Session Descriptions

Opening Plenary

Dr. James Paul Gee
Mary Lou Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies

Arizona State University

A New Paradigm for Learning in the 21st Century (And Where Libraries Fit In)

This presentation will argue that today, outside of our educational institutions (K-20), in popular culture, a new paradigm of learning is arising.  It is affecting families and institutions outside of educational institutions more fully than it is currently affecting those institutions, thanks to things like the current standardized testing and accountability regime in the United States.  This new paradigm will eventually spread to educational institutions and will transform how we look at and institutionalize learning (which will be 24/7 and across linked institutions like schools, museums, libraries, and after-school programs). The presentation will also discuss this new paradigm and the role libraries have to play in spreading it and making it equitable.

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James Paul Gee is a member of the National Academy of Education. His book Sociolinguistics and Literacies (1990, Third Edition 2007) was one of the founding documents in the formation of the “New Literacy Studies”, an interdisciplinary field devoted to studying language, learning, and literacy in cognitive, social, and cultural contexts.

Professor Gee’s most recent books deal with video games, language and learning. What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy (2003, Second Edition 2007) argues that good video games are designed to enhance learning through effective learning principles. His most recent book is Good Video Games and Good Learning: Collected Essays (2007). Professor Gee has published widely in the fields of linguistics, psychology and education.

Concurrent Sessions

1A: Student-Focused Curriculum Planning: Starting from the Ground Up, Heidi Julien & Lisa Given (University of Alberta)
Convenor: Cameron Hoffman (Concordia University)
A collaborative, longitudinal study being conducted at the University of Alberta is focused on designing instruction based on undergraduates’ experiences of information literacy, beginning in their secondary school contexts. The study is assessing undergraduates’ information literacy skills and exploring their experiences with digital resources via interviews, information literacy skills testing, journals, and focus groups. These data will inform design of academic library information literacy instruction programs, which will be evaluated for effectiveness.

1B: Learning Styles and Information Literacy:  Using Research to Inform our Teaching, Heather Sanderson (St. Mary’s University)
Convenor: Cornelia Penner (Champlain College)
Librarians look to learning styles as a pedagogical tool to engage their students and improve their teaching. However, a review of the educational literature reveals questions about the research and assumptions behind learning styles, and librarians need to inform themselves of the debates to ensure that their use of learning styles has a solid foundation. This session will give a balanced and critical review of current research on learning styles in education, including outlining some of the main theories and the implications and suggestions for teaching practices. It will also provide an opportunity for participants to discuss their own teaching in relation to learning styles.

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Session 1C: Head Hunt: The Game That Changes Student Attitudes about the Libraries, Fred Roecker & Tingting Lu (Ohio State University)
Convenor: Sarah Coysh (York University)
Since 2007, “Head Hunt,” The Ohio State University’s online library orientation game, has helped change the perceptions and fears of new students about University Libraries. Surveys and evaluations over the years show a positive upward trend among game-playing students in their desire to visit campus libraries and use available resources. This presentation will outline the goals and development of Head Hunt, demonstrate the game, and show data supporting the positive change in student perceptions.

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1D: Innovations in Information Literacy Training in the Sciences:  Embedding an Electronic-Journal Project, Peggy Pritchard (University of Guelph)
Convenor: Regina Bendig (McMaster University)
Showcasing an electronic-journal project at UofG that embeds information literacy, analytical thinking and writing into the first year nanoscience curriculum, the author will present a suite of pedagogical tools (learning activities, IL/academic skills tutorials, assessment rubrics and open access e-journal software) that provides first year, first semester students with a true-to-life experience of writing for publication; will also share experiences of faculty-librarian collaboration. Participants will be encouraged to explore how this initiative may be applied in their own contexts.

2A: Designing Learner-centered Research Guides, Jacqui Grallo (California State University, Monterey Bay)
Convenor: Sophie Bury (York University)
Recent studies suggest a lack of adherence to learner-centered teaching principles in the design of research guides. During this session, participants will learn how California State University, Monterey Bay librarians used Library a la Carte to create guides that are learner-centered. Participants will engage in activities focused on thinking about research guides as learning objects, and developing practical strategies, using the tools at hand, to design guides that facilitate a meaningful, active learning experience.

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2B: Good, better, best! -  in Peer Learning, Karen Hering (Grant MacEwan University)
Convenor: Colleen MacKinnon
Good, better, best! Never let it rest! Through “Polishing Diamonds”, a model of non-evaluative, reciprocal observation of colleagues, self-reflection and follow-up discussion, our library staff energized the work environment in a positive, constructive atmosphere. Find out how to continuously improve teaching by sharing the wealth of in-house, inter-library and inter-institutional expertise ’til your good is better and your better best!

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2C: Hybrid learning: Integrating online and offline activities into an IL course, Andrea Cameron & Jennifer Cyr (Concordia University)
Convenor: Robyn Hall
A small team of librarians is charged with teaching over 500 students in an IL credit course. How do all librarian instructors stay on the same page? How do they create a dynamic classroom experience? One solution: Course management software.  A CMS eased information sharing and increased consistency across the sections. This time saving solution also gave students practice navigating in an online environment while still allowing for an in-class experience.

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2D: Teaching information literacy skills to international students: Are academic librarians prepared? Yusuke Ishimura & Joan C. Bartlettt (McGill University)
Convenor: Judy Wanner (University of Guelph)
In this presentation, we will report results from a national survey of academic librarians’ past training experience and future needs specifically for serving international students. It is necessary for academic librarians to be prepared to serve the increasing international student population in North American universities. Findings from this research will help practitioners, managers, and educators illuminate the path to future training opportunities for librarians.

3A: From Active Learning to Activity: Getting Beyond Busy Work and into Deep Learning, Wendy Holliday (Utah State University)
Convenor: Laura Beauchamp
This session will report on an ethnographic study of an English composition class. The researcher observed the class for an entire semester and conducted focus groups and interviews with students and the instructor. The session will describe key activities from the class, including reflections on motivation and learning by both instructors and students. It will conclude with a discussion of how the research findings can help librarians design instruction that engages learners more deeply.

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3B: Storytime is not just for children’s librarians: using narrative analysis to learn from the stories instruction librarians tell about the work that we do, Kate Gronemyer & Anne-Marie Deitering (Oregon State University, Cascades Campus)
Convenor: Joanna Szurmak (University of Toronto Mississauga)
Neither theory nor practice alone tell a complete story about what it means to be an instruction librarian. We are in the challenging but rewarding role of the scholar-practitioner, working at the intersection of seemingly tidy theory and sometimes unpredictable practice. This presentation will report on the second phase of a research project that uses narrative analysis to explore the epistemology of instruction librarianship, examining our assumptions about best practices, the tenets of our profession, and the impact of our work.

3C: Harnessing the power of Discovery Layers for Information Literacy, Sarah Coysh & Adam Taves (York University)
Convenor: Yasmin Jamal (Simon Fraser University)
Many academic and public libraries are designing and playing with discovery layers but where does the learning component fit-in?  What challenges do discovery layers pose to developing information literacy competencies?  How can we harness the power of discovery layers to help us teach information literacy concepts?  York University Libraries recently launched its own discovery layer (VuFind) and librarians have been exploring these questions so that the discovery layer becomes both a finding and teaching aid.

3D: The Effects of Information Literacy Instruction on Business Students, Brian Detlor & Lorne Booker (McMaster University)
Convenor:
Ines Perkovic (McMaster University)
This presentation reports quantitative findings from a survey conducted recently at a Canadian university concerning the effects of information literacy instruction (ILI) on business students. Results test qualitative findings from a larger national study and yield identification of the salient factors surrounding the delivery of ILI that affect student learning outcomes. Results also examine the influence of ILI on the adoption and use of online library resources, and how anxiety and self-efficacy mediate this effect.

4A: Concept mapping: Fun for librarians, April Colosimo & Megan Fitzgibbons (McGill University)
Convenor: Laura Beauchamp
Concept maps are graphical representations of concepts and their relationships to each other. Concept mapping fosters creativity and facilitates knowledge acquisition. Librarians can use concept maps to design and communicate information skills sessions or projects. They can be used as a teaching tool to help students articulate information needs and assess understanding.  While learning concept mapping theory and applications to library settings, participants will design their own concept map relevant to their work.

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4B: Sources as Social Acts: Using Genre Theory to Transform Information Literacy Instruction, Joel Burkholder (York College of Pennsylvania)
Convenor: Shelagh Genuis (University of Alberta)
For convenience, information-literacy instruction often defines information sources as items of similar content and/or form.  Such definitions are static and limiting, ignoring every source’s role as a communicative, social act within and between discourse communities.  Genre Theory explores how communities construct responses to common, recurring rhetorical situations.  Teaching students this context illustrates how certain forms are chosen to achieve specific purposes.  It also illustrates how these choices are ideological, establishing expectations in the genre’s readers.

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4C: Librarians and Mobile Learning: Research, Resources, Play and Design, Chad Crichton (University of Toronto Scarborough) & Robin Canuel (McGill University)
Convenor:
Julie Anderson (Legislative Library of Ontario)
Mobile web content and applications are widespread. We will review the literature concerning mobile technology and mobile learning.  Utilizing “play” as a strategy to evaluate mobile resources, we will demonstrate a variety of mobile web content.  The use of podcasts/vodcasts, online tutorials and other mobile applications as teaching tools will also be explored.  We will conclude with a discussion of effective mobile design, and identifying design principles that maximize the potential of mobile devices.

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4D: Designing Instruction for the Academically At-Risk: a Unique partnership for Unique Learners, Janet Goosney & Michael Doyle (Memorial University)
Convenor:
Eliza McKnight (Bishop’s University)
UCC2020: Applied Cognitive and Affective Learning Strategies is a credit-course designed to improve learning strategies, taught by psychologists from the Counselling Centre, Memorial University.  In 2009 a new iteration was created targeting academically at-risk students, which incorporated critical reading, writing and research, with teaching partners from the Counselling Centre, Writing Centre, and Library. The speakers will describe their collaboration; explore how our roles interconnect to promote Information Literacy; and discuss creating relevancy for at-risk students.

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5A: From Pre-Defined Topics to Research Questions: An Inquiry-Based Approach to Knowledge, Michelle Allen & Benjamin Oberdick (Michigan State University)
Convenor:
Susan Shepley (McMaster University)
While traditional learning may start with presenting a pre-defined topic for a research project, in an alternative inquiry-based approach the learner constructs research questions about a topic and investigates the answer. While first-year students often start their research on the Web, today’s instruction librarians are responsible for facilitating active learning techniques to explore the limitations with open Web resources and the benefits of parallel resources accessible through the academic library.

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5B: Presenting to nobody: Connecting while presenting online, Brad Sietz & Susann deVries (Eastern Michigan University)
Convenor:
Krista Godfrey (McMaster University)
Smile. Make eye contact. Don’t rock back and forth.  Use hand gestures for emphasis.  Librarians have incorporated all these tips, and more, into their skill sets for conducting instruction sessions and presentations.  One problem – what good will these tips do when you have to present online? This presentation will briefly review virtual meeting software, identify usage trends, and then discuss in detail the key elements necessary to successfully conduct a presentation in an online environment.

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5C: Design Thinking in Practice: The Story of Queen’s University’s Integrated Learning Librarian, Nasser Saleh (Queen’s University)
Convenor:
Amanda Etches-Johnson (McMaster University)
What is Design Thinking and how it can be used by librarians who target the integration of library and information services into teaching and learning? This presentation will describe the design thinking approach and how it helped to guide the practice of the Integrated Learning Librarian at Queen’s University to use non-traditional methods for integrating information and library services into different undergraduate engineering courses by using a variety of software solutions ranging from WebCT, Moodle, social networking, to the use of wiki technologies.

5D: Turn off the GPS and look around: Map and spatial literacy in the Digital Age, Erik Dessureault (Université de Montréal & Concordia University) & Rosa Orlandini (Concordia University)
Convenor:
Karen Nicholson (McMaster University)
As libraries supplement their print map collection with digital geographic resources, issues of map and spatial literacy become more and more important.  This session will introduce some of the concepts of map and spatial literacy and discuss the result of a survey completed by faculty and staff in the field of geography, discussing the challenges we all face in teaching map and spatial literacy.

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6A: Designing Web 2.0 Experiences for Students, Robin Ewing & Melissa Prescott (St. Cloud State University)
Convenor:
Fantasia Thorne (Syracuse University)
Drawing from experiences with an out-of-class assignment designed for an information literacy course, this  session will discuss student awareness of and experience with Web 2.0 tools. The presenters will discuss techniques for introducing students to new information tools, ways to incorporate these tools into assignments, and methods for evaluating the validity and usefulness of information presented via these tools. In addition, the session will offer insight into student learning behaviors in a Web 2.0 environment.

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6B: Librarians’ Experiences of the Teaching Role: A National Survey of Librarians, Heidi Julien & Shelagh K. Genuis (University of Alberta)
Convenor:
Christine Brown (University of Alberta)
This session presents the results of a national study of 798 library staff who have instructional roles. The survey was anonymous, online, bilingual, and took approximately 20 minutes to complete. The data are broadly representative of library staff who do instructional work in Canadian libraries. The results have implications for library managers and for those who educate library staff for their service roles; and, the study brings a focus to instructional challenges beyond the instrumental.

6C: Not library games. Libraries *in* games, Mita Williams (University of Windsor)
Convenor:
Lisa Sloniowski (York University)
Students will not and should not play games in order to learn how to conduct library research. But this doesn’t mean there can be no space for games in academic libraries. Productivity games, serious games, alternative reality games, and collaborative production games will be introduced and brought into this conversation about gaming, learning, and libraries.

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Closing Plenary

Exploring the Instruction Mystery: Designing Our Way Past a Wicked Problem

Dr. Steven J. Bell, Associate University Librarian, Research and Instructional Services, Temple University

Academic librarians have made tremendous strides in creating institutional information literacy initiatives that integrate research skill development across the curriculum. The number of sessions may be on the rise, but is the academic administration paying any attention? Where is the progress we should see in having information literacy acknowledged in institutional strategic plans and the governance structure? Is the imperative for institutional information literacy losing momentum? Are academic librarians exploiting old, tired ideas when they need to explore new frontiers in instruction and literacy education? In this presentation Steven J. Bell, Associate University Librarian for Research and Instructional Services at Temple University will discuss the importance of looking at library instruction programs as a mystery that must be continually explored in search of innovative new solutions to a potentially wicked problem: a shrinking role for instruction librarians. Wicked problems are ambiguous and ill-defined in their causes, character and solution, and it’s difficult to know when the problem is solved. Harnessing new technology, adding new skill sets or even rethinking the instruction experience may all offer academic librarians possible paths to an information literacy rich future, but it all begins by exploring the instruction mystery.

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Dr. Steven J. Bell is Associate University Librarian for Research & Instruction at Temple University, Philadelphia. Prior to this, he served as Director of the Gutman Library at Philadelphia University, and Assistant Director of the Lippincott Library of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He obtained his Doctorate in Education in 1997 from the University of Pennsylvania, and his Master of Science in Library Science from Drexel University in 1977.

Steven is well known for his work on blended librarianship, a notion he introduced with fellow librarian John Shank in 2004. Blended librarianship is not just a concept, but “a working organism through which library practitioners would help each other to improve their knowledge of and ability to apply the theory and practice of instructional design and technology to improve our ability to connect with faculty for the purpose of achieving student learning outcomes”. This idea is realized in the Blended Librarian’s online learning community which brings together its members in a virtual environment for professional development and learning opportunities. Steven maintains his own blog, the Kept-Up Academic Librarian, and is a regular contributor to the ACRL’s blog, ACRLog.

He also writes at Designing Better Libraries, a blog about design thinking and library user experiences, and From the Bell Tower, a weekly Library Journal Academic Newswire column that explores the intersection of academic librarianship and higher education. He is co-author of the book Academic Librarianship by Design: A Blended Librarian’s Guide to the Tools and Techniques (ALA Editions, 2007). For additional information about Steven J. Bell or links to his projects, point your browser to http://stevenbell.info

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