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CRD Virtual Journal Club Spring Wrap-up

May 21, 2021

This past spring, the College & Research Division hosted a virtual journal club, which met online three times during the semester to discuss scholarship in the library science field. The CRD Journal Club was originally established in Summer 2018, and typically runs in the summer, spring, and fall of each year. The theme for the Spring 2020 semester was adapting to our new virtual environments during COVID-19. 

For the first session, the participants read and discussed “In support of online learning: A COVID-19 one shot case study,” by Jennifer Joe, published in Codex: The Journal of the Louisiana Chapter of the ACRL. During this session, the participants reflected on the case study and what worked well for them as institutions made the transition to online learning, while considering all the technological and psychological issues of everyone working, teaching, and learning during the pandemic. A few technologies mentioned were Nearpod, Poll Everywhere, Zoom breakout rooms, and Google Docs.

At request from the participants, the second session focused on provisioning asynchronous online instruction. For the second session, participants read two articles: “Asynchronizing with the Framework: Reflections on the process of creating an asynchronous library assignment for a first-year writing class” by B. Grantham Aldred published in College & Research Libraries News and “Redesigning an online information literacy tutorial for first-year undergraduate instruction” by Kimberly Y. Franklin, Kendall Faulkner, Tiffanie Ford-Baxter, and Sheree Fu published in The Journal of Academic Librarianship. The participants discussed the tools used in the articles (Google Forms and Articulate Storyline 360) as well as the other platforms they had used to create asynchronous lessons (ex. LibWizard, LMS), but also the types of content best suited to that type of instruction (directional and skills-based content vs. high-level concepts like source evaluation). Also discussed is the importance of buy-in from the students to complete the modules, the faculty to distribute the modules, and other librarians for utilizing the modules.

For the third and final session, the participants read and discussed “Google forms in library instruction: Creating an active learning space and communicating with students,” by Elena Rodriguez published in Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Innovative Pedagogy. While much of the discussion focused on delivering content, the discussants also mentioned the confusion of the definition of “online sources” for students (websites vs. databases) and how instructors sometimes allow only specific types of resources, especially research articles which students may have never had to use in research before and are difficult to analyze and explain in a short information literacy session. The participants also discussed the limitations of platforms with embedding content and shared examples of resources they have successfully used in the virtual classroom.

This series was particularly useful in identifying different tools to use in online instruction, whether in-person synchronous classes or in developing asynchronous modules. Many of these can be utilized during both in-person and online instruction. The discussion did identify issues with teaching primarily online, particularly during a pandemic, but participants willingly shared success stories as well as some of the resources they found and created with each other, which led to some great ideas for new methods to try.

We will be hosting a summer session- please join us if you can! Sign up to participate and let us know what you’d like to discuss.

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