“Teaching and Un-Teaching Source Evaluation” discusses experimenting with a different method of teaching students how to analysis authority in sources within a library instruction setting. The article advocated placing an emphasis on information literacy, rather than only instructing students about more traditional academic sources and library resources. I really like the way the researchers required students to analysis their own assumptions about a variety of sources, including Wikipedia, and to discuss this as a small group and then a class. To me this seems like an effective method of achieving the researchers’ goals of improving information literacy and encouraging the development of the students’ own authority. This allows students to take control of their own learning while learning to question the power structures that define traditional scholarship and sources that they have always been taught to view as authoritative and trustworthy. This is immensely important and powerful as it aims to inspire a critical thinking and evaluation of any source a student might come into contact with during their education, and their life. The researcher’s emphasis on lived experience as a source of authority for the student as serves to create a more balanced classroom where students feel more comfortable making such evolutions and critiques. The quote from Maria Accardi the authors included in their conclusion really says it all: “we can ‘in our own ways, however small, clear out space for creative disruption, for thoughtful experimentation, and for subtle but satisfying interruptions of the structures that govern us, and, ultimately, contribute to student learning in a positive and long-lasting way’” (Angell & Tewell, 2017, p. 115).
I chose this article because I felt that it related pretty closely to the grand narratives article from last week. I particularly enjoy case studies, and I liked that this article was less theoretical and based more in the classroom. I think that it is super important for students to learn to question early in their academic career what they think about authority and reliable source. It was interesting to see what the students in this article thought about Wikipedia. I have only had one instructor point out that there are different tiers of reliability marked on Wikipedia articles, and it is helps to judge the reliability of the article. I also found it striking that 14% of students thought that just because they found the source through a university’s search function / scholarly database that it was a reliable source. One of the librarians that I observed pointed out to his students that academic articles are sometimes not reliable and are later retracted. This kind of thing is super useful for students to know, and I definitely plan to keep the concepts from this article in mind when teaching next semester.
This week I decided to reflect on my learning module and the progress I have made as well as just the entire process I have gone through while making it. It has been interesting to see all the different parts slowly come together from the very basic outlines I made to full scripts and videos. With each step, I always think it is going to be more complicated and take more time than it actually does. I think once I get down to the real nitty gritty of putting it all together that is when it is going to take more time and attention to detail. Making the videos in Camtasia has really been a test to just slow down and take my time. I know how to use more complicated video editing software like Premire Pro so using Camtasia can be a little ticky at times, but I have liked getting to learn another video editing application. I like how Camtasia allows you to zoom in and that the animations and effects are much easier to apply. Overall, I have enjoyed creating my learning module and just figuring out how I want it all to work together. I am very excited to see what the completed project will look like when I am done.
Overall, I really liked this article, because while this idea of certain people not being represented in literature is something I have thought about before, I had not thought of it in the same framework presented by Franks. As Franks points out in her article, there are grand narratives being given as representative of all human experience. However, if we begin asking ourselves whose voices are being represented in these narratives, it is easy to see that these grand narratives do not apply to everyone and that some individuals are not being included in the story. Having narratives that assert only one authority or only have one overarching voice are cause for concern. What gets left out of the literature when this happens is an important point of discussion not only to search for unanswered questions but also to help include minor payers that might not be fully represented. I liked how, despite the problems with these grand narratives, Franks says it should not discourage students doing research on a topic that includes this. Instead, they should see it as an opportunity to criticize the work or to create a new discussion about it.
Frank’s chapter argues that we as instructors need to break down grand narratives and help students to question the narratives they are sold. In one section, she talks about how encyclopedias are compiled by people influenced by grand narratives and given authority by being placed on a library’s shelf. In one of the classes I observed at the beginning of the semester, a student questioned how a dictionary could be biased when the librarian said that pretty much everything can have a bias. The librarian explained that it was possible for a dictionary to have bias. This article brought me back to this conversation and reinforced why it is such an important conversation to have. It is so vital for students to be given the opportunity to explore multiple perspectives and realize that even something like an encyclopedia or a dictionary can be a part of a “grand narrative” and not representative of everyone and every experience.
I finished my co-teaching for the semester on Monday. I co-taught two sections of an English class both taught by the same professor. On the first session, I sat in and observed. During the second session, I gave a brief overview of Scout and Academic Search Premier. I also walked around and helped students while they researched. I enjoy this part the most. It is fun to see what topics everyone is doing and to try to give them tips on how to narrow down the search. Since I was able to sit down with the same few classes for all three sessions, it was interesting to observe how the classes research skills developed over the week. Previously, I had only seen one or two sections of a course so I didn’t really get the full picture. By the third class session, the students in these classes appeared to have improved their key word searches in Scout, and I was excited to see many using Boolean operators. I am looking forward to solo teaching some of my own sessions.