WILU/York 2007 logo

36th Annual Conference - York University - Toronto ON - May 16-18, 2007

Location Codes

  • SSB: Schulich School of Business
  • ACW: Accolade West

Concurrent Sessions - May 18th

Session 4: 8:45 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Session 4A (SSB N105)

Information Literacy by Design: Librarians and e-Learning

Librarians continue to explore the latest technologies from wikis to blogs to learning objects. Nevertheless, technology in itself is not enough to ensure that learning will take place. How do we structure e-learning opportunities so that information literacy is truly encouraged and developed? What are the key design principles that make for quality learning in an online tutorial? The Canadian Association of Research Libraries aims to capture descriptions of our success stories and case studies from the classroom at an e-learning portal. This site complements existing information literacy learning object repositories such as the Cooperative Online Repository for Information Literacy (OCUL) and the Animated Tutorial Sharing Project (COPPUL) where copies of materials are archived for reuse. The e-learning ideas playground offers an overview of key learning principles on which to design online information literacy materials. These principles address the relationship between how students learn, how librarians teach, and how technology can enhance the learning experience. The portal has been developed using wiki software and offers a starting point for developing e-learning expertise, describing models for bringing librarians into campus e-learning initiatives, and sharing experiences in the evolution of our role as blended librarians.

Session 4B (SSB N106)

Understanding International Students' Information Research Behaviour

International students face numerous challenges as they undertake undergraduate studies abroad. Information literacy competencies can play a role in ensuring that they succeed. However, are librarians fully cognisant of the characteristics and prior experiences of international students as they relate to information research? This population is itself quite diverse and past experiences can differ significantly from one culture to another as well as from one student to the next.

Library anxiety, previous access to resources, different practices for acknowledging sources and first-time exposure to English-language library terminology can impact the quality of work produced by international students. How can librarians design, develop and implement instructional strategies that consider these realities while meeting the needs of this ever-growing segment of the student population?

Findings from a focus group discussion with international students are presented to highlight some of the common and uncommon practices that characterize international students' information research behaviour. This behaviour is compared to some of the major theories accepted by our profession to identify commonalities and differences that should be taken into account when designing instruction. Finally, revised learning objectives, instructional material and assessment tools as they related to workshops for international students will be demonstrated.

Academic Librarians' Understanding of First Generation Students' Concerns and Needs

The presentation is based on an MLIS research project that assesses librarians' understanding of the unique user needs and concerns of students who are the first in their families to attend postsecondary schooling.

First-generation students are a hidden minority on campus, as their status is internal to them, rather than external for association with a given social group. What is known is that they represent about a third of the postsecondary population, cannot rely on parental experience to guide them in their schooling, often struggle academically, and are at a much higher risk for attrition than students who have at least one parent with a postsecondary education.

In the literature review for this study, several reports (e.g. Terenzini et al,1996; Grayson, 1997, Pike & Kuh, 2005) showed that first-generation students who used the academic library on a regular basis made more gains academically than those who did not. Those gains then led to better chances for successfully completion of their programmes. Since the existing research looked at student experiences, the present research looked into librarians' understanding of first-generation students as a unique user group within a university population. The study was conducted at the University of Western Ontario.

With information literacy and outreach underpinned this exploratory study, participants selected for interviews had to have frequent involvement with students in a reference/instructional capacity - and this included one library technician. This interviews created a dialogue that revealed a variety of instructional sessions and reference services, including off-site meetings with students at their faculties and in residences. The reciprocal side of the dialogue led to the participants becoming more aware of the attributes and needs of first-generation students within the university population.

Since the WILU conference theme is Teach Every Angle, the interview method used in this study brings to light a learning dynamic from two angles of teaching expertise: the librarians' in instructional services, and the researcher's in first-generation students. Maintaining a dialogue is important in designing instructional outreach, as neither the person providing the service nor the recipient can benefit without an understanding of the other party's perspective. A third angle comes from the disciplinary nature of the study itself. Almost all research on first-generation students is the field of education; this study is in library science. Both fields are related to learning.

