Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Indiana University Libraries Information Literacy Colloquium: Colloquium Session Descriptions

The IU Libraries Information Literacy Colloquium is intended to raise awareness of emerging trends and salient issues surrounding the design, delivery, and assessment of information literacy.



Writing for Real: Creative Contexts for Information Literacy Teaching and Learning

Rachel M. Minkin, Michigan State University


As students transition into Higher Education and prepare to encounter multiple literacies, they confront the reality that information literacy is a complex construct, requiring multiple skills.  In this presentation, explore how Michigan State University faculty and librarians collaborate to create innovative pedagogies that inspire teaching and learning beyond basic search skills.  Attendees will explore how using multiple teaching perspectives (community, culturally, and disciplinary based) can help librarians and faculty design class sessions that enhance information literacy skills in first year writing classes. Community Based Advocacy: A component of some first year writing classes at MSU provides opportunities to learn skills associated with the use of information to create texts for clients outside of the classroom.  Active learning is accomplished in the context of community based projects to create multi modal texts with specific purposes for specific audiences. Undergraduate student teams of three are assigned to a community based organization or agency.  An example is a team of students who create, revise, conduct and analyze a survey among their peers to expose levels of understanding of sexual assault.  In the creation of the multi-modal text, students take into account the purpose and design of the product using various types of information literacy to accomplish their goals. These projects introduce students to real-world experiences of communication, negotiation, and collaboration, crucial to acquisition of information literacies.  Disciplinary Literacy: At the 2010 TEDx Mid Atlantic conference, public school teacher Diana Laufenberg garnered applause with the closing remarks of her talk, How to Learn? From Mistakes. “...[I]f we continue to look at education as if it’s about coming to school to get information... we’re missing the mark.” Students exploring Disciplinary Literacy - information associated with one particular subject or major - DO need to come to school.  One does not become a doctor, etc. without attending a place of higher education. Within the college/university experience, students can learn the issues within a given profession and how members of a profession “talk” to one another: Where and in what format do they share their information? What is the language/ jargon of their profession? How can information literacy instruction enhance disciplinary literacy? Cultural Literacies: First year writing students at MSU write about a culture of which they are a part by choosing one of its artifacts and “reading” its place within that culture.  By carefully describing the artifact and interrogating its cultural context, students come to realize that their initial assumptions may not have been as simple as they thought they were--nor as correct--that their understanding of familiar objects and ideas is less informed than they had imagined.  The task of the cultural literacies project is to help students use writing as a tool to both explore and explain connections between things and contexts, starting from a position of assumed knowledge and expanding to a place of informed understanding.  In this section we explore the ways that information literacy instruction functions as a vital aspect of enhanced cultural literacies.


Reaching beyond the grade: Evolution and adaptation in approaches to information literacy pedagogy

Michael Courtney, Indiana University Bloomington

Chanitra Bishop, Indiana University Bloomington


Traditional methods of library instruction do not always meet the diverse needs of students or keep pace with the often complex research demands from their assignments. The traditional library demo exposes students to library and non-library resources but often falls short in providing students with the critical thinking skills needed to understand how to incorporate tools into the research process. This session will illustrate nimble adjustments two Indiana University Bloomington librarians have incorporated into their teaching in order to equip students with the capability not only to locate resources that serve their immediate needs, but also to approach the research problem with a unified and critical view of the larger process.  This session will discuss the evolution of the information literacy approach in an introductory International Studies class, moving from a 20 minute guided tour of the resources appropriate for an annotated bibliography to instead deconstructing the assignment in class to help the students understand what the instructor is asking them to do.  This process gives the students a series of stepping stones through the assignment.  We will also discuss how participants can use Wikipedia to help students develop stronger critical thinking skills and gain a better understanding of one of the most frequently used reference resources.


ROFL - Reaching Our Freshmen Learners

Laura Heinz, Texas Tech University

Carrye Syma, Texas Tech University


Librarians believe they are effective in the classroom; however, many need to update their skill set to reach today’s multi-faceted learners.   Presenting dynamic lessons, and creating effective student assessment tools are integral to classroom management and student learning.   Blending traditional teaching methods with innovation through technology, library instruction can be designed to engage all learning styles and facilitate student learning.  In addition to traditional assessment methods, clickers, SmartBoards, and other innovation tools can be used to effectively reinforce classroom instruction.  


