Meeting them halfway: Using YouTube in a first year information fluency program

Mission: wanted a “common experience” first sessions – introduction to the library and IT resources.  Wanted it to be engaging; video on broad, interdisciplinary topic.  Message generating questions.


Introduction: goals

Library/network overview

Student scholars: critical evaluation of information.  Video: Finding the Evidence: library website, Macalester WorldCat, Academic search premier.

Disciplinary conversations.  Create bibliography and save to network.

Shows YouTube video using the Blue Man Group.  Asks audience what video conveys.  (We’re acting as first-year students.)  Asks who would use this information or who it would impact, people having these sorts of conversations.  Where do you go to find these conversations?  Google (laughter.)  Wikipedia.  Databases.  Few students mention libraries.  

After video and discussion, shows library page, Google Scholar, Macalester WorldCat, Academic Search Premier.

Gives out a worksheet with search topics using specific steps and keywords.  Want students to understand Macalester WorldCat, how to request a book, etc.   Second part of worksheet, which has the students search using different disciplines, choosing articles, uploading files to network.  Presenter divides room into disciplines.  (Our table is history.)  Think about how someone in our field would approach global warming.

Did this process meet their goals?  They think so.  Easier to schedule and less preparation than going to individual classes.  All 32 sessions were held in Spetember; 13 classes had multiple sesions.  Liaisons and academic librarian advocates were comfortable with the process.  Students were engaged.  Baseline was let for all first year students.  

Information fluency goals:  

1) The information literate student determines the nature and extent of the information needed

2) The information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently

3) The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system.

Liked: Discussion.  Was interesting finding out where students would look for information.  More critical of Wikipedia and Google than expected.  Inventive when it came to looking for articles from their discipline.  Session is hands-on with resources, both library and IT.  Fall was less difficult than in other years – much less stressful.  Students liked it, too.  

For fall 2009: Streamline 60 minute presentations.  Discussion critical – tips for liaisons when students not participating.  Include RefWorks for 90-minute presentations.  Find a new video/topic?

Q: how did faculty feel about less course-specific session?  No problem – sessions scheduled early in semester, to give them the search skills needed.  

Q: did discussion session have specific questions?  Had questions and developed tip sheet if you weren’t getting responses.  Pushed for faculty to be in room, so there was added pressure to perform.

Q: any formal assessment done?  Started with formal assessment and will be redone in spring.  

Q: did the faculty teaching the class attend the sessions?  Most showed up; was strongly encouraged.  Unwritten assumption that faculty will be there.  

Q: do you see more students coming in and being comfortable talking with librarians?  Consultations with first-year students have shot up.  Remembered the session and how friendly librarians were, and came in for a consultation.

Q: have you considered student videos as presentation video?  Interesting possibility.

Q: does the professor allow one whole class period to do this?  Yes, course integrated.  Faculty know they need to give up one session to library instruction.  

Q: did you notice a difference in the amount of discussion in AM vs. PM classes?  Depended more on whether thes was engaging rather than the time of day.


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Filed under Libraries and Librarianship, LibraryTechConference

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