“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.