Louder than Words: Using Visual, Auditory, and Tactile Methods to Enhance Library Instruction
Andrea Cohn, Harrison College

Jennifer Luzadder, Harrison College


Sometimes we are our own worst enemy when it comes to teaching information literacy skills to our students. We have so much information to teach in such a short amount of time that we often forget to think about the medium we use to present those lessons. Instead of using another PowerPoint lecture that will put your students to sleep, why not mix it up with some music? Have them dig deep in the Google Bucket to learn about databases and search engines. Let them play telephone to learn about primary and secondary sources. Have them play Boolean Simon Says to get out of their seats and actively participate in their learning. These are just a few of the ideas that will be discussed in this presentation that focuses on bringing diverse methods of presentation to the students in an attempt to enhance their retention of key information literacy concepts and speak to the different learning styles our students bring to the classroom. Librarians will take away concrete examples of teaching exercises they can use to cover core ACRL Information Literacy standards and will gain an appreciation of teaching to different learning styles.


Creating Infographics: Teaching Data Visualization to Undergrads

Caitlin Bagley, Murray State University


This lesson plan involves a hands on approach that can be modified and allow students to become active creators of the information around them.  Start the lesson off by teaching the basics of what infographics are to your students. You can use tools like Information is Beautiful, or videos that show the importance of visualization.  Create a discussion about why people visualize data and all ways that information that data can be approached. Some important lessons that can be incorporated are what are datasets, and how much information is out there.  Using discussion and brainstorming, the class will discover how much data is out in the world, and the need for visualization. Be sure to explain the differences between a graph and an infographic. / Next using datasets based on information that is important or relevant to students (tuition, minimum wage laws, etc) have students think of ways to visualize the information, and different ways how the information can be presented.  Pass out different datasets or have students choose the dataset that looks the most interesting to them.  This activity can vary depending on how much time you want to put into it.  It can either take 20-30 minutes if you give out materials for students to create graphs in class, (or if you want you can turn it into a homework assignment).  While students are creating their graphs, walk around the room and offer tips and help as needed.  After students have created their infographics, have them present these to the class justifying why they depicted the data as they did. Encourage students to participate and ask them to volunteer ideas for how to better depict the information shown.  Students should leave knowing that information can be depicted in many different ways to come to many different conclusions, as well as knowing techniques for deciphering how to read graphs and datasets.


The Games Librarians Play: Using Interactive Strategies to Stimulate Information Literacy Learning

Belinda Yff, Sullivan University-Louisville

Kandace Rogers, Sullivan University-Lexington

Charles Brown, Sullivan University-Louisville


Tired of the glazed looks on faces during library bibliographic sessions? Looking for ways to “liven up” information literacy instruction and library interest? Learning about information literacy can be fun! Active learning strategies are a way to provide a customized and memorable experience. Students are unique individuals; interactive strategies and games relate to different learning styles, involve the student in his/her learning, and reinforce previous learning experiences. Targeted active learning strategies can demonstrate the importance of finding, analyzing, and using information in an effective manner. This session includes practical examples and techniques (from the use of web sites to the use of pencil and paper) of interactive strategies and games that librarians can use to engage students, both inside and outside the library setting. Following completion of this presentation, participants will be able to:

1) describe barriers and benefits involved with interactive learning,

2) create/design relevant interactive learning activities for use with his/her students, and

3) locate information about existing interactive learning strategies that can be adapted and used for information literacy instruction.


More Than “Just a Number”: Assessment and Collaboration in a First Year Experience (FYE)/ Information Literacy Program

Belinda Yff, Sullivan University-Louisville

Hilary Writt, Sullivan University-Lexington


Sullivan University librarians have been involved in the First Year Experience (FYE) 101 course since 1999. The FYE 101 experience encompasses three separate Sullivan University campuses: Ft. Knox, Lexington, and Louisville. Information literacy skills are an essential component of the FYE 101 course. Optimally, by the completion of FYE 101, students are able to utilize library resources; recognize credible sources (both online and in print); and apply research skills. These skills are necessary for success in academia and life.  Librarians also assess the effectiveness of the information literacy component of FYE 101. These outcome results are used to continually improve and modify the course.    But… how successful is the collaboration between the librarians, the FYE 101 faculty, and the General Education department? How do the librarians and faculty assess and measure the outcomes of the library component of the course? Are the librarians successful in the quest of “information literacy for all?”  This session will explore answers to the above questions, including both failures and successes. Collaborative and assessment strategies will be introduced. Methods and tools (both online and in print) include: evaluation methods, instructional materials, and communication strategies, as well as other types of resources. Many of these tools can easily be adapted for use in an information literacy and/or First Year Experience program.   Following participation in this session, attendees will be able to:

1) utilize methods for a successful faculty/librarian collaboration;

2) develop a tool or tools for use in assessing the outcomes of an information literacy program; and

3) analyze the usefulness and relevance of selected evaluation tools.


