Session Abstracts

Breakout Session I

Breakout Session II

Breakout Session I 

1. Critical Skepticism: Empowering users with the information skills of a 21st century citizen
Heather Brodie Perry, Stonehill College

Brief Description: Today’s users are increasingly challenged to critically evaluate content that often includes misinformation, disinformation and propaganda. While “fake news” has brought this issue to the forefront, this is not a new phenomenon. Users need sophisticated skills to empower them to deepen their understanding of the issues concerning them; in this session participants will learn about tools and techniques that have been successful in creating users with strong critical thinking skills.

Abstract: Today’s users are confronted with information that lacks the gatekeeping that previous generations of users enjoyed. While increased access has expanded the ability of a multiplicity of voices to join the conversation users are increasingly challenged to critically evaluate a volume of content that often includes misinformation, disinformation and propaganda. Users do not always have the skills required to find the information that best meets their individual needs.

While the “fake news” issues of the 2016 election brought this issue to the forefront, this is not a new phenomenon. Corporations and their front groups have been using various techniques to misinform the public since the at least the 1950’s but the internet has increased their ability to spread misinformation. Sadly, much of this disinformation can have a devastating impact on society. From issues as diverse as climate change and the link between vaccines and autism, disinformation has fueled confusion and disengagement with important issues facing society. Citizens are called to make informed decisions in the best interest of society, but without access to accurate information, making these choices can be difficult.

Libraries are considered an essential part of having a literate and informed populace and they play a valuable role in the life of a community. Information literacy can assist users to select information that best meets their information needs, but today’s users need more than basic information literacy competencies. Today’s users need sophisticated skills to empower them to deepen their understanding of the issues concerning them. Librarians can assist users in learning the techniques that industry uses to mislead the public, and creating skills to combat and debunk them. Users can establish the skills required to critically evaluate information, challenge misinformation, and choose the best information to guide them in wise decision-making.

This session grew out of research with faculty and librarians about the critical thinking and evaluation skills of today’s undergraduates. The session will discuss the importance of basic scientific literacy and the development of critical skepticism in users to prepare them for decisions facing a 21st century citizen. In this session participants will learn about techniques that have been successful in creating users with better critical thinking skills.

This session will give the librarians the tools they need to discuss this issue with users. A module has been designed that librarians could use or adapt for their own needs to assist with the instruction of creating critically skeptical users.


2. Shifting the focus in Geographic Information System (GIS) workshops: From software training to data literacy & critical cartography
Jennie Murack, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Brief Description: GIS Services in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Libraries spent the past year revising their introductory workshop to spend more time teaching critical thinking skills and less time on step-by-step software instructions. Learn why we revamped our workshops, the process we used to develop them, and the techniques we used to teach both critical thinking skills and software skills in one, three-hour workshop.

Abstract: GIS Services in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Libraries has a long tradition of hosting short, one-session, GIS workshops that are open to the entire MIT Community. Because GIS support is not available in most departments, many students, faculty, and staff turn to GIS Services to learn software and mapping skills for the first time. Based on workshop feedback and a new vision for the Libraries as a whole, we recently transformed our introductory workshops from software-centric to focusing on the critical skills necessary for participants to become thoughtful map makers and GIS users. We developed and executed a process to incorporate data literacy, cartography skills, and critical cartography values into the workshops. This presentation will discuss the reasons we decided to revamp our workshops, the process we used to develop them, and the techniques we used to teach both critical thinking skills and software skills in one, three-hour workshop.


3. Comics and the "Whitechapel Horrors": The Intersection of Visual and Information Literacies in the Crime Fiction Classroom
Carolyn Gamtso and Susanne F. Paterson, University of New Hampshire at Manchester

Brief Description: The presenters, an English faculty member and a faculty instruction librarian, partnered on an IL unit in a senior-level Crime Fiction course focusing on Alan Moore’s graphic novel From Hell, as well as visual and textual contemporary sources exploring the comic’s subject matter, the Jack the Ripper events in Victorian London. This presentation describes the instructors’ and students’ journey through the graphic novel, newspaper cartoons, broadsheets, and articles, and their uncovering of the anti-Semitic, xenophobic, classist, and gendered responses to the serial murders in Victorian London. By researching contemporary newspaper coverage of the “Whitechapel horrors,” students discovered that visual depictions of events, such as in comic books or newspaper cartoons, can create static in their ability to engage in this textual archaeology.

