Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Critiquing the role of active learning in library instruction #WILU2024

Photo by Sheila Webber of spring trees and reflections in a glass skyscraper in Vancouver Canada in May 2024

A session that I didn't blog for the WILU (information literacy) Conference (that took place last week in Vancouver, Canada) was a workshop: Lurking, reflecting, modeling, listening: Critiquing the role of active learning in library instruction. It was run by Heather Campbell (Curriculum Librarian, Western University, Canada) and Ashley Edwards (Indigenous Initiatives and Instruction Librarian, Simon Fraser University, Canada). Also involved in creating the workshop was Karen Nicholson (Manager, Information Literacy, University of Guelph, Canada). I didn't liveblog, as that seems a bit intrusive in workshops, but I took notes from the first half, which was a presentation. Apologies for omissions or misinterpretations.
The session had been stimulated by: Hicks, A; Sinkinson, C; (2021) Participation and Presence: Interrogating Active Learning. portal: Libraries and the Academy , 21(4), 749-771. (open access copy here) and the workshop aimed to "highlight challenges that active learning, as a hegemonic practice, poses from the perspective of power, agency, and inclusion."
After a territorial acknowledgment, one of the starting points for the session was a reference to Cree Metis teaching of humility; meaning not to think of yourself as better than anyone else; a reflection of non hierarchy (this book was cited). They introduced Hicks & Sinkinson's (2021) critique of active learning, noting that active learning may be framed as a "best" teaching practice, but that (for example) it may devalue self protective information behaviour; that it can make learning performative (you have to see the active learning happening); that it may ignore inequalities. I will note that there was discussion about whether this was the only way to interpret "active learning", since definitions often focus on student-centredness and students constructing their own learning. One of the contextual factors was that (if I understood correctly) in Canada there is a 3 day course on teaching for staff engaged in university teaching [so a lot less than the PG Cert academics are expected to take in the UK], which positions active learning as a desirable teaching approach.
The workshop encouraged us to critique active learning through 5 lenses. 3 of these were ones we addressed in the second, workshop, half of the session: Universal Design for Learning, Critical pedagogy and Decolonisation. The other two were explained in the introduction.
Firstly: Epistemic justice. This was defined as “Equal capacity of all knowers and equal treatment of diverse knowledge systems”. Thus you do not privilege one knowledge system over another and you avoid cognitive imperialism. Beth Patin and Sofia Leung were mentioned. Taking an epistemic justice approach surfaces questions such as: what is active learning;? who defined it and why? who is knowledgeable about active learning? In terms of definitions of active learning, these can be negative e.g. identifying that is not passive learning, not lecturing (rather than saying what it is).
Reflecting on who originated active learning, they traced it back to the Enlightenment, with scholars pressing back against the power of church and monarchy. A second date was Canada in the 1930s, including national curricula reform and political desire for a "national childhood". This had practical/economic goals such as educating the workforce. Then in the 1960s scientists were mapping the brain, seeing the brain lighting up during active learning activities, and assuming that this meant that learning was taking place. In the classroom, active learning tends to be associated with activities such as:  discussion, group work, minute papers, discovery learning, pair-share. Definitions of "active learning" may explicitly exclude reading, listening, observing and reflecting, even though these may be effective and preferred ways of learning for some people. 

Secondly: Indigenous perspectives. It was noted that there is not one sole "Indigenous perspective": in any one region there may be multiple peoples, each with their own perspective. The speaker identified in this case First Peoples principles of learning (developed for schools (K12 in North America) but also more widely applicable. These could be used to review your teaching and learning practice. It was suggested you concentrate on a few principles at a time. The principles were:
- Learning ultimately supports the well being of self, the family the community the land the spirits and the ancestors
- Learning is holistic reflexive reflective experiential and relational (focused on connectedness on reciprocal relationships and a sense of place)
- Learning involves recognising the consequences of one’s actions
- Learning involves generational roles and responsibilities
- Learning involves patience and time
- Learning requires exploration of one’s identity
- Learning involves recognising that some knowledge is sacred and only shared with permission and or in certain situations
- Learning recognises role of indigenous knowledge
- Learning is embedded in memory history and story  

The speaker also talked about indigenous storytelling, and the nine sk'ad'a principles (referencing: Davidson, S. & Davidson, R. (2018). Potlatch as Pedagogy: Learning Through Ceremony. Winnipeg: Portage & Main Press: see also this video. This book also seems relevant.) The 9 principles are:
1) Learning emerges from Strong Relationships
2) Learning emerges from Authentic Experience.
3) Learning emerges from Curiosity.
4) Learning occurs through Observations.
5) Learning occurs through Contribution.
6) Learning occurs Recognizing and Encouraging Strengths.
7) Learning honours the Power of the Mind.
8) Learning honours History and Story.
9) Learning honours Aspects of Spirituality and Protocol.
Davidson emphasises that these principles should be localised to your own cultural context.

