Qualitative Research

By way of introduction, much of the first half of my curriculum mapping internship with GIS has involved some data collection and a good bit of data transformation. The data transformation process involves creating a structure for what will become a visual tree, and transferring much of the data collected by various instruction librarians into Excel in such a way that it can be visualized. Seeing what these trees look like has helped structure some of the more complex academic departments.

The second half of the summer will largely be focused on using NVivo to do qualitative data analysis of syllabi. This is a project to which I am looking forward. I believe that NVivo will be a valuable software to learn. And qualitative research is the type of research I am most interested in performing during my library career. Some of the aspects of qualitative research I enjoy are: the group nature of the research, the inductive approach, the open ended aspects of the research, the more flexible nature of the research process, and the iterative approach, among others. I am looking forward to learning how NVivo works, and seeing what we will find in our qualitative analysis.

Curriculum Mapping and Me

As a student in the School of Library and Information Studies program here at UA we are provided with the opportunity for an internship; my internship this summer is with Gorgas Information Services. Working with the Instruction Coordinator Librarian I am assisting with the Curriculum Mapping project with which the library has been involved. This project involves assisting in data collection on required courses, data transformation of information collected by other librarians, and other projects as assigned.

As part of our weekly reading we read an article by L.H. Charles—“Using an Information Literacy Curriculum Map as  Means of Communication and Accountability for Stakeholders in Higher Eduction” (log-in required)—to examine the connection between the map and information literacy, and the benefits the curriculum map had to the wider university community; especially the university administration.

The reading was also helpful as I prepare to move to my first professional library position this August; I hope to do some basic curriculum mapping for that school—likely more like the way that it was discussed in the Charles article than the more detailed mapping that we are doing here at UA. The themes in the article, and my work with UA’s data collection and transformation, will couple together nicely with some initial mapping work for the school to which I am going.

The use of curriculum mapping facilitates the communication among educators

The experience of participating in the project of curriculum mapping is a little tedious but very learning. Through a process of collecting and transforming a large number of data, I familiarized my self with how a subject is structured hierarchically, what factors should be considered when a new curriculum is implemented, and the use of curriculum mapping. I do not expect that, besides functions I already know, the use of curriculum mapping can even increase the collaboration among stakeholders at universities.

For me with no experience in this area , in the beginning I had no idea just “mechanically”removed curriculum records to extract data. Afterwards, a lot of duplicated information in different disciplines aroused my attention. If each subject is organized like a tree where many terms group beneath a term from upper level of the tree, branches of different subject trees are intertwined and overlapped with each other. From this, I find data collected on curriculum mapping allows us to identify the inter-sectional parts of different courses where pedagogical cooperative relationship can be built among different departments. This link is the fundamental element of sharing education resources and unified management.

During the creation and implementation of information literacy curriculum map(ILCM), because librarians and faculty make great effort toward the same direction, they have many opportunities to collaborate. On one side, mentoring librarians are responsible for creation of curriculum. On the other side, instructors hold introduction sessions to library service and figure out what skills students should master in their discipline. In addition, at some colleges, the office of assessment works with faculty and academic departments to investigate learning situation of students for adjusting the curriculum. Thus librarians , faculty, and rating agencies are agreeing and build a perfect teaching system.(Charles, 2015)

In conclusion, curriculum mapping is the catalyst for communication among educators .


Charles, L. H. (2015). Using an information literacy curriculum mas as a means of communication and accountability for stakeholders in higher education. Journal of Information Literacy, 9(1).