May 21, 2013, 4- 5:30 PM
Moderator: Alison Hicks (University of Colorado-Boulder)
Rapporteur: Ryan Lynch (University at Albany, State University of New York)
- Artículos destacados: Using and Improving the Best of Wikipedia — Lisa Gardinier, University of Iowa
- Tricking Internet Algorithms: La Energaia, Contemporary Indigenous Thought and Humanities Classrooms — Suzanne Schadl, University of New Mexico
- Working with the Experts: Faculty and Student Contributions to Metadata for Cuban Theater Collections at the Cuban Heritage Collection – Matt Carruthers, University of Miami
- Be a Web Search Maven: Shock Your Students, Enliven Your Instruction, and Teach Them a Lifelong Skill – Adrian Johnson, University of Texas, Austin
- “Too Much Information” – Re-imagining the 1-shot Library Session with Active Learning Strategies – Gabriella Reznowski, Washington State University
- Using Boards to Prevent Boredom: Active Learning in a Latin American Politics course – Anne Barnhart, University of West Georgia
Hicks began by explaining that the session, now in its third year and formerly called “Pecha Kucha,” had been renamed. After a competition, the winning title was “Roda Viva,” suggested by Timothy Thompson (University of Miami). Hicks and Thompson explained that the title is a Brazilian Portuguese term to describe “incessant movement, hustle and bustle, a whirlwind of activity” as well as a talk show on Brazil’s public television station, TV Cultura. She also announced that there was a slight schedule change and Anne Barnhart (University of West Georgia) would be going first.
Using boards to prevent boredom: active learning in a Latin American Politics course / Anne Barnhart (University of West Georgia)
Barnhart explained that she was going to talk about an evolving lesson plan and assignment that she has tried in a few political science classes, but that it can easily be adapted to other courses/disciplines. She also said that she has tried this in credit-bearing courses, in double one-shots, etc.
She said that her favorite instructional technology is the whiteboard or, better, back-painted glass boards (as Sharpie comes off of glass). She also noted that students tend to prefer purple markers.
Barnhart noted that using whiteboards was effective with students because it got them out of their chairs, away from computers and phones, and made them accountable for helping each other out. She also noted that in order for the lesson plan to work, students need to have skeletal research projects.
For the lesson, the instructor distributes markers and each student writes his or her topic on the board and explains this in words, as a concept map, etc. Students then go around in a circle, making comments on others’ work, writing notes, circling parts that they like or are unclear, and generally doing a peer review. Barnhart notes that this is called a carrousel model. She added that the professor and librarian join the carrousel.
She then introduced a “who cares” prompt, which helps them think about whether or not their topic is appropriate for their audience, and also about where to look for resources. In other words, who cares enough to gather, organize, or disseminate certain types of information?
At the end of the session, students take photos of their section of whiteboard or copy their sections. This becomes the day’s notes.
Barnhart said that this is a session where the librarian is forced to let go of control (it is a classic flipped classroom). Instead of teaching students how to find resources, it teaches them how to approach research. She complements this with LibGuides, which they can use outside of the classroom. She also noted that the lesson requires a lot of collaboration. Professors must collaborate to require students to come up with research topics; students must collaborate with each other; and students must collaborate with the librarian because she requires them to be active agents.
Barnhart pointed out that this can be done with paper, post-it notes, etc.—it is a good session for rooms with no computers or resources.
In conclusion, she hopes that these sessions are aimed at getting students more engaged in research through active and kinetic learning.
Teresa Miguel–Stearns (Yale University) asked Barnhart how she helps students actually find resources and navigate the webpage if that is not happening in the classroom. Barnhart responded that she has never done this in one, 50-minute session, so she uses a second to introduce students to the library webpage or a LibGuide. She also suggested that in a 75-minute session, the librarian would have time at the end to do that or that the librarian could set up individual appointments.
Artículos destacados: Using and improving the best of Wikipedia / Lisa Gardinier (University of Iowa) Gardinier stated that she has done this lesson twice with undergraduate classes, both taught by the same professor. One was an upper-division Spanish course, while the second class was a more basic Spanish course.
For this assignment, students are required to do a group project in which they create and contribute to a wiki article. This is a private wiki created for the class. Students need to have passwords and their contributions are only visible to classmates. The assignment was developed for a specific assignment, but Gardinier stated that it could be used to teach about Wikipedia or adapted to other contexts.
