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Transforming Practice for Educational Impact

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Abstract

It cannot be disputed that the difficulty facing academic libraries in connecting Information Literacy (IL) theory and practice in the curriculum prevails as a long-standing concern.

19.1 Chapter Overview

It cannot be disputed that the difficulty facing academic libraries in connecting Information Literacy (IL) theory and practice in the curriculum prevails as a long-standing concern (Schachter, 2020; Weiner, 2012). This strongly suggests that a lack of well-articulated theoretical underpinnings for library IL practice have limited the potential for librarians to effectively facilitate the changes required to address this problem. Despite discussions in the literature exploring ways to mitigate this challenge, gaps in knowledge and understanding prevail and the problem persists as a global concern in the library sector.

This book has presented a selection of practice-based examples from Monash and La Trobe University Libraries which demonstrate how we have overcome this recognised gap and are successfully connecting the library to the curriculum. The different pedagogical models we have adopted have evoked a more explicit understanding and application of educational theory in practice to effectively guide collaborative teaching approaches for embedding IL and research skills in disciplinary content. Our conceptual models have also provided the structure and pedagogical guidance required to respond to contemporary skill areas in higher education which has kept the library relevant, as a significant and valued contributor to student learning outcomes.

In this chapter, we survey the practice-based examples and make observations in response to the following guiding questions:

  1. 1.

    What are the advantages of underpinning library teaching practice with pedagogical models?

  2. 2.

    What are the challenges of adopting pedagogical models to underpin library teaching practice?

  3. 3.

    What does this mean for student success and the educational role of the library?

This final chapter considers the practice examples from a different perspective by taking a slice across the themes in this book to explore and reflect on the questions above. To answer these questions, we applied interpretive analysis techniques informed by qualitative methods to survey the chapters (Strauss & Corbin, 1998). Repeated ideas across chapters were coded by the editorial team using NVivo 11 qualitative data analysis software. This involved grouping ideas into high-level concepts, and through an iterative process of review, the ideas and concepts identified were re-coded into related sub-categories.

The findings confirmed and extended our observations and insights. We uncover what library–faculty teaching collaborations underpinned by pedagogical models look like and the critical factors for their success. We consider what enables students’ skill development in the curriculum and what this means for the teaching identity of librarians. We also consider what this means for the library’s strategic educational role and the effectiveness of how we contribute to student success. We reflect on the ideas and insights revealed by the authors of this book, what lies in common and what differs between our library’s experience and importantly, the surprises, rewards and conditions required for libraries to navigate more purposefully into the educational space.

As outlined in Chaps. 2 and 3, our libraries have adopted two distinct models. What we have in common is that both libraries have been firmly focused on advancing the development of research and information skills in the curriculum. Furthermore, both libraries have been advocates of embedding these skills as a shared responsibility. Our combined practice examples demonstrate that the library has relevant professional skills and the expertise critical to successfully connect the library to the curriculum as a collaborative endeavour. The question of how we commenced venturing on this path is often raised in conversation with other libraries. For this reason, we describe each library’s strategy for adopting and implementing pedagogical models. For practitioners who are ready to effect change in their library or institution, our intention is, that by sharing our experience and how we started, you will gain the confidence and motivation to begin, at the individual, team or at the organisational level.

19.2 Advantages of Adopting Pedagogical Models

Of overarching significance in applying a theoretical approach to the library’s teaching practice is the benefit the models provide for enabling a shared conversation for students’ skills development. The models provide a starting point for using a language in common amongst educators. The practice-based examples demonstrate that a mutually understood language is the strongest, most effective ingredient to leverage the right conditions required for establishing effective library–faculty teaching partnerships and meaningful involvement in the curriculum. Furthermore, collaboration guided by pedagogy brings learning opportunities for library staff to build teaching capabilities that in turn contribute to the collective developmental growth of the library’s teaching practice. In this chapter, we argue that the guidance given to library staff through theoretically informed models has provided the ability to converse as educators, with educators, and transition from instructional one-shot sessions that dominate the literature to achieve what library education agendas strive to achieve—an impactful, embedded, visible contribution to student learning. Therefore, the practice-based examples applying the respective pedagogical models tell us that the learnings gained are as much about teaching practice, as they are about student learning. The following sections draw out what we have learned and discovered from applying the models. We consider the interrelationship of these findings, with a particular focus on what we need to do as library professionals in terms of understanding and developing practices to successfully connect the library to the curriculum.

19.2.1 Enabling Conversation for Collaborative Partnerships

The most frequently noted advantage identified by the authors from applying the Models of Engaged Learning and Teaching (MELT; Willison, 2017) and the Library Learning and Teaching Partnership Framework (LLTP Framework; La Trobe University Library, 2019) is how the frameworks have opened library–faculty conversations about students’ skill development, leading to collaboration with academic colleagues. Having a language in common through which to discuss students’ skill development meaningfully has been integral for overcoming barriers and perceptions of how library staff can contribute to student learning. The models have provided the basis for common understanding and are part of what needs to transpire for a trusted teaching relationship to be established between library staff and academic staff. As the practice-based examples highlight, building trusted relationships with academic colleagues is critical for creating the common ground required to forge teaching partnerships. This suggests that the pedagogical models offer a ‘missing link’ and a way to address the gap in the literature, as ‘trust’ enabled through shared conversations using a mutually understood language is the single most essential ingredient for cementing the partnership. This fundamental and beneficial outcome of applying pedagogical models results in a more impactful and collaborative library teaching practice.

Skill development expertise brought to the collaboration by the library to interdisciplinary degrees illustrates this convincingly. In the Monash environment, Castillo and Ho (see Chap. 5) describe the challenges of a new multi-disciplinary context taught by a range of discipline experts with different bodies of knowledge and pedagogical perspectives. The library’s workshops introducing the Research Skill Development (RSD) framework assisted in breaking down disciplinary barriers and creating shared understandings of what research skills look like for this interdisciplinary team of educators. From the viewpoint of the academic colleague in this partnership, the RSD framework was invaluable for enabling collaboration between the library and discipline experts (Dr. S. Ho, personal communication, 21 September 2020).

The library team provided us with a common language to unearth, articulate and bridge disciplinary domains (read silos). The language derived from the RSD framework enabled a way to approach our conversations and collaborate for education design. This became our common language for the degree. If I had to put it simply, library staff, through the RSD framework removed our disciplinary ‘blinkers’ and constraints, thereby enabling true educational collaboration to occur.

Similarly, Kananatu, Santra and Yahya (see Chap. 7) also note practical beneficial outcomes from collaborative conversation guided by the RSD framework:

The library’s expertise, not only with the framework, but also with the development of research skills per se, facilitated the redesign of the assessment, the construction of the marking rubric and started the discussion on the learning outcomes of the unit (see Chap. 7 by Kananatu, Santra and Yahya.).

The benefit of enabling teaching collaboration through conversation is supported empirically by Willison (2020) in relation to the MELT, noting that

To facilitate teacher engagement, experience and emerging evidence have demonstrated that the single most helpful factor for the successful adaptation and use of MELT is conversation. Through mature, inter-professional conversation, the MELT is defrosted and animated with the warmth of human interaction. These conversations may take place between colleagues, classroom teachers and coordinating academics, tutors at university, school and home, principals, librarians, learning advisors, and parents. Engagement, based around MELT, provides common ground and fosters discussions, collegial debate, disagreement, and ways to proceed (Willison 2020, p. 62).

