At the edge, collaboration and the blended lecture room: breaking the mould to improve student learning

ALIA Library

Forster, Bronwen

ALIA Information Online 2015 Conference, 2-5 February 2015, Sydney: at the edge.
Using one subject class as a case study, this presentation will discuss the value of innovation in constructively aligning the teaching of information literacy skills into a subject in terms of student engagement and outcomes. In the context of reimagining an existing subject, the library lecture was completely redeveloped. The results of the first assessment, an annotated bibliography, showed that all students found relevant scholarly resources and all passed.
The foundation BA subject has been taught for 4 years with lectures video conferenced across 2 campuses in a traditional format of 2 hour lectures and a 1 hour tutorial. Library staff taught a 1 hour lecture and a 1 hour tutorial. The format changed to a 1 hour lecture followed by a 1 hour lectorial focused on skill building and assessment – a blended leture room; and a 1 hour tutorial focused on discussing the lecture content.
The teachers requested a lecture demonstrating specific skills. They requested and participated in a practice run of the class. The library lecture and resources demonstrated, set the foundation for the following lectorial. Students were engaged and actively participated in tasks and demonstrated sound understanding of information literacy concepts demonstrated in the lecture in terms of credibility, authority, audience, bias and usefulness.
The redeveloped library lecture took about 40 hours to prepare. This included the development of a detailed run sheet and an assessment question analysed using a People, Events and other Considerations (PEC) methodology. A themed 13 slide PowerPoint presentation used to conclude the lecture was also prepared.
At all times the process was a true collaboration between library and teaching staff. Student outcomes were at the centre of planning. The teaching staff, were integral to developing an effective library lecture which was constructively aligned with assessment questions and assessment tasks. The library in class time commitment for the subject was reduced from 7 hours to just 3 hours making this innovation in learning support more sustainable.
The reimagined library lecture was made possible by a willingness to accept constructive criticism; a willingness to work at the edge of comfort zones; a willingness to devote a large amount of time at a very busy time of year; and a willingness to take risks. As Librarians we need to embrace new ideas and practices to facilitate emerging teaching methodologies.

Deakin, ACT: Australian Library and Information Association