Sunday, April 05, 2009

LILAC Plans – Rough Ideas

Welcome to the LILAC Group! We now have a solid core to begin with. Below are some of my tentative plans. But this isn't my group; it belongs to all of us, so please post your feedback, critiques, ideas, or what-have-you, so we can move forward. I anticipate this project will grow and continue as a long-term one, with new people joining, some people "idling" when necessary or dropping out when need be, and with more work growing out of what we start here. There are plenty of opportunities: books, articles, dissertation and/or thesis projects, conference presentations, curriculum development, textbook materials, working with toolbar or software designers, grant writing, or whatever directions various participants take.

So, here are my initial ideas:

1. Sign on participants

Obviously, I have already begun to sign on a few participants, which is how you all got here. I've attached a .pdf of a flyer I developed as an Invitation to Participate. Feel free to use it—or design a better one (noone ever accused me of being artistic, you know!)—if you would like to spread the word. Right now, I am the only one with administrative rights to the blog, so just let me know if you would like to add someone as author and I'll take care of it (we can add up to 100 participants). Of course, anyone is welcome to post comments (they are reviewed, briefly, by me, just to try and avoid spam whenever possible). If someone else would like administrative rights to the blog, I'd be happy to do that as well.

Last week I visited a graduate class in Rhetoric and Composition at the University of South Florida, and in mid-April I will be meeting with some faculty in the English Department and the College of Education, as well as librarians, at Kennesaw State University. I hope to entice some of them to join us as well. Right now, travel is out of my own pocket, so while I am happy to visit local institutions, I can't afford too much travel. Luckily, we have this blog! (I love the digital age!)

As Co-coordinator of the Georgia Conference on Information Literacy, I also plan on asking the planning committee to provide meeting space and time for participants to get together at this year's conference (September 25-26, 2009, Savannah Georgia. See the Call for Proposals at ). Some of you already plan on attending; I hope more of you can join us. At any rate, I will also ask the planning committee to include the Invitation to Participate or a link to it on the Conference Web site and in the Conference program, so that others at the conference can come and hopefully join in.

2. Design study

  1. share info on IRB materials (that way, participants can use information from each other to help with their own institutional IRB forms).
  2. questionnaires/surveys (Survey monkey?)
  3. research-aloud protocols (CamStudio?)
  4. permission forms
  5. interviews w/students
  6. interviews w/faculty
  7. interviews w/librarians
  8. etc.

If you have ideas, drafts, or what-have-you, please feel free to share them!

3. Post plans for studies at our own institutions

I plan to begin with just one or two students in first-year composition classes at my institution (along with their teachers). I will

  1. Sit in with the class during any "library" instruction and/or
  2. Interview the teacher about what kinds of skills are being taught and what assignments students will be completing
  3. Administer questionnaires to students
  4. Observe student research practices and record student using "research aloud" protocols (I Plan to have students use a computer in my office with CamStudio running to capture What they actually do on screen while they talk about their choices).
  5. Review a copy of the students completed research project to see what they've actually used, how they've used it, etc.
  6. Interview student after they have completed their project
  7. Interview teacher about results (after grades are submitted post-semester)

At least, that's my plan…. Please feel free to critique or post your own plans as you develop them.

4. Review pilot study

I hope several of you will administer the pilot at your own institutions (or perhaps some of you have graduate students who will do this). Then we can review our results and see what refinements we need to make before we

5. Design/plan larger study

6. Report results

We can, of course, report as we proceed. For instance, Rebecca Moore Howard, Randall McClure, and Sandra Jamieson will be presenting at the Georgia Conference on Information Literacy (and, of course, others not yet involved will be presenting, too, so it's a good conference for those interested in this area! And Kathleen Blake Yancey is this year's keynote speaker, so it should be a great place to be).

Randall McClure, Rebecca Moore Howard, and I are also submitting a proposal for CCCC 2010 as well. I have already presented at the Georgia Conference on Information Literacy, CCCC, and Computers and Writing on the LILAC project, and I plan to continue to report on the project as it proceeds—hopefully with some of YOU.