Abstract: Using comics as the textual basis of information literacy (IL) instruction provides distinct pedagogical advantages; however, it also throws up several obstacles to that pedagogy. This presentation will explore how students’ apparent ease in decoding visual texts challenges instructors’ and librarians’ ability to provide the interpretive scaffold upon which students critically engage with visual primary materials. The presenters, an English faculty member and a faculty instruction librarian, have long collaborated to embed IL into the undergraduate curriculum serving a mix of traditional and non-traditional students. In this case, they partnered on an IL unit in a senior-level Crime Fiction course, targeting students who have experienced numerous IL sessions during their time at the college. At this point, students had robust experience navigating library databases and evaluating academic sources, but would benefit from exploring the way their own perspectives on a familiar historical topic were informed by vexed popular narratives.

The unit focused on Alan Moore’s graphic novel From Hell, as well as visual and textual contemporary sources exploring the comic’s subject matter, the Jack the Ripper events in Victorian London. This presentation describes the instructors’ and students’ journey through the graphic novel, newspaper cartoons, broadsheets, and articles, and their uncovering of the anti-Semitic, xenophobic, classist, and gendered responses to the serial murders in Victorian London. By researching contemporary newspaper coverage of the “Whitechapel horrors,” students discovered that visual depictions of events, such as in comic books or newspaper cartoons, can create static in their ability to engage in this textual archaeology. Visual images make immediately evident certain inherent biases; at the same time, they complicate students’ critical abilities by often eliciting strong emotional responses to those images. Guided by the instructors, students learned to decode visual narratives using the metadiscourse of graphic fiction; to interrogate their sometimes visceral reactions to those images; to apply their IL skills to new texts; and to excavate the biases of what has come down to us in the received narratives about the Ripper events.


4. "Is chicken a protein?": Health Literacy and Cultural Effectiveness for Health Professions Students
Amanda Tarbet and Jessica Bell, MGH Institute of Health Professions

Brief Description: The Bellack Library at the MGH Institute of Health Professions was awarded an LSTA grant to develop and assess a workshop for graduate occupational therapy students to teach them health and cultural literacy skills that will help them and their patients achieve good health outcomes. Discover how librarians used a two hour active learning workshop and supplementary libguides to teach these skills in the context of two course assignments.

Abstract: Low health literacy leads to poor health outcomes and increased health care costs. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, only 12% of adults in the United States have proficient health literacy. In recent years, the thinking about health literacy has begun to shift. Traditionally, the definition had focused on the patient’s ability to understand health information and complete health related tasks. However, new definitions focus more on health practitioners and health systems and their ability to deliver information in ways their patients can digest. Responsibility for health literacy, which includes a component of cultural literacy, has shifted from the patient to the practitioner. While the responsibility for health literacy may be shifting to the practitioner, research has yet to identify an optimal way of teaching health literacy skills to practitioners and health professions students. The Bellack Library at the MGH Institute of Health Professions was awarded an LSTA grant to develop and assess a workshop for graduate occupational therapy students to teach them health and cultural literacy skills that will help them and their patients achieve good health outcomes. Using a two hour active learning workshop and supplementary LibGuides, librarians taught these skills in the context of two course assignments. Librarians then collaborated with the course faculty to help grade those assignments.

At this session, we will provide an overview of health and cultural literacy, and the universal precautions approach. We will share with attendees 1) how we used focus groups and interviews to develop the workshop and LibGuides content, 2) how we incorporated active learning strategies, 3) how we assessed the workshop, and 4) what our future plans are for the module. Attendees will experience one of the active learning activities, the Teach Back method, for themselves, which we will adapt for a library audience, and will leave this session with ideas and resources to create similar instruction for their own students.


5.
Temples of Literacy: Religious Studies across the Curriculum
Pamela Hayes-Bohanan, Bridgewater State University

Brief Description: This session explores the intersection of religious literacy and information literacy and the importance of religious literacy as it relates to understanding the arts, politics, business ethics, and educational policy. The presenter is an instruction librarian and the acting coordinator for the Global Religious Studies program at Bridgewater State University.

