Presentation Title

Collaboration, Information Literacy, and Troublesome Knowledge: Threshold Concepts in the Real World

Location

Room 212

Type of Presentation

Individual paper/presentation (20 minute presentation)

Target Audience

Higher Education

Abstract

Librarians across the country are talking about the new ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education and its use of threshold concepts. Jan Meyer and Ray Land (2003) introduced the idea of threshold concepts, defining them as “troublesome knowledge.” Since then, many disciplines have come to embrace this model of thinking about how learners progress through a particular knowledge landscape. Lori Townsend, Amy Hofer, and Korey Brunetti (2012) proposed seven threshold concepts for information literacy, five of which have been integrated into the new Framework. Indeed, Hofer, Brunetti, and Townsend (2013) argue that threshold concepts provide an approach to information literacy that will enhance collaborations, teaching, and learning. But how does this theory translate into practice?

This paper provides a real-world example of how information literacy threshold concepts can strengthen faculty-librarian collaborations and promote better teaching and learning practices. The authors, an English instructor and a librarian, will discuss their collaboration, using threshold concepts as a structure for the discussion. The presentation will detail the design of the research assignment and instructional content for learning objectives associated with the following information literacy threshold concepts:

  • Good searches use database structure
  • Format is a process
  • Authority is constructed and contextual
  • “Primary source” is an exact and conditional category
  • Research solves problems

By the end of the presentation, participants will be able to apply threshold concepts to their own instructional design and will be able to identify on-campus collaborators for using threshold concepts to enhance student learning and understanding.

Presentation Description

Drafts of the new Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education use threshold concepts to refocus and revise the Information Literacy Standards for Higher Education. The drafts include five information literacy threshold concepts that offer a fresh approach to helping learners become information literate. This paper uses real-life collaboration between a librarian and an English instructor to demonstrate how different types of educators can translate threshold concepts from theory into high-impact practice.

Keywords

information literacy, threshold concepts, collaboration, instructional design, practice, learning theory, teaching theory

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Oct 11th, 9:45 AM Oct 11th, 11:00 AM

Collaboration, Information Literacy, and Troublesome Knowledge: Threshold Concepts in the Real World

Room 212

Librarians across the country are talking about the new ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education and its use of threshold concepts. Jan Meyer and Ray Land (2003) introduced the idea of threshold concepts, defining them as “troublesome knowledge.” Since then, many disciplines have come to embrace this model of thinking about how learners progress through a particular knowledge landscape. Lori Townsend, Amy Hofer, and Korey Brunetti (2012) proposed seven threshold concepts for information literacy, five of which have been integrated into the new Framework. Indeed, Hofer, Brunetti, and Townsend (2013) argue that threshold concepts provide an approach to information literacy that will enhance collaborations, teaching, and learning. But how does this theory translate into practice?

This paper provides a real-world example of how information literacy threshold concepts can strengthen faculty-librarian collaborations and promote better teaching and learning practices. The authors, an English instructor and a librarian, will discuss their collaboration, using threshold concepts as a structure for the discussion. The presentation will detail the design of the research assignment and instructional content for learning objectives associated with the following information literacy threshold concepts:

  • Good searches use database structure
  • Format is a process
  • Authority is constructed and contextual
  • “Primary source” is an exact and conditional category
  • Research solves problems

By the end of the presentation, participants will be able to apply threshold concepts to their own instructional design and will be able to identify on-campus collaborators for using threshold concepts to enhance student learning and understanding.