Monthly Archives: January 2012

SI 643 week 3: Three Information Literacy Articles

1. Kulthau, C.C (2004) The Information Search process in Seeking Meaning: A Process Approach to Library and Information Services (2nd edition) Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. pp.29-52.

 This is an empirical report on students’ constructive activity of finding meaning from information in order to extend their state of knowledge on a particular problem or topic. The author conducted an experiment in which twenty five academically high-achieved senior students in a large, eastern, suburban high school were chosen to be subjects and then were asked to write two papers related to English literature in one semester. During the experiment, they were also asked to write their feeling and researching process in their diary. Additionally, they participated in in-depth interview with author.

This study does not explicitly deal with information literacy, but it could be a good starting point of studying when students need librarian’s instruction on gathering and evaluating information. This study shows that students’ uncertainty and anxiety in information-seeking process are integral part of the process: Unlike the conventional wisdom that the more people get information, the less people are anxious, Kulthau finds out that from selecting a topic to finishing the information collection, students keep dealing  with uncertainty and anxiety until they actually start to write a paper. This findings teach us that before students approach a librarian and ask for a specific information about their research topic, librarian’s instructions need to be provided for improving students’ information literacy.

2.Mackey, Thomas. and Jacobson, Trudi. (2011) Reframing Information Literacy as a Metaliteracy. College & Research Libraries vol.72 no.1. p.62-78.

We have discussed about information literacy a lot, but I am always wondering what is exactly “information literacy”. What is the definition of information literacy? Why do people talk almost always about technologies of learning when we decide to talk about “information literacy”? What is the difference between information literacy, media literacy, Digital literacy,  Visual literacy, and Cyberliteracy? We can easily find some brief definition of those concepts in quick online resources (like Wikipedia), but if we want to understand when those words were invented under what contexts and when they started to use, we should read this article. In addition, Mackey and Jaconson suggest to develop an overarching and self-referential framework that integrates emerging techniques and unifies multiple literacy types.

3. Oakleaf, Megan, Millet, Michelle, and Kraus, Leah (2011). All Together Now: Getting Faculty, Administrators, and Staff Engaged in Information Literacy Assessment, portal: Libraries and the Academy, vol.11, no.3, pp.831-852.

Many academics found out that even though many students believe themselves to be proficient in information retrieval and use, they tend to overestimate the level of their own information literacy. Furthermore, some faculties do not recognize the importance of teaching information literacy skills. Instead, they believe information literacy is something students already know, something they will “pick up,” or something that cannot be taught. Thus, although most librarians acknowledge the importance of collaborative information literacy instruction, many barriers impede effective faculty collaborations. In this paper, authors studies how Trinity University has established effective strategies for engaging faculty, administrators,and staff in information literacy instruction and assessment. This study offers a model for libraries seeking to actively engage their campuses through 1) establishing a common definition of information literacy; 2) developing workshops and grants; and 3) engaging in campus-wide information literacy assessment using rubrics.


Posted by on January 29, 2012 in Uncategorized


SI 643 Reflection of 2nd Class

In this class, we discussed about various challenges in teaching. First, we talked about the challenge of development courses for adults. For example, knowledge levels of adult students vary to a significant degree across students. Some students may think they already have enough knowledge of a subject, so they are likely to pay less attention to what instructors are teaching. Furthermore, Adults are known to seldom express what they do and don’t know in class. Therefore, instructors who taught one-time workshop to adults would be hard to make a standardized education materials which could make all sorts of audience satisfied.

In the case of teaching children, the challenge is that children tend to follow any hyperlink which they can easily access and are more likely to believe any information they found in the Internet. Credibility of information is not their primary issue in many cases. Thus, teachers need to teach children how they know what is credible information and what is not when they search the Internet. Furthermore, SI 643 colleagues who have experience of teaching children let us know that students’ attitudes toward teachers are sometimes unpredictable and hard to understand.

Then the question is how can instructors perform effectively and efficiently in class in order to improve students’ learning ability? Through lectures and discussion, I learned that we, librarians, need to follow two major guidelines. First, we need to be a Virtuoso who knows what students want to know rather than a Artisan who can say what (s)he knows about. I think that becoming a Virtuoso is really an important task to librarians because, in most cases, our meeting with students is one-time event. We teach students or answer their inquiry just once when they ask a question whether in person or virtually, or when they attend a one-time workshop. Compared to instructors who interact with students regularly through a whole semester, thus, we really need to focus on who is our main audience and what they want because we seldom have a chance to teach the student again. Second, online tutorials, such as screencasts, can be a useful tool to overcome the limitation of one-time workshop. If instructors provide a screencast after they gave a one-time workshop, students can revisit the workshop via the screencast and learn something that they may have missed or could not catch up at the workshop. A screencast can be even more useful for people who did not attend the workshop.

