Capstone ePortfolio: Joanna Russell Bliss 

ALA Competency 7: Continuing Education & Lifelong Learning

INFO 5900, Fostering Literacies for Adult Learners

As my instruction course continued to discuss the characterists of adult learners, we worked on assignments that explored learning theories and how to foster literacy for life. I turned in two papers during this module, one on the information behavior of adult learners on February 8, 2021, and another on fostering literacies for adult learners on February 23, 2021.

These assignments allowed us to explore the scholarship related to our chosen populations. I continued to explore the learning behaviors of and literacies for first-year students at colleges and universities. While the paper on information behavior focuses on the learning theories of Krikelas and Kuhlthau, I also was reading and exploring the theories of information overload and information anxiety, which are pertinent to first-year learners on campus. The second paper investigates the teaching of information literacy on campuses, but discussions in class also pointed to the importance of media and graphic literacy, specifically the questions alluded to in the ACRL Framework: Where is this data from? And is it trustworthy?

These assignments related specifically to the latter two competences of lifelong learning: Learning theories and their applications in libraries (7C), and principles related to teaching and learning (7D).

INFO 5960, Discussion of Professional Learning Experiences

After extensive reading on continuing education and professional learning experiences, we were to write a reflection that considers our readings and connects them to the central themes of the class; this was posted on November 11, 2020. Because the course website is erased at the end of every term, I have replicated my personal posts and assignments on my professional website. The reflection can be read there, or as a PDF here.

[Image description: A screengrab of my assignment posted on our class blog.]

While this is one small assignment, our discussion in the class noted that this is a mindset that is imperative for modern librarianship -- the embrace of constant change and lifelong learning. Librarianship is a moving target these days, and we must learn from our peers while asking what is next on the horizon.

The module for professional education, as well as my reflection on the topic, covered all four competences for continuing education and lifelong learning: The necessity of professional development (7A), the role of the library in helping our community learn (7B), instructional methods and achievement measures (7C), and principles related to teaching and learning (7D).

INFO 5600, Group Project

The purpose of this assignment was to develop an instructional information service with a team. I worked with two others to develop a series of three workshops to refresh basic software skills. Our PowerPoint containing slides for all three presentations, below, along with an overview document defining our roles and how the workshops would be delivered and promoted, was turned in on December 3, 2019: 

When our group first began discussing what we might present on, we discussed how quickly technology changes, and the necessity of keeping up with the latest developments. This was emphasized in our original description of our workshop series:
Once people start working in an office, they often don't know what new functions are available after software updates, and they may be less productive because there are easy shortcuts or functions they can use for their work. Our presentation will be a way for faculty and staff who have been at the university for a while to review the basic tasks and functions available in the most commonly used software offered by Microsoft: Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
As I was researching quick tips for using Microsoft Word, I found that there was an entire area for writing research papers that had not existed the last time I'd done academic writing. The functions to track one's references and citations are easy to use for both writing in-text citations and creating reference lists. It was a reminder that there are always new things to learn, whether for a software that's used everyday or new technology to be used within the library -- as the ALA points out in the core competences, it is essential for librarians to continually learn (7A).
Managing references with Microsoft Word

[Image description: A slide from our presentation on managing references that explains how to use the Source Manager in Microsoft Word to add citations throughout a document.]

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