Opening Plenary: Changing Learning, Changing Roles: Collaboration at Every Angle

by Patricia Iannuzzi (University of Nevada Las Vegas)
We as librarians are campus leaders, we are generalists and should be proud of if, we understand the connections between disciplines and are strong collaborators.  The agenda for the session is first to talk about the Berkeley/Mellon project, then to talk about campus collaboration models then a little about librarians as campus leaders.

The Mellon library/faculty collaboration project at Berkeley is about a culture shift on campus and within the library, from a strong faculty governance, a highly entrepreneurial culture.  The library culture is a research-based culture, collection centric with the library as yet another campus silo.  Collections are at the centre with circ, reference, ILL, doc delivery and reserves as spokes from the collections hub.  But there is a different model with the user at the centre, with collections, access, instruction and content creation as the spokes.  “Patti’s Model” sees a flow from collections connecting to users with the connection being through access, content creation, instruction and consultation.  There is a shift from a collections model to a connections model, it is our responsibility as librarians to connect our collections to our users, not just building th10 them not to be used.  This reflects a shift in higher education, see the Boyer commission report and the 10 principles about teaching and learning strategies.

The library role in higher ed: from centre of campus to centre of student learning, scale instruction from working with small classes to whole institution by working with faculty to get IL concepts into the curriculum.  It is less about teaching students than it is about teaching faculty to do our work for us, to work with them in course and assignment design.  Some a/v quotes from faculty (go to Berkeley/Mellon project web site for more videos).  Law faculty member: bring ugrad research into course, get critical thinking at the beginning of the research process.  A faculty fellow said ugrads should do research but that they need training, that they are not automatically good at it.  Where do they learn it, who should teach it.  Who is responsible for this learning?

Some partnership models: The pre-Mellon model: students related to the instuctor with the library, IT, teaching centre on the side.  The objectives are to support a community of faculty serving as change agents.  Collaboration for campus partnerships, for research based learning, a scalable and sustainable model.  They got a pilot project grant to strengthen research-based learning, to place library collections at the heart of courses through assignment design in large gateway courses.  Target early adopters in faculty who are willing to give up a bit of ownership of their courses and they will influence other faculty, create  habits of collaboration.  To get progress, you need to get the admin on board to get resources and committement, get the faculty of large enrollment courses on board, give them a stipend to encourage partnership, to profs as well as their depts.  The new model is to get faculty researchers to encourage ugrad researchers, get faculty to pose questions and the ugrads to select among the questions, to learn the methodology that the profs model and to be directed towards the right sources.

A quote from a prof in ethnic studies: students are more likely to question the profs research and the research presented in class if they have their own experience of doing research.

Expand ownership of courses beyond just instructors to IT, teaching centre, librarians and others.  Some partnership models include one where the instuctor and TA are at the centre and the teaching centre, librarians, student services, and IT are the spokes.  Another is a more linear model with IT feeding into instructor/ta feeding into library.  Another is teaching centre -> ins/ta -> lib.  Another is ins/ta at the centre with gen ed, teaching centre, ugrad research as spokes.  After the pilot project, sometimes gaculty get lots of conflicting advice, lots of redundant & overlapping expertise on assignment design, instructional tech, content management, learning strategies, course design.  A proposed team model is the course at the centre with instructors, design, online learning, IT, content management, student support as the spokes.  collaboration must happen at various levels in the org, not just at the line level but at dean level too, you want to influence dept chairs.  Objective is to create a sustainable and scalable model.

At University of Nevada Las Vegas, librarians need to engage issues on campus, how can we help these issues resolve, such as student engagement, environmental literacy, service learning, civic engagement, active learning, critical thinking: we need to speak the language, get involved in professional associations and societies.  So, we need to step up to leadership roles, on campus and beyond, to speak at conferences of non-librarians, create a committee of culture of teaching and learning at our institutions.  Librarians need to recognize the things that make us special.

Posted by John Dupuis

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