Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Instructional Librarians Talk about the #ACRLFramework #i3rgu

Next up for me (liveblogging from the i3 conference) is a paper coauthored by Dr Heidi Julien, Dr Melissa Gross and Dr Don Latham (presented by Julien and Latham) Being “Set Free” – Instructional Librarians Talk about the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. This is the framework (mentioned many times on this blog!).
The presenters were reporting on a survey they carried out amongst librarians in the USA, investigating "information literacy instruction practices" (concerns, views and practice). They included questions about how/whether librarians were incorporating the Framework in their practice. More broadly, questions concerned assessment practice, extent and nature of collaboration with faculty, objectives for information literacy education etc. The presenters then explained some of the background to the Framework: since regular blog readers will have heard more than enough about that, I will just mention that the move from the old ACRL IL standards to the less prescriptive Framework was described and the core frames presented (they can be seen at the link above).
The presenters also noted that there was a new definition of IL (the new definition is "Information literacy is the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning."
The presenters noted responses to the Framework in the literature, which they identified "generally reflect excitement about the framework" with some critique (which, on reflection, is interesting in showing a gap between the discourse in dicussion groups etc. and the literature, as there has been a lot of negative reaction too)
The survey was publicised via the key discussion list ili-l, there were 622 self-selecting respondents. 31% said there had already been significant impact of the Framework. The "vast majority" saw connections between the concepts and developing IL in students. However, there was still a focus on skills development. Reported changes included the sessions becoming "more of a conversation"; aiming to help students understand "how information works" and "develop transferable skills that they can use beyond the classroom". Another librarian felt that the Framework had "raised our instructional brand in a significant way". "The IL Standards were great as training wheels to get us moving in the right direction towards authentic assessment, but the IL Framework will truly set us free".
So, there was a generally positive reaction, although most have yet to modify their practice. Empirical work (an interview study is underway) is needed to confirm ongoing effects of the Framework. The presenter felt that "analysis is needed on the effects of the framework on student learning outcomes".
Photo by Sheila Webber: Aberdeen University Library, last night.

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