Willison’s promotion of inter-professional conversation to animate the MELT as a common theoretical understanding is transferable and makes sense where theory informs collaborative IL practice. In the context of the La Trobe Model and LLTP Framework, Spain (see Chap. 4) stresses that a common language and pedagogical approach has built trust amongst educators. Spain emphasises that trust needs to be at the core of the partnership to establish common goals and for conceptualising a shared responsibility for student learning. This is reiterated by O’Hanlon and Karasmanis (see Chap. 11) whose successful collaboration in a history subject relied on the trust developed between library, teaching and educational design staff. Leveraging the modes of engagement outlined in the LLTP Framework, the authors note that collaboration was the key to ensuring that students, learning, content and teachers were connected in a way that matched a blended learning environment. Discussion of modes of learning was instrumental in establishing understandings among educators from different areas of the university. The importance of conversation based on shared theoretical understanding cannot be underestimated. Conversation leads to collaboration and collaboration relies on conversation. As noted by Spain and Mackay:

The key to the success of the approach to teaching legal research skills in ‘Legal Institutions and Methods’ is our collaboration. Our regular conversations are an illustration of how librarians and academics can work together to provide constructively aligned legal research skills into a subject (see Chap. 10 by Spain and Mackay.)

Teaching partnerships that have stood the test of time also describe the benefits of having language in common to guide the partnership (see Chap. 4 by Spain; Chap. 6 by Findlay and O’Dwyer; Chap. 7 by Kananatu, Santra and Yahya; Chap. 9 by Karasmanis and Murphy; Chap. 11 by O’Hanlon and Karasmanis; Chap. 14 by Gleeson, Junor and Mayson; Chap. 16 by Ripoli, Carey, Chong and Ondracek). All of these partnerships have kept the pedagogical models front and centre in the teaching collaboration for many years. The authors clearly value these tools because they strengthen the partnerships through collaborative conversations that have enabled the unit/subject to evolve and improve over time. Importantly, this perspective is championed by our academic colleagues as described below by Dr S. Mayson, a collaborator in the Gleeson, Junor and Mayson practice example (see Chap. 14).

This long-standing collaboration is founded on a mutual professional respect and a shared understanding of pedagogy and the research and teaching skills required to scaffold student learning. I always look forward to the beginning of each semester when I get together with library colleagues to decide what and how we are going to do with the students to set them up for the learning and assessment in the coming semester (personal communication, 10 September 2020).

In practice-based examples where collaboration has endured for more than a decade within a course (see Chap. 9 by Karasmanis and Murphy), not surprisingly there have been academic and library staff changes over time. This changing of the guard demonstrates that not only does shared understanding of pedagogy underpin sustained collaboration, but it is also a critical element of long-term continuous improvement and iterative development.

Whilst information literacy has been embedded into the Health Sciences curriculum since 2009, it is important to ensure that our ongoing curriculum conversations remain current and relevant in the Health Sciences environment. Every effort ensures that learning activities, whether tutorial classes, online modules or quizzes remain engaging, current and relevant to students (see Chap. 9 by Karasmanis and Murphy.)

However, continually refreshing shared perspectives is equally important in shorter-term collaborations. Findlay and O’Dwyer (see Chap. 6) found that being able to articulate a shared intent using the LLTP Framework not only provided a ‘creative opportunity for collaboration’, but also it ultimately led to characterising their collaboration as a learning community.

The process of collaboration between academics, educational designers, learning advisors, and librarians generated an inclusive learning community for these staff. As resources were developed, we became increasingly aware that we were exemplifying precisely the type of inclusive learning community that we wanted our students to experience (see Chap. 6 by Findlay and O’Dwyer.).

Gleeson, Junor and Mayson (see Chap. 14) from Monash University Library (MUL) emphasise that the longevity of their teaching partnership applying the RSD framework has been instrumental for articulating the educational expertise of library staff in this partnership. The authors stress the benefits the RSD framework has brought for establishing a language in common to build trust, understanding and a consistent approach in their shared teaching practice in the following insight:

The RSD framework provided us, as a diverse teaching team, with a common pedagogical perspective and mutually understood language. Anchoring our teaching approach with the RSD framework supported a way to visualise, unpack and articulate the research process to in turn communicate this skill set to students using consistent terminology (see Chap. 14 by Gleeson, Junor and Mayson.).

The outcomes we have described clearly echo the principles of collaborative leadership in educational settings (Coleman, 2012; Seashore Louis, 2007) as the practice-based examples demonstrate characteristics and behaviours associated with the domains of collaborative working where mutual trust is at the centre of the partnership. Coleman stresses the importance of trust as an antecedent for improving performance, increasing competence and confidence, reducing fear of error, encouraging growth in learning, overcoming suspicion and supporting communication. Trust initiates and facilitates deeper and more effective collaborations than would otherwise be possible as within the process of mobilising collaboration are important processes that create high functioning partnerships to affect systemic organisational change (p. 85). The practice-based examples in this book demonstrate that trust was established through the ability to converse using a language in common for student skill development as such mutual goals were established in the collaboration. This outcome increases the significance and relevance of pedagogical models for facilitating trust in library–faculty teaching partnerships and systemic change.

19.2.2 Mobilising Diverse Skills Agendas

Libraries globally are directing their attention to exploring how information research skills connect and transfer to new and emerging contemporary skills such as digital literacy (Hallam et al., 2018; Johnston, 2020; McLeod & Torres, 2020; O’Sullivan et al., 2019; Salisbury et al., 2016) and skills for work-readiness (Torres et al., 2014). The ability of the models we describe to adapt to this dynamic educational landscape shows that they can effectively guide pedagogy for diverse skill foci in higher education, particularly in cases when such tools to guide educators are lacking. For example, one of the high-level components of the LLTP Framework is digital literacies and this gives librarians scope to collaborate with teaching and learning staff to embed a full range of diverse skills related to digital and information literacies drawing on either the ILM or the La Trobe Digital Literacies Framework (see Chap. 6 by Findlay and O’Dwyer). The MELT comprises a suite of frameworks that focus on emergent skill areas. The Digital Skill Development (DSD) framework, for example (Torres et al., 2018), was created at Monash University as a collaboration between academics and library staff. This collaboration opened the opportunity to pilot the DSD in a Pathways Education unit, which is the practice-based example presented in this book (see Chap. 15 by Pilz, McLeod and Yazbeck). While the benefits of using pedagogical tools are demonstrated by ongoing teaching partnerships, developing a pedagogical framework itself as a collaborative endeavour between library and academic colleagues has resulted in a shared ownership of the artefact and the ideas it espouses. Creating a pedagogical response for digital skills following the same structure and theoretical underpinnings as the MELT also makes sense. Library staff and academics already acquainted with the MELT have a familiar frame of reference to more readily adopt and apply the tool. A pedagogical response to digital skills keeps the library agile and responsive to emergent skill agendas in higher education that keep the library insight.

MUL has also envisaged the potential of the Work Skill Development (WSD) framework (Bandaranaike & Willison, 2009, 2018; Revised by Monash University Library 2019) a way to connect the library to the employability skills agenda (see Chap. 18 Todd, Khoshsabk, Torres and Peart). With permission from the authors of the WSD framework, MUL affirmed its interest by contributing to the revised version of this framework to also incorporate cultural sensitivity and digital skills (Bandaranaike, 2018). The WSD framework has enabled MUL to contribute to Work Integrated Learning programmes with several faculties over the years. Applications of the WSD framework shared in this volume include a library-hosted internship programme (see Chap. 17 by Dewi, Kim and Jackson) and a WSD workshop for students embarking on their final placement in a fourth-year Occupational Therapy unit (see Chap. 18 by Todd, Khoshsabk, Torres and Peart).

