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Last Friday, October 29th, Lauren P., Mary Beth, and I attended the NCLA Library Instruction at the Point of Need Conference.

I attended Lauren P.’s keynote speech on “Finding Our Students at Their Point of Need.” She did a great job and discussed how higher education is changing. She mentioned the Pew Internet and American Life Project, and her review of Bloom’s taxonomy and learning theory were helpful. I agreed with her concluding comment that “It’s not about us…it’s about them.”

Next, I attended Jennifer Arnold’s presentation on “Student Reflection in Library Instruction: What They Think They’ve Learned, What They Still Don’t Know, and How to Bridge the Gap.” Reflection is an emotional and cognitive process, which attempts to get students to think critically about their research process. As a result, students slow down and process what they learned and what they still needed to know more about. The importance of reflective skills in increasing student learning has been discussed across many disciplines. Here are some highlights from her presentation:

Reflection assignment was completed in-class during the writing workshop after 2 library instruction sessions.

Guided reflection questions:

  • What is one thing you learned about library?
  • What you learned about incorporating research?
  • What have you learned about citations?


  • Correlation between evidence of critical thinking on the reflection and higher scores on their research assignment
  • Informal feedback reflection between research paper and annotated bibliography tends to improve citations

Providing substantial feedback on their demonstrated performance in research is valuable in producing learning. Reflection process is inductive (beginning w/ experience of search database) rather than deductive (beginning with textbooks and theories).


Rogers, R. R. (2001). Reflection in higher education: A concept analysis. Innovative Higher Education, 26(1), 37-57.

Quinton, S., & Smallbone, T. (2010). Feeding forward: using feedback to promote student reflection and learning-a teaching model. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 47(1), 125-135.

Ash, S. L., Clayton, P. H., & Atkinson, M. P. (2005). Integrating Reflection and Assessment to Capture and Improve Student Learning. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 11(2), 49-60.

Nutefall, J. (2004). Paper Trail: one method of information literacy assessment. Research Strategies 20(1/2), 89-98.

I also attended Jenny Dale and Amy Harris’ presentation on “Just-in-time Assessment: Maximizing the Effectiveness of Course-Integrated Library Instruction.” Just-in-time Assessment is based on Just-in-time Teaching, which is about creating a student-centered environment and improving faculty-student interaction and content mastery. It is a type of formative assessment, and they have used polling in LibGuides to teach about website evaluation and the differences between a popular and scholarly article. They’ve also used Poll Everywhere, which is free and easy to embed in LibGuides. They also shared other methods for active learning and assessment, which include matching keywords with research questions and a citation exercise where students put parts of a citation in order.

Last, Mary Beth and I gave a presentation on “Lessons Learned: Developing an Information Literacy Course for Science Majors and Pre-Med Students.” We provided an overview of LIB220, which incorporated the ACRL Information Literacy Standards for Science & Technology. We also highlighted the course goals and topics, which include the organization of scientific information, peer review process, scientific resources and databases, Endnote and Zotero, Open Access literature in the sciences, research ethics and IRB, and copyright and plagiarism. Types of formative assessments and summative assessments used in LIB220 were also highlighted, including a Nobel Prize winner Journals Assignment, finding relevant secondary and primary sources, and group presentations. In addition, each of us shared lessons learned through teaching LIB220, and I have found it rewarding when students apply the research strategies that they learned not only for LIB220 assignments but also for lab reports in their other science courses and future research. I also believe that since LIB220 students will become future scientific researchers and medical professionals, teaching research ethics at the undergraduate level is important and encourages them to start thinking about how to conduct research on human subjects ethically.

NCLA Library Instruction at the Point of Need Conference

Overall, it was a great conference, and it was great to reconnect with other colleagues from N.C.