Session 4C (SSB N107)

RefWorks: Challenges and Opportunities Teaching Users to "Cite It Right"

In 2003, OCUL licensed access to RefWorks, a web-based bibliographic manager, for use within Ontario universities. RefWorks allows users to collect, save, and organize bibliographic citations to journal articles, books, web sites and other sources. Users can then use RefWorks to automatically format papers and bibliographies in any of over 200 different citation styles. The rhetoric of Academic Integrity has a strong presence in universities and it is essential to promote tools like RefWorks that help prevent plagiarism. At Ryerson University, we have been teaching RefWorks to students, faculty and library staff for about 3 years. This product has become increasingly popular over this time period, and the demand for instruction and support has grown significantly. What was once manageable for a single librarian has grown to necessitate a RefWorks literacy level that extends across the library. Early technical problems and perceived limitations of the software have contributed to a level of resistance among library staff members to learning and adopting RefWorks for instruction. RefWorks, as interdisciplinary software, poses an additional barrier to adoption among instruction librarians, as it is not an essential research tool in their subject areas and cannot be easily incorporated into a traditional sixty minute library instruction session. Furthermore, librarians have traditionally been involved in teaching users how to find information, evaluate resources and apply critical thinking skills. Teaching the use of citation styles has historically been offered by University Writing Centres, handled at the course level or assumed to be the student's responsibility to learn on their own. As Academic libraries increasingly move to collaborate with other departments and services on their campus, the traditional boundaries between what is taught inside and what is taught outside the library continue to change. Tools such as RefWorks require knowledge of citation styles, the functionality of RefWorks, and also the interoperability of RefWorks with other library resources. The presence of RefWorks amongst our complement of library resources creates new opportunities for librarians to teach information literacy at a different angle. This presentation will illustrate the Ryerson Library experience with RefWorks, as well as some of the pitfalls and lessons learned when delivering RefWorks library instruction sessions to students and faculty. We'll share our approaches to teaching RefWorks, troubleshooting questions on the reference desk, and increasing knowledge and expertise amongst staff.

Student-Driven TURNITIN as a Teaching-Learning Tool

Faculty teaching in the BScN for Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) Program implemented a trial process whereby learners were asked to voluntarily submit all written assignments within the same term through TURNITIN, an electronic system that identifies papers containing un-original material. The focus of this pilot was to employ TURNITIN as a teaching-learning tool. For that reason, the system was tailored by the faculty teaching within that term such that learners were able to view their own reports and were able to re-submit assignments as many times as they chose to do so. Faculty will share their experiences of this one-term, multiple course TURNITIN trial. Technology requirements will be discussed. A demonstration of student TURNITIN submissions and how the system can be modified will be presented. Participants will take part in a dialogue about using TURNITIN as an effective tool to empower, rather than police, learners to refine their writing skills, including accurate citation of ideas that are not their own.

Session 4D (SSB N108)

Information Literacy Competencies Integrated Within a Nursing Curricula Standards

Information literacy is significant for academic institutions, evidence-based education and lifelong learning skills. With the increasing amount of nursing literature, clinical practice research, Best Practice Guidelines and non-scholarly information available from the internet, the need for information literacy skills is essential. This abstract conveys the interdisciplinary partnership between the Knowledge Hub Faculty Liaison and Health Sciences Librarian at Georgian College and information literacy competencies successfully integrated into Nursing curricula.

The presentation objectives include the sharing of a curriculum design: a research class and a collaboratively graded assignment based on the database, "Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature" (CINAHL). Students are required to conduct and submit a literature search strategy worth 5-6% of their overall grade to the Librarian and Knowledge Hub Faculty for marking. Articles retrieved from this research process are used in a required assignment for a core nursing course. This strategy is offered in the first two years of the BScN program and first year of the Practical Nursing program at Georgian College with the intent of cultivating critical thinking skills, evidence-based practice and lifelong information literacy skills.

