On Wednesday, December 16 Sarah Jeong, Kyle Denlinger, Amanda Foster, Meghan Webb, and Joy Gambill traveled to beautiful UNC-Chapel Hill to attend NC-LITe, the twice-annual mini-conference loosely focused on instructional technology in libraries. NC-LITe is always an awesome conference and this was no exception! Our day began in the Undergraduate Library where we checked in and spent time informally meeting and greeting colleagues from 15 institutions across the state. After the check-in, we made our way over to the historic Wilson Library where the program began in earnest.

The beauty of NCLITe is its small size and each time we meet, we begin with a check-in to hear what is happening at each institution represented. These updates are always interesting and it is where we learn things such as which campus has a new library dean (WFU!) and the fact that Canvas is being launched as the Learning Management System for several NC institutions.

After hearing updates from each campus, Jonathan McMichael (UNC-CH Undergraduate Experience Librarian) led a design thinking activity (based on Stanford d.school’s method). The design thinking process is unique in that it focuses on needfinding, understanding and empathy first, and then the designer and user work together to define, ideate, prototype and test solutions. Also, one of the fundamental concepts at the core of this process is a bias towards action and creation: by creating and testing something, you can continue to learn and improve upon your initial ideas.

One of the highlights of the day was touring one of UNC’s newest (and by that I mean re-modeled) active-learning classrooms. The classroom use to be a 150-seat lecture hall. It was transformed into an active learning space (seen below) that featured around 100 rolling Steelcase “Node” desks and several projection screens.

The classroom was inspiring, to say the least. We had some definite classroom envy. Naturally, there is a high demand from instructors to use the classroom. Instructors must apply to use the room and show that they have plans to use the room for active-learning. which has challenged instructors who teach sections with 100+ students to re-think their teaching. Overall, its first semester has been a success and almost all the instructors asked to teach in the classroom again.

If the library gets another instruction classroom, I (Amanda) think we could definitely use some of the ideas featured here for ourselves. It definitely inspired us to think creatively!

Image Credit: UNC Center For Faculty Excellence – Interactive Classrooms at UNC-CH

After the classroom tour, we heard four lightning round talks including two from our own Sarah and Kyle! Kyle taught us how to use Voice Thread.

Sarah talked about her 2015 Summer Technology Exploration Grant from Wake Forest University Provost’s Office, that she used to convert a lecture-based course, LIB 220 Science Research Sources and Strategies, into a learnerĀ­-centered, flipped course. Her talk highlighted the redesign process to incorporate student reflections using Blogger as a core component of the course to enhance metacognition in learning outcomes.

After the wonderful lightning talks, we went to lunch on Franklin Street and spent more time catching up with NCLITe colleagues. Please note that this post was a collaborative effort by Meghan, Sarah, Kyle, Amanda, and Joy!