Assignments that live beyond the semester

Librarians Julie Marie Frye (right) and Sarah Hare (center)  point to their long-term collaboration with professor Beth Lewis Samuelson (left) as evidence of library dedication to continuous improvement. “We hope these doctoral students have a new understanding of what a librarian can do,” said Hare. 

This article originally appeared in the IU Libraries 2019 Annual Report. The following excerpt is republished with permission.

Using open scholarship philosophies, librarians and faculty use IU Pressbooks to publish classroom work.

Innovate. Teach. Measure. Revise. It’s a rhythm that IU librarians Sarah Hare and Julie Marie Frye used to pattern their long-term EDUC-L700 collaboration with School of Education faculty member Beth Lewis Samuelson.

After multiple semesters all three agree the experience transformed far more than curriculum. Samuelson noted, “We were always evolving and developing – there was just this great intellectual give-and-take between the three of us.”

Initially, the idea was to use the IU Libraries Jay Information Literacy Course grant to redesign a doctoral course assignment focused on research methodologies. Completed student submissions were published as an Open Educational Resource (OER) through IU Pressbooks. This is a freely available resource that others can read, cite, and revise, thanks to university funds.

“I do a lot of work in East Africa, and I grew up in a context where people didn’t have a lot of access. I wanted my students to have a chance to think about how publishing can be more than a top-tier journal that doesn’t really make its material available,” said Samuelson.

When I think about my own scholarship, I think about how to make things discoverable to people who don't have the privilege and access I do. I think it is a social justice issue.

Beth Lewis Samuelson, Associate Professor of Literacy, Culture, and Language Education

Working in the IU Libraries Scholarly Communication department, Hare is dedicated to the idea of open scholarship. “Often once done and graded, student work dies – if not captured in a visible way,” she said.  “In creating this OER, the student work has impact and influence beyond the classroom.”

Frye, head of the Education Library, draws attention to course developments occurring in consecutive semesters.   Using a School of Education Learning and Teaching with Technology Challenge Development Grant, the three faculty members hired student artists and videographers to illustrate related chalk-talk videos about complex topics like authority and open licensing.  

These chalk talks are now offered inside the Pressbook, and already in use by additional School of Education instructors. An inquiry-based card-sort activity has also been integrated far beyond the original L700 course.

“What I am most proud of,” said Frye, “is that it wasn’t just one of us, or even two of us, but we were drawing on this network of IU librarians, professors, and artists. They challenged us to excellence.”