Learning out Loud in a Communication 101 Classroom: Speed Dating with the Librarians

Sara Wilhoite, Ivy Tech Community College, Columbus/Franklin

Julia Stumpff, Ivy Tech Community College, Columbus/Franklin

James Boldman, Ivy Tech Community College, Columbus/Franklin


“speed dating   noun   : an event at which each participant converses individually with all the prospective partners for a few minutes in order to select those with whom dates are desired.”  (from   Instead of conversing to evaluate and select prospective partners for dates, the student pairs and librarians spent just fifteen minutes in the library demonstrating, explaining, and asking/answering questions in order to prepare for the next week’s speech on a library topic or skill.     The presenters will discuss their Spring 2012 collaboration with a Public Speaking class in which the instructor assigned each group of students a library research tool to demonstrate the following week during a 6-8 minute speech.  After topics and groups were assigned, each librarian sat down with a group for an intense instruction session.  Students were expected to have their speech 75% completed by the end of the class time.  This deadline created urgency to understand library skills demonstrations.  The outcomes were high student engagement in learning a library skill, quality interaction with librarians, and very detailed, informative presentations.  Students became invested in learning the library skills.  Further, when the speeches were given, classmates learned other skills and frequently appeared interested in the library skills demonstrated by their peers.   This presentation will include:  

• Discussion of the lesson plan

• Evaluation of the experience  

• Improvements for future implementation 

• Ideas for assessing long-term impact on the quality of student research

Learning outcomes for the breakout session:   By attending this session, participants will   

1) understand how this learning activity was structured.  

2) recognize how this activity may be applied at their institutions. 

3) identify key components of  collaborating with faculty on this type of a lesson plan. 

4) discuss how one might assess impact of this activity on the quality of student research.


Bringing Reality TV to Library Instruction: Non-traditional Activities for Teaching Traditional Library Concepts

Cara B. Stone, Grand View University

Becky Canovan, University of Dubuque


Having a creative approach to teaching traditional library concepts can sometimes be a challenge. Those who attend this session will learn how two instruction librarians at different institutions embraced this challenge, thought outside the box, and invited a bit of chaos to the classroom in order to engage and empower their students. The presenters will first introduce the instruction strategy,  a group activity organized around students completing a series of small tasks that require immediate application and demonstration of information literacy knowledge skills.  Similar to The Amazing Race, students need to complete each task before advancing to the next round.  This all-purpose activity is easily applied to multiple instructional concepts. Two examples will be presented: a one-shot session for an introduction to literature class doing poetry research and a multi-session unit for a first-year composition course learning about citations. Those who attend will assume the role of student and participate in a few sample activities and  then return to their librarian roles to brainstorm further adaptation and application of this activity for use in the content areas they teach.


Teaching the Information Literacy Teachers: Fostering a Community of Practice

Malia Willey, Loyola University New Orleans

Brian Sullivan, Loyola University New Orleans


Developing as a teacher of information literacy can be challenging and complicated. How can instruction librarians find the motivation and time to try new instructional techniques and technologies? How can you create an atmosphere that encourages instruction librarians to share both their accomplishments and concerns in the classroom? Instructional development should not occur in isolation, but instead learned out loud in collaboration with other teachers. Informal and formal interactions between instruction librarians can offer opportunities to address their roles as teachers and learners. Communities of practice offer a support system for teachers to reflect, share, and learn together. A formalized community of practice can intentionally create the time and opportunities for instructors to grow. This presentation will provide best practices and proven approaches for selecting, implementing, and assessing professional development opportunities for instruction librarians.   The Monroe Library’s Teaching and Learning Team at Loyola University New Orleans engages in professional development for instruction librarians. Since engaging in shared development activities, library instruction has improved in quantity and quality. Development for librarians was formalized through the creation of an information literacy plan. Professional development opportunities have now expanded to include teaching faculty from outside of the library through programming for the Center for Faculty Innovation. In addition to examples from the presenters’ experience and from the field, attendees will be encouraged to share their approaches for fostering a community of practice.


