Hooray, March is almost over. I had my last rounds of one-shot instruction last Thursday and the science librarian search committee has begun to conduct phone interviews. Scheduled and drop-in consultations from marketing, entrepreneurship, and management students are still plentiful but will climax in a week or two as final presentations draw near.
In MKT 426, the Miss Jenny’s Pickles team has already received credit for making an export sale! Miss Jenny used the team’s preliminary research to contact a retailer in the UK and make a sale. She has been featured recently on 60 Minutes and entertained one of our U.S. senators at the pickle plant, so this sale is a big deal.
Today I just have a morning coffee chat with the new business librarian at the Greensboro Public Library, and a discussion of the presentation outline in MKT 426 after lunch. So today should be a nice transition into Easter weekend.
Next Friday I drive to Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte to help plan a Metrolina information literacy conference program with three J&W librarians who invited me to join them. They just finished a book titled Fundamentals for the Academic Liaison (coming this fall), which will be the basis for the panel. We will also submit this panel for the NCLA Conference in October. For past NCLAs I’ve recruited librarians for discussion panels on embedded librarianship and upper-level library instruction, so it’s a nice change to be invited in to a panel someone else has organized.
Keeping up with professional literature is not a priority for me during the fall and spring semester but I did take advantage of some quiet time today to download new articles from Evidence Based Library and Information Practice and Collaborative Librarianship. Both are open-access journals.
“By and for Us: The Development of a Program for Peer Review of Teaching by and for Pre-Tenure Librarians” and “Co-Teaching Relationships among Librarians and Other Information Professionals” [as opposed to co-teaching with a professor] from Collaborative Librarianship look interesting and I downloaded them to look at later. Amy Harris our Coordinator of Instruction would like us to start doing peer review of teaching as we transition into our new liaison organization, so that article may help us out.
I did read one article from the other journal right away:
One-shot or Embedded? Assessing Different Delivery Timing for Information Resources Relevant to Assignments
Evidence Based Library and Information Practice 2013, 8.1
Amy Van Epps, Megan Sapp Nelson
Purdue Engineering Librarians
The authors’ objective was to learn if the timing of research workshops impacted the quality of students’ research. They contrasted teaching a “single, 50-minute lecture early in the semester” for one section of class with teaching four short (12 minutes) lectures scheduled right before work on each assignment began for two other sections.
(So providing four short workshops equals embedded librarianship according to the authors. Given how broadly defined “embedded librarianship” can be, I don’t have a problem with that. Evaluating the students’ deliverables can be considered embedded work too.)
The total research instruction time ended up being the same for the two classes, and the same content was delivered. Different librarians taught the two sections, but with similar teaching styles, the authors indicate.
The Purdue librarians conclude that
“More frequent and timely interaction between students and library instruction increases the quality of sources used and the completeness of the citations written.”
They based that conclusion on the average number of citations in each report and the quality of citations (rated high, medium, or low by the librarians). In particular, students in the one-shot section use more web pages while the students in the librarian-embedded classes used more articles.
The authors also note the value of the embedded librarian being present when the students received their grades and feedback:
“While the same content was presented, the librarian offering the mini-lectures noted the ability for quick follow-up from the preceding assignment and a progression in the learning about library resources. While this practice generated a small difference in delivery, it was a natural outgrowth of repeated visits to the class and a desire from the students to understand why the sources for the preceding assignment were not adequate for the current assignment” [emphasis mine]
So the embedded librarian joined the conversation between the professor and students regarding evaluations on the assignment and then was able to increase the relevance of the next “mini-lecture” based on that conversation. Students were probably more engaged with the remaining research instruction too.
The authors note that these sections had different course instructors, which certainly could also have impacted the quality of the students’ work.
Based on my own anecdotal experiences I have thought that multiple short instructional visits are often more effective and productive than one long research workshop. Thanks to the Purdue librarians for testing that idea.