I am also drafting an article for submission (somewhere). I plan to post my draft here to the blog for feedback. I think we could also propose an edited collection somewhere, with some of us serving as editors, and others contributing singly- or collaboratively-authored work.

Some of you have graduate students, too, who are already working in this area. I would love to hear if anyone is teaching or developing courses in teaching information literacy skills for graduate students in our field(s). At my institution, students take a sort of orientation course that supposedly includes "library instruction," then they take a two-course composition sequence, and many teachers repeat the same library instruction in these courses (and usually assign a "research paper" or "research project"). What I hope to do with this project is determine if this is working (my experience says it's not), so I hope to use the work and/or results of this study to determine what curricular/instructional changes we can or should make. So another "strand" here might be curriculum development at undergraduate and graduate levels, teacher training, librarianship, etc.

So, of course, I hope we reach across the "boundaries" of composition to include librarians, assessment experts, faculty from a wide variety of disciplines, K-12 teachers, and interested "others."

We can use the LILAC blog as a space for public conversation. We can also create a mailing list somewhere for more "private" conversation, and we can create public or private wiki-space to develop materials, or we can just email drafts between people who are working on various parts of this project together.

I'd love to hear what each of you is doing, what work you have already done, and what your plans are as we move forward.

Oh, yeah, and lest we forget, some (or all?) of us can either singly or as a group (or in small groups, or whatever) pursue various forms of grant opportunities. I know I would like funding for a research assistant, course release, printing costs (flyers, etc.), equipment costs, travel to conferences, possibly travel for LILAC participants to travel here to meet or, well, you get the idea. J


  1. Anonymous7:31 PM

    Introduction and what I'm working on...

    Thanks for the welcome, Janice!

    I’ve been working on information literacy in one way or another for over 10 years, first as a librarian and now a tech comm. instructor. As a librarian, I taught a 1-credit “library instruction” course, worked with faculty in a variety of disciplines to integrate IL into their courses, and worked on a few assessment projects. One—about 10 years ago when I first joined the library at ASU’s west campus was a IL and technology self-assessment test given to incoming students. Another was a pre- and post-survey in a junior-level career development course intended to evaluate how well integrating library instruction sessions into instruction helped students with finding and evaluating sources.

    After moving to ASU’s Polytechnic campus, I started teaching an information-based course for the Multimedia Writing & Tech Comm Program and then switched to being full-time faculty about 5 years ago. Initially, I was hired to work on developing an information track and to integrate IL into the Program’s curriculum. We did that by merging the ACRL IL standards with the WPA outcomes statement and then mapping outcomes to each of our courses. We now use outcomes and our course map for curriculum development and assessment.

    We’ve taken this approach for several reasons. Based on my experience as a librarian and writing instructor, I agree that current approaches aren’t working very well. Over time, I’ve also been influenced heavily by Carol Kuhlthau’s research on the information search process and the parallels to the writing process. My perspectives on IL are also influenced by research emerging out of Australia, especially Christine Bruce’s The Seven Faces of Information Literacy and Mandy Lupton’s The Learning Connection. Information Literacy and the Student Experience—research which has intended to define IL based on perceptions and experiences of the student/individual. In a way, both present IL in a way that is very rhetorical and contextualized.

    And so what I’m working on—

    My dissertation on outcomes assessment included a literature review on information literacy using literature from library science, rhetoric/composition, and technical communication to contextualize IL within rhetoric and writing. My research analyzed outcomes, including information literacy, by coding portfolios using a grounded theory approach. What I’d like to do is follow-up on my results and, in particular focus on IL in the workplace and how the way we define (including what research is and how it is related to the writing process), teach, and assess IL impacts students’ ability to conduct research that is relevant to their jobs and careers.

    In the meantime, I’ve been working on a manuscript (for longer than I care to admit) based on a combination of a presentation from the WPA Conference (a rhetorical analysis of the ACRL IL Standards and the WPA Outcomes Statement) a couple of years ago and the literature review from my dissertation.


  2. I can't wait to see your results and your manuscript!