The purpose of this introduction is to highlight the activities and reflections that most contributed to my progress toward the GSLIS Outcomes specified in my agreement. I have outlined each of the three outcomes and the specific performance criteria which my activities met (as agreed upon in my PFE Site Agreement).
The first outcome my PFE experience addressed is:
1. Foundations of the Profession: Graduates will be prepared to apply professional values, ethics, and thinking to present and future information services.
1f. Summarize, analyze, and express ideas and information effectively in appropriate media, including orally, in writing, graphically, and digitally.
– This outcome was a major part of my PFE experience as I spent a significant amount of time both researching, synthesizing and creating tutorial content for Brown University Libraries to use in their learning management system Canvas and their website. I first analyzed current library tutorials in the PRIMO database in order to think about constructing effective tutorials. I wasn’t concerned if the tutorials focused on the ethical use of information and copyright, but I was most interested in looking at the larger framework of how tutorials are constructed. I as interested in addressing these questions:
How is the information organized on the webpage? How is the content of the tutorial organized? How are the different content pieces focused? What sorts of “assessments” are used and how are they presented in the tutorial? What mediums are used to express the ideas in the tutorials? If videos are used, how long are they? How are libraries creating interactive tutorials?
Once I found some answers to these questions, I looked at tutorials which focused on my specific topics to see how they are addressed. I then asked these questions:
What is the tone of the tutorials which look at plagiarism? How have others summarized copyright and why did they choose to focus the information in that manner? Is the information on copyright, fair use, plagiarism, citations part of the institution’s library website, the academic integrity website, writing center website or other? Is there collaboration on campus to address these ideas?
After thorough research on tutorials the next step was to observe and analyze the user population at Brown to better understand the population and approach to instruction. I was able to observe three sessions and what I found was a) all of the instruction sessions were smaller in size and personalized (often focusing on each individual student and their research needs if possible) b) the students were extremely self-motivated and independent c) students still has some basic questions about technologies and using tools like the catalog and d) the student’s own research projects were focused and intensive. This analysis provided me with a general understanding of the population and I was able to decide that the assessment components of the tutorials could be challenging and self-directed, that I should approach the tutorials from the POV of a user and creator of information and that I should not assume that students know everything already and there still are some basic concerns that should be addressed in the tutorials.
I was then able to start on my tutorial content and I was able to summarize and express the content in the tutorial orally, in writing, graphically, and digitally. I recorded the sound files for the videos, expressed the tutorial content in text form, thought about the images for the videos in a storyboard alongside the video script and then was able to think about the digital context that this information would exist in through an analysis of Canvas.
5. Reference and User Services: Graduates will be prepared to mediate effectively between information users and relevant recorded information.
5d. Knows and can apply techniques and methods of information literacy and other literacies.
– All of the tutorial components I created showcases the knowledge and application of techniques and methods of information literacy and other literacies. The design of this component of a larger tutorial for Brown focuses on providing important context to the use and creation of information. Of the ACRL “Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education” Standard Five is the main focus of my tutorial component at Brown. Standard Five states: “The information literate student understands many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and accesses and uses information ethically and legally.” There are three performance indicators as well and the content I have worked on addresses all of the performance indicators.
I also took into consideration some instruction principles when designing the face-to-face lesson plans. I wanted there to be an active classroom activity to get students engaged in the material, engage visual literacy with the viewing of the videos and I also considered how the instruction lesson would fit in with the larger framework of information literacy instruction at Brown (and how the lesson could be part of a longer discipline specific lesson).
Looking back at the GSLIS Performance Indicators I also noticed that I addressed this performance indicator as well through my work:
5g. Can design and implement new services and resources appropriate to emerging audiences and circumstances.
– The tutorial is a “new” service as it needs to be appropriate for two different mediums and it needs to be flexible. I was able to analyze and understand the audience for the tutorial in order to design the tutorial components. I also considered the circumstances that students would be using the tutorial and I am aware that many of the undergraduate students do come to visit the libraries, but may perhaps be often working on research for projects off campus.
8. Administration and Management: Graduates will be prepared to manage library and information services for the benefit of the communities served.
8c. Assess and evaluate library and information services and their outcomes.
– And finally, I was able to assess and evaluate library services and their outcomes. Through my research on PRIMO tutorials I was able to better be equipped to assess and evaluate how other libraries are approaching online tutorial services to then work on assessing and evaluating Brown’s current tutorials (or lack of). From there I could better understand how to proceed with new services through current needs and the expected outcomes. Initially I was surprised that Brown had really not addressed the information about ethical and responsible use of information in a cohesive way in any tutorial on their library website. There was a small sampling of pieces, but nothing at all on some of the topis. For instance, there was information on copyright, but basically nothing at all addressing intellectual property specifically and how it relates to the students at Brown. This need is basically why my PFE existed in the first place.
In assessing the current library and information services I found three major concerns 1) the current information isn’t collected in one location or locations which makes it challenging to find it through the library website 2) there are topics which are not addressed at all and 3) with the structure of the current reference (and instruction) services at Brown there is an increasing need for a comprehensive tutorial that is simple and address all aspects of creating and using information. Students, particularly first year students, need an online tutorial that will introduce all of the major areas of researching at Brown. The students are independent and self-motivated and would benefit from having a tutorial that they can work through at their own pace. Appointments with the reference librarians can emphasize specific research needs. A tutorial like the one I worked on can empower students.