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Information Literacy Instructions

And now the spring semester is over, too soon for me, not soon enough for the students in my two classes, I suspect. (They have lives, this is my life, lol!) This was my first chance to teach LIS 5503 (“Information Literacy and Instruction”), which I loved and would love to be able to teach again in the future. So much to learn, so little time… and by that I don’t simply mean whatever the students learned from me but also what I learned from the students throughout the semester. This was the first class I’ve taught where I felt that almost everyone became actively aware of not only their “learning styles” (which has become quite commonplace) but of their “teaching styles” (as most of them are likely to be doing information literacy instruction of their own) as we reflected together on some of the andragogical and pedagogical issues. It also made me more conscious (and even, at times, self-conscious!) about what I was doing in the class. The whole semester served as a formative evaluation of the class itself, though probably no one else became aware of this until we reached the formal “summative” evaluation stage at the end of the semester!

Not every thing went well (I could have done more to support some of the discussion forums, for instance), but some things went extraordinarily well. And because those things were “owned” by people in the class, I may never know what their impact outside the class will be. But I do hope that the projects take on a life of their own now, whether it’s the animal-oriented inquiry project for low-income first graders, the evidence-based teaching methods tutorial for physics teaching assistants, the information coaching/research stages model, the middle-school health literacy videos, the health law resources tutorial for non-lawyer researchers, or the content creators guides to various “public domains,” to name a few. Or that, at least, the people who created the things like these will go on to do even better projects!

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