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LVAIC Information Literacy Conference Advances Learning Tools During Online Education

May 14, 2020, @ 3:46 PM

As a continuation of the LVAIC funding for collaborative programs, LVAIC’s research librarians and educators gathered for the 4th annual Information Literacy Symposium. This event focused on A Community of Reflection: Information Literacy Research and Scholarship.

The program flipped to an online event in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak and shifted from a full-day program to a shortened virtual gathering. Hosting over 55 attendees on Wednesday, May 13 from 10am-12pm, the program showcased two main presentations each followed by breakout session workshops.

After introductions, the program began with a presentation by Jen Jarson of Penn State – Lehigh Valley, Jess Denke of Muhlenberg College, and Stefanie Sinno of Muhlenberg College, entitled Strengthening Information Literacy and Metacognition with a Constructivist Activity. This session outlined the importance of reflection for student learning, sharing that offering students time for reflection actually increases information literacy. Further, as faculty and librarians guide students through activities, guiding questions on worksheets provide a way to assist students through a reflection process. This group offered their method for offering students reflection through the “jigsaw” activity. In this model, students are broken into sub-groups and assigned different articles. The students then follow the activities on a worksheet that guide them through a combination of individual and group reflection and discussion assignments. This allows students to read and analyze and then explain and defend material as they learn it, which reinforces information literacy.

Following this presentation, participants moved to virtual breakout rooms for small group discussion regarding how to implement these practices and similar ones in other courses and contexts. The small group discussions were offered samples of student responses to preview how different students responded to the reflection prompts.

After a short break, participants were offered a presentation entitled Supporting Multilingual Students while Teaching Library Research Online offered by Elena Reiss of Lehigh University, Kayla Landers of Lehigh University, and Carrie Baldwin-SoRelle of Lehigh University. This session outlined the challenges that multilingual students face in general learning and how those challenges are exacerbated with online learning. More specifically, multilingual students often have different cultural barriers that inhibit learning and information literacy. As certain cultures have different expectations regarding plagiarism, critical thinking, and questioning experts or authors, students face barriers to overcoming cultural misunderstandings. Beyond the linguistic challenges, students must also learn the American expectations for research and analysis.

This presentation was followed with another virtual breakout session wherein attendees worked in smaller groups to discuss and these challenges and create plans for overcoming them with various types of students, particularly amid online classes.

The full recording of the day’s presentations and resources shared by the presenters, as well as past years’ resources, are available on the LVAIC Information Literacy website.

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