As I've said, the second part of the workshop was us reflecting on active learning, individually and in groups, using the lens of Universal Design for Learning, Critical pedagogy or Decolonisation (we were given some resources as a starting point). My table discussed Critical pedagogy and it was interesting getting perspectives from people in different contexts, and exploring the tensions bteween the two approaches. Altogether it was a stimulating workshop.
Photo by Sheila Webber: spring trees and reflections in a glass skyscraper in downtown Vancouver, Canada, May 2024

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Defending democracy

AI generated sketch of a very formal and ornate committee room
With a general election approaching in the UK, the UK's Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy (JCNSS) opened an inquiry into Defending Democracy "to better understand how threats to the UK’s democracy may evolve and be addressed."
Today the JCNSS published a statement relating to the written evidence provided by TikTok, Google/Youtube and Snap Inc (find downloads on this page) in which they outline what they are doing to combat misinformation and disinformation. The Chair of the JCNSS, Margaret Beckett makes a statement which includes the rather damning
".. I am concerned to see the huge disparity in approaches and attitudes to managing harmful digital content in the written evidence submissions we have received across companies from X, TikTok, Snap and Meta to Microsoft and Google. ... For a start, we expected social media and tech companies to proactively engage with our Parliamentary inquiry, especially one so directly related to their work at such a critical moment in our global history. And if we must pursue a company operating and profiting in the UK to engage with a Parliamentary inquiry, we expect much more than a regurgitation of some of its publicly available content which does not specifically address our inquiry. Much of the written evidence that was submitted shows - with few and notable exceptions - an uncoordinated, silo-ed approach to the many potential threats and harms facing UK and global democracy. The cover of free speech does not cover untruthful or harmful speech, and it does not give tech media companies a get-out-free card for accountability for information propagated on their platforms."
You can also read transcripts of evidence given orally to the committee by representatives of Meta, Ofcom etc.
Image created by Sheila Webber on Midjourney AI using the prompt: Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy, Defending democracy, disinformation, monotone sketch, United Kingdom --v 6.0 --ar 16:9

Monday, May 20, 2024

Webinar: Publishing on Information Literacy: A Conversation with LIS Journal Editors

Photo by Sheila Webber of a rock with chain from a ship and a view across the water to downtown Vancouver in May 2024
Publishing on Information Literacy: A Conversation with LIS Journal Editors is a free webinar on 4 June 2024 12:00-13:15 US Eastern time (which is, e.g., 17.00-18.15 UK time), hosted by the ACRL Student Learning and Information Literacy Committee. "In this 75-minute synchronous online panel with editors of information literacy-related publications, the presenters aim to make visible editors' processes and expectations when reviewing submitted manuscripts.... The panelists will discuss possible considerations when deciding where to submit a manuscript, such as journal scope, open access, and various approaches to manuscript review."
The panellists are: Amanda Nichols Hess (College & Research Libraries News); Kristen Totleben (College & Research Libraries); Allison Hosier (Communications in Information Literacy); Jacqulyn Williams (Communications in Information Literacy); Alison Hicks (Journal of Information Literacy); Michelle Kraft (Journal of the Medical Library Association); Ellysa Stern Cahoy (portal: Libraries and the Academy)
Register at https://ala-events.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_y3X54lkHQwyqp8sxEEsCoA
Photo by Sheila Webber: Vancouver, May 2024

Friday, May 17, 2024

Interdependence, Community and Liberation #WILU2024

Photo by Sheila Webber: art on the floor at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University, May 2024

The final keynote at the WILU conference in Vancouver, Canada. It was delivered by Dr. Rajdeep S. Gill (Kwantlen Polytechnic University): Interdependence, Community and Liberation: Transformative Possibilities of a Decolonial, Whole-Person Approach to Teaching and Learning in Libraries.They started by playing a video with a song about walking with and questioning the sea slug, encouraging patience, slowness and interdependence. They talked about people and the earth as libraries and archives, and his own connection to living beings and the earth. They see humans as dominant but not the most significant beings on the planet. They stressed the interdepence between the inner and outer being. The way they think about academic literacy is honouring where we have learned, particularly learning to be a good human being (therefore connected with concepts such as justice). Similarly doing well in the academy and learning are not the same thing. They feel their deepest learning is from humans (libraries and archives of their personhood) and from the world.
Rajdeep gave the example of a scientific article that was also influenced by a poem and by people close to you, but the latter are not influences you are allowed to cite. Therefore academic integrity would be acknowledging all the sources and influences. It involves people stepping into their personhood. It is more about mutual liberation, acknowledging the gifts of others and the gifts of nature. We cannot live without the forests and oceans. However nature and the earth tend to be backgrounded in academic studies. They prefer the concept of transparency to that of academic integrity.
Rajdeep sees knowledge as a subset of community and arises from immersion in the community. They talked about their approach to learning, and how they didn't like to use coertion, but rather with people (for example) allowed not to take part in activities if they don't want, and to modify as they want. They saw evaluating as inhumane. Learning involves enabling agency and dignity, and enabling diversity.
Rajdeep then encouraged us to sing along with Tracy Chapman's Say it like it is.
Moving on, they encouraged libraries to include land-based programming, and take an ecological approach, making libraries places of belonging. It would involve not taking a Eurocentric, colonialist approach to the academy. They also advocated collaboration amongst different groups in universities and diversity in coursework and assessment (for academics as well as students). For them the concept of merit and meritocracy reflects privilege and colonialism.
Photo by Sheila Webber: more art on the floor at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University, May 2024

Affect, conspiracy ideation, and strategies for moving forward #WILU2024

Photo by Sheila Webber: the WILU conference freebies including a water bottle and a sticky notes pad