Abstract: Research on the importance of infusing information literacy in theological education programs is at the crucial intersection of religious literacy and information literacy. Both of these literacies are important in developing the ability to identify misinformation (fake news), for understanding diverse points of view, and for combating stereotypes. Likewise both religious literacy and information literacy can help inform citizens about national and international affairs, social movements, and the formation of public policy. Both help to foster a desire for lifelong learning, specifically with regards to evaluating source information as well as understanding of the economic, legal and social issues surrounding the use of information. Religious Literacy and Information Literacy also intersect where critical thinking is concerned. The General Institutional Standards of the Association for Theological Schools include specific language that treats information literacy, indicating that the ability to conduct scholarly research, think critically and use library resources are important to engaging in ministerial practices. Additionally the standards identify the ability to integrate information from various theological disciplines into one's own religious identity as an important practice for spiritual growth.

While it is clear that Information Literacy is an important aspect of religious learning, what has been missing from this discussion to date is the importance of religious literacy in secular education.

People often learn about other religions in a simplistic manner rather than in a context that helps them to recognize other views in their social and historical context. This is problematic in general education because understanding of world religion is essential to the understanding of world art, architecture, and literature as well as contemporary issues including environmentalism, same-sex marriage, birth control, and welfare policy.

Recent research indicates that students are less likely to engage in discussions about religion or spiritual topics with instructors during their first year of college than they were in the year prior to enrolling. First-year college students also report that they are less likely to engage informally (sharing a meal or a conversation) with people of diverse religious viewpoints over the course of their first year of college. Given the potential consequences for misunderstandings of religious views other than one's own, religious literacy takes on a special urgency in today's political climate.

Analyzing information and incorporating it into one's own world views are both essential aspects of Information Literacy and Religious Literacy. Critical thinking figures deeply in both religious literacy and information literacy. The author is an instruction librarian at a public institution (Bridgewater State University) who is also acting coordinator for the Global Religious Studies minor program on campus. The session will explore the potential for truly transformative learning experiences where religious literacy and information literacy inform each other.


6. Calling "BS" on Fake News: Combating Viral Misinformation with Media Literacy in the College Classroom
Kerri Vautour, Springfield College
Robin Potter Nolasco, Hampshire College

Brief Description: Within the current political and media landscape, the term “fake news” is invoked on a regular basis. Distinguishing among actual fake news, biased coverage, and information that doesn’t match your preconceived notions can be difficult, especially for undergraduate college students just learning how to think critically. This lesson, designed by the librarians at Springfield College in fall 2016, allows students to understand where “fake news” originates and how to avoid believing and spreading false information.

Abstract: Kerri Vautour and Robin Potter Nolasco developed a Media Literacy instruction session for first-year students at Springfield College during the fall of 2016. They collaborated with first-year faculty to create a dynamic session aimed at helping students navigate the increasingly complex, diffuse, and polarized media landscape with a critical and skeptical eye. Once they’d piloted the session in a few classes, Kerri and Robin then paired up with other librarians, ensuring that all the librarians could experiment with teaching media literacy concepts through team-teaching. Instruction librarians at Springfield College went on to teach the popular session in a variety of contexts, and the modular structure of the session has allowed them to make updates as the news landscape has shifted.

For this session, Kerri and Robin will lead the audience through an abbreviated version of their media literacy session, so the audience can see how it works from the students’ point of view. They will start by discussing the historical context of “yellow journalism” and the present-day implications of sensationalism and propaganda; then move to a multimedia introduction to the nuances of fake news. Together the whole group will begin to establish some criteria for how to evaluate news and discuss what to watch out for as skeptical consumers of news media; before testing those criteria within a group fact-checking exercise, using their smartphones or laptops to evaluate sources for their validity (or lack thereof).

To conclude, Kerri and Robin will lead a discussion of the ways such a session could be adapted to other contexts, reflection on potential pitfalls and advice for navigating sensitive topics, and considerations for using the strange concept of “fake news” as part of a larger information literacy curriculum.

Breakout Session II

1. Building a Community around Computational Literacy
Katie Harding, James Adams, and Christian Darabos, Dartmouth College

Brief Description: Computational literacy skills are increasingly valuable to students and researchers in all disciplines, from introductory programming and working with command-line interfaces to statistical modeling and data visualization. Though many of these skills are practiced individually, mentorship and communities of practice can be invaluable for novices. Our presentation will discuss computational literacy, and will present a case study of Dartmouth College’s efforts to build such a community of practice through informal monthly “Programming and Pizza” events.

