2016 Conference Highlights – Turning Reflection into Action: Talking it Out, Making it Work

Each week between now and the 2016 MLA/DLA Conference, we’re highlighting one of the conference sessions sponsored by ACRL MD. The conference will be held May 4-6 at the Clarion Resort Hotel in Ocean City, MD.  For more information on the conference, please take a look at the conference program (PDF). To register, visit the MLA conference page. And follow along on social media at #MLADLA16

MLA Turning

Turning Reflection into Action: Talking it Out, Making it Work
Friday, May 6th
Presenters: Mason Brown, Stephanie Margolin & Sarah Ward, Hunter College-CUNY

This information literacy instruction action research project began with two simple goals in mind: (1) use comics to (2) help our students focus on the process of asking answerable, engaging and well thought-out research questions. Refining the curriculum through the reflective practice of action research was not part of our original plan, although it became central to the execution of this program. The presenters developed the comics-based curriculum and then, due to a larger-than-expected enrollment (and interest among our librarians), recruited seven additional librarian-instructors to teach 157 students in three simultaneous sessions over eight days. Like true action research, it was in the daily pre-workshop planning meetings and post-workshop reflection sessions with the coordinators and librarian-instructors that the real innovation took place. Not only did this reflection and collaboration make our summer program stronger, but has proven extremely beneficial to our overall library instruction program. By creating our own “community of practice” through reflection and feedback, we have seen an increase in communication with and collaboration among our colleagues, leading to new projects and fruitful discussions about teaching.

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