My second Friday liveblog is actually the first session I attended today at the WILU conference. Katie Greer (Fine and Performing Arts Librarian, Oakland University) presented on Changing hearts, changing minds: Affect, conspiracy ideation, and strategies for moving forward. As usual, a warning that this is my impression of this rich presentation. Also, I was dropped from the wifi 12 minutes into it, which was distracting and why this is posted a bit later.
Greer started by talking about information disorder and defined mis-information (where no harm is meant); dis-information (false information knowingly shared) and mal-information (genuine info shared to cause harm: such as leaks, harassment and hate speech): see this framework. Because people are contextually situated, the way in which they interpret and react to the information is different.
A second model Greer presented was a two-component socio-epistemic model of belief in conspiracy theories (an updated version of the model in this article). The 2 components are mistrust and misinformation, with numerous factors affecting both elements. She went on to talk about affect, and how we react emotionally before evaluating. Greer talked about the "bloom space", all the emotional and physical factors influencing us at any given time.
Greer identified theoretical underpinnings. [I think from Silvan Tomkins] there is the way in which even if something threatened doesn't happen, it still leaves us with a negative affective state and doesn't convince us that it won't be a threat in the future. Social media is perfectly designed to trigger strong positive and negative emotions through the images etc. Greer showed a couple of images that could raise strong emotions (plus one of small furry animals).
Greer encouraged us to think about the affective states of learners, and how we could consider those in instructional design. Learners' affective states are influenced by bodily/phyiscal and socioeconomic factors, as well as what is happening in their lives. She mentioned Annemaree Lloyd, Mackey & Jacobson (and their metaliteracy model), Nel Noddings and Troy Swanson as writing about affect and information literacy. The metaliteracy model acknowledges the metaliterate learner as affective as well as cognitive, and also foregrounds the social and collaborative role.
Greer also highlighted the SIFT model (Stop, Investigate the source, Find better coverage, Trace claims quotes and media to the original context). In particular she emphasised the importance of the "Stop" part, which includes examining our own emotions. She also mentioned the DIG framework. Greer urged us to consider the strong impact of visuals, which may sensationalise messages more than the text does. She gave an example of a news story about a fire being accompanied by a photo of a completely different massive fire: but the immediate assumption would be it was of the fire mentioned in the text.
Greer advised structuring critical discussions with learners, using resources live Allsides.com and Opposing Viewpoints if you have access to them.
Greer gave the link to a bibliography on Patrons and Conspiracies https://www.zotero.org/groups/4470914/patrons_and_conspiracies
Photo by Sheila Webber: the WILU conference freebies

200 Trees: A Place/Based Learning Approach to Information Literacy and Outreach #WILU2024

Photo by Sheila Webber: trees in Stanley Park, Vancouver, May 2024
Liveblogging from the final day of WILU conference In Vancouver, Canada. 200 Trees: A Place/Based Learning Approach to Information Literacy and Outreach was  presentation from Catherine Bowers (Librarian Associate Professor, Odum Library, Valdosta State University, USA). She has a background in cultural anthropology, and some of her teaching approaches include zine making a wiki-thons.
The background to the presentation was a hurricane in 2023 which felled over 200 trees on the university campus. There is a lot of complexity to the history of the land that the university is on and trees are important to the place (there is a Herbarium). The campus newsletter highlighted the tree loss (one of the trees was 300 years old) but the media didn't see this as a "story".
Connecting this with place-based education, this centres on fieldwork, observation, authentic encounters and can be connected to environmental justice. Land based education is distinct from this, connected to indigenous knowledge, but in this case the focus was on place-based. The concepts that stimulated the project are to do with ecological literacies, information seeking behaviour, chronotopy (and some others) and there were a couple of articles/presentations (I think that this was one). Pedagogically she adopted the ideas of high impact practices and critical information literacy. An interesting debate was whether this was outreach, pedagogy or programming pedagogy.
Greer wanted library outreach, to work with students and to work with the landscape/grounds crew. 
The initial idea was to have a student tree walk, with people identifying their favourite tree. However, it turned out there was already a tree walk and historical plants tour, organised by a different department.
Changing the strategy, they had a zine workshop, and student nature journaling. The library distributed notebooks, had a workshop to promote techniques,and there was a LibGuide (see below) and social media coverage (but no uploads of journals so far). Greer also worked with archives and special collections to have something to archive information about the trees, and numerous documents were added to the archive. Experts from the biology department talked about the history of the trees/area.
A key thing was collaboration with two applied theatre students (the applied part is related to theatre of the oppressed). They discovered there had been a tree funeral in the past, and also confirmed there was a lack of information about the trees. The students developed a tree funeral, including a ceremony for the 300 year old tree. Bowers worked with the Grounds Supervisor, who was obviously invested in the trees and was interested in having more connection with students. She also coordinated a funeral. The students also involved other students in asking them about how they felt about trees etc. and delved into the archives. There was also media coverage.
Greer talked about evidence so far and future directions: a key future plan was identifying gaps in knowledge. Also she talked about the messiness of the project, how its shape was changed by campus relationships, opportunities etc.
There is a LibGuide on Campus Trees, Plants & Green Spaces at https://libguides.valdosta.edu/200trees
Photo by Sheila Webber: trees in Stanley Park, Vancouver, May 2024