"We Didn't Start The Fire": how Billy Joel's song can motivate student learning and deeper engagement

Linda Lambert, Taylor University

Ruth Szpunar, DePauw University


Understanding and thinking critically about the past informs our interpretation of current events. Active learning activities help students to engage in meaningful learning.  This session will apply Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences by integrating Billy Joel's song "We Didn't Start The Fire"  into an active learning session which employs multimedia and provide participants with a hands-on experience. As part of this session we will create a time line using the events between the years, 1949-1989. The aims of this exercise are to encourage students to probe more deeply into the historical and ethical issues mentioned in the song and to engage in the learning process in a personal way.   We will also discuss other lesson plan options and assignments that require students to use periodical databases to locate and evaluate information in conjunction with the exercise.


Engaging Students in the Learning Process using Learner-Centered Instruction

Kerry Creelman, University of Houston


Whether you teach one-shot information literacy sessions or semester-long courses, student engagement can be a challenge to maintain. Using learned-centered teaching strategies creates an environment where students can take ownership of their learning experience. Learner-centered instruction allows for active learning and meets the needs of diverse learners with variant learning styles.   Participants in this session will learn the principles of learner-centered teaching, reflect on its application and impact on the student learning experience, and collaborate to develop learner-centered approaches to a specific instruction scenario. The session itself will be learner-centered, encouraging participants to actively engage in their learning experience and providing an example of the teaching strategy in action.   Learning Outcomes:   By the end of the session, participants will understand the principles and value of learner-centered teaching in order to reach students with diverse learning styles and develop practical strategies for implementing learner-centered instruction methods in order to enhance student engagement and learning.


How an online information literacy tutorial can improve student learning outcomes and strengthen faculty partnerships

Laurie McGowan, University of Notre Dame

Sherri Jones, University of Notre Dame

Leslie Morgan, University of Notre Dame

Elizabeth Van Jacob, University of Notre Dame


Notre Dame is a traditional campus without an established online learning program.  The library Learning and Assessment Team wanted to advance the concept of Information Literacy as a multi-pronged approach, including an online tutorial.  We anticipated some faculty resistance.  To our surprise, the tutorial and all elements of the information literacy program have been not only accepted, but heartily embraced by the First Year of Studies Division.  Student learning outcomes are improved and our collaborative relationships with Writing & Rhetoric faculty have been strengthened in ways that we never imagined.  Our presentation will relate the story of our journey from presenting our idea to the First Year faculty to being invited to participate in a training program for new Writing & Rhetoric faculty.  

Assessment – At the end of this session, participants will be able to  

• Recognize online quizzes as tools to help students develop metacognitive skills and activate prior learning.    

• Describe how student blogs can be implemented for meaningful assessment.

Collaboration – At the end of this session, participants will be able to   

• increase stakeholder buy-in by requesting their help in the development process 

Pedagogical theory and practice – At the end of this session, participants will be able to 

• Relate how to use an online tutorial to “flip the classroom”.   

• Make information literacy instruction more self-directed and effective by assigning the tutorial before students attend formal library instruction.  

Teaching with technology – At the end of this session, participants will be able to 

• Leverage the power of Web 2.0 technology to focus learning on authentic tasks, enrich demonstrations, and empower students to recognize and gauge the information management skills they need to be lifelong learners.


Giving Voice to Government Information: Changing Instructional Practice to Incorporate Governmental Resources

Kathy Karn Carmichael, University of South Carolina Aiken

Kari D. Weaver, University of South Carolina Aiken


Instruction librarians spend many hours teaching students to distinguish between scholarly and non-scholarly publications. However, the clear differentiations between scholarly and non-scholarly materials fail to accurately depict the complexity of the research landscape. This issue is particularly relevant in the realm of government information. Though, in most instances, government information is authoritative and reliable, it is often overlooked by both students and teaching faculty as an information source because, in the strictest of terms, it cannot be defined as scholarly. Furthermore, librarians may be unfamiliar with, uncomfortable navigating the materials or feel they have no time to teach government information. / As instruction librarians, our primary goal is to provide library users with the necessary skills and tools to access all needed information. Therefore, we should stop silencing government information by learning to incorporate a wide variety of materials available through local, state and federal institutions. In order to effectively achieve this, librarians must examine both their instructional design process and the framework for source evaluation they utilize in information literacy instruction. Government information must be subject to the same scrutiny as any other information sources because it covers factual, verifiable information as well as opinion or ideological philosophies. By adapting our practice to integrate government information into active learning pedagogies and through reframing source evaluation, librarians will be able to move toward more complex discussions of information sources while still working within the constraints of one-shot instruction. This presentation will introduce the instructional design strategies and source evaluation techniques that will allow librarians to inform their teaching practice regarding government information.   