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Posted by on January 28, 2012 in Uncategorized


Reflection of 1st Class

The class just kicked off, and I am a person who can speak only when I have enough information to judge something, so this time I have little thing to said about first class. I can just say that I was curious about new stuffs that I am going to learn and am anxious about whether I can accomplish everything in professional way.

During the class, I was really glad to have a chance to interview Terence who wants to be a Youth/Teen librarian of Public library and who already takes a charge of one-shot workshop for adults because the conversation with him make me think about how to deal with the different knowledge levels across attendants in one-time workshop in diverse circumstances.

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Posted by on January 22, 2012 in Uncategorized


SI 643 Week 02 Reflection of readings: One-time workshop

As Veldof (2006) clearly pointed out, librarians, unlike other school or university instructors, usually have a chance to teach a fifty-minute one-time workshop to educate library users. All assigned articles for this week’s class offer rich information about what would be the possible limitation of such one-time workshop and how we develop effective workshop so  that we can help improve students’ learning and performances.

First, Veldof introduces the ADDIE method, which is the building process of instructional system design for one-shot workshop in library. According to this method, in order to create effective one-time workshop, instructors, at first, need to investigate the needs of agency (Analysis), design a workshop that provides what agency want to know (Design), develop workable lesson plan and other logistics, such as instructors and learners material (Development), test and revised the workshop (Implementation), and finally try to get evaluation feedback on improving the quality of workshop in the future (Evaluation).

While Yelinek et al (2008) do not mention the ADDIE model, their empirical analyses seem to follow the ADDIE method. In their study, before designing a workshop, they tried to first understand the needs of agency and current online tutorial system. They focused on a workshop for students who enroll in long-distance education program and are not familiar with online tutorial program. By surveying the staff and interviewing students and their parents, they found out that PDF tutorial material is an inefficient tool for students in long-distance education program because it lacks direction for requesting exams, getting feedback on exams, and seeing grades. Thus, instead, they decided to design an online tutorial that consisted of five discrete modules to address the problems students were facing by using Captivate Menubuilder.

The merit of Yelik et al’s study is that careful background check and focus on the needs of agency is indeed an important starting point for creating effective one-shot workshop. In general, students on campus should be able to ask for face-to-face instruction whenever they encounter a problem. PDF tutorial, therefore, should be considered only one of additional tutorial materials. However, students in long-distance education system seldom have a chance to take face-to-face assistance from librarians or faculties. In that case, well-designed online tutorial workshop is a pivotal tool for learning for them.

Yet, I think that Yelinek et al’s study does not address the last two process, Implementation and Evaluation. In creating useful online workshop, needless to say, the workshop is designed in agency-friendly way. But it is equally important that the development of a workshop should be also creator-friendly. As Veldof points out, the development of a workshop takes a great deal of time and money, so once instructors create a workshop, it needs to be reused in the future (Veldof, 2006, p.6). To improve the reusability of workshop, the evaluation and revision of workshop are consistently required. Yelinek reported that MenuBuilder did not allow creators to copy and paste a web address for the SurveyMonkey survey, so creators had to manually type all web addresses.  And Menuibuilder automatically created links to all lines of text on the menu, although it was not a hyperlink (Yelinek et al, 2008, p.104). They claim that these technical problems are not a big problem, but there are. In particular, when instructors want to deliver their know-hows to next instructors, when instructors add more information in their workshop materials, and when students are confused about which one is a real hyperlink, the usability of their online tutorial workshop will be diminished.  In short, I think that Yelinek et al need to think harder about whether Captivate MenuBuilder is an optimal choice for developing workshop. Related to this problem, the Griffs’ attempt (2009) to find useful screen capturing tools at no cost is worth to note, because, as he claims, it will provides ample opportunity for low-stakes experimentation from library staff in building a dynamic online tutorial for workshop.