Information Literacy as a discipline #WILU2024

ILIAD logo

On Wednesday at the WILU conference I was part of a panel Information Literacy as a Discipline enabling change. My co-panellists were Dr Syeda Shahid (Visiting Assistant Professor, School of Information, University of British Columbia, Canada, and Institute of Information Management, University of the Punjab, Pakistan); Dr Clarence Maybee (Associate Dean for Learning; W. Wayne Booker Chair for Information Literacy, Purdue University Libraries & School of Information Studies, USA); Dr. Karen Kaufmann (Assistant Professor of Instruction, School of Information, University of South Florida, USA) and Bill Johnston (Retired, Formerly University of Strathclyde, Scotland). The slides are here: https://static.sched.com/hosted_files/wilu2024/59/slides%20IL%20as%20discipline.pdf

Does #AI degrade #criticalthinking ? #WILU2024

Image created by Sheila Webber using Midjourney AI using the prompt: Does AI degrade critical thinking - it is a robot head

My next liveblog from the WILU conference In Vancouver, Canada is a debate: Does AI degrade critical thinking? with the speakers Joanna Nemeth (Managing Librarian, Library Information Services, Athabasca University Library, Canada) and Kimberly Frail (Head, Teaching and Learning, University of Alberta Library, Canada), moderated by Leeanne Morrow (Associate University Librarian, University of Calgary. There was a padlet for comments http://tinyurl.com/AI-panel-comments.
First of all the argument that AI helps to develop critical thinking skills. Creating prompts can help develop creativity and artistic flair. The University of Alberta generative AI guide outlines a CLEAR framework for forming prompts. Also generative AI has led to innovations in teaching, learning and assessment. In an example, a teacher tells students to use AI to create innovative designs for bridges, then students can critique them. There are also specialised AI/bots e.g. the Anne Frank bot, where students can ask questions and critique the output. This could also be used to interrogate people from historical times or collections of literature. You can obviously also ask learners to critique images and text created by AI. I thought that they said that ACRL had sandbox on "Artifical Intelligence", but in fact they were showing the image response to that prompt. However in my misguided attempt to locate the ACRL AI sandbox I discovered this article which has a lot of useful links!
Returning to the speaker's argument: therefore it seems essential for librarians to understand and teach how and when to use AI (being AI literate): guides produced by the University of Alberta were given as examples. This includes guiding people which tools to use for different tasks. The metaphor of AI as chain saw, which is really useful in certain situations, was used. Thus using AI can be seen as a way of sharpening critical thinking.  

Secondly the argument was given that AI degrades critical thinking skills. Firstly if you a beginner to a topic you would not be able to spot the biases and misinformation, as you would need to already have a grasp of the subject in order to do that. An example was given of generative AI to identify the name of a real film, and it made up a plausible-sounding but non existent title. The next point was the way AI tried to fit things into neat boxes "data separated out from continuity of experience". It is Google-fying knowledge. Learners might expect that they can find articles that exactly match their topics: in reality it is unlikely to be this simple, but generative AI may come up with something that appears to exactly match their needs (thus bypassing the need for thr learner to reflect and learn, and also the reference might not exist). The speaker also gave a quotation saying that use of generative AI may impair critical thinking and memorisation (I think this might have been based on research). 

Then there was a rebuttal phase of the debate. Rebutting the "against" arguments, points included: AI does reflect biases, but it can be used as a jumping off point for information literacy and critical thinking, bringing our biases to the forefront (to be confronted). Of the point about AI destroying cognitive functions: other tools have come along (like calculators, which have been incorporated into people's practice without destroying our cognitive function). Rebutting the "pro" argument, we were asked who didn't use a calculator (answer - everyone in the room used one - so perhaps AI had stopped our ability to do maths). Also there was a point about how not everyone gets exposed to critical thinking training (in fact, at the moment I imagine most people don't?)
We were then asked to respond to a lightening round, but as the link was only in a QR code I didn't participate (my liveblogging device doesn't do QR codes!) Anyway responses were: that AI wouldn't replace human creativity; that people didn't think AI was always reliable and accurate, nor that it understood the consequences of its output. Following this there was a lively discussion about this topic which is obviously going to develop or grow.
Image created by Sheila Webber using Midjourney AI using the prompt: Does AI degrade critical thinking? No cliches there, then!

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Embracing imperfect change in transforming an Information Literacy Program #WILU2024

Photo by Sheila Webber of the Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Vancouver, May 2024