Abstract: Computational literacy goes beyond being able to effectively operate a computer - known as computer literacy - and includes higher-level tasks such as programming and working with command-line interfaces to statistical modeling and data visualization. These skills are becoming increasingly valuable to students, scholars, and professionals in many fields as the increasing power and pervasiveness of computer resources allow for innovative approaches to scholarship and industry. Despite its value, computational literacy is not often included as part of the regular curriculum in post-secondary education. This is true both for STEM disciplines, where there is often an assumption of computational knowledge, and for non-STEM disciplines, where there may not be an established group of scholars using computational methods.

We will present a case study which describes how two librarians and an informatics specialist developed a community of individuals who are interested in coding through a monthly event called “Programming and Pizza.” This collaboration between the Library and Research Computing is a crowd-learning initiative that provides an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff across campus to share, teach, and learn programming skills in a casual environment with pizza and refreshments. Participants can bring specific questions they'd like to ask another participant, start learning new programming and computational skills, or chat with others about their projects. In these events, we leverage the expertise of our community so that participants can benefit from knowledge beyond what our organizers can provide. To help accomplish this, we provide badges that participants can wear, identifying them as experts in a language or skill that others may approach them to ask about. These events have created a space for these conversations within the community, and have led to further interactions and reference consultations between participants and library staff. We will describe our experiences in offering Programming and Pizza events through 2017-2018, including the communities who have shown the most interest, results of our assessment activities, strategies for securing funding, and how we keep the event fresh each month.

At Dartmouth College, the Library collaborates with Research Computing and other departments on campus to offer a suite of services and instruction to support the development of computational literacy skills. These include Programming and Pizza, Software Carpentry workshops, research data management training, one-on-one data manipulation and visualization consultations, and initiatives to develop social communities around computational tools. After outlining our own efforts at Dartmouth, we will invite participants to imagine how they might implement low-cost, high-impact programming to bolster computational literacy at their own institutions.


2. Developing Digital Citizens - Advocating for a P-20 Model
Mary MacDonald, University of Rhode Island Libraries
Jennifer Thomas, West Bridgewater Middle-Senior High School

Brief Description: Digital Citizenship is often considered only a K-12 curriculum where students learn about digital etiquette, safety, and privacy. Learn why and how librarian educators should expand the ideas found in ISTE’s Digital Citizenship standards and the AAC&U’s Civic Engagement rubric, along with the AASL Standards and ACRL information literacy Framework, to support and advance the development of P-20 students’ digital citizenship with the goal of increasing an informed citizenry.

Abstract: Digital Citizenship is often considered the sole domain of P-12 education where students learn digital etiquette, such as how to protect their privacy and to be safe online. As explained by the International Society for Technology in Education, (ISTE), digital citizenship means that “Students recognize the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world, and they act and model in ways that are safe, legal and ethical.” ISTE encompasses seven standards , each with multiple indicators - one of which is digital citizenship - that address concepts that are important and valuable to all people, P-20, and beyond. In this presentation we will focus on the Digital Citizenship standard and align it with both American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) information literacy frameworks to share with our colleagues the importance and value of developing a P-20 curriculum with the goal of creating an informed citizenry.

According to Curran and Ribble “...digital citizenship is a comprehensive look at how individuals actively solve problems and participate in online platforms, communities, and networks.” Further, Kahne, Chi, and Middaugh state, “the ultimate goal is to help students of all ages to understand how to be personally responsible, participatory, and justice-oriented citizens both on and offline.”

As a middle school/high school Library Media Specialist, one presenter uses the ISTE and AASL standards to guide and shape her information literacy and digital citizenship curriculum. She incorporates digital citizenship education into her 7th and 8th grade library curriculum and is working on embedding these elements in all grades, 7-12. She also collaborates with the faculty to advocate for seamless integration of digital citizenship ideas, topics, and skills into core curriculum areas; these include self-image and identity, internet safety, digital footprint, cyberbullying, and online relationships.

As an academic librarian one presenter sees digital citizenship as an integral part of the ACRL Frameworks as well as two AAC&U Value Rubrics- Information Literacy and Civic Engagement, and also identified the ISTE standards as a way to developing a continuum of curriculum in this field. She and her colleagues have developed exercises, assignments and projects on topics such as the digital divide, net neutrality, censorship, privacy and intellectual property rights that address ACRL Frames and mirror the AASL and ISTE K-12 standards, though at college level depth.

Using the experience of the two presenters, who each teach digital citizenship and information literacy, though at different levels of depth and comprehensiveness, this presentation will engage participants in the overall idea of a P-20 Digital Citizen curriculum, share a view of alignment between the various standards and frameworks, and finally share examples of our own teaching and and discuss ideas with participants for teaching and advocating for a Digital Citizen curriculum.

