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Pivot: Reconfiguring Information Literacy Instruction Space to Engage Students

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One-shot information literacy instruction sessions are widely recognized as some of the most important, yet tedious and uninspiring hours of an undergraduate’s life (Schiller, 2008). Many LIS studies have looked at ways to devise new active learning pedagogical methods in an effort to authentically engage students in these sessions (Hanz & Lange, 2013; Klipfel, 2014; Smith, 2004). While these studies are brimming with creative solutions to a plethora of problems, they tend to overlook one of the most basic elements of instructional sessions: classroom configuration. Those studies that do focus on classroom configuration and instructional space often approach the problem as one to be addressed by new technologies or extensive renovation (Beard & Dale, 2010; Gurzynski Weiss, Long, & Solon, 2015; Weaver, 2006). However, this need not be the case. Information literacy instruction sessions can be improved using existing technology in regular classrooms or computer labs. In autumn 2015, a project was initiated to compare the effectiveness of three different information literacy instruction classroom configurations at a Canadian comprehensive university. Building on the work of Julian (2013), the goal of this project was to bring classroom configuration and pedagogy together in an effort to illustrate the impact of incorporating authentic engagement activities to information literacy instruction sessions. This presentation will include a review of the existing literature, a description of the action research methods, and strategies for incorporating authentic engagement activities.
Presentation at the Workshop for Instruction in Library Use, Vancouver, BC.
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