I presented a session at LOEX Fall Focus on Friday, November 13, about our analysis of the Framework and our work on creating dispositional items along with knowledge items for each of our modules. I was honored to get to represent the efforts of our Advisory Board members and consultants, some of whom have been working on the test for more than a year and a half already.
We got a great crowd at my session, including librarians who were new to the Framework as well as people like Merinda Hensley, Sharon Mader, and Lisa Hinchliffe, who’ve been thinking about IL standards, frames, and concepts for a long time. It was great to hear from librarians who are interested in trying out our test. I also was energized by feedback I received from several librarians who felt that we were contributing useful ideas to the larger discussion about assessing IL through the analysis we’ve done to develop outcomes, performance indicators, and situational disposition item scenarios that are inspired by the Framework.
The image below is a link to the pdf of my presentation slides. Please email me if you’d like any additional information about what I discussed.
After my session, I had the pleasure of chatting with a few colleagues who asked critical questions, offered constructive observations, and generally got me excited to get back to writing new items and refining our outcomes. Because I was so involved in the discussion, I missed the second breakout session. But the following are my reflections on all the other sessions I got to attend.
It was a wonderful conference! Thank you, Brad Seitz, Teague Orblych, Bill Marino, and Ben Oberdick, and all of the other conference volunteers, for making it a fantastic event.
Framing New Frames: Expanding the Conceptual Space and Boundaries
Lisa Hinchliffe from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Laura Saunders from Simmons College fulfilled the promise of their session title by expanding and challenging my understanding of the Framework. It was great to see how they used the format of the frames (brief description followed by lists of knowledge practices and dispositions) to describe additional essential information literacy concepts. The two concepts they explored were “information social justice” and “information apprenticeship in community,” which helped me to understand how the Framework could be extended or molded based on local needs as well as common needs across specific segments of higher education. I came away from the session inspired to ask new questions. Will we find that we need to define new frames or add to existing frames in order to account for disciplinary differences? Would it ever make sense to define a frame that is foundational to the others so that the information literacy of community college students in vocational education programs, for example, is conceptualized as fully as the information literacy of graduating seniors from research universities? It gave me a lot to consider!
Librarians’ Perceptions and Understandings of the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education
Merinda Hensley from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign reported on results of a recent survey that she and Elizabeth Berman (from the University of Vermont) conducted to gather insight into librarians’ opinions and knowledge about the Framework and its underlying theory. It was helpful to see the wide range of views represented among the survey respondents. I appreciated Merinda’s discussion about the importance of writing new outcomes that bridge the frames and the knowledge practices and dispositions rather than simply restating either the frames or the knowledge practices/dispositions as though they were outcomes. Our Advisory Board has done a lot of careful work toward that end, already. It was also great to hear that despite Merinda’s hesitancy about the feasibility of a test of information literacy, like the one we’re creating, she sees the potential value of instruments that can facilitate large-scale, benchmarked assessments for accreditation. I’m excited to see what comes next!
The Framework is Constructed and Contextual: Context as a Starting Point for Instructional Planning
Andrea Baer from Indiana University offered us a guide for planning one-shot and course instruction using concepts from “Decoding the Disciplines” and the Framework. The model she suggested is powerful because it starts with an analysis of the bottlenecks that might trouble students during their research and she encouraged us to prioritize those issues in our instruction. She facilitated sharing by the participants, as well offering unique insights of her own, and the discussion surfaced some inspiring work librarians are doing to make their one-shots meaningful. I’ll definitely be applying what I learned!
Transfer’s Role in the ‘Big Ideas’ of Information Literacy
Mary Broussard from Lycoming College in Pennsylvania drew on her deep knowledge of college reading and writing to put the Framework’s big ideas in context. If we don’t think carefully and creatively about how to support students’ transfer of their information literacy knowledge, skills, and dispositions from one setting to another, Mary makes it clear that we cannot achieve our goals of preparing life-long learners. Mary also gave us some suggestions for scaffolding and previewing with students to make transfer more likely. She left us with a lot to think about!
Facilitating Student Learning Outcome Conversations Using the Framework
Lyda Ellis from the University of Northern Colorado and Andrea Falcone from the University of Colorado Denver described an affinity grouping exercise that instruction librarians can lead in their own libraries to create fresh learning outcomes informed by the Framework. It was great to see librarians tackling big questions about what’s most important in student learning. It turned out that their hands-on session led participants through a brief version of a process very much like the brainstorming, analysis, drafting, and revision process we used with the TATIL advisory board when we were translating the Framework into outcomes and performance indicators. It was a lot of fun!