their worksheet answers to the rest of the class and to give reasons for their choices.

6 Initial Observations of Students and the Activity in Two Library Instruction Sessions for Research and Technology After my initial introductions and assistance for a few groups retrieving the first full text, students became very engaged with the activity and started intensely discussing the questions. The guided design of the activity enabled groups to complete the activity in 20 to 30 minutes. During the presentation phase, the students gave well-thought-out answers to the last question “Define a scholarly article?”

7 Presentations and My Opportunity to Ask Students about the Activity
I asked the students if there were too many questions on the worksheet? The overwhelming majority of students said either “no” or that the activity had the right number of questions. I asked the students whether I should use the activity in future classes? Many students commented that they liked the assignment and encouraged me to use the assignment in future classes. Students made comments similar to the statement that they would find scholarly articles in the future to support their research. These comments indicate that the students realized that scholarly articles would lend more support to their research than other types of articles. One student even said that he had “gained new strategies to identify scholarly articles.”

8 Unexpected Benefits The active learning exercise seemed to reinvigorate learning and interest in the information seeking process: Teams that finished early became very curious about the library’s database page and wanted to know if they could use the same databases for their own projects. Students also asked for database recommendations based on their topic of research. Several students commented that they were not aware of these databases and would have liked to been introduced to these databases earlier in their careers. Other students asked me about their search strategies and research topics. The overwhelmingly majority of students stayed after the activity was completed to conduct their own research.

9 Some Final Thoughts This activity can be adapted to your own needs in freshmen-level and sophomore-level library experiences and is an example of the integration of information literacy skills directly into the university and college classroom. This activity can also be adapted to an online environment, and its learning benefits can be further enhanced through a combined process of discussion and reflection. Learning can be deepened in a physical classroom or online by letting students generate their own questions for group discussion.


11 Ma Lei Hsieh Monmouth University
Constructive Learning in Library Instruction: How Does IT Compare With the Traditional Method? Ma Lei Hsieh Monmouth University

12 Objectives of the Library Instruction Session
Students will be able to: Find journal articles in databases Find books in the Library Catalog Use Library Services

13 Surveyed Students Method Include 7 classes (80 students) Traditional
Majors of the classes: education, communication, computer science, history No freshmen students in the study Method Undergraduate Graduate Traditional 1 2 Constructive No. of students 47 33 Most students had catalog and database experience 13 13

14 Traditional Method Librarian demonstrates, students follow alone.
Students do exercises on journal databases. Librarian and faculty help.

15 Students construct their own learning with minimum instruction.
Constructive Method Three principles: Students construct their own learning with minimum instruction. Peer learning and teaching Instructor as coach in the learning process.

16 Constructive Method A. Journal databases:
Librarian explains peer-reviewed vs. popular journals / magazines, show databases on Lib Web. Divide Students into 4 groups of 2-5. Each group work with a database. Students search on selected topics. Group representatives present their search findings to the class (via NetSupport). Librarian gives critique of the searches and explains about the features of the databases. Continues …

17 Constructive Method (continued)
B. Using traditional method to present: Journal Locator Library Catalog Library Services

18 Evaluation All classes give evaluation at the end: Grade level
Had a Library Instruction (ILI) Before? Three things learned in this session. What still confused you. Met your expectations?

19 Constructive vs. Traditional Methods
Had ILI % Met Expect. % No. of Students Constructive 60 88 57 Traditional 36 98 23

20 Undergraduate vs. Graduate
Method Had ILI % Met Expect. % No. of Students Undergraduate 77 83 47 Graduate 29 99 33 20 20

21 What Did Students Learn?
Constructive Traditional Journal databases % Journal databases % Search tips – keywd strategies, *, Adv. Search, modify searches % Search tips – keywd strategies, *, Adv. Search, Modify searches % Peer-reviewed vs. Popular 9% Peer-reviewed vs. popular 9% Search books – Catalog % Search books – Catalog 9% Citation % ILL % Other 22 categories Other 8 categories Top 4 items on both methods were the same. - These are the items students need more instruction. Students learned more items in constructive method. They had explored more. 21 21

22 Still Confused? Constructive Traditional Peer reviewed vs. popular
Find journal articles Citation Catalog 14 other categories By exploring more items, students felt confused with more items in the constructive method group. 22 22

23 Constructive Learning Advantages / disadvantages
Engaging students - Students work with peers and faculty. Time is a challenge discuss, develop search strategies, present Break learning mode – from listening to doing. Students don’t discover things thoroughly for lack of experience / time. Students retain better of what they learned. Exploring new items, some students may feel confused.

24 Teaching with Constructive Method
2 or 3 a group is more effective than 4 and more. A smaller class works better than a large class. Its time consuming to use this method. Use one part of instruction in this method. Use traditional method with it.

25 Conclusions Both methods are effective if students are engaged.
Students retain more with constructive method. But it’s more time consuming to teach. Not everyone likes it. Use traditional method with it to meet various learning styles. Assessment gives librarians feedback to adjust teaching to meet students’ needs. 25 25


27 The College of New Jersey
Jacqui DaCosta The College of New Jersey

28 What is the Cephalonian Method?
A fusion of color, images, humor and music! A way to involve participants in the session and to encourage questions An attempt to relieve the boredom for all involved!

29 How does this work? There are 8 colored cards around the room – each with a question or a statement Colors are assigned to different types or categories of relevant topics Related topics are grouped and assigned a color Be prepared to address any question from the colored topic set and number your PowerPoint slides!

30 How the Cephalonian Method started
Cardiff University librarian on holiday Developed by Linda Davies and Nigel Morgan Used initially for large group orientation and to replace tours

31 Popularity of the Cephalonian Method
Revealed to the unsuspecting British librarian public in 2004! Been used For large groups and small groups At different types of institutions With undergraduates and graduates For orientation and other teaching sessions

32 My Mom’s e-mailed me a picture of Miguel, my pet iguana
My Mom’s ed me a picture of Miguel, my pet iguana. Where can I print him out? 2 PC rooms (24 hour access) Microsoft applications Subject databases Internet & access Network printing accounts Laser printing Strict list of priorities for using these PCs. Notices in Biomed and in PC1. has the lowest priority. Use of databases and word processing / spreadsheet for course / project work have the highest priority. You will asked to give up a pc if you are ing and other need to work. Networked printing from any PC Charge you account up - machines for this in Main College and Bute. 32

33 What really irritates us?
Eating & drinking Excessive noise Theft Cell phones ! Cell phones !! Cell phones !!! Library staff have a responsibility to ensure that everyone has the chance to work in a quiet and pleasant environment. eg no litter, pools of coffee or coke, no noise talking / etc Stop you eating & drinking, using phones & stereos. No talking in the journals area or the reading room. Staff & researchers - show them & your colleagues some consideration. Valuables, take them with you. Fire alarm is a loud siren / klaxon. if you hear this, please leave by the nearest exit and assemble on the grass outside main college. 33

34 Reactions to the Cephalonian Method?
Students They seem to like it – it’s something different They laugh with you and are keen to see what is coming next Faculty “Wonderful” “Superb” They like the style

35 What can go wrong? Need a contingency plan for the technology to let you down! You are inviting a moderate amount of chaos into your classroom You can’t audition the students Shyness Audibility Color blindness

36 Benefits of the Cephalonian Method
A good icebreaker Adaptable for different audiences It can make the students look forward to their next library session! Achieves certain active learning objectives Interaction Discussion and questions

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