Saturday, January 21, 2012

Flipping the Library

The results of the four year study Modeling the Information-Seeking Strategies of College Students conducted by Dr. Alison J. Head (for summary notes and links to her Jan. 10, 2012 presentation click here, for access to the study and data click here), provide a great opportunity to re-think library curricula, and how we deliver instruction.

We now have evidence that college age students can be described as:
  • Risk-averse
  • Consistently choose to play it safe
  •  Self-taught
  • Independent 
  • Hyper-aware of currency - place value on the most recent information 
  • Rely on the design quality of a website as an evaluative tool 
  • Prefer to settle for getting through the assignment rather than engage in a deep learning experience
We also know that they rely on their instructors/professors for the bulk of their information, research guidance, and prefer not to ask librarians for assistance.

As a high school librarian, how do I teach the skills they will need at college and in real life search situations, when I have evidence that they will not seek help from a librarian? Flipping the library may be the answer. The "Flipped Classroom" delivers content instruction online, outside the classroom, and moves homework into the classroom. Information skills are perfect for flipping.

As we move into the spring we will be actively flipping lessons. Online tutorials followed by short Google form formative assessments will mean students will arrive for research sessions and go straight to the laptops. No "yada yada password yada yada full text only yada yada" from me at the front of the room. I will have the results of the assessment from the night before and can directly work with students who either failed the assessment or didn't take it.

Students who are ready to deeply engage can get straight to work, using me as a guide and resource when they need help. I will also be monitoring their progress and providing feedback on their sources through NoodleTools. I will have more capacity to directly support students who are struggling.

The data clearly shows that my high school students will soon be the same college students described in the study. Making sure they have good online learning skills will increase their confidence as they continue to be independent, risk-averse, and self-taught.

That's the plan! 

Flipped Classroom
Created by Knewton and Column Five Media

Photo Credit:
Flickr Creative Commons
Alessi Handstand
by Mikee Showbiz

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Blogger Jane Lofton said...

I definitely want to work towards flipping my library as well. I would love if you could share an example of one of your online lessons and quizzes.

January 21, 2012 at 11:55 AM  
Anonymous Alida Hanson said...

Wow Robin this is brilliant! Not only are you saving valuable classroom time, you're also doing formative assessment. Thank you so much for sharing your thinking.

If you're planning on doing a lot of screencasting, I hit on a good method that relieves me of the urge to poke my eyes out when I've had to re-record the same thing 30 times and finally have to settle for just o.k......

Break the instruction down into the tiniest bits possible. Record only tiny bits (I use Screenr), ideally less than 1 minute 30 seconds. Under 30 seconds is *magic.* Then download the mp4 videos, upload them into iMovie and edit them into a wonderful, "um" and "uh" free video.

Then upload finished videos to your CCHS LC YouTube Channel. Voila, on demand information literacy! (Inspiration courtesy YALSA Academy).

January 23, 2012 at 7:50 PM  
Blogger Robin Cicchetti said...

Thanks, Alida. Your NoodleTools tutorials will be a big part of this!
Our discussions about formative assessment were really helpful. It is amazing how collaboration has a wonderful, cumulative effect!
Miss you!

January 24, 2012 at 7:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You might find the TRAILS program useful for some assessments. They are at I've just started using it to focus my instruction and like it so far. @hroycroft

January 31, 2012 at 3:31 PM  

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