In reference to the employability skills agenda, both the WSD framework and LLTP Framework have assisted in interpreting which skills were embedded in professional standards of practice in Health Sciences (see Chap. 16 by Ripoli, Carey, Chong and Ondracek; Chap. 18 by Todd, Khoshsabk, Torres and Peart). Ripoli et al. note:

Learning outcomes in Advanced Research Library Skills (ARLS) were taken from the Information Literacy Matrix (ILM) in the Library Learning and Teaching Partnership Framework (La Trobe University Library, 2019). The ARLS program structured students’ activities around EBP key concepts…The value of adding the ARLS program and its alignment with the internship research strategy was clear to us and it has been a success. The combination of embedding the EBP skill development and the research projects themselves has allowed students to practise skills. Furthermore, this combination has enhanced students’ professional and personal development and their potential employability (see Chap. 16 by Ripoli, Carey, Chong and Ondracek.).

In the disciplinary context of Law, the LLTP Framework enhanced the ability to draw links between IL and research skills with skills for work-ready law professionals (see Chap. 10 by Spain and Mackay). In a similar vein at MUL, Brabon, Tucker, Pulungan and Lang (see Chap. 8) found the RSD framework helped to create a bridge of understanding between the skills required in a range of professional contexts. As such, these frameworks were instrumental in drawing the connection between the skills students are learning in their coursework and the skills required in professional workplace environments. This benefit is significant as making the skills students engage with in coursework explicit, relevant and transferable to the workplace creates the mechanism for our libraries to contribute as educators to graduate learning and employability outcomes.

19.2.3 Adaptability to a Range of Learning Contexts

A frequently noted advantage is the versatility the frameworks provide in adapting to context, cohort and a range of disciplinary areas. This is evident from the breadth of disciplines library staff have been able to apply the models. For example, the RSD framework has demonstrated its flexibility to adapt to and enhance understandings of what research skills entail for Art, Architecture and Design (see Chap. 13 by Manuell) where an adapted version of the RSD framework supports skill development through visual reinforcement. Castillo and Ho (see Chap. 5) also show how adaptable the RSD framework has been for a Masters interdisciplinary degree by guiding educators to identify ‘boundary-spanning’ skills required in interdisciplinary learning and connect these skills to the research process. Kananatu, Santra and Yahya (see Chap. 7) also found the RSD framework useful for aligning legal methods of analysis and criteria for legal essay writing for an interdisciplinary unit. The LLTP Framework has effectively guided librarians to support students’ skill development in Law (see Chap. 10 by Spain and Mackay) as it has for the Health Sciences (see Chap. 16 by Ripoli, Carey, Chong and Ondracek). The frameworks have been flexible to meet the needs of a range of year levels and have equally supported undergraduate units (see Chap. 8 by Brabon, Tucker, Pulungan and Lang; Chap. 9 by Karasmanis and Murphy; Chap. 11 by O’Hanlon and Karasmanis; Chap. 13 by Manuell; Chap. 14 by Gleeson, Junor and Mayson) as Masters degrees (see Chap. 4 by Spain; Chap. 5 by Castillo and Ho; Chap. 7 by Kananatu, Santra and Yahya; Chap. 12 by Turner, Young, Freeman and Zahora). The models have supported transition to university programmes (see Chap. 6 by Findlay and O’Dwyer) digital skills for Pathway students (see Chap. 15 by Pilz, McLeod and Yazbeck) and for final year workplace experiences (see Chap. 16 Ripoli, Carey, Chong and Ondracek; Chap. 17 by Dewi, Kim and Jackson; Chap. 18 by Todd, Khoshsabk, Torres and Peart). Furthermore, the adaptability of the RSD framework to transcend cultural boundaries in Business Law in an international higher education context is described by Kananatu, Santra and Yahya (see Chap. 7). Therefore, the examples evidence the ability of the pedagogical models to adapt to content knowledge and encourage sophisticated thinking skills in both traditional and interdisciplinary contexts.

19.2.4 Embedding Skills Explicitly in the Curriculum

Embedding IL and research skills in disciplines has been a strategic aim of libraries for many years (Kranich et al., 2020). Clarifying what IL and research skills encompass and how to embed them in curriculum using models underpinned by educational theory has been transformative for our libraries. However, in order to embed skills in a disciplinary context, our libraries needed to establish clarity as to what ‘embedding’ actually means as this term, in our experience, can be misunderstood. Embedded skill development is achieved when the skills the library is contributing to student learning are ‘framed in curriculum objectives, learning outcomes and assessment criteria’ (Bundy, 2004, p. 7). This can be difficult to achieve without the guidance of a pedagogical model for skills development. Karasmanis and Murphy (see Chap. 9) state that the LTUL Model has provided a way for the library to contribute directly to intended learning outcomes in a Health Sciences unit. Brabon, Tucker, Pulungan and Lang (see Chap. 8) and Kananatu, Santra and Yahya (see Chap. 7) describe how they were able to embed research skills using the RSD framework in both Law and Business Law units, respectively. These authors also describe how they created RSD informed assessment rubrics as a product of their collaboration, demonstrating that the skills library staff teach are recognised and valued by Law educators and students alike.

Developing students’ research skills explicitly and incrementally in learning activities using the RSD framework is also described by Gleeson, Junor and Mayson (see Chap. 14), Castillo and Ho (Chap. 5) and by Brabon, Tucker, Pulungan and Lang (Chap. 8). Authors applying the LLTP Framework, frequently commented on how the frameworks provided a way to align and scaffold skills coherently as part of the curriculum design (see Chap. 4 by Spain; Chap. 10 by Spain and Mackay; Chap. 11 by O’Hanlon and Karasmanis). For example, as described by Spain and Mackay:

Using the LLTP Framework, which enables such collaboration between librarians and academics, curriculum design took place through a series of lengthy conversations to develop the approach and learning outcomes that each of us, in our different roles, saw as valuable for first-year students. Constructive alignment was achieved by designing learning activities that aligned with the research ILO and assessment, in-class instruction was in the context of the class topics, and the quizzes followed on from this instruction, providing hands-on practice and reinforcement of skills. These conversations were premised on mutual recognition of the importance of teaching these skills and each other’s valuable contribution to student learning. (see Chap. 10 by Spain and Mackay.)

O’Hanlon and Karasmanis clearly state the benefits of the LLTP Framework as a holistic way to guide teaching, embed and scaffold skills in a blended learning History unit.

The LLTP Framework was instrumental in steering educational outcomes in this subject, particularly learner engagement (critical for students of history), development of constructively aligned learning resources, student support and skill development. (see Chap. 11 by O’Hanlon and Karasmanis.)

Karasmanis and Murphy (see Chap. 9) describe how the LLTP Framework was instrumental for informing skill development in curriculum design and connecting research skills to Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) in the Health Sciences. In a similar way, Turner, Young, Freeman and Zahora (see Chap. 12) describe how the RSD framework was applied to design a series of research skill development workshops for Nursing students which also incorporated exploring EBP. Therefore, both practice examples underscore and demonstrate the effectiveness of a pedagogical model and framework for aligning research and information skills with discipline-specific methodology. These practice-based examples share the same intention; to introduce students to EBP in professional health care practice to understand the role of research evidence and the skills involved in this practice.