Gardinier pointed out that the first dilemma that she and the professor confront is that they are creating a wiki, but students are told that Wikipedia is bad and they are not supposed to be using it. They therefore try to turn this into a “Wiki-positive class.” She does this by acknowledging that “they use it already, and there are some very pages.” Gardinier then explained feature articles/artículos destacados, which are articles that are developed according to certain criteria. She also demonstrated the Spanish criteria for an artículo destacado.
To prepare for the course, Gardinier takes the wiki topic, and identifies feature articles relevant to the class. She starts by creating a worksheet and beginning her discussion talking about who uses Wikipedia, and how/why/when they use it, and why they are told not to use it. Gardinier introduced the idea of Wikipedia as a “presearch tool.” They further discuss what their criteria are a good Wikipedia article (asking each student to list three characteristics) before introducing them to the criteria for feature articles and leading a discussion about what might surprise them (such as the style manual). Her idea is that a very good Wikipedia article is a good model.
Students are then asked to think about sources, and what makes a good source. For instance, Wikipedia articles cannot cite other Wikipedia articles. Further, this is an opportunity to look at different citation formats for different kinds of sources and discuss issues such as differences between journal articles and news articles. As an aside, she notes that this is a use for Wikipedia pages: the use of the bibliography and references.
She then talks to them about a weakness in Wikipedia, which is journal sources. She then introduces students to search tools (a federated search for the 5th-semester students, databases such as Academic Search Elite or JSTOR for advanced students) and has students find a couple of sources.
Finally, Gardinier said that in assessments using minute papers, students said that they did not know about the structure of Wikipedia, and that it was helpful to learn about it.
Tricking internet algorithms: La Energaia, contemporary indigenous thought and humanities classrooms / Suzanne Schadl (University of New Mexico)
Schadl addressed how to incorporate digital-born materials into digital humanities research, using as an example La Energaia. She stated that she is looking for help, support, advice, assistance, and other ideas for her class in the fall. She further stated that the purpose of the course module was to apply an understanding of trends and to execute methods in Latin American studies. She spoke to the idea that Latin American Studies historically provides a means for scholars who have historically felt marginalized in their disciplines to get together and exchange ideas with one another. She clarified that there are preceding lessons in the module, and that each lesson identifies important concepts, with the idea that this will help with better teaching. Examples of these concepts are that disciplines arise from necessity, that information can be marginalized, and that interdisciplinary work disrupts center-periphery identifications.
Other preceding lessons give an overview of trends in Latin American humanities disciplines; provide an examination of how the humanities generally incorporate comparative analysis and require interacting with source materials; look at how information comes from different places (including the internet) and access in different places is unequal/uneven.
Schadl then discussed La Energaia, a searchable database of born-digital materials on energy and energy policy, pulling from Twitter discussions, government documents, news sources, and institutional repository materials. This is done through a site that pushes information out through Twitter.
For the assignment, students will form five groups, identify a subject (like energy) and start to develop the places where born-digital materials are addressing this subject, with the objective of integrating these into an Energaia-like resource. Finally, groups will present a proposal for this project to a panel of professors, who will then make suggestions on how to better-integrate what they are doing into that field.
Related link: La Energaia
Be a Web Search Maven: Shock your students, enliven your instruction, and teach them a lifelong skill / Adrian Johnson (University of Texas, Austin)
Pointing out that the holy grail of information literacy instruction is getting students interested, which says is best addressed by lessons that are not just relevant to one research paper but instead to students’ daily lives. The one place that he has had success with this is in web searching skills, teaching students how to really effectively search. Johnson states that there are two keys to this: transferability (such as to databases or other parts of life) and the so what (thinking about what kind of information they want to find).
Johnson emphasized that it is extremely important to know what kinds of sources searchers are looking for, allowing them to narrow their searches. He then went through a number of advanced search techniques that are effective for students, including searching by a domain, country domain, specific websites, NOT and OR searches, the use of asterisks (to replace a word or phrase in a quote) and the tilde (synonyms), search for terms in the title of a web page or a URL, use of ellipses to search for numbers in a range, the use of these strategies in different Google products, and combining several or all of these strategies.
Finally, Johnson talked a little about how Google works, which he said is exciting to students because they use it so often, but have no idea how it works. Johnson then discussed how it is a database that uses cached snapshots of pages, additional information about given web pages, the idea of the “overblown algorithmic estimate,” the concepts of personalized searching and page ranking/popularity (including the popularity of pages that link to a page), and that the fact that to results are historical and that popular placement is hard to break away from.
Related Link: Johnson’s evidence that popularity is hard to break away from because it is historical (a page he made in library school).
