Category Archives: In the News

Relating a resource or information themed topic to a news event or something in the current cultural current.

News from the 8th New England Region Science Boot Camp 2016

The New England Science Boot Camp for Librarians is an annual educational event. This year the camp was held at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth campus in Dartmouth. The theme of this year’s science boot camp is: “Explore key concepts and research in select subject areas, and engage faculty in their disciplines.” Topics covered included civil environmental engineering, nursing, physics and science literacy. This year also marked the first time that the planning committee was able to offer four Fellow Scholarships for students with an interest in science or engineering librarianship to attend the 2016 New England Science Boot Camp for Librarians.

The capstone session “Science Literacy” Literacy presented by Professor Marja Bakermans & Rebecca Ziino from Worcester Polytechnic Institute was very informative. This presentation demonstrated how librarians and faculty worked together to develop an online literacy curriculum for Biology. The module focused on the components of finding, reading, and understanding primary literature.

The nursing research session: “The effect of mobile symptom monitoring on self-care behaviors in patients with heart failure”, present by Dr. Sethares, Professor, director of the College of Nursing from University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is very practical and helpful. It was very interesting to see the collaboration between nursing researchers and engineers in developing the mobile device, and the way they engaged with patients through education and self-care.

Please feel free to check out the presentation on the YouTube page from the playlist: Science Boot Camp 2016

Also, here is the Library school student scholarship winners’ blog post at: http://esciencecommunity.umassmed.edu/tag/student-scholarship-winner/

Assessment in Action: Overview

In Spring 2016, Healey Library and the English department collaborated to design an assessment study focusing on students enrolled in ENGL 102.  Librarians and faculty worked together to develop learning outcomes, instructional materials, and data collection instruments (pre-test, post-test, rubric).  Our learning outcomes were that after research instruction, students would be able to:

  • explain the difference between Googling and academic research
  • apply subject-appropriate vocabulary to brainstorm keywords and find books and articles
  • revise their research questions and search strategies according to what they discover and synthesize across multiple sources of information

In January, English department chair Cheryl Nixon described our study in a meeting with Composition faculty.  Ultimately, we had 10 participating faculty and 24 ENGL 102 sections:

  • 320 students attended research instruction delivered by their professor and/or librarians
  • 281 pre-tests were collected
  • 222 booklets were collected from students that attended research instruction sessions
  • 250 post-tests were collected

There are no results to report yet, as we are just beginning to analyze the data we gathered.  However, I can share some lessons learned:

  • Put together a large team with diverse strengths, and delegate accordingly.
  • Collaborating is time- and labor-intensive, but an extremely fruitful endeavor. Getting buy-in from participating ENGL 102 professors was probably made easier because we worked so closely together.  In fact, we heard from more than one professor that they were impressed with how much reflection was built into the lesson!
  • While your study may change drastically over time, it still helps to have a research design document that is updated as needed.
  • Don’t try to assess too many learning outcomes at once! We only had 3, which still resulted in a lesson plan that packed too many things into too little time and a booklet that the majority of students had difficulty completing in class.
  • If you show students how to email articles to themselves, they will not necessarily want to write down the articles’ bibliographic information.
  • Don’t be afraid to deviate from the original plan to address more immediate needs, if that’s what’s needed.
  • Recruit more participants than you think you’ll need; also, try to recruit participants even if they didn’t initially indicate interest in the study – at worst, you’ll hear “no.”
  • Just remind yourself if you feel like you’re lost, that you’re not making a mess of things and to keep going, and that your hard work and frustration will pay off! Remember, you put together a good team with diverse strengths.  Lean on your team and trust that you’ll learn something useful that you can use to make improvements to your program and/or your teaching.

AiA wordcloud

Word cloud of student responses collected in the post-test when asked “In the database(s) you searched, what features did you find the most helpful/useful?”

Academic Impact: Open Education Resources initiatives at BLC Libraries

OER

On September 28, 2015, Boston Library Consortium (BLC) hosted the first Open Educational Resources Workshop “OER: the path to sustainable change ” at the Boston College Theology and Ministry Library. The keynote speaker was Dr. David Ernst from the University of Minnesota and founder of the Open Textbook Library. The statistical data shows that students who took the OER courses performed well in the advanced level courses.

Four librarians from the BLC libraries, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Boston College, University of New Hampshire and The University of Connecticut shared their experiences in developing  OER initiatives and programs on their campuses.

The video of the workshop is available from the following link:

https://www.blc.org/special-highlights/open-educational-resources-and-blc

After the presentation, there was a brainstorming discussion on how BLC can support these initiatives going forward.

The BLC is considering joining the Open Textbook Library network. More information coming soon, stay tuned.

 

Information Literacy Paradigm Shift: Standards to Framework

What do the words “information literacy” mean to you?

As John Naisbitt portended in 1982, “We are drowning in information, but starved for knowledge” (p. 24). It is both an unimaginable privilege and a near-insurmountable challenge to live in a time of information overload and near-constant connectivity. To contextualize our data-driven lives, consider that every minute in 2014, Facebook users were sharing over 2 million pieces of content, Twitter users were tweeting over 270,000 times, and Google received over 4,000,000 search queries (James, 2014). Also consider that 64% of American adults—and 85% of American young adults—now own a smartphone, and 46% of smartphone owners describe their phones as something they “couldn’t live without” (Smith, 2015). What do we do with all of that information? And more importantly, how do we teach our students to become critical navigators and consumers of that information and, hopefully, producers of that information and content themselves? Continue reading Information Literacy Paradigm Shift: Standards to Framework

UMass Boston Librarians Presenting at ACRL/NEC 2015 Conference

ACRL NEC logoThe ACRL/NEC Annual Conference is on Friday, May 8, 2015 at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. The theme of the conference is “Spacing Out with the Library: An Exploration of Collaboration Across the Physical, Virtual and those Places in Between”.

The conference description notes “as the academic library evolves, it is wherever students and faculty are conducting research and learning, and within physical and virtual spaces intentionally designed to encourage scholarship, collaboration and production. Librarians and our colleagues across our campuses and beyond are actively engaged in building and assessing the most useful discovery services, the most valuable collections, the most cost-effective learning resources, the most effective collaborative spaces … for the best education and research. What does it take to expand “the library” beyond its traditional physical space? With whom are we working to expand our services?”  Continue reading UMass Boston Librarians Presenting at ACRL/NEC 2015 Conference