CO –Collaboration Strategies
ET – Constructivism and Behaviorism
ET – Flipped Classroom, Blended Learning
Fogleman, J. , Niedbala, M. , & Bedell, F. (2013). Writing and publishing in a blended learning environment to develop students’ scholarly digital ethos. Behavioral & Social Sciences Librarian, 32(2), 71-85. doi: 10.1080/01639269.2013.787251
This article describes a blended learning course designed to improve the scholarly research and writing skills of freshmen college students. The authors describe the “millennial” students as having favoring speed of results over quality when it comes to online research. The course was designed to foster a more thoughtful, academic approach to information retrieval. Faculty and the school librarian collaborated on a course that emphasized the following core instructional strategies in its learning environment:
- Project-based learning
- Blended online and face-to-face learning
- Scaffolding toward more complex cognitive tasks
- Writing to learn
- Building authentic knowledge
Over the four years that the instructors taught and developed the course, student use of
scholarly databases increased 16% and their use of commercial websites decreased by 39%. 82% of the students found the face-to-face sessions with the librarian useful, while only 38% found the online tutorials useful.
The article provides a case study of effective collaboration between teachers and librarians to improve students’ information literacy skills. The focus of the course on using both behaviorist and constructivist teaching methods helps illustrate the challenge of the blended learning model. Students in this study assessed the library sessions much higher than the online tutorials. Perhaps the face-to-face instruction allowed the librarian to be more responsive to the students’ needs. It is hard to assess the quality of the online tutorials without access to them. Even though only 38% of students found the online tutorials effective, that’s still one-third of the class who benefitted from having access to this instruction. The challenge for educators with blended learning seems to be finding the right “blend” of face-to-face instruction and self directed learning. These educators fine-tuned this course for four years before being satisfied with the results.