Curran, M.B.F.X., and Ribble, M. (2017) P-20 Model of Digital Citizenship. In Komives, S. and Guthrie, K. L. (Eds.) New Directions in Student Leadership(35-46) retrieved from Wiley Online Library.

Kahne, J., Chi, B., & Middaugh, E. (2006). Building social capital for civic and political engagement: The potential of high-school civics courses. Canadian Journal of Education, 29(2), 387–409.


3. Mindful Critical Media Literacy: The Slow Media perspective
Emily Ferrier, Olin College of Engineering

Brief Description: This presentation will share practical examples for incorporating mindful critical media literacy in your collections, programs and instructional services.

Abstract: Slow media is a movement that focuses on reducing the rate of consumption and production of digital media. Critical library instruction is a method which incorporates discussion of access, power, privilege and control across information environments. They are a natural fit when building a collection and training program for media production equipment in a library. Students become producers and active participants in the digital media landscape with low cost, professional camera and microphone in hand. This presentation will share practical examples of how I incorporate mindful critical media literacy in collections, programs and instructional services of a small engineering library.


4. "Google Ain't Bad": Teaching the Intersection of Health, Information, and Media Literacies
Esther Roth-Katz, Springfield Technical Community College

Brief Description: In this talk the librarian will describe her experience in teaching a one-credit Research Basics course to Allied Health Students at Springfield Community College. Specifically, it will focus on the means by which the librarian integrated activities aimed at multiple literacies into a pre-designed syllabus with the goal of exploring the topics of media literacy & fake news as they relate to future health professionals. In addition to sharing classroom challenges and successes, the librarian will provide attendees with a list of relevant resources and activities.

Abstract: In the spring of 2018, the librarian was assigned to teach a one-credit, seven week, Research Basics course. The existing syllabus included one class session devoted to evaluating research resources and one class session focused on evidence-based health information sources. The remaining sessions focused on elements of the research process that will be familiar to any librarian involved in library instruction, The Research Process, The Library Catalog, Journal Articles & Library Databases, and Web Resources. The librarian thought that the course could benefit from a broader focus on resource evaluation and an examination of the topic of fake news. Often students engaged in library research fail to see the relevance of research skills to their lives outside of the classroom. Students enrolled in the Research Basics course were completing the course as a prerequisite for applying to an Associate Degree in Science in Physical Therapy Assistant program. The librarian hoped that by integrating the topic of fake news and its relevance to health professionals into the course her students would begin to see the research process as applicable beyond the walls of higher education. Specifically they would understand the value of applying evaluative criteria to all information resources, be they intended for personal, professional, or academic use. Like many instructors, the librarian found that her ambitious educational outcomes often met the harsh reality of too much material to cover and too little time. The lack of preparation time (the librarian was assigned as the course instructor a week before the semester commenced) made assessment efforts challenging. Despite challenges, the librarian had the opportunity to experiment with a number of different instruction techniques and activities. This session will first provide a brief overview of the fields of media and health literacy as they pertain to information literacy and the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy, before presenting an array of activities and resources aimed at teaching media literacy (with a focus on fake news and social media evaluation). The librarian will share the successes and failures that she experienced while tackling these topics in the Research Basics course as well as her final assessment of student learning.


5. Metaliteracy for Resilience: Setting Students Up for Success
KellyAnne McGuire and Brian Mikesell, Alumni Library, Bard College at Simon's Rock

Brief Description: A new era requires a new approach to information literacy. Instead of one-shots and workshops, we engage students through a curriculum that emphasizes metaliteracy, blending disparate literacies—information, digital, media, communication, and visual, as well as traditional reading and writing—necessary to successfully navigate ever-changing information needs. The curriculum sits at the intersection of liberal arts, information studies, and technology, and gives students transferable skills to position them for success within and beyond academia.

Abstract:  A new era requires a new approach to information literacy. Instead of one-shots and workshops, we engage students through a series of courses addressing metaliteracy, blending disparate literacies—information, digital, media, communication, and visual, as well as traditional reading and writing—necessary to successfully navigate ever-changing information needs.

Our newly-developed curriculum consists of one-credit, seven-week courses for undergraduate students at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Courses are designed with students’ needs and interests in mind, combining theoretical readings with hands-on activities using emerging technologies to create confidence and resilience in participants within academia and beyond. We are less narrowly focused on library-centric skills. Instead, we blend traditional information literacy skills, such as evaluating information, with contemporary skills, such as content creation. The result is an emphasis on metaliteracy.

