Thanks to colleague Miriam Rigby for pointing out this article in In the Library With the Lead Pipe, by Eric Frierson. Frierson discusses learning theory (including Piaget!) in an accessible, realistic, down-to-earth way that’s sadly kind of rare. And he has good ideas for teaching better IL classes to undergraduates.
Modeling instructional activities after the way people learn is vital for making learning experiences that ‘stick.’ Typical library instruction involves copious amounts of “click here, then click here, and once you’re there, click here.” There’s little discovery or invention of core information literacy concepts. Students are told how to use information resources, told how to use citation styles, and told the consequences of unethical use of information. How can we make discovery of information literacy concepts more… scientific? Can students invent information literacy concepts on their own, given a scenario and a librarian as a guide?
I mostly teach graduate courses, and I’m leery of trying some of the ideas suggested here for working with undergrads (role play, scenario setting, etc.)…but maybe I shouldn’t be?