Mind-bubbling, “Mind-blowing”

Bubbles

My mind is bubbling from reading Eveline Houtman’s thoroughly enjoyable article, “Mind-blowing”: fostering self-regulated learning in information literacy instruction, in Communications in Information Literacy 9(1).  This post shares a few thought-bubbles.

My own teaching of research skills has (so far) been one-to-one.  If classes ever appear in my path, I am eager to apply some of the successful strategies I read about.  I picked up a few ideas from Houtman’s sharing of what worked and did not for her classes.  As an unschooler, I see self-regulation as the soul of learning, so it is encouraging to find librarians trying to nurture it.

At the same time, in the current climate, I started wondering whether/how those ideas might be incorporated into online delivery of research skills training/education.

Reflect for self-regulation

One big take-away from this article is the value Houtman found from wrapping* her classes in reflective activities to harness ‘why?’ and ‘so what?’ for self-regulated learning.  Discussing with others why getting started is or isn’t hardest for us may be engaging in a class setting, but can similar effects be generated by an activity within an online tutorial (which is usually taken solo)?

  • Agree/disagree could be polled
  • Rather than a poll for ‘why’ perhaps an open answer could be followed up with a summary of other (earlier) students’ responses.

The first class “Getting Started” of Houtman’s series seems to have the most positive impact from its reflective wrapping activity.  Yet as Houtman recognised, class content (Kulthau’s model of information search process) specifically includes recognition of feelings throughout the process and thus extends emotive reflection throughout.  Is there any way one might include an interactive emotion-exploring element within a library’s online tutorial?

Design for purpose**

Feeling that the reflective wrapper for her Finding Scholarly Sources class appeared to fall flat, Houtman wondered if it was “a case of too much reflection”. Perhaps. Or, I wonder if the end-of-class exercise “go back to opening scenario and reflect on what you would now do differently” is constructive given that a search involves a spiralling process of doing things differently.

Unfortunately, I am uncertain of role of the scenario and end-task for the purpose of the class.  What do students need to do differently? Why a scenario that posits a last-minute rush to find scholarly sources? Documenting one’s search process seems to have been this class’ self-regulation activity. Would it help for students to once again identify how they *feel* during the process?

Sources, for courses, or purposes?

Houtman seemed dissatisfied with the impact of reflection activities in both classes about sources.  Is there perhaps a conflict between what students must do for assignments, and what might be most productive for development of their critical thinking? Wiser librarians than I have explored that theme.  When Houtman mentioned students seeming unaware that critical thinking is an “overarching goal” for their study, I thought “Show me the money”.

Half-way through the article I was bubbling with intent to comment that the answer might arise through focusing on context.  Houtman was on to that by the end of the article (based on observing students being more engaged when discussing the idea of context). I hope to see a future article sharing how she reworked the classes.

Online resources vary in their approach to teaching about sources–from pushing ‘scholarly’ to exploring context & purpose. Is that contrast accurate? Would it be possible to compare student engagement and learning resulting from otherwise equivalent tutorials that take such different approaches?

What you call it matters

Houtman noted that graduates were attracted to her workshop series when it was titled “Essential Research Skills” instead of “Core Library Skills” (and not advertised as pitched to undergraduates).  Graduates’ presence was noted to have affected the dynamic of classes. Yet Houtman did not characterise that effect, which led her team to consider separating audiences for future series.  I also wonder whether students from different levels offered different feedback, particularly as to the relevance and pitch of the classes.

Spoilers:

*Houtman eventually sees reflection as more central than wrapping.
**I love that Houtman’s concludes with intent to clarify the purpose of her classes and “be more explicit about the ‘so what'”.

Girl blowing bubbles" by Taken byfir0002 | flagstaffotos.com.au. Licensed under GFDL 1.2 via Wikimedia Commons
Girl blowing bubbles” by fir0002 | flagstaffotos.com.au. Licensed under GFDL 1.2 via Wikimedia Commons

Activities in online resources to model self-regulated learning

Results from a rough search show early interest in how activities to model self-regulated learning could be incorporated into online resources. Loch and McLoughlin (2011) seemed to be talking (hypothetically) about incorporating the activities within screencasts. Rowe and Rafferty (2013) looked at post-viewing quizzes in the LMS.

