Presentation Title

Library Anxiety Gone Wild: Shaping Information Literacy Instruction to the Needs of our Learners

Presenter Information

Brook Stowe, ASA CollegeFollow

Location

Room 212

Type of Presentation

Individual paper/presentation (20 minute presentation)

Target Audience

Higher Education

Abstract

The culminating project in the ASA College Library’s required, credit-bearing information literacy course, “LIB100: Research Methods” is a research assignment traditionally positioned as the centerpiece of the second half of the course’s 15-week span. Designed as an example of direct-evidence student competency in the ACRL-based five standards of information literacy taught in the first half of the course, the Project was intended also as an antidote to that dreaded affliction rampant among first-semester students, “library anxiety.” As originally designed, the Semester Project required students to write a type of “meta-research” paper. Framed in the format of an APA-style research paper, students were instructed to write not an actual research paper on their selected topic, but rather a recounting of the process about researching their topic. This design proved consistently confusing to students and a source of additional anxiety. Adding to this stress was the structure of writing a formally-styled and constructed paper in a non-writing class. Due to the high-level of non-native English-speaking students in a first-semester course, this structure increased the level of “normal” library anxiety exponentially. Ultimately, the culminating research project – intended to display research skills – invariably became a project about grammar, spelling and writing, diluting its purpose and resulting in a disproportionate number of failed attempts. This presentation examines the reconsideration and restructuring of the course’s Semester Project, tracing ASA library faculty’s two-year journey to realign and refocus the culminating research project to its true purpose: producing direct evidence of student proficiency in ACRL-based information literacy skills.

Presentation Description

This presentation recounts the two-year effort of ASA College Library faculty to reconsider and restructure the culminating research project in its required, credit-bearing information literacy course. Prompted by the rising level of anxiety in first-semester students over the design and content of the project, faculty redesigned the entire approach, taking an often overwhelming assignment and redistributing it through improved course integration and delivery. Presentation attendees should find useful techniques and approaches to reconsidering and evaluating their own information literacy instruction content and outcomes.

Keywords

information literacy, library instruction, general education, library anxiety, student outcomes assessment, student learning

Publication Type and Release Option

Event

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Sep 15th, 4:15 PM Sep 15th, 5:30 PM

Library Anxiety Gone Wild: Shaping Information Literacy Instruction to the Needs of our Learners

Room 212

The culminating project in the ASA College Library’s required, credit-bearing information literacy course, “LIB100: Research Methods” is a research assignment traditionally positioned as the centerpiece of the second half of the course’s 15-week span. Designed as an example of direct-evidence student competency in the ACRL-based five standards of information literacy taught in the first half of the course, the Project was intended also as an antidote to that dreaded affliction rampant among first-semester students, “library anxiety.” As originally designed, the Semester Project required students to write a type of “meta-research” paper. Framed in the format of an APA-style research paper, students were instructed to write not an actual research paper on their selected topic, but rather a recounting of the process about researching their topic. This design proved consistently confusing to students and a source of additional anxiety. Adding to this stress was the structure of writing a formally-styled and constructed paper in a non-writing class. Due to the high-level of non-native English-speaking students in a first-semester course, this structure increased the level of “normal” library anxiety exponentially. Ultimately, the culminating research project – intended to display research skills – invariably became a project about grammar, spelling and writing, diluting its purpose and resulting in a disproportionate number of failed attempts. This presentation examines the reconsideration and restructuring of the course’s Semester Project, tracing ASA library faculty’s two-year journey to realign and refocus the culminating research project to its true purpose: producing direct evidence of student proficiency in ACRL-based information literacy skills.