The pedagogical models have also enabled the library to contribute to learning outcomes and rubric design that explicitly articulate the research skills students were developing as part of their learning (see Chap. 14 by Gleeson, Junor and Mayson; Chap. 8 by Brabon, Tucker, Pulungan and Lang; Chap. 5 by Castillo and Ho). The academic colleague contributing to Kananatu, Santra and Yahya (see Chap. 7) acknowledges the expertise of library colleagues in this regard.

The expertise of library staff facilitated the redesign of the assessment, the construction of the marking rubric and started the discussion on the learning outcomes of the unit. (Thaatchaayini Kananatu, Senior Lecturer, Coordinator of Business Law & Taxation)

Brabon, Tucker, Pulungan and Lang (see Chap. 8) were able to make research skills explicit in Threshold Learning Outcomes for Law using the RSD framework and Spain (see Chap. 4) was able to achieve the same outcome also in a Law unit using the LLTP Framework. These examples from both of our libraries demonstrate the effectiveness of these conceptual pedagogical models for making IL and research skills explicit in a range of curricula to facilitate how they are understood, conceived and validated by educators as fundamental for learning, further legitimising the library’s role in their development.

19.2.5 Pedagogically Informed Learning Objects and Activities

Both pedagogical models have clearly supported a way for library staff to create theoretically informed learning activities to support students’ understanding of the skills they are developing. For example, Manuell (see Chap. 13) sought to overcome the problem of students being unable to draw links between skills and processes involved with researching as skills akin to those used in the creation of artwork, developed learning objects appropriate to the visual realm that were informed by the RSD framework. Gleeson, Junor and Mayson (see Chap. 14) also created learning objects and activities using research skill terminology that were informed by the RSD framework to enhance students’ ability to engage critically with literature in the field. The authors describe that this approach overcame a challenge they faced with this particular cohort.

One of the challenges with the cohort was to build their confidence with the skills required for research so that they could engage more insightfully and critically with Management literature as they progressed through the semester. (see Chap. 14 by Gleeson, Junor and Mayson.)

Kananatu, Santra and Yahya (see Chap. 7) identify a disconnect with the theoretical frameworks available to guide educators for the Masters of Business Law, as students undertaking this programme of study area are not Law students. Discipline frameworks designed for legal reasoning in law make sense of the law but do not encourage students to develop the research-mindedness required for Business Law. The RSD framework was applied to this unit to design learning activities to make research skills explicit to students as a way to overcome this identified pedagogical gap. The authors describe the purpose of the RSD in this unit was to

…. focus on integrating research skill development into assignments and marking rubric criteria, with the intention of constructing assignment tasks and marking rubrics that align to the RSD framework. (see Chap. 7 by Kananatu, Santra and Yahya.)

At this point, it is important to note that the MELT frameworks per se are not presented to the students in their undergraduate years. The way undergraduate cohorts engage with the MELT is through products that are created and informed by the MELT frameworks such as learning objects, tasks informed by the MELT and their corresponding rubrics and the design of the class itself. Students in their postgraduate years however benefit from referring to the autonomy descriptors in these frameworks to reflect on and chart their own learning journey in relation to their skill development.

The MELT frameworks were also useful for informing the design student skill development questionnaires and to gain feedback on learnings gained through session evaluation surveys. The questionnaires and surveys provided a way to marry the intended learning outcomes to what students perceived they gained from the library classes. The instruments explicitly included research skill terminology (Turner et al., Pilz et al., Todd et al.). Authors found that the frameworks were not only useful for designing these instruments, but that the MELT frameworks also offered an important interpretive lens through which to analyse the student questionnaires. In this way the effectiveness of the sessions was determined as well as, how students understood or were aware of the skills they were developing as a result of the sessions. The questionnaire findings provided some surprising insights. The WSD student questionnaire (Torres, Bandaranaike & Yates, 2014) adapted by Todd, Khoshsabk, Torres and Peart, for example, was designed to align and draw out work skills in the Occupational Therapy Professional Standards of Practice with the WSD. Findings showed that the WSD framework was useful for evidencing students’ skill strengths gained by fourth year, and the effectiveness of the curriculum in achieving this for a professionally accredited degree.

In another example, Turner, Young, Freeman and Zahora (see Chap. 12) surveyed students to determine the effectiveness of their three-day skill development programme for Nursing Masters students. Findings indicated that students still lacked an understanding of certain critical skills for this practitioner context such as analysis and synthesis. Turner et al. note a benefit of applying the RSD as an analytical lens:

Using the RSD framework as an analytical lens to evaluate student reflections helped us identify knowledge gaps and approaches we could address in future iterations of the program. (see Chap. 12 by Turner, Young, Freeman and Zahora.)

A great benefit of conceptual pedagogical models is their ability to provide a lens through which to identify skills in knowledge content. This process facilitates the ability to create learning objects and activities that bring the skills that students need to develop to engage with learning to the fore. The LLTP Framework’s focus on blended and online learning supports library creation, adaption and reuse of online learning objects which fits into the overall picture of embedding information and digital literacies into the curriculum. Online learning objects (see Chap. 6 by Findlay and O’Dwyer; Chap. 9 by Karasmanis and Murphy; Chap. 10 by Spain and Mackay; Chap. 11 by O’Hanlon and Karasmanis; Chap. 16 by Ripoli, Carey, Chong and Ondracek) are embedded learning activities and used as a springboard to discipline research activities and assessment tasks. Online reusable learning objects are part of creating ‘a scalable learning landscape’ (Kammerlocher et al., 2011, p. 392). and are an important vehicle for reaching all students (see Chap. 9 by Karasmanis and Murphy; Chap. 16 by Ripoli Carey, Chong and Ondracek). For students online learning objects offer self-paced learning anywhere and anytime. For academics and librarians, online learning objects can be adapted and reused across a range of discipline contexts and provide a sustainable alternative to face-to-face teaching,

One of the key advantages of the learning objects described in the LTUL practice-based examples is that they give academics flexibility and control in how they are used in Level 2 collaborations (see Chap. 3 by Salisbury and Ondracek) and in Level 1 collaborations they are used in a way that is both relevant to a discipline and subject and relevant to what academics want students to learn (see Chap. 6 by Findlay and O’Dwyer; Chap. 9 by Karasmanis and Murphy; Chap. 16 by Ripoli Carey, Chong and Ondracek). Increasingly, use and reuse of learning objects is part of a shift to open educational practice, and this is not only encouraged and promoted but also the focus of collaboration with academics (see Chap. 9 by Karasmanis and Murphy).

19.2.6 Improving Teaching Practice

With the advent of the ANZIL Standards (ANZIIL 2004), the teaching role of the librarian gained prominence. Although noted by Peacock as a ‘subtle shift in emphasis from that of librarians who teach, to librarians as teachers’ or ‘learning facilitators’, what became evident was that a ‘deeper understanding of the multiple facets of education and training’ was required by librarians (Peacock, 2001, p. 30). It is interesting that to date, much of the library literature presents examples of IL instruction describing varying degrees of integration in the curriculum. However, very little of it has discussed how to prepare librarian’s pedagogical knowledge and teaching skills to become active contributors to curricular design (Moleson and Wang 2014; Osborn, 2017; Namaganda, 2020). Research undertaken by Galoozis (2019) identifies that one-shot instructional sessions do not promote the right environment to motivate librarians to move from instructional teaching practices. In such sessions, librarians generally teach on their own, consequently, opportunities for constructive feedback from peers to facilitate enhanced teaching practices are reduced. Galoozis (2019) also notes another concerning barrier to the development of librarians as teachers in that working in teaching contexts which separate librarians from the results of their labour can also reduce their motivation to adopt new teaching practices.