Compared to Yelinek’s study, Johnston’s study focuses more on the development and evaluation phases in one-time workshop: The main target of his study is first-year social work students in university. The aim of study is to test how much online tutorial workshop can improve students’ researching skills. Unlike Yelinek’s study, Johnston collected data from a bigger group (i.e. 100 students) and, based on them, argued that online tutorial helps to improve students’ researching abilities. Considering their size of a sample, in my opinion, Johnston’s study seems more accurate, but his testing method seems wrong, so the credibility of his argument is significantly diminished. That is, Johnston does not conduct the test when student did not take workshop, so we will not really know how much receiving one-time workshop actually improved a student’s researching skills compared to a case where the student do not attend a workshop. Instead, he simple concluded that in his survey a majority of students reported that they “felt” that their own searching skills were improved after taking a workshop. However, I do not think that the test of student confidence can be a good measurement of estimating students’ researching skill because students tend to overestimate their online researching ability. (For more details, see  Rieh, S. Y. & Hilligoss, B. (2007). College students’ credibility judgments in the information seeking process. In M. Metzger & A. Flanagin (Eds.), Digital media, youth, and credibility (pp. 49-72), MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.)

All in all, while assigned articles are short and deal with practical issues, they helped me learn that one-time workshop is not just one of additional handy technical tools but important rescue tools for agencies, such as students in long distance education program.


Posted by on January 22, 2012 in Uncategorized


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SI 643 Week 1 Refection of reading : Insightful Claims, Weak Strategies

Before I talk about the reading, How People Learn chapter 1&2, I want to introduce myself. My name is Jungwon.  I came from South Korea and studied political science, especially international political economy and East Asian politics before I entered MSI program. Currently, my specialization is LIS and I am working at Clark library as reference assistant. And I want to be a reference/instruction librarian of academic library in the future. Before I enter MSI program, I had some teaching experiences, for example I taught East Asian politics and Korean language to undergraduates. So, I can claim that I have been thinking about how to teach and observing how student learn. Yet, this book provides very insightful information about people’s behavior related learning and teaching.

  For example, while I taught a political science class to undergraduates in U.S., we discussed about the characteristics of two major political systems, presidential political system and parliamentary political system respectively. I wanted to create a class-debate about  pros and cons of two different political systems, but the trial was failed because most students claimed that presidential political system was superior to parliamentary political system. period. At that time, I was in panic I don’t understand my students’ behavior because  that subject was one of popular subjects of political science in graduate level. I had so much fun with my colleagues discussing about the subject. What happened? My pupils were stupid? No!!!! My students might have little knowledge about politics before they enrolled the class, but they were hard-worker and were eager to learn new theories and facts. And that kind of problem (?) or disconnection between students and me never occurred in other class debates except this case. Then, why? My students lived in excellent and successful U.S. presidential political system, so they could not imagine that some cons of presidential systems can deteriorate other countries’ democratization, for example Latin America countries.

  In general, instructors prepare a class assuming that students have no knowledge about the subject. Yes, they may have little knowledge about the subject, but author of How People Learn make me remind that students may have preexisting perception and understanding before they enter the classroom. So, “instructors pay attention to knowledge, skills, and attitudes that learners bring into classroom.” (Bransford, Brown, and Cocking, 2003,p.23) In next step, focusing on  metacognitive strategies that “refer to people’s abilities to predict their performance on various tasks and to monitor their current levels of mastery and understanding” is really important for diminishing the “mile wide, inch deep” problem. In my case, I overcame the failure of class discussion by comparing U.S. and Netherlands which had successful parliamentary system and by explaining why they need to adapt different system. Yet if I could apply more metacognitive method to my teaching strategy, my student could have enjoyed class debate rather than listened my lengthy lecture.

     Even though I am fascinated by authors’ main ideas, their arguments and evidences are insufficient to support their ideas. First, even though they claim that teaching strategy of children’s classroom and adult’s class can be same, it may not be same in real. Teachers may need to prepare different strategies for adults not because adults learning is not learner centered, knowledge centered, assessment centered, and community centered, but because the adults in same class may have significantly different knowledge, skills, and attitudes based on their previous experiences.  Second, I am really confused about authors’ classification and definition. Who is “children”? and Who is “adults”? Will Undergraduates be children or adults? What is meaning of “professional development program”? And what are definitions of “novices” and “experts”? Yes, authors provide definition of experts, but it is too vague to identify the characteristics of experts. And it is quite subjective. (And the definition of key concepts need to be addressed before they build arguments. As a result, I wondered the meaning of ‘novice’ and ‘expert’ until I read the last section of chapter 2! ) Finally, related to second, authors make strong claims what’s the difference between novices and experts based on some empirical evidences, yet they do not mention about how they select novice and expert, how many people attend the test and  what on condition the test occurred. If they build their argument based on couple of case studies, then their arguments can be overestimated then we expect.


Posted by on January 4, 2012 in Uncategorized


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