LILAC18 : day 1, part 1

I always write up my notes and experiences from LILAC (almost) immediately after the conference. That way I can process everything while it´s fresh in my mind. This year, things happened and I haven´t been able to do it before now. I think, therefore, that the report will be somewhat more “cropped” this year. Still, I hope that the notes will be useful later, as I often go back to notes from previous conferences to refresh my memory.

So – this year´s LILAC took place in Liverpool. (I´ll refrain from elaboration on the travels to and from:)) As always, the programme was packed with interesting topics and great presenters. LILAC is my fav conference, and I have so far never been disappointed by the content they manage to combine over three days.

Teaching information literacy in an active learning classroom/ Veronica Alfredsson & Louise Bjur

The librarians felt like they couldn´t connect properly with the students and that they did not get enough feedback from the students. Furthermore, students often asked questions that had just been covered in the lecture. This led the librarians to wonder about knowledge retention.

The librarians changed the layout of the classroom. They organised the students into groups, and the students had to share whiteboards, blackboards, screens and flip-overs. This changed the students´ behaviour. When they came into the classroom and saw the layout, they assumed that they had to participate and talk to their peers. It also changed how the librarians were teaching. They found themselves walking around and interacting with students in new ways. In rooms with this kind of layout, it is difficult to give a lecture. It forces the teacher to assume a more active role and the students to interact with each other.

The librarians started doing backward design. In stead of figuring out what they wanted to teach, make a lesson and then teach it, they turned it around and thought: what do we want students to master, what do the students have to practice in order to achieve these skills, and what kind of information do they need to have in order to do the work? This forms the foundation of the lesson.

Example of activity: they handed out a newsarticle and asked questions about it. Who is the author, who is the article written for, does it cite other sources, and would you use it as a source for your paper? Then, step two would be: find the study that the news article was based on, how did the students search to get there? The students reported these steps on a whiteboard. Then they talked about the article (the one that forms the backdrop for the news article) and had a look at the structure (IMRAD) and other qualities.

Other activities included having access to physical documents and placing them along an arrow, from popular science to more scholarly content.

Yet another activity the librarians used was The Boolean game: they pretend that the room is a database. The instructor is searching the database. If the instructor say a word that you as a participant want to be associated with, you stand up. For example: “jeans” = too many stand up. “Jeans” AND “glasses”. Still not perfect. “Jeans” AND “glasses” OR “contact lenses”. And so on..

Reviewing the role of teaching librarians in supporting students digital capabilities/ M.Gscwanter.

Mr. Gscwanter, Canterbury Christ Church College, had his work descripttion changed. He was to teach “digital literacy”, and he tried to find a good way to integrate this into his lessons. He used JISC Digital Capabilities Framework: 6 elements of digital capacity.

Gscwanter did a literature review and some interviews to explore the “digital literacy” term, and how people define it. He found that most librarians relate to the term as “digital INFORMATION literacy” – like business as usual, only with digital elements. According to Mr. Gscwanter, librarians only work within the “Information, data and media literacies” (JISC) element. Is that ok?, he asked.

In a discussion at his university on whether they should use the term “digital literacy” or “information literacy”, “digital literacy” won, and the term is now used in all course descriptions for master students. “Digital literacy” seems more pragmatic for teachers, and therefore easier to understand – was the argument.


And to avoid that this blog post never ends – LILAC day 1, part 2 will follow…

3 thoughts on “LILAC18 : day 1, part 1

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