This places a new level of emphasis on the role of pedagogical models for building staff capabilities and skills to improve the teaching skills of librarians and the importance of formal opportunities to reflect on and share examples of practice. As evidenced in the chapters of this book, underpinning teaching practice with pedagogical models has provided the structure for supporting collaborative teaching partnerships. Through iterative engagement and application of the pedagogical models coupled with formal opportunities to reflect and learn in practice, the confidence and motivation for library staff to adopt ‘new’ teaching practices is clearly evident in our libraries. There was a strong consensus amongst authors that the pedagogical models provided the means to move in step with current pedagogies and new teaching methodologies to improve teaching practice. For example, Spain and Mackay (see Chap. 10) note the benefits that constructive alignment brought to their teaching. O’Hanlon and Karasmanis (see Chap. 11) are also aware of this growth by reflecting:

I made gradual changes each year in order to make my teaching become more student-centred and interactive. I became more of a facilitator than a teacher, encouraging students to ask questions and think critically about the subject matter. (see Chap. 11 by O’Hanlon and Karasmanis.)

Reflections from the authors on learnings gained from using pedagogical frameworks offer some surprising outcomes, some of which may not be so readily visible or discovered without the lens provided by these pedagogical tools. This is noted by the academic colleague contributing to Pilz, McLeod and Yazbeck (see Chap. 15).

Working more closely with the library has, through the MELT frameworks, given me a vocabulary that helps clarify my own understanding of skill development and changed the way I deliver my units. I am much more aware of my assumptions about student skills when designing my units and assessment tasks.

(Dr Amber McLeod, Director Pathway Programs, Faculty of Education, Monash University.)

The guidance provided by pedagogy for theorising and reflection on praxis is also strongly evident in the chapter by O’Hanlon and Karasmanis (see Chap. 11), the authors noting the importance of theorising their teaching, to become more creative, reflective and critical professionals.

…. motivating students and developing their research skills has enabled us as educators to enhance our own skills in teaching and facilitation through collaboration and continual reflection. (see Chap. 11 by O'Hanlon and Karasmanis.)

O’Hanlon and Karasmanis continue their reflection by acknowledging that

... I have become more confident in my teaching and feel I have become better at encouraging students to develop skills and think critically and ethically, and to let their questions drive the direction of the class more. (see Chap. 11 by O’Hanlon and Karasmanis.)

Similarly, Dewi, Kim and Jackson (see Chap. 17) in their application of the WSD set autonomy benchmarks for intern students in relation to work skills for a Library Internship Programme. In doing so Host Supervisors observed that autonomy was a more nuanced and fluid phenomenon than a static ‘target’. As such, the authors gained insights into students’ skill capabilities and levels of self-reliance to inform educator and workplace expectations for the future design of internship programmes.

The WSD framework was instrumental in assisting host supervisors to identify a mismatch in how much perceived guidance the interns required from supervisors on commencement of the program, as in fact, students had the ability to perform with greater self-reliance in relation to certain skills than initially expected. (see Chap. 17 by Dewi, Kim and Jackson.)

Turner, Young, Freeman and Zahora (see Chap. 12), on applying the RSD framework, became more aware of themselves as teachers, with insights gained into the relationship between teaching techniques and how students become more autonomous in their learning. By reflecting on their teaching approach guided by the RSD framework, Turner et al. concluded that if they used research-related terms more explicitly in their teaching, that student might better understand what these skills involve, including their relevance to a researcher and nursing practitioner context. As such, Turner et al. show growth in their developmental understanding of teaching practice in particular respect to learner autonomy, as they identify that in order for students to be able to transfer their skills with greater independence to other learning contexts, students need to be aware of the skill they are developing in the first instance.

…enhancing students’ conceptualisation of what the skills of analysis and synthesis, evaluation and reflection entail, might be improved by using research-related terminology more explicitly in our teaching. This is something we will look to address in future programs. (see Chap. 12 by Turner, Young, Freeman and Zahora.)

Although the ability to make research skills and processes explicit is a recognised benefit of applying the MELT (Torres, 2018; Torres & Jansen, 2016; Willison, 2018), the authors had to ‘see’ and experience this in practice for their own developmental learning as educators to take place. Gleeson, Junor and Mayson (see Chap. 14) also reflect on their learnings as educators, noting that in applying the RSD framework to their teaching collaboration and for designing learning objects and activities, it became apparent to them that they were not only guiding students to become aware of the skills required to engage with knowledge, but in doing so they were helping students ‘learn to learn’.

We recognise that long-term partnerships to connect the library to the curriculum such as these are not always possible in higher education, however the contributing authors to this book have consistently stressed the value of underpinning collaboration with pedagogical frameworks. The advantages provide colleagues with an opportunity to learn, reflect, adjust and improve on practice together. It is therefore important to note that the practice-based examples in this book demonstrate a developing growth in knowledge and understanding in applying the models. As opportunities to engage with and apply the models are presented and engagement is sustained over time, depth of knowledge and understanding increases. In this way, the examples demonstrate variances in depth and breadth of experience, knowledge and understandings of the models and associated frameworks amongst authors. As such, some chapters show the early beginnings of embarking on a learning journey and what the frameworks are revealing to the authors about teaching practice, other chapters display knowledge gained from their long-term application resulting in a more nuanced and sophisticated understanding of these models. This is important to emphasise as in presenting practice examples at varying stages of developmental understanding reflects healthy ongoing organisational growth.

The importance of these insights for library programmes is significant, and shows that the frameworks are sophisticated tools that require repeated use and application to enable a deeper understanding of their theoretical underpinnings through each iterative engagement. This highlights that they cannot be taken at face value, they need iterative application, contextualisation and reflection on practice to activate and showcase their effectiveness.

19.3 Getting Started

It is important to note that our libraries share the same challenges we find in the literature; institutional barriers, academic hierarchies, organisational and structural change and the perceptions and misconceptions of the library’s educational role in the university (Weiner, 2012). Introducing pedagogical models has affected transformational change in our libraries’ teaching practice and has provided us with a way to overcome a range of dynamic institutional complexities in moving more firmly into the educational space. In conversation with libraries keen to adopt pedagogical approaches, we have often been asked the question—How did you start? It is important to note that there is no one way of starting, nor can we offer a ‘step-by-step manual’. The reason for this is because the way in which different libraries might go about introducing and using pedagogical frameworks is dependent upon the parameters of each library’s individual context and all the associated variables that shape it.

The following sections do however share our experiences gained over many years, from both our libraries, we offer practical advice and suggestions for adopting the models described in this book. We describe the two different strategies our respective libraries adopted to introduce our pedagogical frameworks to our library staff, and more broadly across our institutions. In the case of the MUL, we also describe how the RSD framework was introduced to Monash University’s international campus in Malaysia.

