Analyzing the Knowledge Practices of the ACRL Framework (Part V)

Like the “Research as Inquiry” frame, the “Scholarship as Conversation” does a better job of making knowledge visible.

However, one thing I have noticed is that there’s quite a bit of overlap between various Knowledge Practices across the frames. Mapping those out to make connections, along with describing the practices as knowing in action (not just as individual cognitive skills, but as actions within a community of practice) will help streamline the instructional process, making it easier to integrate strategies for these KPs into students’ everyday academic practices.

My ultimate goal for the framework would be to make it a useful tool for classroom instructors, so that they may look at the KPs and immediately recognize how they fit into their own teaching and learning goals, and then plan activities throughout the course that seamlessly integrate and support the KPs (of course, bringing in librarian expertise and advice when needed).

Scholarship as Conversation
Knowledge Practice IL Facet Knowing in Action Instructional Strategies
Cite the contributing work of others in their own information production;

(very similar to Give credit to the original ideas of others through proper attribution and citation; Information Has Value)

Communication This is knowing in action, and should be evident in students’ research output (e.g., projects, papers) To really become an expert in this KP (and this is an important one in both the academic and “real” world), students need ongoing and consistent feedback related to citing works.  The embedded librarian plays a vital role in fostering this KP.
Contribute to scholarly conversation at an appropriate level, such as local online community, guided discussion, undergraduate research journal, conference presentation/poster session; Ways of Thinking; Communication This is knowing in action. Students should be provided with ample opportunity to participate in this KP. The library can serve as a resource for matching up students with appropriate opportunities.
Identify barriers to entering scholarly conversation via various venues; Problem Solving;

Communication

Identify potential barriers to entering scholarly conversation through participation in various scholarly venues. Explore possible solutions to overcoming identified barriers. Exposure to various venues is key. Again, the library can serve as a resource for matching up students with such venues, and encouraging them to participate.
Critically evaluate contributions made by others in participatory information environments; Ways of Thinking; Problem Solving This is knowing in action. Two words: peer reviewJ
Identify the contribution that particular articles, books, and other scholarly pieces make to disciplinary knowledge; Ways of Thinking;

Problem Solving; Communication

This is knowing in action, and should develop naturally through upper- and graduate-level coursework. Students should be exposed to the major contributions within a discipline through course-required readings, and resulting discussions.
Summarize the changes in scholarly perspective over time on a particular topic within a specific discipline; Ways of Thinking;

Communication

This is knowing in action, and should be evident in specific types of students’ research output, such as literature reviews. Again, students should be exposed to this KP through course-required readings, discussions, and assignments.
Recognize that a given scholarly work may not represent the only or even the majority perspective on the issue. Ways of Thinking;

Communication

Identify and acknowledge the spectrum of scholarly perspective on a topic through debate, discussion, and/or research output. For students, this KP represents an important transition in reasoning development, so should be introduced within the early stages of IL instruction. Informally, the library can further support this KP by providing access to diverse ideas through library programs and displays.

Analyzing the Knowledge Practices of the ACRL Framework (Part IV)

I have to say, the “Research as Inquiry” frame is much better in terms of visible knowledge than the previous frames I analyzed.

Things to think about: In order to move the knowledge practices beyond the realm of traditional learning (and cognitive) processes, we have to look at the big picture. What does the cognitive process look like in practice? Not only at the end of a class or semester, but at the end of the student’s college career. How will it be cultivated within a community of practice that includes both students and mentors (e.g., librarians, scholars)?

Research as Inquiry

Knowledge Practice

IL Facet Knowing in Action

Instructional Strategies

Formulate questions for research based on information gaps or on reexamination of existing, possibly conflicting, information; Ways of Thinking; Problem Solving; Communication This is knowing in action when students verbalize or record their research questions (not as a single exercise, but through continuous practice). Think Sheets or graphic organizers can guide students through this knowledge practice. Librarians should model the process through think alouds.
Determine an appropriate scope of investigation; Ways of Thinking; Problem Solving I think this should be combined with the KP below. See below.
Deal with complex research by breaking complex questions into simple ones, limiting the scope of investigations;

use various research methods, based on need, circumstance, and type of inquiry;

Information Technology Fluency; Ways of Thinking;

Problem Solving;

Communication

This is knowing in action, and should be evident in students’ research output (e.g., projects, papers) Scaffolding and continuous feedback, along with an emphasis on the iterative process of research, can help students successfully navigate this KP.
Monitor gathered information and assess for gaps or weaknesses; Ways of Thinking; Problem Solving Identify and fill in any gaps or missing information during the research process. This KP calls for metacognitive strategies that help students critically reflect on the big picture of research, and on their actions during that process. Think Sheets (guiding questions) and feedback are necessary strategies. And to really foster this KP, librarians should adopt a mentoring attitude (rather than a directive one).
Organize information in meaningful ways; Ways of Thinking;

Problem Solving; Communication

This is knowing in action, and should be evident in both the planning and output of a student’s research. Concept mapping and graphic organizers are just two strategies that help students visualize this process.
Synthesize ideas gathered from multiple sources; Ways of Thinking;

Communication

This is knowing in action, and should be evident in students’ research output (e.g., projects, papers). Synthesizing information is something that many students struggle with, and I think one of the best strategies is chunking the process into small bites. For example, it’s much easier to introduce this KP with a one-page or one-paragraph writing exercise, rather than waiting on the “big” assignment. Collaborating with classroom instructors is key.
Draw reasonable conclusions based on the analysis and interpretation of information. Ways of Thinking;

Problem Solving; Communication

This is knowing in action, and should be evident in students’ research output (e.g., projects, papers). Prerequisite knowledge practices are analyzing and interpreting information based on the norms of a specific discipline. This is critical literacy.