Using Canvas Commons to Transform Information Literacy Instruction

Using Canvas Commons to Transform Information Literacy Instruction

Katherine Farmer, Jeff Henry, Dana Statton Thompson, Candace K. Vance, Megan Wilson
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-6449-3.ch012
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As more courses are offered online, many academic librarians need to determine how to teach information literacy in a virtual environment. Starting in the Summer of 2019, a team of five librarians embarked on transforming their instruction offerings through the use of Canvas Commons. The librarians wanted to deliver online information literacy content by creating downloadable library instructional modules based on curriculum mapping at the programmatic level. The need to reconsider these practices was further exacerbated by the impact of COVID-19 on higher education. When the university moved all courses online in the Spring of 2020 due to COVID-19, the team was able to quickly pivot and offer library instruction through Canvas Commons modules, replacing face-to-face instruction. In this chapter, the authors describe the implementation of information literacy modules on campus, lessons learned, and future plans for the project in light of the pandemic.
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As higher education offers more courses online, addressing online learners’ information literacy needs has become necessary in the development and revision of library instruction programs. To accomplish this goal, instruction librarians need to explore and use varying modalities of instruction to meet the information literacy needs of all students, as traditional students take online courses more frequently and distance learning programs transition from mail-in correspondence to completely online instruction. Starting in the Summer of 2019, a team of five librarians at [Institutional Name] embarked on transforming their library instruction offerings through the use of Canvas Commons, the learning object repository for Canvas Learning Management System, to create library instruction modules for two required undergraduate courses. The librarians developed and implemented new components to their information literacy program using curriculum mapping, the Quality Matters© (QM) Higher Education Rubric, ADA accessibility best practices, and assessment methods. Creating the library instruction modules became increasingly integral to the library's operations in light of the changes to higher education due to coronavirus disease 2019, also known as COVID-19, in the Spring of 2020.

When the university moved all Spring courses online due to COVID-19, the team was able to quickly pivot and offer library instruction originally scheduled for face-to-face encounters as Canvas Commons modules that professors could download and add to their courses. COVID-19, the shift to online learning in the Spring of 2020, and the focus on Hy-flex learning in Fall 2020 have created a need to expand this initiative. The objectives of this chapter are to describe the university’s pilot year implementing Canvas Commons information literacy modules on campus with necessary alterations due to COVID-19, to report on lessons learned, and to outline future plans for the project.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Blended Learning: A mixture of online and face-to-face instruction.

Babysitting Sessions: A term used for sessions where the instructor is out of town but does not wish to cancel class.

Synchronous Instruction: Instruction that occurs in real-time.

Asynchronous Instruction: Instruction that does not occur in real-time.

Learning Management System (LMS): An online platform that facilitates the delivery of course content.

Distance Learning: Learning that takes place for students that are not physically at a campus location.

Online Learning: Learning that takes place in an online environment.

Learning Object Repository (LOR): An online collection of learning resources that facilitates the sharing of those resources to other people.

Canvas Commons: The learning object repository of the Canvas learning management system.

Learning Module: A collection of sequential lessons and/or activities intended to teach a particular concept.

Hy-Flex Learning: A blended learning approach that provides flexibility for the student to choose how they would like to learn. Students can alter between face-to-face and online learning as they wish.

Canvas: One of many learning management systems that educational institutions can utilize to provide storage of and access to online learning materials.

Distributed Learning: Learning that can take place anytime and anywhere.

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