Update from the ACRL Liaison to the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI)

 Communicating Value, General  Comments Off on Update from the ACRL Liaison to the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI)
May 242016

ACRL recognizes the importance of enabling librarians to be change agents in higher education, and of promoting the library’s role in advancing the teaching, learning, and research missions of our institutions. One of ACRL’s approaches to building awareness and activism is the network of ACRL liaisons assigned to external, non-library organizations across a range of topics.

When the ACRL liaison to the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) position opened, I was particularly intrigued because it connects two organizations for which I have great respect, and is an opportunity to have a positive impact beyond my institution alone. I was honored to be selected; my new appointment as the ACRL/ELI Liaison commenced officially on July 1, 2015. The ELI leaders – Malcolm Brown and Veronica Diaz, the Director and Associate Director respectively – were eager to begin discussions immediately and we developed a list of ideas for exploration in the coming year. Those ideas were further vetted with others in the library community, including the members of the ACRL Student Learning & Information Literacy Committee (SLILC) that sponsored my liaison assignment.

First Steps

When we began discussions, our initial goal was to discover where the two organization’s activities and priorities intersect and how best to engage our members with each other. One interesting difference is that ACRL is largely based on individual memberships while ELI is based on institutional memberships. If you aren’t certain if your institution is a member of ELI, you can search their member directory at: http://www.educause.edu/members

I was familiar with the well-known “7 Things You Should Know” series, and learned about the “7 Things You Should Read” series with recent topics such as data visualization for instruction, personalized learning models, copyright in online education, and digital divides and today’s technologies. ELI leaders recognize the content expertise and research prowess of librarians and are open to new ways of working together to continue to support these series. If you have ideas about hot topics or are personally interested in contributing, please let me know. See “7 Things” publications at: http://www.educause.edu/eli/publications

ELI’s annual survey of key issues in teaching and learning often include areas of shared interest with libraries such as academic transformation, faculty development, assessment of learning, digital and information literacies, accessibility, learning space designs, online and blended learning, and open textbooks and open educational resources. ELI uses these themes as the focal points for upcoming publications, online programming, and conference tracks, and ACRL members likely see connections to projects, services, and research of their own. See the “2016 ELI Key Issues” at: http://www.educause.edu/eli/initiatives/key-issues-in-teaching-and-learning

One special initiative is called “Leading Academic Transformation,” an ELI community of practice formed around the idea that collaborative innovation is required to realize true academic transformation. All institutions are encouraged to create a cohort on their campus with senior leaders from libraries, academic affairs, centers for teaching and learning, information technology, innovation strategy, instructional technology, and student services. This model is an excellent way to create an intentional network on your campus if you don’t already have these connections formed. See more at: http://www.educause.edu/eli/initiatives/leading-academic-transformation

ELI Annual Meeting

I attended the ELI Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas in February 2016 called “Crafting Our Future: Toward New Digital Learning Environments.”  The ELI conference is primarily attended by educational technologists, instructional designers, IT administrators, student services staff, and faculty, though of course there were other intrepid librarians also.

Following tradition, the “2016 NMC Horizon Report – Higher Education edition” was released during the conference and provided a broad framework for discussing current trends, significant challenges, and important developments in higher education (http://cdn.nmc.org/media/2016-nmc-horizon-report-he-EN.pdf). This spring ACRL announced it would be a dissemination partner for the “2017 NMC Horizon Report – Library edition” at the 2017 ACRL National Conference – that is an exciting development.

With encouragement from the ELI leaders and ACRL SLILC members, I developed a poster session with Sharon Mader, ACRL’s Visiting Program Officer for Information Literacy, called “Digital Learning Environments Demand New Partnerships for Teaching.” We used the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education as a foundation for discussing content, pedagogies, and partnerships. The poster session was a great way to share recent ACRL work and discuss the roles of librarians and libraries more generally. You can see our handout at: http://www.educause.edu/events/eli-annual-meeting-2016/2016/digital-learning-environments-demand-new-partnerships-teaching

Informal conversations with other attendees covered a range of topics such as alt-media services, accessibility, faculty and instructor development, support for course and assignment design and assessment, and learning analytics. Frequently the conversation would end with the person saying that they wished their librarian was interested in the issue we were discussing, and I would tell them enthusiastically that I suspect that they are. I encouraged people to return to campus and contact their library director or head of library instruction; when I knew a library contact at their institution I mentioned them by name. This experience reminded me of the need to reach out to potential campus partners frequently and with some specific ideas about topics that I know are relevant to us both such as student learning, pedagogy, instructional practices, learning environments, and responsive programs with and for faculty/instructors.   I share that same reminder with you and encourage you to start new conversations with campus colleagues or perhaps even expand the breadth of issues you discuss with long-time partners.

I look forward to continuing the conversations with ELI and figuring out further ways to engage. I continue my liaison role for two more years, and I welcome your ideas and email any time.

Elizabeth A. Dupuis
Associate University Librarian for Educational Initiatives & User Services
Director of Doe, Moffitt, and the Subject Specialty Libraries
University of California, Berkeley
May 22, 2016


Standards for Proficiencies for Assessment Librarians and Coordinators Draft

 General  Comments Off on Standards for Proficiencies for Assessment Librarians and Coordinators Draft
May 202016

ACRL is seeking comments on a draft of the new Standards for Proficiencies for Assessment Librarians and Coordinators before completing final revisions and submitting the standards for approval. Please review the draft standards on the ACRL website (PDF) and submit your comments to Task Force Chair Mark Emmons at emmons@unm.edu by June 1, 2016.

NILOA issues statement on importance of documenting learning

 General, Publications, Student Learning Outcomes  Comments Off on NILOA issues statement on importance of documenting learning
May 112016

The National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) recently issued a policy statement Higher Education Quality: Why Documenting Learning Matters. It outlines the warrant for multiple, systematic approaches to obtain evidence of authentic student achievement and addresses some well-reasoned concerns that poorly designed assessment efforts can distract from rather than enhance the quality of teaching and learning.

In this new statement, NILOA argues that improving student and institutional performance must be a national priority as what educators call the “assessment movement” and the information it generates are foundational to addressing some of the greatest challenges the country currently faces. It offers a succinct summary of what the assessment movement has achieved thus far, drawing on NILOA’s work in the field over the past decade, and concludes with five principles that can spread and accelerate assessment work worthy of the promises colleges and universities make to their students, policy makers, and the public. Read more in the press release and full policy statement.

© 2014 ACRL Value of Academic Libraries Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha