Lindsay Roberts

Connecting people with information

LOEX 2015 Takeaways (Or, why is this the first LOEX I’ve been to?!)

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A month later, my brain is still processing sessions from LOEX 2015. My first time at LOEX was eye-opening. How wonderful to be surrounded by academic librarians struggling with the same questions. “How do we use the new ACRL Framework? How do we teach one-shots effectively when information literacy skills could easily fill a 3-credit class? How do we integrate active learning into our sessions? How best to work with faculty?” And so on.

Here are some of my faves:

  • Where Knowledge Meets Experience: The Library’s Role in Experiential Learning, Elizabeth Price and Becky Richardson, Murray State
    • Gave great realistic case studies of the library as 3rd-party client for class projects such as an anthropology class’s space study, or a PR class’s social media strategic plan.
    • Emphasized the importance of George Kuh’s High Impact Practices–how service learning and other hands-on experiences tie all of the loose threads of students’ academic work together.
  • Hacking the Framework: Using Science of Story to Address the Dispositions, John Watts, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Joshua Vossler, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
    • Story, Curiosity, and Reward-Based Learning – learning is motivated by curiosity. Information conveyed through stories sticks better. Stories tie in with memory through neuro-coupling, where the listeners come to feel what the storyteller is communicating.
    • To be a better storyteller: Use sensory and emotional language; Inner dialogue, ie Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City; Use outer dialogue, ie voices create multiple characters, (stand-up comics do this all the time); create drama through silence, pauses, exaggeration builds tension
    • What storytelling isn’t: Acting. No miming. A gesture that drives home a point is okay. You will become a window into the story. You recede and the story and language envelops the listener. You’re channeling the story.
    • A side note: I could listen to these guys talk for hours. Intelligent and hilarious. Loved the storytelling video they’d created. Definitely one of the most engaging presentations of the conference.
  • Backward Design: A Must-Have Library Instructional Design Strategy, Sarah LeMire (Texas A&M), Donna Ziegenfuss (Univ of Utah)
    • Drawing on the work of L. Dee Fink’s Creating Significant Learning Experiences (2003), advocate using alignment grids as part of course planning process. Importance of aligning session goals with overall course, program, and institutional goals. This helps show the value of library instruction sessions.
    • Fantastic handouts and course materials. Still sorting through these and the Canvas course!
  • Saturday Plenary: Groups, Games & Flipping: Remaining Purposeful amidst a Multitude of Teaching Options, Bridget Arend, University of Denver Office for Teaching and Learning
    • Importance of choosing the right educational activity for the outcome. Example of why discussions cause “crickets” among students– that teaching method is best for sharing perspectives, not for covering content.
    • Emphasis on active learning’s clear effectiveness over traditional lecture as sole instructional method. Freeman, Eddy, McDonough, Smith, Okoroafor, Jordt, and Wenderoth’s 2014 article, Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics, compared 228 studies of active learning. Found that underrepresented students and women were greatly helped by active learning activities. Wired gives a great summary of the article.
  • Lightning Talk: Inspired by Failure: Engaging Students with an Active Learning Exercise on Authority, Rebecca Hewitt (Hartwick College)
    • Loved her idea of the “Pyramid of Evidence” using post-it notes for students to discuss and visualize their conceptions of “authority” among types of sources. Tried this with a group of Astronomy students last week and we had a fantastic 1/2 hour discussion, including where “intuition” fits on the pyramid.
  • Drinking on the Job: Workplace Literacy, Alison Hicks (CU-Boulder)
    • There has long been tension between academic work and workplace literacy. Professors often don’t like to spend time on the practical skills students will need. Negative perception that it’s too “vocational.” But, workplace literacy is HUGELY important for students to be able to adapt to the social/cultural aspects of a job, be employeable after graduation, and build lifelong learning and transferable skills.
    • Information-seeking in the workplace differs from academic work in several ways: It is non-linnear, not well planned, not individual. Often there are challenges like secrecy, a lack of access to paid resources, workplaces are much more team-focused (info isn’t used in a vacuum, ie, your student paper). Workplaces often utilize peers, institutional knowledge, and other departments for information.
    • Australian Researcher Anne Marie Lloyd (2007) studied firefighters and other professions that are very info-rich. She found they were highly social: telling stories sitting around the fire station was how they learned many of their best practices and developed expertise. It was also corporeal, embodying automatic and sensory knowledge, such as being able to take off a glove and give an approximate temp of the fire and other conditions. Other types of corporeal knowledge include driving a manual car and recognizing the right time to switch gears by the sound of the engine.
    • Personal Learning Environments (PLE) can be a way of raising awareness and teaching workplace literacy. PLEs map tools, artefacts, processes and physical connections that allow learners to manage their learning (Couros, 2010; ELI, 2009; Drexler, 2007).
    • Really cool visual PLE: https://www.flickr.com/photos/24823508@N04/6992313131
    • Wish I had a bibliography for this session as my note-taking wasn’t able to keep up with all of the wonderful studies mentioned. Plan to read some of Alison’s related papers in the next few weeks.

I’ll be setting an Outlook reminder to register for next year’s conference!

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