Michael Frye, Science Librarian and Dr. Stephanie Dance-Barnes, Associate Professor and Co-Chair of the Biological Sciences department presented their paper Library and Biological Sciences: A Synergistic Partnership in September at the Georgia International Conference on Information Literacy in Savannah, Georgia. The presentation detailed the collaboration between the two in the development of and implementation of a general education science information literacy course, entitled Scientific Investigation of Diseases. The course highlights a collaborative teaching approach with an emphasis on reinforcing skills and creating experiential learning opportunities. The course not only establishes a foundation for learning how to learn but also fosters a better understanding of the basic biology behind various disease states, and an approach to applying this knowledge to their personal lives.
During the presentation, the attendees were able to see student data of both pre and post-test as well as personal statements that documented the growth in understanding how to use resources and the importance in evaluating information before accepting it as accurate. Following the presentation, a lively question and answer session provided attendees an opportunity to ask more questions, of particular interest was how the co-teaching concept implemented and how receptive were the students at the idea of two instructors in the class.
Other highlights of the conference included the keynote speaker, Dan Anderson, Professor of English at UNC-Chapel Hill. He discussed the role of teaching with technology and using the computer screen as a composing space. A variety of shorter sessions focused on changing the way in which librarians teach information literacy and new ways of engaging students, i.e. coffee breaks, fitness breaks as well as hosting student government forums.
Of particular interest was the session that focused on strategies to better prepare and support new librarians before they go into the classroom. Some of the recommendations included mentoring, shadowing, and weekly debriefings of their week.
The layout of the conference provided an opportunity to network with other librarians and faculty attending the conference as well as time to enjoy the sights and cuisine of the low country.
Author: Michael Frye