The teaching partnership between the Knowledge Hub Faculty and the Health Sciences Librarian is a truly collaborative and interdisciplinary one that breaks the traditional boundary of teaching information literacy skills in isolation. Two one-hour computer lab sessions are collaboratively taught, offering students a hands-on approach to navigating the CINAHL database and refining a literature search with instruction. This model is effective in combining the expertise of both Faculty Librarian, with knowledge of database features and Nursing Faculty, with discipline specific knowledge, yielding an appreciation for the merit and value of information literacy practices.

The presentation will also describe the information literacy competencies that were created by both the Health Sciences Librarian and Knowledge Hub Faculty Liaison to reflect the scholarly needs of the Caring Curriculum. These competencies were successfully integrated within the nursing curriculum and placed within the nursing student handbooks so that students may self assess their ongoing mastery of these skills. Some of these competencies include recognizing the importance of developing a stance of critical inquiry, evaluating literature using critical thinking for credibility and reliability and understanding the structure and general principle of information within the nursing profession.

In order to cultivate student success, value (marks) is given to the process and skills required to effectively use the database and its features, retrieve current information and critique the information for relevance and credibility. Without providing a separate assignment dedicated to these specific abilities, information literacy skills remain an unrealistic expectation. By making the process and competencies explicit we are "teaching every angle" required for student success.

Teaching Information Literacy Skills During Nursing Student Clinical Practicums

Early in 2006, there was a discussion at SIAST between a nursing instructor and librarian regarding the concept maps for care the second-year students were required to develop during clinical practicum rounds in the hospital. It became apparent that the instructor did not know from which sources students were gathering information to become informed about their assigned clients.

It was decided that a session would be delivered by the librarian titled "Becoming Informed about a Client" for two groups of nursing students (14 in total) as a required element of their clinical rounds orientation. This session focused on the importance of using credible, authoritative information in clinical practice. It also emphasized that students must hone an "internal filter" so they can make sound decisions about whether or not to use a particular piece of information in their practice. While sample websites and databases were presented, the intent of the librarian was to be less prescriptive and more concerned about the students' ability to "tread the sea of information" on their own.

Another crucial element occurred four weeks later when the librarian was invited to facilitate a post-conference debrief in the hospital with the clinical round students. This involved an informal discussion of the impact the information literacy instruction had on the students' clinical experiences. Both the nursing instructors involved and the librarian observed several outcomes from this project:

  1. the librarian was perceived by students to be a peer and co-educator alongside their regular instructors
  2. the students were much more confident with providing patient education, due largely to the information literacy skills instruction
  3. students were comfortable in their communications with instructors and hospital clinicians, as well, for the same reason as above
  4. the information literacy skills instruction was strongly tied to the "real-world" clinical setting in which the students will eventually work; student motivation to learn these skills could be characterized as being at a high level.

In a sense, this project moved beyond the integration of information literacy instruction into a course or curricula. Indeed, it addresses the goal of all educators to develop a "whole graduate" ready and competent for work, and life, in the real world.

Session 5: 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Session 5A (SSB N105)

Practice Makes Perfect: Applying and Adapting Best Practices in Information Literacy

In 2003, ACRL published the Characteristics of Information Literacy that Illustrate Best Practices and librarians at the University of Toronto Mississauga are using this document for IL program planning. This session offers an exploration and showcase of two categories in the document: Category 5 (Articulation with the Curriculum) and Category 10 (Assessment/Evaluation of IL Programs and Student Learning). For Category 5, the presenters will provide examples of IL standards that have been tailored and embedded into course curricula across each of the broad disciplines (i.e., Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities), and achieved through research-based assignments. Participants will be encouraged to explore the concept of embedding IL into courses, to think flexibly about the ACRL Standards and how to present them to faculty in a practical manner, and to contribute their own ideas of best practices. For Category 10, the presenters will show data that illustrates students' IL competencies that have been gathered from in-house formative and summative assessment tools, curriculum mapping, and market penetration analysis of their IL program. Finally, presenters will explore three national assessment tools (SAILS, ETS, JMU) in order to understand the benefits and limitations of using these as indicators for IL competency.

