During the Value of Academic Libraries update session at ALA in San Francisco, Jennifer Fabbi (Library Dean, CSU San Marcos) and Carole Huston (Associate Provost, University of San Diego) shared their experience assessing information literacy within the framework of the WASC Senior College and University Commission. The presentation as well as sample assignments and rubrics are available here: http://biblio.csusm.edu/ilcore
The United States Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education recently announced a new Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) competition First in the World (FITW). The program will provide multi-year grants to institutions of higher education to spur the development of innovations that improve educational outcomes, make college more affordable for students and families, and develop an evidence base of effective practices. The grant announcement explains that innovations can take many forms, such as those that improve teaching and learning by redesigning courses and student supports or by leveraging technological developments.
The FITW competition aims to increase postsecondary access, affordability and completion for underrepresented, underprepared or low-income students at institutions across the country. Applications are due June 30, and FIPSE is holding pre-application webinars May 28 and June 4 from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. EDT. See the First in the World website and the official Federal Register Notice for more details.
While ACRL is not eligible to apply, academic librarians could work with their own institutions and consortia to seek FITW funding. With $75 million dollars available, this could be a powerful mechanism for you to implement innovative strategies and effective practices which improve student outcomes. Use FITW as a catalyst to transform student learning, pedagogy, and instructional practices through creative and innovative collaborations on your campus. Leverage this as an opportunity to demonstrate alignment with and impact on institutional outcomes.
Think of ACRL when you develop your proposal. We can serve as a contractor to support your project in the following ways:
- Retain our consultants to design and facilitate a planning retreat, conduct an external review, or facilitate round table discussions/focus groups with your campus stakeholders.
- Host an onsite training workshop Planning, Assessing, and Communicating Library Impact: Putting the Standards for Libraries in Higher Education into Action or Scholarly Communication: From Understanding to Engagement to bring together a group to learn and grow in support of your project.
- Attend the ACRL2015 conference, one of our Information Literacy Immersion Programs, or other events and e-Learning opportunities. We offer professional development on a wide variety of topics to help you excel in supporting students.
- Use ACRLMetrics to create reports with peer benchmarking and multi-year trend analysis.
- Share your project findings and expand the evidence base as an ACRL e-Learning presenter or by authoring an ACRL publication.
You may think of other ways ACRL could support you through our existing programs and services. Or perhaps you would benefit from having ACRL involved in a new way, as a full partner to offer more substantial support. To pursue any of these options as you develop your FITW proposals, be in touch with Kara Malenfant, ACRL’s senior strategist for special initiatives at email@example.com or 800-545-2433 ext 2510.
“Leveraging Emerging Learning Technologies to Promote Library Instruction”
By Beth Strickland, Laurie Alexander, Amanda Peters, and Catherine Morse
June 3, 2013, Educause Review: http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/leveraging-emerging-learning-technologies-promote-library-instruction
As we think about the value added by library services and instruction, the article “Leveraging Emerging Learning Technologies to Promote Library Instruction” highlights key elements of a successful library program — collaboration, assessment, revision, and repeat. Two of the Value Reports’ essential questions resounded as I read the work of these University of Michigan librarians:
1. How does the library contribute to the student experience?
2. How does the library contribute to student learning?
Determined to move beyond the traditional one-shot workshop and supported by the assistant dean of undergraduate education, these librarians collaborated with faculty to develop a for-credit research course. As they assessed their work, they realized there were key components they could enhance using learning technologies. Again, they collaborated with an instructional technologist and created a blended learning approach to the material. This work demonstrates their extension beyond the traditional role of library information literacy instruction and work in curriculum development:
In the area of student learning, academic libraries are in the middle of a paradigm shift. In the past, academic libraries functioned primarily as information repositories; now they are becoming learning enterprises (Bennett 2009, 194). This shift requires academic librarians to embed library services and resources in the teaching and learning activities of their institutions (Lewis 2007). In the new paradigm, librarians focus on information skills, not information access (Bundy 2004, 3); they think like educators, not service providers (Bennett 2009, 194). VAL Report p.37
The online component allowed them to monitor progress immediately instead of waiting for a bibliography or final project to review. This generated discussion among the course librarian faculty member and students in a way that was not as evident in the face-to face version of the class. While we think about how to develop similar classes in our own institutions, these University of Michigan librarians have given us a great model to help others conceive and convince constituents of the benefits inherent in assessing and reviewing workshop and curriculum design.