But as yet no post-implementation testing.  Points of curiosity: can activities be added for positive impact, without irritating students?

Those readings:

Loch, B., & McLoughlin, C. (2011). An instructional design model for screencasting: Engaging students in self-regulated learning. Changing Demands, Changing Directions. Proceedings Ascilite Hobart, 816–821.
Rowe, F. A., & Rafferty, J. A. (2013). Instructional design interventions for supporting self-regulated learning: enhancing academic outcomes in postsecondary e-learning environments. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 9(4), 590–601.

DIY desktop icons with IrfanView #blogjune

Will he earn a place on my toolbar?

Three of my custom desktop icons and IrfanViewNo fuss, no bother,

IrfanView quickly converts my .jpg images to .ico ; giving me visually meaningful desktop icons.

Recently I became interested in customising my desktop icons. Specifically (so far): shortcuts to webpages which otherwise would, by default, show the browser’s icon. Regular readers may recall that Mr 17 helpfully photoshopped two creative commons images into one; and that it was only after much fuss I found an online converter to achieve an .ico file.

… and more (later)…

Apparently IrfanView is capable of tons more than this little thing I needed.  It will come in handy:

  • when I have time to learn more about optimising (beyond cropping and resizing images with Paint to 500px or less before uploading)
  • or for working with layers (see if I can stretch beyond the gimp tutorials with which I made a couple of textures for SecondLife).
also creates slideshows and more
Find out more and download at IrfanView

How simple?

For future reference, with IrfanView icons are a simple matter of:

File Save Picture As
File, Save Picture As, .ico

Thanks Irfan.

Will he earn a place on my toolbar?
Will he earn a place on my toolbar?

How to Auto-share WordPress blogposts to Google+ and Facebook = Jetpack

Specifically: Publicize

Screenshot of Jetpack features in WordPress Dashboard
Screenshot of Jetpack features in WordPress Dashboard

Efficiency regained

Since shifting from my old moonflowerdragon blog at blogspot to my own hosted WordPress site, and making a second Twitter account, my link to auto-share to Facebook broke.  I had also long ago failed to find a way to auto-post to Google+.  But apparently I can now do the latter, and Facebook direct, via the Jetpack suite.

I am not sure how it will work given that unchecked all the boxes that would otherwise have let the app see who was in my circles, or friends list.  Why would the app need to know that?

Thanks Jetpack Support

Publicize from WordPress with Jetpack

Take the Wikipedia Adventure? #newCardigans

Listen to Wikipedia

your mission, should you choose to accept it…

#newCardigans, colleagues, friends, family… is to take the Wikipedia Adventure.

Start the Wikipedia Adventure, learn to edit in under an hour
Start the Wikipedia Adventure, a guided journey through editing Wikipedia

Even if you’ve already started editing Wikipedia, I’m curious whether you think the Adventure is something you’d recommend?  I’ve edited in minor ways a few times since 2012, so I still have a lot to learn and did even within the first mission.

Screenshot celebrating my first mission success and invitation to Mission 2
Screenshot of progress to Mission 2

Please comment if/when you have started/completed one of the missions (either below, or on my User talk page).

What journey brought you here?

Do you remember we talked about how the journey is as/more important than the destination?

My journey to this post:

A long-term interest in Wikipedia(+)Libraries

From Google calendar reminder to email something or other

where I was reminded that the Wikipedia Library is looking for volunteers

Wikipedia Library Calls for Volunteers
Learning what Wikipedia Library volunteers do

wondering about current coordinators

starting with Ocaasi, where I found the Adventure

undertook a mission, became excited, started to share

and after many, many diversions* over the last four hours,

finally, finish this post with a recommendation that you:

Listen to Wikipedia

Live, or here is a snippet:

*please ask me about them.

Listen to Wikipedia