Learning outcomes:   

1.    Attendees will explore methods of information literacy instructional design that expressly incorporate government information.

2.    Attendees will examine source evaluation techniques which redefine criteria to include government information.


Engaging Students with Visual Literacy: providing the framework and materials for actively engaged teachers and learners
Emilee Mathews, Indiana University Bloomington


In January 2012, ACRL published its Visual Literacy Standards, based on their Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education from 2000. These visual literacy standards address best practices in the retrieval, analysis, and use of visual media, an increasingly important information format. However, while information literacy has become essential to teaching and learning in the library, visual literacy is still in the process of being integrated.  In this breakout session, I will help to bridge this gap by training the audience in visual literacy standards and their implementation in the classroom. Using pedagogical theory to structure the learning activities, I will teach the audience how to communicate visual literacy learning outcomes by demonstrating their connection to lesson plans and learning activities. Thus, the audience will not only become aware of  the basic tenets of visual literacy, but also receive hands-on training.  My teaching style embraces loud, chaotic modes of learning that incorporate diverse learning styles. Furthermore, I use engaging subject matter for visual analysis that invites surprise, humor, and interest from learners. My overarching goal for this session is to help other information professionals use their unique, personal interests to inspire course content and foster deeper discussion and greater takeaway for all parties concerned.


Easing the Intimidation: Decreasing Library Anxiety with Instruction

Latrice Booker, Indiana University Northwest

Scott Sandberg, Indiana University Northwest


Many different theories exist regarding how much content should be taught during library instruction. “Less is more” is a common phrase; however, some librarians feel they have one shot to teach students all they need to know. How much information should we teach in library instruction? The instruction librarians at Indiana University Northwest all received comments on evaluations that too much content was covered while teaching information literacy instruction sessions to Freshman English courses. The question arose: will students have more anxiety for the library if more content is taught during a session? This presentation will discuss the relationship between library anxiety and the amount of information covered in library instruction amongst entry-level students. In addition, the audience will engage in thinking and discussing how to balance quantity with quality of content in library instruction in order to help students avoid library anxiety.


Designing with learners in mind: Utilizing Universal Design for Learning Principles in Library Instruction

Christina C. Wray, Indiana University Bloomington


Universal Design for learning is an instructional design framework that promotes inclusive classrooms and environments where multiple learners at multiple levels are learning together in a general education setting.  The fundamental idea of universal design is that you can teach material in a way that is accessible to ALL learners instead of being designed for a specific ability level.  The Universal Design for Learning framework takes it a step further and introduces three key concept.  When designing instruction we should:

• Provide multiple means of representation  

• Provide multiple means of expression

• Provide multiple means of Engagement.

This can be challenging at any time, but how does this translate to one shot instruction sessions? In this presentation you will learn more about the guiding principles of universal design for learning and how to transform the theory of universal design into practical application that can be incorporated into your library instruction sessions.


Professional Development in Instructional Design: A Layered Approach

Brian Leaf, Ohio State University

Karen Diaz, Ohio State University


Librarians from the Teaching & Learning Unit at The Ohio State University developed a preliminary model to educate colleagues on instructional design. Rather than follow the traditional didactic format with outcomes that are easy to state but harder to track, they wanted to engage colleagues in a model that would have lasting and measurable effects on teaching in the libraries. What resulted was a mini-series that layered instructional design principles, action research, a learning community, and a unique documentation scheme. Action research is a formal process meant to help educators strengthen their own teaching through data collection and analysis. In a pilot that took place in the Spring 2012 quarter, formal documentation strategies were adapted and provided to participants to encourage action research, which would later be shared in a facilitated small group setting.  The presenters evaluated the format itself to develop a model for professional development that can expand beyond the pilot as well as provide data for their own action research as facilitators. They will share the outcomes of the initial pilot, how it impacted its evolution as a professional development program, and what it taught participants about their own teaching practices. They will elaborate on why they did this, how they did this and what they learned from it.   Session outcomes:

1.       Learn a unique model for professional development on instructional design  

2.       Learn how this model impacted participants in the pilot.  

3.       Learn ways of incorporating action research into their own practice