Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Using a brain booth to promote metacognition: Sheila liveblogs from #ecil2017

At the end of the session in which Pam and we're presenting at the I were presenting at the European Conference on Information Literacy , Katia Karadjova (coauthor Marissa Mourer) presented on Dare to share the silence: tools and practices of contemplative pedagogy in a library brain booth. She was reporting on a project at Humboldt State University. The idea of the library brain booth was to introduce mindfulness, and promote metacognition. Students are encouraged to think about the impact of taking a brain break on their academic performance and life: emotional self-regulation and singular thoughtful focus are the other aspects of mindfulness that were mentioned.
The first tool was guided meditation (in a booth with a cd), a second used a biofeedback machine (with the idea of aiming to become calm, as registered on the machine), then there was sound-relaxation, colour relaxation (that is, doing colouring) and light-relaxation (to counter lack of sunlight) . There was also virtual reality immersion, with 2 headsets for iPhones and android. Another tool was a sheet on which people could express gratitude to someone in their lives. Fitdesks were available. Finally, there was also a collection of books etc. related to this topic.
The investigation was esssentially into whether there was interest in such tools and activities. Two different rooms/setups were used, to see which was more effective. A lib guide was produced, which gained over 1000 views. 240 different people came to the brain booth, some several times, in 10 weeks. Following this initial semester, the brain booth was treated as a pop up initiative, for example around exam time. People were able to fill in comment cards, and all these were positive. There were also observations by the authors of the presentation, which identified that some tools were more effective than others e.g. people seemed to get distracted when doing colouring. Therefore they are identifying the best combinations of technology and tools.

The speakers “showed an existing gap between engagement with digital tools centred on contemplative pedagogy and in person faculty participation”. They felt there was scope for using these techniques more in library/ academic work. In answer to a question, the speaker said that they are talking to faculty about embedding the brain booth into subject classes.

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