MACMLA 2016: Leading from the Library, Anne-Marie Deitering

In a unusual twist, MACMLA started the conference with a presentation from a undergraduate-focused librarian with expertise in qualitative research. I found her exploration of learning as a performance vs learning as mastery a great way to frame different motivations present in our students.

Here are some key notes from the talk

  • To lead is to acknowledge what you don’t know
  • Students don’t always know that, when they don’t know things, it’s going to be okay
  • Case example of having students research exploding head syndrome – is it real or not?
    • Students reviewed a tabloid and determined exploding head syndrome was not real, but the journal article in Headache did identify it as real
  • She made them acknowledge what they don’t know, old mental models don’t work = ideal opportunity to learn meaningfully
  • Our students know “how to do school” so telling them they don’t know can be a threat to their identity
  • Importance of Stupidity in Scientific Research http://jcs.biologists.org/content/121/11/1771
  • Mastery goal orientation vs Performance learning (my goal is to know what you want me to do and do it right)
    • Mastery goal orientation matches to almost all indicators of academic success, except for grades
  • What do you really need to know how to do?
    • Check a facet box (ex: peer-reviewed) OR that scholars do research, they write original articles, etc.
  • Which tips, tools, shortcuts do we really need? Which ones support authentic learning vs performance?
    • PICO is a mix of both. User has to generate an answer, but not all topics fit this structure
  • We are the only people in our institutions with the worldview of campus, so we don’t need to always justify who we are and how we are just like departmental faculty. Instead, our unique perspective is needed and a voice not otherwise represented.
  • Everyday information literacy
  • Feedback is key
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