Secondly from the second day of the WILU conference In Vancouver, Canada: It's complicated: Embracing imperfect change in transforming an Information Literacy Program by Dr. Ben Mitchell, Elizabeth Rennie, Amy McLay Paterson, Stirling Prentice and Stephanie Brown (all at Thompson Rivers University, Canada: all but Rennie were presenting).  They were talking about the English 1100 Library Instruction Pilot (ELIP) project, which all students at the university have to take.
Previously the IL education was through one-shots, of 50-75 minutes: "a drive-by educating experience", which was also patchy because of the different level of interests of the faculty. This was obviously seen by the librarians as being unsatisfactory. During the pandemic they did videos which became more embedded in the courses, but it returned to one shots after lockdown and they want to change that.
Currently they are running more embedded clsses in some ENGL1100 classes. They addressed 3 frames of the ACRL framework: Authority as constructed/contextual; Searching as strategic exploration; Scholarship as conversation (with particular focus on citation, also culturally appropriate standards of academic integrity).
In the autumn semester the classess were outside normal class time and students could get extra credit, in the spring semester it was in normal class time but was also sign-up. The librarians went into classes to sign up students, and the students who signed up did mostly attend. For evaluating the intervention they gave mini assignments in class, they kept learning journals and elicited feedback from faculty.
Overall goals for the project were to cover more ground; to build relationships; to integrate library and English department learning outcomes. There were various success metrics, including fewer acedmic integrity issues, positive student & faculty feedback, more students reaching out to the library, more academic engagement.
Mitchell gave an individual perspective, as he works on a small campus with one English academic, smaller classes, and a larger percentage of high school students. His perspective was that 3 weeks of workshops was better than a one-shot, but it needed a full semester, so he is proposing a one semester literacy module including multimodal literacies.
Observations on how it went included: there were opportunities to adjust timing & activities, to resolve technical issues. An example was an effective search strategies form (turning topic into keywords etc.). This was a legacy form, but they learned from using the form was that students were almost put off by the "perfect" example of a filled in form. Therefore they simplified the form, including incorporating a flow chart and cutting out the boxes for boolean input. The simpler form also made the transition from the teaching part to the activity easier, and students spent less time filling in the form and more on doing the exercise. They aim to improve the form further in a number of ways e.g. by adding a "why was this resource important" box, and thinking how to incorporate Boolean.
Some hurdles for the project include: timing not being perfectly aligned with the rest of the module (e.g. students hadn't got their assignments yet); varied numbers of students attending workshops; finding it difficult to cover all the material; wanting to cover material more detail.
Successes include: realtionship building (getting to know the students); going into more depth; teaching the same thing several times in a week so they learned how it could be improved and could implement that; "opening up more discussions and conversations with students and faculty".
Project evaluation is still underway; in particular they are hoping to get useful insights from looking at student assignments. All 5 faculty involved agreed students benefitted from the project, and all hope that it will continue. However, the librarians are not sure whether this will be sustainable.
Generously, the speakers were willing to share their materials with anyone who would like them (contact Amy McLay Paterson apaterson@tru.ca)

Photo by Sheila Webber: Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Vancouver, May 2024

Embracing RUSA's Guidelines for Secondary Source Literacy #WILU2024

Photo by Sheila Webber: art on the floor at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University, May 2024

I am liveblogging from the WILU conference In Vancouver, Canada. Charting the Course: Embracing RUSA's Guidelines for Secondary Source Literacy by Kristen Howard (Liaison Librarian, McGill University, Canada). Apologies that there were lots of examples given, and I haven't been able to capture all/most of them.
She introduced the RUSA guidelines and identified how secondary sources allow researchers "to engage with scholarly conversations about history". Also engaging  with secondary sources require evaluation etc. skills. Howard introduced her context: McGill history and classics department has 450 majors and 275 minors. She then described some ways she had changed her teaching after examining the RUSA guidelines. For example, in talking about "Why are there so many places to search" this includes acknowledging that this can be overwhelming, but explaining how each source has its function and biases and what support there is for searching. One tip from another session on search headings was saying that subject headings are like hashtags.
Howard highlighted learning objective 2.5 ("Trace citations to find additional sources relevant to a research project. Examine works cited in secondary sources to find earlier sources, including primary sources. Use citation search tools to find more recent work that cites relevant sources.") and how she used Google Scholar to find a title and chain backwards and forwards.
Learning objective 4.2 is "Critically evaluate the perspective of the creator(s), including authority, tone, subjectivity, biases, social context(s), methods, and/or guiding theories, and consider how these relate to the original purpose(s) and audience(s) of the source." and Howard talked about using a framework that could be used for primary or secondary sources to reflect on who the creator is and why they are writing etc.
Howard is also aiming to integrate the RUSA learning objectives into the general departmental learning objectives for history. She gave numerous examples of the goals for secondary source skills in these departmental document, compared with what is in the RUSA guidelines. For example, for "research skills" the historians say that students are "expected to organize their own research strategy" which is rather vague (with assumptions about what is already understood), and so there can be conversation about incorporating some more explanatory detail from the RUSA guidelines. There was less agreememt in the area of use of resources (for example, the departmental guidelines focusing on aspects such as engaging and critiquing arguments, the RUSA mentioning summarising and critiquing the stance of the creator).
Altogether Howard was finding the RUSA guidelines useful for her practice and in efforts to update the departmental learning objectives.
Photo by Sheila Webber: art on the floor at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University, May 2024

