by Joseph Hartnett
Information Services Librarian
Baruch College, City University of New York
Encouraged by the ACRL Framework’s call for librarians to adopt more engaging methods to teach students, as well as for students to assume more active, creative, and reflective roles in relation to the information landscape, the author questioned whether methods put forward by creativity training proponent Edward de Bono for fostering creativity might have any potential value for of helping students to engage in divergent thinking related to developing a research strategy, or as the framework would have it “Searching as a Strategic Exploration.” In order to answer this question, the author investigated the work of Edward de Bono and conducted a small experiment where 20 students in an information literacy credit class were randomly divided into a control group and an experimental group. The experimental group was presented with a set of directed strategies offered by de Bono in addition to regular instruction, while the control group was not. Afterwards, all members of the class were given an open ended writing assignment about a vaguely worded topic where they were asked to be creative. Student responses were evaluated for indications of divergent thinking by counting the number of interested parties identified in their writing in relation to the topic. It was found that the experimental de Bono group engaged in significantly more divergent thinking than did the control group, both in terms of originality and in the total number of interested parties that were generated. As such it would appear that de Bono’s methods and other similar approaches have potential value for promoting divergent thinking, an essential capacity for creativity, and likely for helping teaching librarians develop more active, creative, and reflective classroom practices. The model used is original within the realm of library pedagogy and has the potential to help librarians apply divergent thinking strategies to information literacy programs. Continue reading
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Lily Griner (griner at umd dot edu)
Yelena Luckert (yluckert at umd dot edu)
Judy Markowitz (judym at umd dot edu)
Nevenka Zdravkovska (nevenka at umd dot edu)
All four from the University of Maryland, College Park
The Professional Writing Program (PWP) at the University of Maryland, College Park, is designed “to teach the research, analysis, writing and language skills that students will need in their lives beyond the classroom.” The program currently reaches approximately 5,000 undergraduates in roughly 250 subject-centered classes (e.g. business, health sciences, economics, etc.) and focuses on helping students write and communicate effectively in the workplace. In response to the growing demand for library instruction to support the PWP, as well as the declining number of librarians available to provide instruction, a Canvas ELMS (Enterprise Learning Management System) modules course was developed to meet the library literacy needs of the program. The course consists of three independent modules that introduce students to Information Literacy Concepts, Research Pro Tips, and Core Sources in several PWP supported subject fields. This paper will explore how we developed and promoted the Modules concept (development process), how it has been received by the PWP (outcomes), and how the resources are being used by the faculty and students (impact). This article is based on a presentation given at the 2015 Innovations in Teaching and Learning Conference (April 24th, 2015, University of Maryland, College Park).
By Elliot Brandow
Senior Digital Scholarship Librarian/Bibliographer for History
As my manager prepared me to meet with the Music Department faculty in my role as their new liaison, we reviewed the department’s potential needs. We discussed the outreach efforts of my predecessor and our hopes for connecting the department to the library priorities of instruction and new media collection development policies. I felt ready as I joined the faculty meeting that afternoon. Talking points in hand, I sat down. Then they told me, “So, what we really need is ear training software. Can we get some?” Um, sure. Let me just check on that for you…