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Re-Tooling the Factory: Scaffolding for Library Labs in Large First Year Courses. Joanna Szurmak Science Liaison Librarian University of Toronto Mississauga Library. Session Outline. About UTM and PSY100 the large class IL instruction problem Literature review Methods Scaffolding

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re tooling the factory scaffolding for library labs in large first year courses

Re-Tooling the Factory: Scaffolding for Library Labs in Large First Year Courses

Joanna Szurmak

Science Liaison Librarian

University of Toronto Mississauga Library

LOEX 2009 Conference Breakout Session

session outline
Session Outline
  • About UTM and PSY100
    • the large class IL instruction problem
  • Literature review
  • Methods
    • Scaffolding
    • Instruction Pedagogies
  • Experimental and statistical shortcomings
  • Results
  • Future work
session learning objectives
Session Learning Objectives
  • Identify and reflect on the challenges of providing IL instruction in large classes.
  • Reflect on ways of assessing and packaging IL instruction pedagogies in large classes using the PSY100 case study.
  • Identify and analyze IL scaffolding tools.
  • Develop insights into the “laborious process of refinement and re-negotiation”(Thaxton & Mosby, 2004, p.189).
psy100 at utm
PSY100 at UTM
  • University of Toronto at Mississauga:
    • primarily undergraduate campus;
    • 10,000 plus students;
  • Introduction to Psychology (PSY100):
    • key pre-requisite for 12 programs of study;
    • largest 1st year course on campus;
    • textbook/lecture/lab model;
    • text-based multiple-choice tests 56% of course mark.

“industrial remains” by extranoise at http://www.everystockphoto.com/photo.php?imageId=698787

psychology instruction studies found in literature
Psychology Instruction:Studies Found in Literature
  • Larkin, J. E., & Pines, H. A. (2005). Developing information literacy and research skills in introductory psychology: A case study [Electronic version]. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 31, 40-45.
    • IL skills are part of a stand-alone assignment;
    • Librarian works to develop assignment but stays out of the classroom;
    • IL skills are reflected in summative course evaluation.
psychology instruction studies found in literature1
Psychology Instruction:Studies Found in Literature
  • Thaxton, L., Faccioli, M. B., & Mosby, A. P. (2004). Leveraging collaboration for information literacy in psychology [Electronic version]. Reference Services Review, 32, 185-189.
    • Librarians do extensive pre- and post-assessments of student IL competencies;
    • Librarians and faculty collaborate to focus instruction on course learning objectives;
    • IL embedding is a “laborious process of refinement and renegotiation” (p. 189).
large class instruction studies found in literature
Large Class Instruction:Studies Found in Literature
  • Vander Meer, P., Ring, D. M., & Perez-Stable, M.A. (2007). Engaging the masses: library instruction with large undergraduate classes [Electronic version]. College & Undergraduate Libraries, 14, 39-55.
    • Comprehensive theoretical review;
    • Authors offer diverse strategies;
    • Key component is “active learning” (p. 41) which involves higher-order thinking (analysis, synthesis, evaluation).
large class instruction studies found in literature1
Large Class Instruction:Studies Found in Literature
  • Chalmers, M.,(2008). Lessons from the academy: actuating effective mass-class information literacy instruction [Electronic version]. Reference Services Review, 36, 23-38.
    • Comprehensive theoretical review of large class IL challenges;
    • Suggestions on active learning from the sciences where such classes are routine;
    • “Are we trying to teach too much?” (p. 34)
the situation well articulated
The Situation, Well Articulated:
  • “To date there has been scant discussion in the library literature about using mass-class active learning pedagogies in information literacy (IL) instruction.” (Chalmers, 2008, p.23)
putting it all together in psy100
Putting it all together in PSY100
  • stand-alone assignments fostering engagement;
  • IL content mapping;
  • assessment;
  • active scaffolding pedagogy.
situating il in psy100
Situating IL in PSY100

PSY Lab Scaffolding

Instruction and

Reference Framework

Information Needs of

Students

Embed IL content into a natural niche in the course structure so that it can be fully supported by the existing framework.

cognitive scaffolding
Cognitive Scaffolding
  • Cognitive supports that allow students to internalize new tasks;
  • Structure they can build upon.
  • Has to fit within the PSY100 framework of:
    • Textbook/lecture/multiple choice;
    • lab activities.
  • Has to fit within the support structure of:
    • course activities;
    • library reference.
psy100 cognitive mapping
PSY100 Cognitive Mapping

text-based multiple choice (54% of the mark)

lecture-based multiple choice (21%)

Labs (25%)

Richard C. Overbaugh and Lynn Schultz, Old Dominion University

http://www.odu.edu/educ/roverbau/Bloom/blooms_taxonomy.htm

where are the hots
Where are the HOTS?

Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS):

Top 3 levels of the Taxonomy

where are the hots in psy100
Where are the HOTS in PSY100?

BONUS!

ACRL IL Performance Indicators

and Outcomes 1.2f, 2.5b

and others

LAB ACTIVITIES

cognitive scaffolding1
Cognitive Scaffolding
  • Has to fit within the PSY100 framework of:
    • Textbook/lecture/multiple choice;
    • pre-labs and lab assignments.
  • Has to reconcile the Modus Operandi of :
    • PSY lab coordinator;
    • library instruction and reference;

No HOTS

Needs ease of marking

Wants good research

questions

existing psy100 library lab
Existing PSY100 “Library Lab”
  • Not formally part of the lab curriculum;
  • 0.5% part of the lab mark, but:
  • Presented in the lecture to 500 students in 15 minutes.

No scaffolding

No thematic cohesion with lecture

Not supporting learning objectives

the interim solution
The Interim Solution

In the short term:

  • analyzed the course IL content;
  • redesigned the library assignment to be more engaging (with Dr. Jeffrey Graham, PSY100 lab coordinator).
  • moved the library tutorial introduction into the lab where it fits better thematically.

But that’s a problem, too, because…

psy100 is a mass class
PSY100 is a mass-class
  • up to 1500 students in the Fall/Winter session;
  • 3 lecture streams of 500 students each;
  • up to 25 lab sessions.

One cannot effectively teach in 20 sections.

One has to innovate in the Summer session (200

students) and adapt new insights for the

Fall/Winter session.

psy summer session retool and
PSY Summer Session: Retool and …
  • investigate what kinds of scaffolding and instruction pedagogies work to support IL skills in the assignment;
collaborate
Collaborate
  • encapsulate the best practices so that they can be reproduced either by lab TAs or in an online tutorial
psy100 plan of action
PSY100 Plan of Action
  • Give students the new lab assignment.
  • Conduct a 10-question IL pre-test and post-test.
  • Carry out a 30 min. instruction session in 2 summer lab sessions.
  • Investigate the effects of active or concept-based instruction vs. task-based teaching.
focus on instruction pedagogies
Focus on Instruction Pedagogies

Task-based instruction gives them less room for error…

Lab coordinator sees different issues than instruction librarian.

Yes, but with concept-based active learning they will re-use what they learned!

il pre and post tests
IL Pre- and Post-Tests
  • SAILS instrument:
    • “standardized assessment of information literacy
    • skills” (Kent State University).
  • 10 questions chosen from:
    • search strategies (ACRL IL Standard 2)
    • search tool selection (ACRL IL Standard 2)
    • search tool identification (ACRL IL Standards 1, 2)
  • Post-tests carried out 10 days after pre-tests.
data analysis challenges
Data Analysis Challenges
  • No control group since everyone has to do the assignment and get instruction;
  • Pre-test and post-test questions not identical;
  • Only ¾ of the data collected thorough the learning management system.
  • Student IDs stripped out for privacy reasons.
quantitative vs qualitative
Quantitative vs. Qualitative
  • Aggregate quantitative analysis;
  • Averages and STD/SEM values for both data sets;
  • No pre- and post- mapping for individual test subjects;
  • No paired t-tests to measure statistical significance of the effect of instruction.
psy100 pre test results
PSY100 Pre-Test Results

SEM=17.0

SEM=17.0

Scores are out of 100

psy100 pre test results1
PSY100 Pre-Test Results

Pre-Test Averages and STDs

Concept Task

psy100 post test results
PSY100 Post-Test Results

SEM=18.7

SEM=21.7

Scores are out of 100

psy100 post test results1
PSY100 Post-Test Results

Post-Test Averages and STDs

Concept Task

results side by side
Results Side by Side

Pre-Test Averages and STDs

Post-Test Averages and STDs

Concept Task

Concept Task

erratum
Erratum
  • Results are interesting but not statistically significant.
  • My paper says they are:
    • I made a mistake of using response number SEMs vs. average score SEMs.
upcoming
Upcoming…
  • More PSY100 pre- and post-test data
    • Will present more data, along with ideas on how to assess actively in IL tutorials using iClickers.
  • When?
    • WILU 2009 in Montreal, QC, on May 26, 2009.
future work
Future Work
  • What was the role of the assignment?
    • There were IL benefits to doing it, but they were not measured independently.
  • How to translate the tentative results to serve the Fall/Winter course?
    • See Chalmers(2008) for ideas.
images in this presentation
Images in this Presentation
  • All images are either public domain or used under a Creative Commons Licence from everystockphoto.com (Attribution Licence).
  • All public domain images are from the Library of Congress flickr collection of photos from the 1930’s-1940’s taken by Alfred T. Palmer.
  • CCL images are by extranoise at http://www.everystockphoto.com/photo.php?imageId=698787.