June 12, 2013

#ala2013 scheduling

Posting my tentative schedule for #ALA2013 below to share but also promote some panels and events I'm involved in. In reality I think I have at least 5 sessions marked per time slot, but these are the ones I am either presenting for or will most likely wind up at. Excited to see friends and meet new people, too!

Friday, 6/28

Annual Unconference

ACRL Leadership Council Networking Session + Meeting

Emerging Leaders Poster Session & Reception

ACRL Instruction Soiree (don't see an official page yet)

STACKS! Soul Librarian Dance Party & Benefit for the Read/Write Library

Saturday, 6/29

LITA Panel: What you need to know before gamifying your library
I will be participating on this panel, presenting: Anchoring the badge: Setting standards for game-based learning in library instruction.

ACRL New Members Discussion Group
Moderated discussion about the intersection of gender and academic libraries

ACRL Student Retention Discussion Group
I created this group with Jaime Hammond to discuss issues related to student retention in academic libraries.You can join the group in our Connect space here: http://connect.ala.org/node/173037.
Our topic for this conference is: 
How do we measure causation versus correlation in the library’s role in student success and retention? The ACRL Student Retention Discussion Group will be discussing the impact of a “culture of assessment” on libraries and demonstrating value on campus in regards to retention. We will discuss how effective demonstration of value in campus retention is through traditional methods and hope to explore ideas participants have for new initiatives.
LITA Instructional Technologies Interest Group

ACRL Instruction Session Current Topics Discussion

WGSS Social

8th ALA Annual 2013 Newbie & Veteran Librarian Tweet-up

ALA After Hours: EveryLibrary & Librarian Wardrobe Party (Facebook event page)
Like last year, there will be a best-dressed contest (just for fun) and a walkoff for anyone who wants to participate. Librarian Wardrobe will have more details posted soon. There will also be Librarian Wardrobe photographers snapping pictures of people during the conference. And check out the EveryLibrary site.

Sunday, 6/30

Conversation Starters: Achievement unlocked: Motivating and assessing user learning with digital badges
I will be presenting with Annie Pho and Young Lee, covering what digital badges are, their use in instruction, and potential with technology. And check out Annie's post about this session.

NMRT Resume Reviewer Shift
If you're interested in getting your resume reviewed, there might still be some slots left.

Libraries and Student Success: A Campus Collaboration Using High Impact Educational Practices

ACRL ANSS Studying Ourselves: Libraries and the User Experience

Various socials/happy hours (LITA, NMRT, GLBTRT....)

Monday, 7/1

ACRL Undergraduate Librarians Discussion Group

How to Teach and Assess Discipline-Specific Information Literacy

Annual Library Camp

Chicago Showdown: ALA Battledecks IV

Que(e)ry: Leather Bound in CHICAGO!

June 7, 2013

Evaluating sources is not a dichotomy

As you might know by now if you read my blog or follow me on Twitter, I'm co-teaching our one-credit course for undergrads and am implementing the use of digital badges (we just got IRB approval as of yesterday!). In one of the tasks students need to complete, I found myself falling into the trap of absolute language. I wanted them to complete an activity where they evaluate a website, and in the directions realized that I wrote, "...and explain why you think this is or is not a credible source..." etc.

The problem with that is most sources are not all good or all bad. There are some sources out there that do set out to deceive people (though sometimes I don't think those content creators even think they are being "evil," they just believe their viewpoint is right and important and want others to do the same; it all comes down to perspective). But anyhow, I think it's dangerous for students to be put in the mindset that a piece of information is all good or all bad. They might use a checklist and go through the site / resource to determine if it meets particular criteria, but not having them think critically about a range of goodness/badness and a gray area sets them up to actually think less critically overall. Once they check off enough boxes to determine a source as all good or all bad, they don't have to think about the information much anymore: it's just use it or don't use it at this point.

I changed my wording on this activity to encourage a better understanding of a spectrum of quality and credibility. My hope for when they get to this assignment, after doing some readings, tutorials, and critical thinking, is that they will realize research is a fluid and organic process, and they shouldn't stop thinking just because a lens for evaluation takes some of the burden off of them initially.