Maximizing Student Learning Through Instructor and Librarian Collaboration in the Time of COVID-19 is a poster in the 2020 PNLA Virtual Poster Session. We encourage you to engage in discussion by leaving a comment on the page. The author of the poster will respond to comments the week of August 4-7, 2020.

Presenters: Justin Otto, Kathy Rowley, & Qing Stellwagen

Track: Academic Library

This poster details the collaborative work between two librarians and a First-Year English Composition instructor at Eastern Washington University to migrate the library research component of an English Composition course to the online-only environment necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic. During the past three years, the composition instructor and two librarians worked together on composition courses employing a “flipped classroom” model. The library instruction component of composition was a combination of online and in-person content designed to help composition students create original arguments driven by 1) teaching students why and how to do research, 2) walking students through research question development and research guide choices, and 3) guiding students through choosing research sources. Due to COVID-19, they adapted the research instruction section of the course for asynchronous online learning while still meeting and supporting the student learning objectives for the composition course.

This poster incorporates the pedagogical approaches, perspectives and contributions of the two librarians and the composition course instructor to illustrate how a successful conversion to online-only library research instruction was made in short order. It will include information on the effectiveness of the sessions gathered from student feedback, and examples of the recorded instruction employed in the online research instruction sessions.

Tip: Hover around this presentation (the “Excerpt from Module Why do Research?” & “Excerpt from Module Search Strategy“) to access YouTube videos.

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About the Presenters:
Justin Otto is a Professor of Libraries and Scholarly Communications Librarian at Eastern Washington University. He is currently serving as EWU’s Interim Dean of Libraries and Learning Commons.

Kathy Rowley is a Senior Lecturer of English at Eastern Washington University. She holds Master’s degrees in teaching writing from CSU, Stanislaus and technical communication from EWU. With an undergraduate degree in graphic design from The University of the Pacific, she also teaches design courses for technical communication and journalism.

Qing Stellwagen is an Assistant Professor of Libraries and Librarian for Diversity & Inclusion Studies, Economics and Engineering at Eastern Washington University


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3 years ago

How much feedback do you give students on the Research Prep sheet? I particularly like having students find resources from Google, Wikipedia, a news source (but do they know what this is?) and a library database.

Kathy L Rowley
Reply to  Ilana
3 years ago

Hi Illana,
Thank you for your question! As instructor, I review student submissions in Canvas, letting students know when they are on the right track and giving helpful comments when it appears that they do not understand the assignment process.
Justin’s video presentations review which sources are scholarly, so students learn to use content found on Google, Wikipedia, and news sources only for idea creation. His videos are set up in Canvas to be viewed before the Research Preparation Assignment is opened.

Kellian donna Clink
3 years ago

I’ve been a librarian for 34 years and I always have to think before I start my slog of library instruction sessions, pretend like you don’t know anything, how do you proceed. This is a good reminder of some of the things you need to remember that they don’t have a way of parsing out yet. I interviewed a bunch of the high schools that send us the most students about 10 years ago. The fact is that students don’t get much about doing research, thinking through generating keywords, thinking authority, timeliness, bias, etc in high this is a good starting point for them as they train their brains to think about categories of thinking about things.

Justin Otto
Reply to  Kellian donna Clink
3 years ago

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. At EWU the library has a good programmatic relationship with the English Composition program, and all English Comp classes have at least a one-shot library research instruction session. The fact that the librarians (Otto & Stellwagen) and the Comp instructor (Rowley) have been able to work together consistently for the past few academic terms is allowing us to take a deeper dive into what the students are getting out of the library research component of the course.

Kathy L Rowley
Reply to  Kellian donna Clink
3 years ago

Thank you, Kellian! We agree that this is a starting place and are excited about now pursuing additional research.

Qing Stellwagen
Reply to  Kathy L Rowley
3 years ago

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, which I absolutely agree, Kellian! I used to tell my students at the end of our library session that I hope from now on they would consciously cultivate good habits when comes to do research projects/assignments for any classes they take (or are going to take) while they are in college, graduate school, and beyond.

3 years ago

I like your poster! I’ve never heard of using the words “race, space, place” for filtering search results. Do you find using these words effective?

Kathy L Rowley
Reply to  David
3 years ago

Thank you so much!

The terms “race, space, and place” help students to choose key words. Race, for example, can include male or female; children, youth, young adult, adult, or senior citizens; and even nationality. Space represents where the event occurs. For example, gaming can occur in the space of a computer, cell phone, console, or even a classroom, office, or airport (all depending, of course, on what type of research is being done). Place represents a geographic location. It can be the EWU campus, New York City, or Korea, for example.