Session 5B (SSB N106)

Courseware and Collaboration: Teaming Up with Instructional Technology Liaisons

Courseware offers librarians new opportunities to create, deliver and market information literacy to students and faculty. The core features such as communication tools (email, chat rooms, announcements) and assessment tools (quizzes, surveys) provide new or improved ways for Librarians to learn about and assist our students and to evaluate student learning and prior knowledge. By having full authorship in the courseware, Librarians ensure that accurate information about Library resources and services is available and that this information is available when students are ready to receive it. The latter means that students are not spending time trying to navigate our websites to find appropriate databases or subject pages. Overall, it should be a win-win situation for everyone. Reports in the library literature reveal, however, that most courseware does not include the Library as an essential, curricular component in their design. Consequently, librarians must proactively collaborate with instructional technology colleagues, faculty and fellow librarians to ensure that students are made aware of the scholarly resources and Library services needed for their course. At the University of Waterloo, Library resources have been included in many courses which use the University of Waterloo ANGEL Course Environment, UW-Ace. UW Librarians have built strong relationships with colleagues from the Centre for Learning and Teaching Through Technology (LT3). The LT3 Liaisons (one per Faculty) are faculty's first contact to set up and integrate course material into UW-Ace. Since access to courses is restricted to instructors and registered students, LT3 liaisons have been the critical link for librarians' involvement in many courses. An LT3 Liaison for the Library provided advice and set up a sandbox where we could practice using UW-Ace features and share our information literacy examples. Anne, Jackie and Katherine will elaborate on the value and development of their working relationships and explain how these have supported information literacy instruction in their departments. (Biology, Kinesiology and Health Studies). They will illustrate a variety of examples of how information literacy has been added to UW-Ace. An e-portfolio project with some information literacy implications and a project to add information literacy activities to core 2nd year courses which strengthen and extend skills learned in a common 1st year course will also be discussed. We would like to include small group discussions so librarians can share their successes and disappointments with courseware. Possible ideas include: How are you involved with courseware on your campus? With whom do/did you collaborate to become involved? How much more involvement [e.g. more courses] could you handle? Ways to manage the workload? Map info lit topics from Biology 130 to 2nd Year courses in Biology or Health Studies Creating an Optimal Learning Environment: use your knowledge and skills to comment on and revise one of the following: Information literacy course page; Online quiz; evaluate quiz and questions (does it accurately test for info lit skills, rewrite questions, suggest other questions); Resources page UW-Ace.

Create, Then Integrate: Teaching Undergraduate Research Skills Using WebCT

There has been much discussion about how librarians can develop content for WebCT and other course management systems. At Carleton, we have taken advantage of the widespread campus use of WebCT to explore better integration of Library content and closer relationships with faculty members and other student support services. Our Library Sandbox is a WebCT module piloting in several of Carleton University's undergraduate courses. In its design, we created guides that step undergrads through the research process, from choosing a topic and using the library to writing and creating a bibliography. Guides to topics beyond the scope of library services are developed in cooperation with our Learning Commons partners in the Academic Writing Centre and Learning Support Services. We have seen campus courses like the Library Sandbox, but what is not often explored is development of a portable WebCT module that can be customized and exported by librarians directly into a faculty member's course on WebCT. This has been the biggest strength of our project: the ability to create, and then integrate. Faculty members have been receptive to the idea that our research module can support their teaching efforts. Some have chosen to use the module simply as a reference tool for students, while we have cooperated with others to create an assignment centred around self-directed learning and developed to be used in tandem with the Research Skills module. We require a face-to-face installation of the module in a faculty member's WebCT course, allowing us not only to identify any problems before the module is released to the students, but also to discuss the best way to integrate information literacy skills into course content. The module has not only been about students, but also about enhanced faculty outreach. Based on preliminary feedback from students and instructors, we believe that this active learning exercise can often be used in lieu of our traditional introductory library sessions. We are in the midst of evaluating the module, and will have results from our survey analyzed by late December 2006. Our goal is to make the Research Skills module available campus-wide for the 2007-08 academic year and we plan to provide training and support for all Reference staff who wish to use the module. We believe that our Research Skills module has truly allowed us to Teach Every Angle. The increased faculty interaction has encouraged many more of them to integrate the assignment into the curriculum as a deliverable, where it gains the student attention necessary to properly acquire library skills. In these cases, the grading process allows the librarian and instructor to pinpoint students in need of remedial instruction early in their undergraduate career. In cases where instructors use the module as a reference tool, it appeals to students who may prefer self-directed learning and quickly links others to the service providers they need. Overall, we believe that our approach allows librarians to focus their attention on the students who require individual help and develop stronger relationships with faculty.

