Collaborating to Incorporate Library and Writing Skills in an Interdisciplinary Course: A Case Study

Librarians and writing centre staff were invited by the instructor of a first-year interdisciplinary course to collaborate with him on a course redesign emphasizing skill development in research and writing. Ferer (2012) highlights how library and writing support connections help students cross institutional boundaries. This case study is an example of using these connections to benefit students in a course. The team re-designed the library and writing portions of a first-year inquiry based learning course to incorporate many flipped classroom initiatives (Mangan, 2013) including pre-tests, in-class exercises, hands-on research components, writing workshops, and a summative assessment. Hands-on exercises were used to help engage students and promote skill development and critical thinking throughout the research and writing sessions. The instructor showed the importance of research and writing skills by dedicating lectures and assigning 25% of the course grade to pre-tests and a summative assessment. All techniques and assignments focussed on building resources to further the students’ final research project in the course. The instructor embedded the team at every possible step to achieve the course learning goals. Librarians and writing support staff were involved in developing the syllabus and lectures, creating and grading assessment pieces, and assisting student research and writing processes throughout the course. Ethics approval was acquired to conduct a research survey designed to understand student learning experiences. This session will provide an overview of the course with examples of how the instructor embedded librarians and writing centre staff throughout the course through collaboration. We will detail the flipped classroom techniques we incorporated, discuss survey results, and provide personal reflections on the process for student learning objectives as well as our own professional development for incorporating these flipped classroom techniques in future teaching opportunities.
Presented at the SSOTL15 Symposium on Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 2015 in Banff, Alberta.
embedded librarianship, flipped classroom, Library & Information Science, flipped learning, Information literacy, STAS201, Course re-design, Faculty-librarian collaborations