Adult User Education/Module 3

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Working with Others and within Guidelines


In this module we will discuss ways to collaborate with others on instruction for adult learners, as well as the various guidelines within which we might be expected to work. Since there are a variety of ways to collaborate with others, and opportunities also depend upon what kind of library you are working in, we will have a varied selection of readings on this topic.


Chapter 4 in our text and the Van Cleave article will cover general ideas on collaboration, and give an overview of some of the ways that people can work together. Both of these readings discuss faculty/librarian collaboration, and Van Cleave goes on to discuss ideas for working with learning communities, academic programs, and university campus services. The academic world is also addressed in the articles by Lampert and Logan, while Borek discusses the idea of consortia arrangement, which could consist of a variety of different library and/or organization types. The public arena is more directly addressed in the article by De la Pena and Barber, and this article gives a truly interesting and descriptive account of the history of lifelong learning as connected to the public library.

Working within Guidelines

Chapter 5 in our text discusses the placement of information literacy within different areas of the university. The question of whether information literacy instruction should be integrated into established subject courses, or whether it should be created as a stand-alone course are only the beginning of this debate. There are continued questions about integrated instruction that cover ideas such as which subject courses should have information literacy as part of their objectives, and who should be responsible for teaching information literacy. On the stand-alone side there are questions as to how many credits an information literacy course should be, when it should be taken, and how to change university degree requirements to reflect this new goal of education.

Academic Integrity: Copyright and Plagiarism

I have added Chapter 8 and the information on copyright to this module because, as you will see from reading the chapter in your text, there are a wide variety of partnerships that can be created to enhance the teaching of academic integrity ideals. As stated on page 157, ". . . academic life encompasses several principal activities – learning, teaching, and researching – and [that] to engage in these activities we must often participate in a community." Whatever kind of library we are working in, we are always members of a larger community, whether it be the university, the town and surrounding areas, or the whole world around us. Living and contributing within a community is itself a kind of partnership, and the general idea of integrity – which includes understanding copyright and plagiarism – is one that our patrons, whether students or adults, can carry with them beyond the university and into their professional lives.

Intents and Purposes

My intent for this module is to give a selection of the wide variety of collaboration opportunities that are available to libraries. I hope that giving a taste of what's out there and what others have done successfully will get the creative juices flowing and provide new insights into what is possible. I have included the idea of working within guidelines as a starting point for considering the different requirements that may be required when working with others. In addition to requirements for different entities, if you collaborate in order to get additional funding, there could be the possibility of grant requirements and guidelines to keep in mind. Again, this information is just to get you started thinking about the myriad possibilities.

The information on academic integrity fits well with adult learners because integrity doesn't just apply to what you do as a student – it covers other areas of your life as well. Consider these incidents:

These culprits were all adults, and what this leads me to believe is that adults also need instruction on plagiarism, misrepresentation, and other areas of integrity. In short, adults outside of academia need instruction on how to use materials in different circumstances such as:

The assignment for this module will ask you to determine 3 potential collaborators for a library of your choice. You will then create a proposal for each of these contributors in which you will attempt to convince them to partner with you. Once again, the overall goal of this assignment is to give you practice doing something that you will probably be doing again at some point in your career. Partnership possibilities for any of the kinds of libraries we are studying are diverse, so keep your concentration on what kind of adult users you will have and what their needs might be – this should make it easier to focus on the best options for collaboration. We can discuss ideas via the discussion board, so if you have questions or would like to share your ideas for partnerships, we can talk more about them.

On the course blog I will ask you to tell us about your learning experience throughout this module. Feel free to compare your ideas and opinions from before starting this module to how they may have changed or been reinforced by the readings, assignment, and discussions we have had. I look forward to working with each of you as we explore the opportunities available to us in the coming weeks!

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