Session 5C (SSB N107)

Sharing the Wealth: Online Repositories for Information Literacy and CORIL

Information Literacy is a key strategic direction at our institutions. As Instruction Librarians we create resources and tools to enhance our learning environments and facilitate delivery of our information literacy message, whether it's face-to-face or computer-to-computer. Wouldn't it be great if there was a way to tap into the expertise of our teaching colleagues; develop ideas collaboratively perhaps or pass our quality material around the information literacy neighbourhood?

Enter CORIL: the Cooperative Online Repository for Information Literacy. It's an initiative to support information literacy instruction among Canadian universities and colleges; essentially a database where teaching resources can be uploaded and shared. CORIL is in just in its infancy and needs your ideas and support to grow to its full potential. What would be useful to your teaching? What concerns do you have? Have you a great PowerPoint or pathfinder or tutorial that would benefit others?

This session will set a context for CORIL. It will introduce you to the possibilities it brings to our community of information literacy practice and provide space for discussion and dreaming. Participate in what promises to be a lively discussion to help CORIL realize its promise as an essential support for our teaching initiatives.

A Journal Whose Time Has Come: Communications in Information Literacy (CIL)

Information literacy is consistently among the most important, most discussed topics in library science literature, and it has been so for nearly two decades. Still, there is only a small number of journals in the discipline that consistently publish articles on the topic. And, with the discontinuation of the journal, Research Strategies, the literature has been left without a publication dedicated to information literacy.

Enter Communications in Information Literacy (CIL), a new, independent, professional, refereed electronic journal dedicated to advancing knowledge, theory, and research in the area of information literacy. The journal is committed to the principles of information literacy as set forth by the Association of College and Research Libraries, and it is intended for an audience of professionals in the area of higher education who are committed to advancing information literacy. Works published in CIL are theoretical, research-based, or practical in nature. CIL is also committed to the principles of open access for academic research.

The presenters, who are the co-creators and joint Editors-in-Chief of CIL, will exhibit the journal. They will demonstrate the mechanics of maintaining an electronic, open access publication. The presenters will discuss the genesis of the CIL project and the dynamics of starting a new journal dedicated to information literacy. Attendees will be asked to provide their professional suggestions for enhancing the only current journal in their profession that is dedicated to information literacy. Additionally, the presenters will make the case for WILU presenters to publish their conference papers in CIL.

Session 5D (SSB N108)

An Exploratory Study of Students' Perceptions of the Relevance of Information Literacy

"Why do I need to know this? Will I ever use it again?" Most undergraduate students look for immediate relevance or demonstrable applicability as a measure of the value of their learning experiences. Librarians work hard to persuade students that information literacy skills will serve them well for their current research needs and throughout their lifetime. But even with these best of intentions, how do we know we have convinced them?

We investigated this question through a semester-long study of students' learning experiences in an information management course. This is a core required course for undergraduate commerce students at the University of Guelph. Historically, this course has been taught by faculty in the Department of Marketing and Consumer Studies and it has had a less than positive reputation among students. In 2006-2007, Marketing and Consumer Studies liaison librarian, M.J. D'Elia assumed the teaching of this course and in the process has transformed it into an information literacy intensive experience with a strong emphasis on active learning through role-playing. In the Winter 2007 semester M.J. and his colleague, Robin Bergart, conducted research into the students' beliefs about the current and future relevance and applicability of the skills, concepts, and values taught in this course. This research contributes to our understanding of how students perceive the relevance of information literacy to their lives today and in the future.