We consider the similarities and differences of each approach for adoption, implementation and dissemination and hope this will spark ideas as to how you might go about starting at your library. We can, however, offer this advice—take a risk, create an opportunity and just start! All that is needed to begin is a committed passionate individual or the establishment of a community or practice with individuals with vision to drive the initiative and encourage interested others that share a desire to transform their teaching practice and in doing so their effectiveness in the curriculum.

19.3.1 From the Ground up: Adoption and Implementation at Monash University

As discussed in Chap. 2 (Torres and Yazbeck), the adoption, dissemination and implementation of the MELT frameworks at Monash University has involved several years of building expertise within the library through partnerships with academic staff. As there was experience applying the RSD with our Business and Economics colleagues, we saw an opportunity to model and promote how we envisioned using the frameworks—as a collaborative library–faculty endeavour from the outset.

Contrary to the usual way of introducing organisational initiatives through policy-driven methods, the RSD was implemented at MUL through advocacy from the ground up by library staff, later supported and promoted by library management. Not mandating expectations for staff to adopt the RSD provided a respectful and sensitive way of introducing an initiative to guide the library’s teaching practice. A sensitive and considered implementation approach recognised that an education intervention needs space and time for staff to build the skills and confidence to transition to a reconceptualised teaching practice.

This notion is explained by Chappell (2003) in stating that ‘new knowledge workers’ changing work practices need time to renegotiate a sense of who they are in a reconstructed workplace (p. 136). Mezirow (2000) describes important phases that adult learners move through for transformational learning to take place. These phases were acknowledged by library management and involve i) a disorienting dilemma; ii) self-critical assessment of assumptions; iii) recognition through discourse that assumptions are shared by others; iv) exploration of new ideas and relationships; v) planning a course of action; and vi) taking action based on the new perspective developed through this process. A disorienting dilemma means an experience that contradicts one’s long-accepted beliefs, or habits of mind.

In addition to needing time to adapt to change, library management also acknowledged the important role of professional agency in adopting the RSD framework, library management provided the emotional and intellectual space required for individuals to start applying the RSD framework when the time was ‘right’ for them. In this way management supported what Fuller and Unwin (2004) identify as ‘diverse forms of participation and the extent to which individuals “elect to engage” in those opportunities through individual agency’ (p. 32). The approach taken has been highly successful and reflects a mature supportive workplace environment where past achievements are recognised and built upon, whilst steering towards a new vision. As such, the ownership required to transition to a new library teaching practice lay in the hands of the librarians and learning skills advisers themselves.

This self-regulatory approach to change is described by Hargreaves and Shirley as

…a democratic and professional path to improvement that builds from the bottom, steers from the top, and provides support and pressure from the sides…committed and capable of creating deep and broad teaching and learning, it builds powerful, responsible and lively professional communities... (2009, p. 107)

Therefore, this sensitive approach to change recognised that support and guidance was provided by library management to effect internal organisational transformation at the pace that staff required.

Monash University Malaysia (MUM), on the other hand, applied a different method to implementing the RSD on their campus. Following the successful adoption of the RSD framework at Monash University Library Australia, Monash University Library, Malaysia (MULM) was keen to explore the benefits the RSD could bring to enhance the teaching capabilities of library staff, as well as a way to leverage library–faculty collaboration for students’ research skill development. MULM also observed what Willison and O’Regan (2007) noted about different conceptualisations of research in academic circles. The authors describe that research can be conceived, in a minimalistic way, as a formal activity undertaken by an academic or researcher, rather than a skill set that is ideally developed and practiced progressively as part of an undergraduate's learning journey. This notion was impeding the library’s ability to move forward as educators that contribute to students’ research skill development in the curriculum. The Library Director at MULM identified that the RSD provided some significant benefits to address this issue, including.

The adaptive and flexible structure of the RSD lends itself well as a campus strategy at MUM as it provides a language and structure in common to underpin educational efforts within the University to enhance student learning outcomes. (I. Eula, personal communication, 15 April 2020)

MULM also identified that the RSD framework offers a structure for research skill development within a learning continuum, a particular aspect of educational frameworks not generally considered. As such the RSD as a conceptual pedagogical model offered a practical way to scaffold and make research skills explicit in other discipline-based educational frameworks. Therefore, the RSD could co-exist with other educational frameworks already used by professionally accredited degrees.

As the RSD offered a pedagogically sound approach it could be introduced to support the implementation of other frameworks currently incorporated into faculty teaching and learning at Monash University Malaysia. The RSD did not exclude or compete with other educational frameworks that schools were using. Therefore, the intention was to introduce the RSD as an educational campus strategy with the RSD framework co-existing alongside other educational frameworks in an intersected manner. In this way the RSD was in complete alignment with the educational goals of the University’s Better Teaching Better Learning (BTBL) educational strategic agenda. (I. Eula, personal communication, 15 April 2020)

MULM’s adoption of the RSD therefore presents a hybrid approach to adoption and implementation. By bringing the RSD framework into alignment with the BTBL agenda, MULM received university endorsement for the RSD as a recognised key campus strategy and incorporated in the Education Strategic Plans of 2016–2018 and 2018–2020, respectively (Eula & Santra, 2020). Of significance was the leadership role of the MULM in the RSD implementation, as the library was given the responsibility of leading the implementation strategy across the university. Building library staff and academic ability at MUM to apply the RSD followed the same successful novice to expert approach with guidance from library colleagues in Australia. Facilitating workshops and sharing collaborative examples of practice at university fora and educational events at MUM built knowledge and understanding together. The RSD has been successfully applied to the curriculum in a variety of innovative ways, which include the following: rubrics design (Kananatu, 2017); to inform creative writing courses (Wong & Yahya, 2017); to guide students’ self-directed learning in Engineering (Balan et al., 2017) and to explore an adapted simplified version of the RSD framework (Karu et al., 2017).

It is important to note that although this was a campus strategy, personal agency was also considered to enable adoption, as such, some RSD early adopters championed the use of the RSD within their schools, where other schools have had varied degrees of engagement with the RSD. On both Monash Australia and Monash Malaysia campuses, the theoretical principles of Legitimate Peripheral Participation (Lave & Wenger, 1991) and supported adoption strategies (Hargreaves & Shirley, 2009) enabled a ground-up approach for implementation that was eventually endorsed at the institutional level. This has provided a gentle, considered approach and aligns with Galoozis’ (2019) recommendations for high-impact changes to library teaching practices, rather than focusing on radical change. Small steps need to be taken by librarians to increase skills, confidence and autonomy to gradually effect change to practice. A scaffolded, progressive and incremental approach mirrors the theoretical underpinnings of the MELT frameworks themselves.

19.3.1.1 Developing Staff Capacity and Confidence with the MELT

A learning ethos for developing, encouraging and building the capacity of library staff has historically been part of everyday work practice and strongly valued by library management. Smith and Sadler-Smith (2006) describe this as a ‘learner centered paradigm’, where the ‘workplace support space’ facilitates and enables learning through a combination of self-directed learner development and workplace learning strategies to achieve the organisation’s objectives. A diverse and supportive learning environment was therefore already in place for library staff (43 effective full-time librarians and learning skills advisers) to commence engaging with and exploring the RSD, through self-directed, guided, formal and informal learning opportunities.