Our courses can be taken individually based on interest or as a complete program over the course of two years. The curriculum sits at the intersection of liberal arts, information studies, and technology, and provides an enriching learning experience that benefits students in all disciplines.

Courses are designed around themes, such as Reading Images, Information Design, Digital Privacy, and Information Privilege, and may focus more intensely on one type of literacy over another. For example, Information Privilege, addresses the inequities inherent to the digital divide, while Reading Images and Information Design foster visual literacy skills within different contexts. Digital Privacy equips students with the critical thinking skills necessary to engage with rapidly-evolving digital environments. All of our classes integrate active learning and content creation, encouraging students to take ownership of their learning experience, equipping them with transferable skills, and empowering them to be resilient.

In addition, we address the common misconception that young people are fully technology literate—and thus information literate—due to their immersion in a digital world from birth. We find that they are more hesitant and less prepared than is generally assumed. With so much information created and delivered digitally, young adults’ information needs and technology needs intersect closely. We make use of these intersections to create teaching moments that address and are relevant to the issues and challenges they’re facing now and into the future, beginning their journey to metaliteracy. A resilient posture toward technology and information-seeking may be the most important skill a young person can acquire in the 21st century, and our curriculum sets them up for success.


6. "Escape the Lab": Gamification in Literacy Instruction
Nicole Potter, Kara Conley, Kayla Del Biondo, and Jill Scarson,
MLIS Candidates at Syracuse University, School of Information Studies

Brief Description: In fall 2017, a group of Masters in Library and Information candidates at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies were tasked with creating an hour-long interactive workshop for soon-to-be college students that would teach them how to apply critical thinking while investigating, deciphering, and seeking sources. Modeled as an ‘escape room,’ this workshop taught the students how to tackle concepts of data literacy, visual literacy, and information literacy, and challenged them to expand their understanding of how digital searches are conducted and what makes a search successful.

Abstract: The IT Girls Overnight Retreat is an annual event at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University that attracts high school girls interested in STEM learning (science, technology, engineering, and math) from across the United States. The weekend-long event, filled with workshops and team-building activities, engages young women and teaches them how to apply problem solving skills by leveraging information, data, and technology.

As LIS students with an inherent interest in information literacy, instruction, and community building, we were approached by Syracuse faculty members, Assistant Professor, Rachel Ivy Clarke and Assistant Professor of Practice, Deborah Nosky, to conduct an hour-long instructional session on information literacy. Under their advisement, we decided to design our workshop as an ‘escape room,’ a game design in which participants must solve a series of questions in order to complete the objectives at hand. Although many high school students can easily understand how to utilize the latest technology, they may not necessarily know how to critically examine the information they yield. This is especially important for those interested in STEM learning, who will be expected to interact with and analyze many types of data and resources. By developing a challenging and exciting means of instruction for high school students, our hope was to prepare them to be lifelong learners.

We view literacy as the ability to acquire knowledge, understanding, and employ critical thinking. With this in mind, our workshop, “IT Girls: Escape the Lab” was modeled to address three distinct aspects of literacy: source credibility and fake news, visual literacy and strategic searching, and data literacy. Students were to imagine themselves as investigative journalists with the goal of getting the “scoop” on these forms of literacies, with the challenge of completing tasks in order to “escape” the newsroom and share their findings on their newly attained abilities. At the end of the three timed challenges, surveys were distributed to students to assess their comprehension.

Our experience running this workshop has deepened our understanding of literacy, instruction, and the importance of these critical competencies in today’s society. We came to realize that while information literacy is a survival skill, so are the rest of the terms and processes used in digital searches and investigations. By introducing gamification into our instruction, we addressed a broad range of concepts surrounding literacy and provided a fun, collaborative opportunity for learners.

The instructional strategies employed during “IT Girls: Escape the Lab,” create the opportunity for information professionals to cover multiple elements of literacy in one session. Most importantly, it allows them to engage and motivate students to be critical thinkers and understand information in its numerous forms. These methods can be adopted and adapted in most library and instructional settings.

Our goal for the 2018 NELIG conference is to share the unique challenges in designing, teaching, and assessing an ‘escape room’ workshop for high school students. We want to spark a conversation about the interrelatedness of these literacies, and how this may inform and affect instruction decisions and delivery.