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Day 1 – Worked 6.25 hours
Total hours thus far: 6.25

Today marks the very first day of my PFE!

During the initial meeting to set up the PFE (back in mid-August) I had a mini-grand tour of the Rockefeller Library by the Social Sciences Librarian Carina Cournoyer (who is a URI GSLIS alum). She showed me around the building and pointed out features, places, offices, etc. I took note of places like technical services, the office where I would be working, as well as the “Absolutely Quiet Room.” Carina and I also discussed the fairly recent change of the absence of a reference desk.

Carina and I then met with Sarah Bordac, Head of Outreach and Instructional Design, who would be my site supervisor. We discussed Brown’s current instructional design as a whole as well as in regards to information literacy and research, then talked about potential project(s) for the PFE. The work plan for the PFE is located in the”Welcome” posting if  you want to check it out.

So today when I came in for my first day I had a few major tasks. One was the better acquaint myself with Brown’s library instructional design and understand the alignment of instructional outcomes, standards and information literacy competencies for first year students. Sarah provided me with a few outlines created by the instruction team which detail Brown’s library instruction goals. It is my hope to synthesize the information and conceptualize an understanding in order to apply it to the creation of the face-to-face and web based modules.

The next major task is to learn more about instructional design models. Sarah recommended I check out the book Understanding by Design by Wiggins and Fink’s book Creating Significant Learning Experiences. Sarah gave me Fink’s course design template to work from. The general idea for creating the instruction content is to work backwards or I like to think of it from the outside framework in. I would work on the learning goals first and then decide on the assessment before deciding on the teaching and learning activities. This way, the major components of the learning are set and the fun middle part can be created from my understanding of what the learners need to know.

The third major task is to think about information literacy standards. The outlines about the library instruction provide ACRL Information Literacy Standard(s) which correlate to each of the learning objectives/outcomes I am intimately familiar with the ACRL Standards and they are located here for your reading pleasure: http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/standards/informationliteracycompetency.cfm

She also recommended I check out UNESCO’s Media and Information Literacy Curriculum Framework as another standards model. Check them out here: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/resources/publications-and-communication-materials/publications/full-list/media-and-information-literacy-curriculum-for-teachers/

The last major task was for me to figure out how I wanted to complete my journal component of the PFE requirement. I already knew I wanted to blog, I just wasn’t sure what blog platform I was going to use. We use Blogger at the Reference Desk at URI to communicate on the Reference Team so I am already familiar with that one, but I wanted to try something new. At the Curriculum Materials Library at URI where I also work we have a WordPress site set-up in order to create a database. I had a vague idea of the format of WordPress, but I figured it would be fun to try something new. Plus it’s open souce that is one more good reason.

What I didn’t know about WordPress was that there is a WordPress.org and a WordPress.com and the difference. Basically for me the most importance difference is that the .org requires a download of software, whereas the .com is a web-hosted blog and I can access it from any computer. So, I went with the .com because I want the flexibility of access. Thanks Sarah for pointing this out!

So, I got my blog up and running in just an hour or so which is great! And I will point out that I am thoroughly impressed with how user-friendly WordPress is. The only thing I find a bit annoying is that it is a bit more difficult than I want to go in and change the font. So, for now we’re stuck with this one until I have the patience to go in and change it in the html.

Also, I have two more things:

1. Check out the module breakdown of library instructional content created by Sarah and Carina: Library Instruction Brainstorming. This is going to help guide me as I think about what sorts of “bits” of information I want to frame together when I create my modules and sub-modules. I want just enough information to be useful on it’s own, but also fit within a larger whole. Sub-modules can be used easily on their own in the future be integrated as needed into the learning management system.

I am also compiling a list of useful links and resources while in this PFE. I supposed you could call it my bibliography for the project, but I will be continually updating it throughout the semester. It’s the Useful Resources and Links posting.

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