Library Instruction Into Learning Communities: A L.E.A.P Toward Innovation
Speakers: Deborah Cheney, Head, Documents/Maps Section, The
Pennsylvania State University; Helen Sheehy, International Documents
Librarian, Documents/Maps Section, The Pennsylvania State University.
Learning communities can be used to enhance a student's understanding
of a subject discipline, the writing process, and to improve research skills.
One such model integrated three courses into a single syllabus called the
Political Inquiry and Writing Pride offered to incoming freshmen as part
of the Learning Edge Academic Program (LEAP). The LEAP program encourages
active and collaborative learning, and the opportunity to integrate library
skills into each Pride's curriculum. The pilot program revealed that the
concept of a community may be the appropriate model for enhancing the learning
and teaching process because it takes the courses, the faculty, and the
librarians out of isolation and places them in purposeful juxtaposition
to each other. However, if such learning communities are to grow and thrive
universities and libraries must improve the teaching skills of both librarians
and faculty by developing a greater part of their resources to such efforts.
Nevertheless, the possibility for improving information literacy through
such a learning community is great.
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