Indigenizing Information Literacy Instruction #WILU2024

Photo by Sheila Webber: trees in Stanley Park, May 2024

The final liveblog for today from the WILU conference In Vancouver, Canada is presented by Faith Jones (Library Director, Columbia College, Canada) and Joseph Haigh (Librarian, Columbia College, Canada) on Indigenizing Information Literacy Instruction for international college students. 
The speakers started with background on Columbia College, whose students are mostly new to Canada (and likely hoping to settle there). They mentioned TRC Calls to Action to do with citizenship education. They hired an indigenization  consultant who worked with staff to develop recommendations. These included having an Indigenous Initiatives consultant position, and training on the 4 seasons of reconciliation.
The speaker talked about learning more about indigenous epistemology, including exploring works by Burkhart and by Smith. Questions such as the importants of prepositional knowledge and how to process "deep disagreement" were raised. They also mentioned an indigenous research paradigm: that this involves more than decolonsing methodologies, and it can be seen as part of resurgance. Finally they referred to this article:
Littletree, S., Andrews, N., & Loyer, J. 2023. Information as a relation: Defining Indigenous information literacy. Journal of Information Literacy, 17(2), pp. 4–23. http://dx.doi.org/10.11645/17.2.8
Turning to the work at Columbia Collge: they have events to build relationships, including connecting with indigenous stories. They have acquired books to do with indigenous research and writing about indigenous peoples. In terms of changing how they teach: firstly they include indigenous sources (examples from indigenous writers) "especially in the places where you are going to linger" (i.e. difficult or important aspects of the curriculum: the examples were from teaching how to reference).
Secondly they respect indigenous knowledge. For example in "Who's the expert" exercises. They described an activity where the students were shown three different kinds of news, including a source that featured an expert indigenous person.
Thirdly there is incorporating indigenous worldviews. For example, when discussing academic integrity, it is good not to start with fear  and threatened punishment, but rather to have a respectful conversation, and also positioning citation as a form of respect and as a form of justice ("the person getting quoted gets credit for their ideas ; the writer gets to show the research they have done; the reader gets enough information to find the sources"
There was then an activity where we looked at some lesson plans and how they could be indigenised.
Photo by Sheila Webber: trees in Stanley Park, May 2024

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Navigating Changing Information Landscapes Using Visual Literacy and Metaliteracy #wilu2024

Photo by Sheila Webber of the Kafka cafe in Vancouver in May 2024

Continuing liveblogging from the WILU conference In Vancouver, Canada. Katie Greer (Fine and Performing Arts Librarian, Oakland University, USA) and Dana Thompson (Research and Instruction Librarian, Assistant Dean of Libraries, Murray State University) talk about Navigating Changing Information Landscapes Using Visual Literacy and Metaliteracy in Instruction Practices.
The speakers had served on the working group developing the Framework for Visual Literacy for Higher Education (a companion document to the ACRL IL framework).
They started by introducing the Framework: the Image Research Interest Group was asked to create this companion to the IL Framework in 2018. They defined visual literacy as "an interconnected set of practices, habits and values for participating in visual culture that can be developed through critical, ethical, reflectiv and craetive engagement with visual media". Thegroup identfied four themes for the VL framework and created the associated knowledge practices and dispositions. By talking about "learners who are developing their visual literacy" the companion document emphasises that this is an aspect of lifelong learning.
The speakers went on to define metaliteracy (as developed by Mackey and Jacobson) which they see as now being its own pedagogical model. They described the model, whic is shown here https://metaliteracy.org/ml-in-practice/integrated-metaliterate-learner-figure/
Moving to compare the two frameworks: the first VL theme is that Learners participate in a changing visual information landscape. Elements covered include attribution of visuals, privacy issues, visual life cycle, using analog and digital. This maps well to the first goal of metaliteracy (evaluating content and biases) and to the civic-minded disposition. Addressed in the metaliteracy framework, but not so much in the companion document are: affective considerations, ethical use of information and collaborative intent.
The 2nd VL theme is Learners perceive visuals as communicating information (with elements: visual as primary mode of communication; constructing meaning; context as important; ethical creation). This maps well to the Metaliteracy goals: evaluating content and biases; ethical considerations; participatory characteristics. The metaliteracy goals concerned with the active role of the learner, becoming informed and adaptable were lacking from the VL companion.
The 3rd theme is Learners practice visual discernment and criticality (with elements visuals are not neutral, critical and reflective evaluation; slow looking). This maps the best with metaliteracy goals: evaluating content, lifelong, informed and civic minded. The gaps were ethical and collaborative elements.
The 4th theme is Learners pursue social justice through visual practice. Subthemes were that visual practices can promote social justice, respect creators IPR and BIPOC community values, accessibility. This maps onto the metaliteracy goals: evaluating content; critical evaluation; lifelong learning; civic-minded. However metaliteracy does not explictly have a goal about social justice or accessibility.
There were 3 Metaliteracy objectives that did not map onto the VL framework (3.6, 4.5 and 4.9).
Looking at use of both frameworks: when incorporating VL into the curriculum, aspects such as incorporating peer learning can be drawn from the Metaliteracy framework.
The authors gave some examples. The first was from librarians at Miami University, which had learning objectives to do with discussing AI generator outputs critically. It fosters dispositions such as acknowledging that no platform is neutral. The metaliteracy characteristics of Civic minded and Informed could be used as a lens to inform the design and conversation in learning. The 2nd example was from Dana Statton Thompson (one of the speakers) who described the DIG method used to critically read "deep" images. The 3rd example was on visual bias and belief, with a learning objective to examine social media visuals reflectively and critically (I'm afraid I wasn't quick enough to capture all teh details of these examples).
An article is due to be published soon, covering the same ground as this presentation, in more detail. There was also a QR code for resources which I will upload later if the image turns out to be good enough.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Kafka cafe, Vancouver, May 2024