The first of the MELT frameworks, the RSD framework was introduced at MUL in 2009 through a workshop titled: ‘RSD Bring a Friend (BaF) Workshop’. This workshop was co-facilitated with library staff and academic colleagues from the Faculty of Business and Economics (see Chap. 2 by Torres and Yazbeck). To model the collaborative potential of the RSD and a partnership approach from the outset, librarians and learning skills advisers invited an academic colleague with whom they had already established a working relationship to participate in the workshop. Invitations to attend the workshop were well received, with librarians and learning skills advisers (N = 15) attending alongside their academic colleagues (N = 13) from seven faculties: Arts, Business and Economics, Law, Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences, and Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. In an attempt to create an equal footing and break down academic hierarchies at the workshop, librarians, learning skills advisors and academics engaged in the workshop activities together to create their first shared experience of the RSD framework.

The transition from a transactional service model to engaging with academics in a partnership underpinned by pedagogy required librarians to engage in professional risk taking. As mentioned earlier this adoption strategy required sensitivity and respect from library management for the RSD to succeed. Fundamental to the success of the collaborative potential of the RSD framework was the professional shift librarians needed to make from librarians as instructors, to librarians as collaborative educators. Some RSD partnerships with academic staff were established as a result of this workshop and as such, were ready to build examples of practice and commence championing the RSD amongst library and academic colleagues in a range of disciplines.

Of particular value as an approach to building skills and capabilities for adoption, the MELT over the years has been the ‘novice to expert’ learning model (Lave & Wenger, 1991). Participation through this approach has gradually increased library staff confidence to commence applying the MELT to their teaching practice. As opportunities arose and sufficient understanding and knowledge of the MELT had been built, library staff introduced the model to inform teaching collaboration with academic colleagues. A novice to expert capacity building has also created opportunities for library staff to work across library faculty teams, so that expertise is developed for faculty teams amongst faculty teams. This has facilitated a sustainable and cost-effective way to learn through cross-fertilised disciplinary exemplars of the MELT in practice, effectively breaking down some of the silos existing within library organisational structures themselves.

19.3.2 From the Top Down: Adoption and Implementation at La Trobe University

In 2009, 10 curriculum renewal pilot projects were commissioned across the university as part of a new university curriculum plan, Design for Learning (DFL). Curriculum review and renewal played out differently in each discipline project but DFL informed what faculties did in relation to improving the academic success of all undergraduate students. Common to each project was mapping what is core and required for each undergraduate course, embedding graduate capabilities into every course and subject, specifying Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) for these capabilities and making ILOs explicit to students. The library led a DFL project to embed information literacy into the curriculum; this was ‘the first step in a larger vision of all La Trobe University graduates being information literate’ (Salisbury & Sheridan, 2011). The library project developed a university strategy for embedding information literacy skill development and created a suite of reusable, multipurpose information literacy learning objects. As part of the project we leveraged our previous experience collaborating with the Faculty of Health Sciences to embed information literacy skills into the common first year in Health Sciences and evaluation of student learning outcomes in Health Sciences was a critical component of the library DFL project.

The notion of constructive alignment was central in the implementation of DFL projects. As a university-wide programme, DFL had all the hallmarks and strengths of top-down institutional approaches to implementing constructive alignment identified by Ruge et al. (2019). That is, it was institutionally defined, rigorous, systematic, accountable, provided resourcing and support to all areas of the organisation, encouraged staff ownership and provided upskilling for academic and professional staff involved in teaching and learning. Being involved in an institutional implementation of constructive alignment helped us build on the best of our previous approaches to embedding information literacy in more deliberate and intentional ways to realise institutional strategy. It opened up a theory/practice nexus that at the time created new opportunities and laid the foundations for the LTUL Model and continues to underpin our practice and provide ongoing motivation for theory-based practice.

Our commitment to providing all students with opportunities to develop high levels of information literacy is constant and certainly needs institutional approaches; however, in our experience achieving high-level strategic objectives is an iterative process that requires constant review. The Information Literacy Strategy developed as part of the 2009 project has since been reviewed, reinvented and replaced—firstly with the La Trobe Information Literacy Policy and Procedure and then with the La Trobe Digital Literacy Framework. Likewise, what learned from the 2009 project informed the LTUL Model and LLTP Framework, however, as discussed in Chap. 3 by Salisbury and Ondracek the LLTP Framework is a dynamic and iterative guide to practice that is adapted as needed to align with new curriculum design initiatives and plans. For example, in the Curriculum Design Intensive (CDI) project that established curriculum design teams that include discipline teaching staff, educational designers and librarians to improve and review subjects.

In summary getting started has been top down. However, ongoing sustainability and implementation of the LTUL Model using the LLTP Framework has been a dynamic, multidirectional and iterative process. As Ruge et al. (2019) propose, what is needed is

a multi-directional approach for developing and implementing constructive alignment (CA) to leverage the strengths as well as constraints embedded in the existing top-down or bottom-up approaches. It is recognised that the top-down framework has a clearly defined driver and hence the aims of the process and the approval process are clearly defined. In the bottom-up approach, the teaching team and close connection to students in the course programme are the key drivers for the process and ultimate teaching and learning outcomes. (p. 843)

Our ongoing practice to implement the LTUL Model guided by LLTP Framework could be considered in terms of a multidirectional mix of top down and bottom up. Taking this perspective, means we need to continue to work across the following three domains of practice in linking the library to the curriculum:

  1. 1.

    Strategic—Institutional policy for information and digital literacies as related to Graduate capabilities.

  2. 2.

    Course—Mapping Information literacy as a component of Graduate Capabilities (‘Research and Evidence-Based Inquiry’ and ‘Digital Capability’) within subjects and across year levels to scaffold sequential IL skill development.

  3. 3.

    Subject—Embedded and constructively aligned—joining IL and subject ILOs, teaching and learning activities and assessment tasks.

Working across these three domains has enabled us to embed information skill development for all students in curriculum design. Collaboration with discipline teaching staff and our pedagogical model is now standard practice across all disciplines. Regardless of whether it is through participation in curriculum design teams, or ongoing or new curriculum conversations between academics and librarians, the LLTP Framework is entrenched into our professional practice. According to Spain (Chap. 4), the LLTP Framework is a ‘pedagogical reference point for new librarians’. Importantly taking a multidirectional perspective means the above domains of practice aren’t sequential and for a library starting out on this journey, opportunities can be created and seized in one or all domains as needed to suit the institutional context and environment.

19.3.3 Igniting Interest and Gaining Momentum

Gaining buy-in from library and academic staff building capacity to apply the tools has been critical and could be considered the biggest challenge. Igniting interest and maintaining momentum at our universities has been reliant on keeping the models front and centre of our libraries teaching practice through formal and informal interactions. This takes effort and sustained commitment so that the models are normalised as part of the library’s teaching practice and culture. Gaining buy-in at our libraries has been achieved by a range of the following:

  • Introducing new staff to the models as part of staff induction

  • Incorporating a standard agenda items for the adopted models in relevant library committee meetings

  • Delivering staff development workshops annually or bi-annually on the models

  • Developing elearning resources for staff to learn about the models

  • Staff mentoring

  • Applying the models to a wide variety of disciplines, years levels and learning objects to gather a range of examples

  • Sharing examples of application amongst peers and more broadly at faculty, university meetings and fora

  • Presenting at educational conferences as well as those that pertain to the library sector

  • Researching practice and keeping active in the educational research space, journal publications

  • Establishing a Community of Practice—inviting interested educators beyond the library

  • Connecting to other areas of the university—career advisory services, research office, etc.

