NELIG Annual Program 2013

The NELIG Annual Program was held at Dartmouth this year on June 21. It was titled “Libraries, Librarians & Literacies: Information Literacy in Context.” I attended the keynote and 3 breakout sessions. Below are some thoughts and takeaways I had after leaving the sessions.

Keynote: Reimagining Information Literacy as a Metaliteracy: Empowering Learners for Participation, Collaboration, and Refelction

  • Metaliteracy is the new term we should be keeping an eye on.
  • They’re working on BadgeStack, which involves completing quests to earn badges to help students develop general foundational skills. I also found this post on using the program that offers some interesting background information. I need to look more into this — it looks like something interesting to try.
  • There is a MOOC on metaliteracy in the Fall –another thing to keep an eye out for.

Breakout#1: The Sign at the Intersection of Literacies

  • An interesting presentation of how Quinnipiac University Library took advantage of unused hardware to create electronic signage that featured library events, resources, etc.
  • She passed out blank paper and colored markers at the beginning of the session so I was looking forward to doing something interactive and creative. But we didn’t have time for it so I’m a little disappointed.
  • Some takeaways: fewer slides, quicker rotation (7secs), check aspect ratio, change PPT to match screen size, check image quality.

Breakout#2: Finding Stuff: Using Student-Designed Tutorials to Teach Active Research Practice

  • The presenters teach a credit-bearing course and have students make 5-8min screencasts to assess if they’ve understood a resource.
  • They used Zotero to share readings through a group folder and screencast-o’matic to make the recordings.
  • Some ideas offered to improve the course included a best practices for a script, doing the shorter video first and letting the students redo it after getting feedback.
  • Takeaway: It is about communication in a concise way.

Breakout#3: How Students Virtually Approach the Library

  • There wasn’t anything in this presentation that I didn’t already know or was aware of. The results presented were derived from a test group of 7 students, which I thought isn’t large enough to draw conclusions from.
  • The point that kept sticking out to me is that all the teaching that’s being done is around “tools” and as these tools change, librarians are asking which ones should you teach? My answer: NONE OF THEM. We should be moving away from “tools-based” teaching and moving towards “concept-based” teaching. We should be using the tools to teach a concept (eg keywords vs subject headings). Knowing a concept lets you use any tool available.
  • Takeaway: In general librarians are still doing very tool-based teaching. This just reinforces my current teaching stance of trying active learning techniques and focusing on “bigger picture” concepts.

A few of us ventured out to Morano Gelato after lunch before the afternoon sessions. Yum! Overall a good conference and it was great to meet lots of new librarians. I look forward to future meetings!

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