What is your name? Where are you in the field currently? What has been your teaching experience thus far?
I’m Claire Powell, and I’m an Instructional Design Librarian currently working at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, FL. My role at Ringling is primarily an instructional role, but I have worked in the past in a number of different positions that included instructional facets both as a solo Campus Librarian and as an Adult Services Librarian in a public library. To date, I’ve held over 350 instructional, library-focused sessions throughout my career as a library professional. Teaching, for me, follows a user-centered approach, and I try to incorporate active learning strategies, information literacy, and a little entertainment in everything I do.
What is/was the name of the institution and the position that you were in when you wrote and gave this lesson plan? What is the context of the lesson plan you wrote – who was the audience, were there specific learning objectives that you had to work with, or were you able to write your own, etc?
This lesson plan was conceived and created in my current position at Ringling College of Art and Design. In early 2018, I was approached by an instructor in our Interior Design department who wanted a library partnership within her evidence-based design class. Initially, this partnership revolved around students creating a children’s library for a final project and the class wanted our professional insight. Through collaboration, we ended up identifying the need for an information literacy-based library instruction session for her students. I had never worked with this specific department in the past, and I thought this could be a good opportunity to try out some active learning strategies that I had been working on. We only had about 8 students in the course, so an active learning approach would be relatively easy to facilitate.
Through discussions with the instructor, we landed on the information literacy frames “research as process” and “information has value” to steer our learning objectives for the instructional session. Specifically, we wanted students to understand synthesizing information into a final product and attributing the work of others in their own creative processes.
The instructional session started with the difference between data and information gathering and research to tackle the synthesizing aspects of the learning objectives. It then moved into a demonstration and overview of helpful library resources specific to the Interior Design discipline.
The final and main part of the lesson plan included an activity that incorporated all aspects of the instructional session. Students broke up into two groups and were given design scenarios which I created with feedback from the instructor. The scenarios were as follows:
- A school system is wanting you to design a classroom space that is inclusive for children that have ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). They want a space that not only meets the needs of their general education students and ASD students, but also a space that allows teachers and teacher aides to effectively manage their classroom and carry out tasks.
- A corporation is wanting you to design a floor of their office building that incites physical activity of its employees while at work. They want a space that not only offers outlets for physical activity but also a space designed to encourage employees to pursue physical activity.
Students were then asked to research the evidence they would need to fulfill these design scenarios while recording their findings and research process on a research map that I provided. We later used these research maps as an assessment tool to identify acceptable evidence that the learning objectives of the session were met. They were also prompted to cite especially helpful evidence on post-it notes provided at the beginning of the activity.
After giving students the opportunity to research, we moved on to the second part of the activity where students shared their findings. Students were prompted in this discussion to share where they went to find evidence, what evidence they found, and any surprising information they came across. This led into a very insightful discussion among students about their own experiences with these types of interiors as well as recommendations for their classmates of additional research that might come into play.
The final part of the activity was the culmination of the student’s research and newfound knowledge of the information literacy frames. Students were asked to use the evidence gathered in their research to sketch out a floor plan of their design scenario space on a large, tear-away sheet. As they were creating their floor plan, they were required to place the post-it notes of helpful evidence next to design details that corresponded to their research. This allowed students to clearly visualize how their research fit in to their design process while also giving attribution to the sources that influenced their final product.
Were there any resources you used in the creation of the lesson plan? What were they?
When creating this lesson plan, I definitely utilized the ACRL Information Literacy Framework. I also used the Understanding by Design Framework by Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins to focus my lesson plan, identify assessment opportunities, and make sure I was purposeful regarding the activities I was incorporating.
How was the plan received? Would you make any changes if you had to repeat it in the future?
The lesson plan was very well received by the students and the instructor and it led to many more opportunities with that particular class. After carrying out the instruction session, students from the class were coming to us with additional questions. We scheduled an additional instruction session regarding statistical data research and infographic tools, and we were even invited in to their final project critiques. The lesson plan increased our partnership with the Interior Design department on campus and also furthered our utilization of activities in our lesson plans. So far, the addition of more activities and learning experiences in our lesson plans across all of our instructional efforts has been encouraged and appreciated by faculty, and we are hoping to continue our efforts going forward.