Using Retrospective Pre/Then/Post Tests to Gauge Learner Motivation #WILU2024

Photo by Sheila Webber of the asbestos sculpture inn Vancouver in May 2024

Continuing to liveblog from the WILU conference In Vancouver, Canada, I'm now attending a session  Begin at the End: Using Retrospective Pre/Then/Post Tests to Gauge Learner Motivation presented by Bridgid Fennell (Social and Behavioral Sciences Librarian, University of Southern California, USA). 
Fennell started by contrasting the traditional pre/post structure with the retrospective-pre test approach that she used for practical reasons. She quoted Patricia Senn Breivik who said that IL is "a learning issue not a library issue". She contrasted assessment (measuring student learning) and evaluation (which is what you apply to a programme, module etc.)
Fennell also distinguished between objectives (statements about what the students should be able to do, where you can tell wheteher or not whether they have been met) and outcomes, which she saw as the longer term impact. Fennell then talked about the philosopohies of Paulo Freire and bell hooks, and showed Bloom's (revised) taxonomy of learning (which has create at the top). She went on to mention Gagne's types of learning outcomes (which includes attitudes), the affective dimension in the Metaliteracy model and Kirkpatrick's 4 levels of training evaluation. 
Fennell identified the backwards design model (advocated in the ARCL IL Framework) as being effective. From Maslow's hierarchy of needs she picked out that you need to meet basic needs of students (that they need to feel healthy, not hungry etc.) as a basis to be motivated to learn. In terms of affective domains of learning, Fennell talked about motivational theory, race & marginalised identities, and anxiety issues (including library anxiety and specific anxieties e.g. maths anxiety).
Moving on to assessing disposition in a one-shot, Fennell talked about her own practice: setting out for herself: the learning objectives, what the activity will be and how it fits with the ACRL Framework. She uses polls including open ended questions such as "Explain why it is important to be flexible and persistent when the search process seems ambiguous" - the students eem to be more resposnive when they can contribute online and anonymously.
In terms of retrospective items - she might ask at the end of a session how confident students were in their ability to use the library before the session (using a smiley face likert scale) and how confident they feel after the session. This particular data is also valuable for convincing other librarians about the value of IL education.
The benefits of the approach include that it measures change in student disposition, saves time, it is good not to start a session with a "test", fits in with institutional accountability, you pick up the students who are late to class (and would have missed a pre test). Drawbacks include that it is self-reporting, there may be recall bias or "courtesy" bias (wanting to be nice to you), and that it may be not be seen as rigourous. Fennell felt the method was easy, friendly and grounded in instructional theory.
The slides are available here
Photo by Sheila Webber: asbestos sculpture Vancouver, May 2024

Information Literacy: Potential, Practice, and Promise @WILUconference #WILU2024

Photo by Sheila Webber of ships in Vancouver Canada in May 2024

I am liveblogging from the WILU conference In Vancouver, Canada at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. The conference started with Dr. Heidi Julien (Professor in the Department of Information Science at the University at Buffalo, USA) on Information Literacy: Potential, Practice, and Promise. As usual, I warn that this is my impression of the talk as it happened, and I won't have captured all the content and nuance.

Julien started with the image of a dumpster on fire, to represent her view of the current situation. She characterised our time as one of anti-intellctualism and a refusal to acknowledge expertise. Additionally there is less trust in the media, and an emphasis on emotion, rather than thought. Julien identified that misinformation certainly isn't new. She mentioned how we do tend to live in our filter bubbles and echo chambers (avoiding the media we know we will disagree with, for example).
There is research showing things such as: some leaders thrive on misinformation, false news spreads faster than true information. A European Commission survey showed that 83% of people think that misinformation threatens democracy, and that people come across it most days. Pew Research reports also reveal concerns of people in North America.
As we know there are manipulation strategies e.g. discrediting news, trolling, using symbols of expertise to fool us. Julien talked about the problem of social media, with its focus on maximising engagement. She thought that Meta/Facebook was particularly to blame in not stepping up to the problem. Then AI has introduced further challenges, making verification of content even more difficult.
Altogther, that leads to a crisis for democracy, health etc. Firstly she felt that the term Information should be dumped. She saw librarians using information literacy and the rest of the world using a variety of terms such as digital literacy.
As an example she used British Columbia's Post Secondary Digital Literacy Framework, which doesn't mention librarians or information literacy. Going on to define Digital Literacy, she then identified challenges, for example: People overestimating their digital literacy. Their are also information behaviour challenges, with people socially and cultirally situated, wanting to belong, finding it difficult to counter misinformation. People are irrational, with confirmation bias. Research has shown that we can become more embedded in our own beliefs, with strong emotions surfaced, when they are challenged. We prefer to defend our own views, rather than being willing to critique them. Trust in information is affected therefore by emotion, the desire to fit with our social group etc. All this means it isn't easy to teach people how to evaluate information.
Yet further challenges include the fact that people librarians work with are themselves not digitally literate. Julien discussed the possibilities of automatic content moderation - highlighting the drawbacks (given that information is socially constructed).
Solutions include librarians being taught to teach, and advocating for and teaching digital literacy. Also Julien advocated changing people's attitudes and behaviour - trust in science, opposing dogmatism, encouraging leaders. She talked about "prebunking" and effective debunking, innoculations, antigens (e.g. being aware of microtargetting, innoculating friends and family, incentivising accuracy). Julien urged librarans to teach people to "think like scientists" in their engagement with information, and to use strategies like lateral reading. She urged librarians to advocate and educate.
Julien then gave some information from her 2016 survey of Canadian librarians. A few findings are: only a third of institutions have full time IL educators; student learning and programme evaluation is mostly informal. Lack of time was the most frequent barrier to progress, and there are also various structural issues and problems to do with low status on campus. Julien and colleagues have carried out this survey several times over the years. Trends include that there is now less focus on challenging librarian/faculty relationships, but otherwise barriers have remained pretty much the same over time (also the Canadian picture is similar to that in the USA). Julien saw some signs hope in, for example, the innovative work done by librarians in teaching IL.
Julien made a call to action and as part of this, urged people to partner with faculty, school teachers and policy makers. Taking action and facing the challenges will help put out the dumpster fires!
Photo by Sheila Webber: Vancouver, Canada, May 2024

