Developing a Faculty-Librarian Community of Inquiry: A Blended Learning Approach to Facilitate Information Literacy Education

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The purpose of the study was to explore how disciplinary understanding around Information Literacy (IL) might be achieved between faculty members and librarians through the design and implementation of a blended Community of Inquiry (CoI) (Garrison, 2011) Faculty-Librarians CoI Workshop (FacLibCoI) within a social constructivist epistemology. A mixed methods, design-based research (DBR) approach was used to build and test the FacLibCoI prototype and was based on Pool and Laubscher’s (2016) micro/meso iterative-cycle approach to McKenney and Reeves’ (2012) Generic Model for Educational Design Research. An environmental scan of the literature and the university where the study took place comprised phase one of the study. In addition to the review of literature, university reports were reviewed, and focus group interviews were conducted with university faculty members and students. Analysis revealed that faculty viewed research as discovery while students equated it with term papers. Students who had learned IL in general studies writing courses demonstrated good conceptual knowledge but poor implementation skills. Phase Two comprised the design phase. The FacLibCoI was designed to last two months and include three in-person sessions with accompanying asynchronous online discussions. The FacLibCoI workshop was implemented and analyzed in phase three. The design changed to four in-person sessions and two asynchronous discussions. Data included before-and-after participant interviews, transcripts, CoI questionnaires, and group artifacts. All CoI presences and metacognition were achieved in the FacLibCoI. Participants demonstrated group cohesion and disciplinary-based, shared understanding of IL, producing a disciplinary IL Model, IL learning goals mapped to disciplinary and IL standards, and an action plan for IL implementation. A CoI was established in less time than in studies reported in the literature and holds promise for scaling up. The online portion of the design proved unsustainable, and technology platforms and busy schedules were negative factors. Online collaboration between librarians and faculty may prove successful during a later departmental IL implementation phase. This phase should be considered in future iterations. Consulting participants on selection of a technological platform is advised.
Melgosa, A. A. (2018). Developing a faculty-librarian community of inquiry: A blended learning approach to facilitate information literacy education (Doctoral thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from doi:10.11575/PRISM/32048