Working with the Experts: Faculty and student contributions to metadata for Cuban theater collections at the Cuban Heritage Collection / Matt Carruthers (University of Miami)
Carruthers replaced Natalie Bauer (University of Miami) in the preliminary program.
Carruthers spoke of faculty, student, and research fellow contributions to metadata for the Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) digital collections, which is a special collections repository at the University of Miami. The CHC focuses on primary and secondary materials from Cuba and the Cuban Diaspora. There are many active digitalization projects.
They are working with Lillian Manzor (University of Miami) to use digital humanities in teaching her graduate course on 20th century Latin American theatre to help students see the value in digital media. Professor Manzor and staff coordinated to create an assignment whereby students created metadata for objects related to their own research. This metadata would be added to digital repositories, along with images of the projects.
Carruthers discussed logistics of the projects, including challenges. As a metadata librarian, he introduced metadata creation to students in one class session, so he embedded himself in the class Blackboard page so that he could be in dialogue with students. Another question was which platform would be used for students to inter metadata; it was decided that the Cuban Digital Theater Archive would be easiest, as it already has a platform for entering metadata. Another problem was the lag time in the digitization queue.
Carruthers then outlined successful outcomes. For one, it allowed the “library to engage more broadly with faculty and students.” Students learned about how to structure data, and came to value both the digital humanities and metadata. Furthermore, the Cuban Heritage collection gains from subject expertise of graduate students, and CHC users also benefitted from better metadata. Finally, the project had low overhead and high value, so he encourages others to experiment with these kinds of projects.
Cuban Heritage Digital Collections
Cuban Digital Theater Archive
Too Much Information” – Re-imagining the 1-shot Library Session with Active Learning Strategies / Gabriella Reznowski (Washington State University)
Reznowski described a 10-20 minute 1-shot session, emphasizing the importance of teaching outside the box, rather than using lectures to teach skills. One problem she spoke about was reaching out to instructors and faculty, and figuring out their information literacy instruction needs. One major need is to help students understand the difference between scholarly and non-scholarly articles.
Her strategy was to gather classes to talk about scholarly articles. This can be used in small classes or groups of over students. She talks to them about some things that can be expected with scholarly articles, including authors’ names and credentials, they may have abstracts or credentials, and they may end with a bibliography or works cited list. They then count off into groups that congregate around a poster-sized piece white paper. Reznowski then distributes scholarly and non-scholarly articles, asking students to answer basic questions such as the title of the article, the periodical it was in, and how they would cite the article. If there is time, groups can rotate to the next group, check the answers of the other groups, and try to find articles using the citation and World Cat. This helps them learn but also serves as an assessment tool for faculty and librarians.
Emma Marschall (Tulane University) asked Carruthers for an example of what kinds of materials students were describing and about whether or not the material was in English or Spanish. Carruthers said that some of the objects were sketches for theatre costume designs. He added that the metadata is not truly bilingual, and that while some descriptive information is in Spanish (the materials are in Spanish), but that the technical metadata is in English to be consistent with other collections.
Kelsey Corlett-Rivera (University of Maryland) explained that the University of Maryland also has some projects where students work on metadata and that they have used Google spreadsheets, and wondered if Carruthers had tried other possibilities. Carruthers said that they had considered a basic template, but that the platform already existed and would automatically save, so they thought it would be simplest to do it that way. On the other hand, a Google spreadsheet that they can all share and something that does not go directly go into the database could be useful. Corlett-Rivera asked what the back end for the Cuban Digital Theater Archive is, and Carruthers explained that it was Django, which is a PHP and Python framework.
Manzor asked Schadl how La Energaia is structured. Schadl explained that it is a database constructed in Drupal that plays with Drupal’s pathways to put everything in the same place, taking advantage of crawling. Schadl added that Twitter is harder, because it cannot be crawled so they have to go in and enter hashtags.
Deb Raftus (University of Washington) asked Johnson if he does standalone Google classes. Johnson responded that he does drop-in advanced Google searching in person, online, and recorded and also weaves it into all classes by relating database searching to Google. He stated that students of all levels love it.
Hicks asked Reznowski about feedback from faculty and students. Reznowski said that she was inspired to do this lesson by a failed session where she did not do what the faculty member wanted, and failed to get what was expected of students. In one case, he created a class LibGuides where a survey was embedded, but no one completed it; surveys need to be completed in the classroom. Finally, she has come to try to have students pick a topic that they are interested in and try to research that.
Hicks thanked everyone for attending. The session ended at 5:12 p.m.