Ideas for using Open Ed technologies and resources for information literacy instruction?

I have been really moved and excited about the new ways of involving students and getting them more pro-actively involved in their own education- especially with non-disposable/renewable (and I still am learning, so not sure if there have been evolving definitions to differentiate those two terms- there are so many wonderful webinars, and there is only so much time to catch up on the ones I’ve missed!) assignments. I’m a college librarian, so my main instruction experience is with first-year college students and helping them with their first steps on their information literacy journey. Because the skill-level of first-year students has such an enormous range in ability and interest (some students are only present because they are being pushed by their parents, some are highly motivated to get their “core” courses out of the way, and intend to eventually graduate from a 4-year institution). This variation creates a lot of challenges for all instructors, and I find myself trying to find new ways that will be helpful in engaging all of these students in understanding the basics of citations and citation software. I was thinking an ideal (or possible) first assignment would be to ask them to take a picture of a bookshelf in the room, and then have the activity to be them creating an account using a source such as Zotero or Mendeley, and creating a citation library of the books they own. If they forget a picture, then I could provide them with pictures of sections within our library, which they could then use. The ideal student learning outcome of this activity would be to get them familiar with a citation software, and with the process of “tagging” and annotated bibliographies. I’m wondering about other assignments using these sources at an introductory level people have tried (both successful and unsuccessful) and also looking for feedback- does this sound like an activity that would help students or are there additional steps or aspects I have overlooked? Apologies if I’m posting this to the wrong place. I’m still learning how to use global connect (although I feel I will become fluent with this, as this will probably become my go-to place for motivation and OER inspiration for the next approx. 360 days until the next OEweek)!

Hi Robin,

I appreciate your enthusiasm and also for using this space as we intended- a place to share/ask for ideas. Hopefully others will chime in.

Long ago I recall reading that there is an ideal balance for doing community resource building, between activities that are useful to the individual while at the same time, contributing to something larger (this is also the spirit of non-disposable assignments). So a student who creates an annotated citation does something useful for them and maybe their class, institution, the world.

Doing a whole shelf might be a big take, maybe it can be 5 top books in a topic area?

In no particular order, top of the brain ideas…

I always think it would be very useful for students to get an experience that shows the usefulness of Zotero as a research tool (I made it a requirement for some grad students I supervised). Though there is a learning curve, and as well for understanding adding to a shared collection.

Educators have done projects like social bookmarking, in groups, and/or with tags, using something like diigo. There was also long ago a brilliant activity by Michael Wesch in his Anthropology courses where they built in like a week a huge annotated bibliography in google docs.

And I have not even used it much in a decade, but this was the premise as well for LibraryThing (it still works!).

Also maybe worth considering is plugging into WikiCite.

It’s not a tool or platform issue, more about framing the ask of students so, to them, the act of annotating bibliographies serves their interests, and is not just a task. That is the creative part- the entry point needs to be low, that they see the results of their effort, and that they can also see right away that it’s part of something bigger.

I am sure others out there have ideas as well. Keep asking!

1 Like