Closing the Gap: Making Information Literacy Seamless Across K-16
The alignment between ACRL’s Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education and AASL’s Standards for the 21st-Century Learner will be presented. Short presentations will follow highlighting effective collaboration between K-12 and higher education library personnel to bridge the information gap. The session will close by sharing resources to facilitate similar collaborative efforts, including a resentation about the Committee’s toolkit.
Speakers: Judi Repman, Professor
Closing the Gaps is a big initiative in Texas right now, so I was interested in see what others were doing with this initiative. The shuttle ride was longer than I expected, so I wound up missing the first presenter. When I arrived Jane Prestebak was sharing her personal background, then moved on to sharing her project – a Research Project Calculator – based on student standards for Minnesota. They had the goal of breaking the research process into meaningful steps. It was based on an Assignment Calculator developed by another university. That original calculator had 12 steps, they took it down to 5 steps (with subsets). They felt it was important to start with a question, then ask the student to make a value judgment. Asking students to write “about cats” invited copying. Whereas ‘Cats make better pets than dogs’ invites debate.
A couple of other takeaways that I really enjoyed:
- The suggestion to perform research aloud – model the process. Don’t focus on here’s the print button, etc. Instead talk about what the results are, what you think of them, which articles you might be interested in and why.
- Dribbling analogy – when you teach kids to play basketball you have a lot of dribbling practice. Translate that into information literacy practice exercises. For example – have the students summarize an article every Friday. This one fit well with the story about math as mental weightlifting that I read about in Made to Stick.
There was a fair amount of time spent on discussion standards, core collections, etc. which is not what I came for, but the last presenter had some very engaging and inspiring stories of collaborations he was able to facilitate in his incredibly rural area. He pulled groups of people (students, librarians, etc.) together on Wimba and let them set their own agendas, some of which just included talking about what it was like in the country vs. the city, but also moved on to citation software. He also shared a story of working with what you have – example of guy with no budget for books, magazines, etc. But he can catalog, lead to donations.
All the links will be on the ALA Connect Site – K-16 Information Literacy Group.