It’s Universal: Librarians, Student Digital Devices, and Universal Design Create a Winning Combination for a New Era
University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, PA, USA
Digital tools and access to digitized information are necessity rather than luxury for today’s undergraduate students, most of whom are digital natives. However, faculty often view digital devices, such as mobile phones, as causes of disruption within a classroom setting. Conversely, digital devices may serve as aids to education rather than hindrances to learning (Reese, 2013; Bomhold, 2013). University librarians are now entrenched within the digital world of information, often serving as liaisons between technology, faculty, and students. Therefore, librarians must embrace digital devices as cost effective, powerful classroom tools. Instruction services librarians may take advantage of these free resources to provide efficient, active instruction to promote deep learning (Dolničar, Podgornik, & Bartol, 2017). Applying technology through engaging, active learning utilizes students’ inherent technological skills and interests (Webb & Hoover, 2015; Margolin & Haydn, 2015). The use of cell phones as learning tools also enables elements of Universal Design for Learning, thereby meeting the needs of today's diverse student population (Nall, 2015; Tobin, 2014). This presentation will examine instruction services librarians’ perceptions of phone use within the academic classroom. It will address the benefits and challenges of integrating student smartphones into information literacy instruction sessions for university undergraduate students; it will examine the smartphone as a powerful and economical instruction tool; and it will explore the integration of smartphones with Universal Design for Learning methods as instructional “best practice.” Anecdotal evidence gleaned from information literacy instruction sessions with traditional, undergraduate university students will be shared in light of the following: student engagement, time on task, degree of disruption, and success in student learning.
Bomhold, C. (2013). Educational use of smart phone technology: A survey of mobile phone application use by undergraduate university students. Program, 47(4), 424–436.
Dolničar, D., Podgornik, B., & Bartol, T. (2017). A comparative study of three teaching methods on student information literacy in stand-alone credit-bearing university courses. Journal of Information Science, 43(5), 601–614.
Margolin, S., & Hayden, W. (2015). Beyond mechanics: Reframing the pedagogy and development of information literacy teaching tools. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 41(5), 602–612.
Nall, C. (2015). Academic libraries and the principles of universal design for learning. College & Research Libraries News, 76(7), 374–375.
Reese, C. B. (2013). Educational use of smart phone technology: A survey of mobile phone application use by undergraduate university students. Data Technologies and Applications, 47(4), 424–436.
Webb, K., & Hoover, J. (2015). Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in the academic library: A methodology. College & Research Libraries, 76(4), 537–553.
Flipped Classroom Teaching Method in Information Skills Courses
University of Eastern Finland Library, Joensuu, Finland
This presentation explores how to use a flipped classroom method in information skills courses. The purpose of this presentation is to illustrate how to create learning materials, such as out-of-class videos and pre-class exercises, use face-to-face class time for active learning, and apply formative evaluation during the course. The presentation also brings out good practices and challenges in flipped classroom teaching, analyses learning results, and summarizes the feedback from the students.
In the flipped classroom teaching method, what is traditionally done in class and as homework, are switched or flipped. Students learn the primary course content online by themselves. This offers a teacher the possibility of redesigning contact lessons so they are more learner-centered. The role of the teacher becomes a „guide on the side“ more than a „sage on the stage“ (King 1993). The aim is to promote student-centered active learning.
Eighty-eight students from the University of Eastern Finland attended two discipline-specific information skills courses, which were designed using the flipped classroom method. The courses were integrated in the students’ curriculum as a part of a Bachelor´s thesis seminar. Traditionally, the courses contained a contact lesson, two hours of database practice, and a final assignment. Using the flipped classroom method, the teacher-centered lessons were replaced with short video clips. Each clip contained pre-class exercises for which the students received personal written feedback. In database practice sessions, the students already knew the core elements of information searching, which enabled the sessions to be more practical. At the end of the course there was a final assignment describing the information searching process for the student´s own Bachelor´s thesis subject. The final, summative evaluation of the course was offered in video form.
One challenge of the flipped classroom method is to determine the core elements of the course: what are the most important things to present in the pre-class material? Another challenge is to think of active learning strategies to use in classroom activities. Additionally, one crucial goal is to engage the students in pre-class material and to commit them to take their own responsibility for learning.
The good learning that results from these two courses demonstrated that the flipped classroom teaching method is suitable for information skills teaching. Students´ feedback from the courses was positive. Students liked the ability to work at their own pace and time, and they felt that out-of-class videos and pre-exercises prepared them well for the classroom activities. Formative evaluation and personal feedback from the final assignment also received a very positive reception.
King, A. (1993). From sage on the stage to guide on the side. College Teaching, 41(1), 30.