Saturday, May 11, 2024

New book: Disinformation Debunked

Photo by Sheila Webber of a mustard garlic plant in May 2024
Frau-Meigs, D. & Corbu, N. (2024). Disinformation Debunked: Building Resilience through Media and Information Literacy. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003387404
Photo by Sheila Webber: mustard garlic, May 2024

Thursday, May 09, 2024

NCIS Guide for Independent Scholars

Photo by Sheila Webber of my appleblossom in May 2024

I have to confess that when I first saw the title of this book I thought it was published by another NCIS, which would have been odd but interesting. However, the publisher of this is the National Coalition of Independent Scholars and it looks a useful open access publication.
Haste, A. & Baines, L. (2024). NCIS Guide for Independent Scholars. National Coalition of Independent Scholars. https://www.ncis.org/publications
There is a video introduction to the guide from Helen Kara here https://youtu.be/jtonvXa-AIs?feature=shared
Photo by Sheila Webber: my appleblossom, May 2024

Wednesday, May 08, 2024

Facts not Fakes: Tackling Disinformation, Strengthening Information Integrity

An OECD publication published in March 2024 is:
OECD. (2024). Facts not Fakes: Tackling Disinformation, Strengthening Information Integrity. OECD. https://doi.org/10.1787/d909ff7a-en It is also available in French and Spanish.
"This report presents an analytical framework to guide countries in the design of policies, looking at three complementary dimensions" which are Implementing policies to enhance the transparency, accountability, and plurality of information sources and Fostering societal resilience to disinformation "This involves empowering individuals to develop critical thinking skills, recognise and combat disinformation, as well as mobilising all sectors of society to develop comprehensive and evidence-based policies in support of information integrity." and Upgrading governance measures and public institutions to uphold the integrity of the information space.
There is a substantial chapter relating to Fostering societal resilience to disinformation which rather frustratingly refers to media literacy and media and information literacy most often.
Photo by Sheila Webber: blossom on the grass, April 2024

Tuesday, May 07, 2024

Information Literacy and AI recording

Image of 2 people with a microphone and computer created by Sheila Webber using Midjourney AI

There is a recording from the webinar organised by the CILIP Information Literacy Group, Information Literacy and AI. The panellists were Joshua Rodda, Learning Development Librarian at the University of Nottingham; Anne-Lise Harding, Strategic Training Lead at the House of Commons Library; Rosie Jones, Director of Student and Library Services at Teesside University; Sarah Pavey, an independent education consultant and former school librarian. There is a report about it here, I blogged some of the links mentioned here,and the recording is here https://youtu.be/07lZWsTnG9s
Image created by Sheila Webber using Midjourney AI

Monday, May 06, 2024

Generative AI in Libraries (GAIL) Conference

Photo by Sheila Webber of my appleblossom in May 2024

Registration is open for the free online Generative AI in Libraries (GAIL) Conference, taking place 11-13 June 2024 13.00-16.00 US Eastern time (which is 18.00-21.00 UK time). https://shsulibraryguides.org/genailibraries/home
The conference "aims to promote a deeper understanding of how generative AI can revolutionize library services like instruction, research support, collection management, access services, outreach and collaboration, while also addressing the challenges and ethical considerations this new technology brings to libraries."
As you can see from the schedule, there is a track on AI & Information Literacy with topics such as Leveling Up Your Lesson Planning: Using AI to Build Bibliographic Library Lessons https://shsulibraryguides.org/genailibraries/schedule
Photo by Sheila Webber: my appleblossom, May 2024

Thursday, May 02, 2024

Survey on "information literacy" librarians

Photo by Sheila Webber of a grey cat blending into the background of a tree in a park in April 2024

There is a research survey for librarians who have "information literacy" in their job title, conducted by Jaclyn Spraetz and Megan Jaskowiak from Miami University, USA. Go here for the information and questionnaire https://miamioh.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_dcdXVk924KuelOS
Photo by Sheila Webber: spot the grey cat, April 2024

Wednesday, May 01, 2024

Media & Information Literacy for Communication Ecosystems

Photo by Sheila Webber of red tulips in the Botanical Gardens in April 2024

There is a free in-person seminar on 20 June in Boscombe, UK, Media & Information Literacy for Communication Ecosystems. "This workshop will provide an opportunity for researchers to map their current and future work with a theory of change for better health and science information.... the workshop will include a presentation from Kate Morris (Ofcom) and an introduction to the work of the Media and Information Literacy Alliance, followed by the theory of change mapping exercise."
Go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/media-info-literacy-for-communication-ecosystems-tickets-885542420217
Photo by Sheila Webber: tulips in the Botanics, April 2024