  • Gathering meaningful metrics, quantitative and qualitative (after establishing traction).

Maintaining momentum is also reliant on recognising the potential of both formal and informal learning opportunities for library and academic staff. At LTUL the formal and informal are part of the library staff development. At MUL a novice to expert approach has underpinned formal and informal opportunities to learn about the MELT. Learning has taken place over ‘water-cooler’ or ‘coffee queue’ conversations, one-to-one shared exchanges of the teaching applications of the MELT, as well as scheduled peer-to-peer learning opportunities, peer teaching observations and MELT showcase events. For example, an RSD framework conference was organised by MUL with invitations extended at the national and international level to promote the RSD for students’ research skill development. The conference was attended by 180 delegates comprising librarians and academic staff. Another success has been the dissemination of the RSD framework through university-level workshops delivered to academic staff through the Graduate Certificate of Higher Education (GCHE) and for accredited professional development activities for academic staff over the years. This engagement at the university level led to educational policy endorsement of the RSD framework at Monash University.

The importance of collecting quantitative metrics as well as qualitative data on how our pedagogical models have been applied by telling and publishing stories of impact cannot be understated. Metrics collected on the MELT, for example, include information related to which Skill Facets in the MELT frameworks were addressed in learning engagements and how these skills aligned with the MELT’s learning continuum—the Scope of Student Autonomy. More granular metrics are also collected on whether library engagement with the MELT has impacted assessment design, learning outcomes, assessment criteria, learning content and whether the skills contributed by the library are assessed in the curriculum and have been embedded into the curriculum.

At MUL, we have used collaborative opportunities to unpack the skills in the MELT frameworks. This involves a collaborative discussion between educators to consider what discipline-specific skills are encapsulated in each of the six facets of the RSD, WSD or DSD frameworks. This is the first step taken to make the conceptual models meaningful to context, and can occur in a MELT workshop setting or when an opportunity to apply one of the MELT in a learning context is presented. The process of revealing and articulating the skills relevant to the discipline in alignment with the MELT Skill Facets opens a way to connect them to the curriculum (see Chap. 18 by Todd, Khoshsabk, Torres and Peart; Chap. 15 by Pilz, McLeod and Yazbeck).

For individuals applying pedagogical models for your collaborative teaching practice, we suggest approaching this the following way:

  • Align learning aims against the appropriate framework

  • Identify the skills in the task that students need to acquire to engage successfully with the task

  • Scaffold skills in learning activities and tasks

  • Make the skills explicit in your teaching using skill-related terminology appropriate to the discipline

  • Consider how skills could be made skills explicit in assignment instructions and learning aims/outcomes

  • Over time, as your collaboration and influence grow, consider if the skills can be included in corresponding marking schemes/ rubrics.

Our advice is, whether you are considering introducing a pedagogical model to linking the library to the curriculum at the individual or organisational level, or whether you decide to adopt an implementation strategy from the ‘bottom up’ or ‘top down’, we strongly recommend the following. Start small to build advocacy, create examples of application and share these with colleagues you are comfortable with. If you plan to use the models for collaborative partnerships—start the way you intend to finish—collaboratively, as this creates a nurturing learning environment for reflection on practice and change to take place. Above all… start small, but take a risk!!

19.4 Conclusion

A sustained and undeniable effort has been brought into play by academic libraries to leverage IL as the specialist knowledge and expertise that librarians bring to the teaching and learning function of the university. As this is an educational strategic imperative stated by many libraries globally, it is critical that the sector pays attention to how this can be achieved successfully and at scale, so that it no longer remains an elusive aim of the academic library. Our practice-based examples align with findings in the literature identifying that partnership approaches are the most effective way to reach students meaningfully and at the point of need in their learning. This is emphasised by Weiner (2012) noting that information literacy should be developed progressively throughout the formal educational process and in disciplinary-specific contexts. We have identified a strategy for success in this regard.

The practice-based examples in this book clearly evidence that truly embedded skill development in disciplinary contexts is reliant on theoretically informed teaching partnerships. To this end, pedagogy informs: how the IL and research skills are embedded as considered aspects of learning, how they become woven seamlessly and explicitly into curriculum and assessment design, how they are articulated to students so that the skills become a part of their awareness and vernacular, and how they become valued by educators as fundamental skills that enable students to ‘learn to learn’. Pedagogically informed teaching partnerships therefore create the right ecosystem for nurturing, what Weiner (2012) refers to as ‘students’ habits of mind’ (p. 287).

Critical to our success are the following key factors. Pedagogical knowledge acquired over time through the application of the models has built the necessary skills to move from transactional instructors to sophisticated educators. Therefore, engagement with and application of pedagogically informed models for developing students’ information and research skills has shifted the professional identity of librarians. As the practice-based examples confirm, and comments from academic colleagues recognise, this has transformed the perceptions held of the librarian’s role in the curriculum in our institutions. Establishing partnerships with academic colleagues is therefore fundamental to and critical for embedding information and research skills in disciplinary curricula, and the importance of ‘trust’ in these relationships cannot be disputed. Our experience clearly shows that the presence of trust is a critical success factor which can be enabled through conversation using a language in common. Our pedagogical models have guided these important conversations, provided clarity of purpose and structure for the teaching partnership. As such, the application of theory to practice demonstrates how the professional identity of librarians as educators can be recast in trusted partnerships, and how all combined gives us a deeper understanding of what needs to transpire to transition and transform library skill development programmes for a more impactful connection to the curriculum.

As the practice-based examples in this book have illustrated, connecting the library to the curriculum is core work for libraries. This work is nuanced and complex and requires the skill development to be interwoven with discipline content; library staff are well equipped with the expertise and knowledge to weave the threads of information and research skills into the fabric of the curriculum. With critical foundational organisational support from the bottom, steering from the top and a squeeze from the sides, library staff will find themselves in the right environment to build pedagogical knowledge, teaching skills and confidence to work in trusted collaborative alliances as partners with their academic colleagues.

Cyclic change is a constant in the higher education environment and with this comes the strategic renewal of educational agendas and plans. In an environment where ways of working can be impacted by considerable disruption, the importance of harnessing the skills and expertise of a range of educators that focus on the same trajectory—enhancing student learning outcomes—cannot be emphasised enough. Atkinson (2019) stresses that effective collaboration between library, faculty and university is not an option but a necessity in academic environments navigating a range of challenging economic and institutional pressures. Therefore, positioning the library as a key partner in enabling the educational goals of the university is of paramount importance to render the library visible to university leaders (Atkinson, 2019; Bryant et al., 2020). Understanding the critical success factors, characteristics and strategies that are required to connect the library to the curriculum, therefore increase in significance.

Finally, the conceptual pedagogical models adopted at MUL and LTUL have enabled the contextualisation and scaffolded development of information and research skills through trusted partnerships with academic colleagues. This has led to greater effectiveness, visibility and impact of our libraries in the educational space demonstrating transformational leadership in an area of strategic importance for academic libraries globally. We conclude and strongly advocate that theoretically informed pedagogical models are critical for connecting the expertise of the library to the curriculum.

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Torres, L., Salisbury, F., Yazbeck, B., Karasmanis, S., Pinder, J., Ondracek, C. (2021). Transforming Practice for Educational Impact. In: Torres, L., Salisbury, F., Yazbeck, B., Karasmanis, S., Pinder, J., Ondracek, C. (eds) Connecting the Library to the Curriculum. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-3868-8_19

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