Using Metacognition to Address the ‘Illusion of Knowing’ among First Year Students in How to Determine Credible Sources of Information Received via Social Media
Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ, USA
The information age has democratized the dissemination of and access to information. Social media provides a voice to all and can be used to blur the lines of fact and fiction. How do first year students filter through information on social media to gain accurate knowledge? To what extent does their familiarity with social media platforms influence their ‘self-perceived knowledge’ of how to evaluate information? Using metacognition, the author, through a first-year course titled, ‘Truth or Fiction?’ is sensitizing college students on how they interact with, create, and disseminate information via social media, thereby allowing them to realize their ‘actual knowledge’. The course content and structure allow students to periodically utilize metacognition to reflect on their social media habits to reveal behaviors like confirmation bias. Students are thus able to confront their ‘illusion of knowing’ and to take steps to close the gap between ‘self-perceived knowledge’ and ‘actual knowledge’.
Park (2001) has noted, „News media exposure might not increase actual knowledge as much as it might enhance the impression of one’s own knowledge, or self-perceived knowledge“ (p. 419). He explains, „Feeling knowledgeable does not necessarily imply any concrete knowledge“ (p. 419). Many millennial students (digital natives) get their news via social media platforms. Therefore, the author asked the question: Are first year students at XX University aware of their ‘actual knowledge’ vs. their ‘self-perceived knowledge’ as it relates to current events and their interaction on social media? This exploration is heightened by the current era of post-truth where fake news proliferates. Levels of ‘self-perceived knowledge’ vs. ‘actual knowledge’ regarding the evaluation of information via social media are being investigated in this course through topics that include ‘post truth’, ‘fake news’, ‘alternative facts’, ‘truthiness’, ‘truthinews’, and ‘social media and mass media’.
Students must also consider ‘optimism bias’ which Oglesby (2016) reports as „the idea that we all think other people are more vulnerable than we are“ (p. A10). He further explains that optimism bias is „associated with risk-taking and failure to heed precautionary advice“ (p. A10). Those ages 18-24 are more than three times likely to be scammed by a fraud scheme than baby boomers (Oglesby). This ‘optimism bias’ or ‘invulnerability illusion’ exacerbates ‘self-perceived knowledge’ making metacognition a valuable and necessary tool.
Furthermore, this course aligns with the ACRL (2016) frame, Authority is Constructed and Contextual. It allows students to develop knowledge practices. More broadly, to „understand the increasingly social nature of the information ecosystem where authorities actively connect with one another and sources develop over time“ (p. 4). Additionally, through the realization of their ‘actual knowledge’, they develop „their own authoritative voices in a particular area and recognize the responsibilities this entails, including seeking accuracy and reliability, respecting intellectual property, and participating in communities of practice“ (p. 4) more specifically.
Attendees will discover approaches that can assist digital natives in reflecting on their own social media behavior to reveal their ‘actual knowledge’. Students can then employ useful strategies to realize ‘self-perceived knowledge’ and to increase their ‘actual knowledge’.
Association of College and Research Libraries. (2016). Framework for information literacy for higher education. Retrieved May 5, 2018 from http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/ilframework
Oglesby, B. (2016). Invulnerability illusion: Millennials more likely to get scammed than boomers. The Banner, p. A10. Retrieved from https://infoweb-newsbank-com.proxy.libraries.rutgers.edu
Park, C. (2001). News media exposure and self-perceived knowledge: The illusion of knowing. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 13(4), 419–425.
Collaboration in Teaching Open Science Skills
Helsinki University Library, Helsinki, Finland
The basic principle of the research has always been openness. Rapid technological changes offer new opportunities for the way research is conducted. It is important to consider what kind of skills students need in the foreseeable future. In this presentation, we will focus on a pilot project initiated by the Helsinki University Library. The aim of the pilot project is to find concrete examples and best practices for teaching open science skills to university students.
The University of Helsinki is a Finnish multidisciplinary research university with more than 40 000 students and staff members combined. There are 32 study programmes at the bachelor level and 60 at the master’s level. Open science is one of the University’s top strategic development areas. While there has been a significant amount of progress in promoting openness in publishing and research data management, open science themes still remain less visible in the current student curricula. For this reason, a pilot project was initiated at the end of 2017 by the Helsinki University Library.
Open research process will require a cultural change in science. Openness forces researchers, teachers and students to evaluate and improve their work processes. We argue that open science should not be an independent extra course or component which will be added to the existing curriculum. The best way for students to acquire open science skills is to integrate the teaching of such skills into existing courses. For example, courses may include basics of open publishing, how to enhance the workflow of the research, legal aspects of open science along with how to organize, manage, and preserve your data. Learning elements could be small and simple, especially at the beginning studies.
During the initial phase of the project we contacted all bachelor´s and master’s level study programmes at our university. Study programmes from seven different disciplines participated in the project, and developed open science in their curricula in collaboration with experts from the library. In this presentation, we will discuss the preliminary outcomes of the pilot project and we will share some practical examples on how to integrate open science elements into the courses.