It's hard to believe it's been nearly a year since I launched Service Learning Librarian. I'm celebrating a little early since I know I'll be in the throws of teaching, etc. in a few weeks on the actual anniversary.
Another article highlighting an example of integrating service-learning and information literacy found me this morning, Combining academic service-learning and information literacy: A new framework for an introductory women's studies course by Solange Simoes and Suzanna Gray can be found in the Eastern Michigan University Digital Commons at http://commons.emich.edu/sotl/vol2/iss1/8/
"Research for the greater good: Incorporating service-learning in an information literacy course at Wright State University" was published in this month's (June 2011) College & Research Libraries News. I hope this encourages other librarians to try a similar service-learning model for their information literacy course.
Since our class ended in early March, I've been reflecting on how we can improve the research portfolios. As it stands now, the students include annotated bibliographies in the portfolio, along with recommendations for the agency. The recommendations were a new requirement this past quarter. Our aim was to get students to synthesize the information they were finding, rather than just summarizing it. In most classes, they would write a paper. However, our class is only 2 credits, and the focus is supposed to be on the research process, not writing the research paper.
Jennifer Nutefall and I co-facilitated a roundtable discussion about service learning and information literacy connections at last week's ACRL Annual conference. These are some of the notes from the discussion. What roles can librarians play in Service Learning?
I've been digging in the literature trying to find someone who had tried incorporating service learning and information literacy in upper-division subject specific courses. I'm not sure how this article escaped my attention for the last year - perhaps it's because it is outside of the library literature. "Reinventing the box: Faculty-librarian collaborative efforts to foster service learning for political engagement," was published in the Journal for Civic Commitment in January 2010 by Marcia Hernandez and Lorrie A. Knight at University of the Pacific.
Join Jennifer Nutefall and I at ACRL for a round table discussion: Strengthening information literacy through service learning partnerships. This round table discussion takes place Friday, April 1 from 12:15 - 1:15 in the Exhibit Hall in the Pennsylvania Convention Center. I believe we're at Round Table #13. Details: Participants will explore Service Learning (SL) pedagogy in order to discover practical ways to contribute to SL collaborations at their institutions.
Next week, March 8, our students will turn in their completed research portfolios to Project READ. So this week (week 9), the groups were working fast and furious to continue compiling their portfolios and write appropriate recommendations based on their research. This is the part where the students apply critical thinking skills by synthesizing the research they found. Students also took a very brief 5-question review "quiz." The quiz covered the big concepts we covered, like evaluating information and the invisible web.
Last week in class, our students spent time working in groups to revise their citations and annotations for the annotated bibliography and also begin to compile some recommendations based on their research. We met with each team separately to check on their progress and make some suggestions about how to improve their citations and annotations and how to start writing recommendations. Since our goal is for the students to experience all stages of information literacy, the recommendations they will write will be a way for them to synthesize the information they have found.