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Show me the data!: Partnering with instructors to teach data literacy

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Title: Show me the data!: Partnering with instructors to teach data literacy
Author(s): Hogenboom, Karen; Phillips, Carissa M. Holler; Hensley, Merinda Kaye
Subject(s): Data literacy
Abstract: The shift to quantitative research methods in social science disciplines is not news in today’s academy, however the relative ease of acquiring data sets via the Internet and the availability of online analysis and visualization tools have brought data into the mainstream of instruction in many academic departments. Teaching faculty are increasingly using numeric and spatial data sets in their courses. In turn, faculty and students need specialized instruction in finding, formatting and analyzing data. Academic libraries have supported data users for decades, but only recently has “data services” appeared widely in library job titles and advertised services. As demonstrated by the recent library literature, a new profession in the library has emerged, "Data Services Librarian." It is progressively clear that academic libraries are positioning data services offerings in order to support teaching and learning. Since there is not a single model for data services in academic libraries, each library faces its own challenges and opportunities in understanding how relevant data service offerings could be constructed to meet the disciplinary needs of an institution. At a large Midwestern university, the library partnered with an established data consulting service on campus to offer fifteen hours per week of consultation office hours. As the number of consultations increased, the assigned library committee was able to consider ways to expand the service. A survey of faculty, staff, and graduate students across academic departments was conducted to examine the use of data sets in research and/or teaching. This survey informed ongoing efforts including what type of data sets in which to invest monies, demand for specific software and the hardware necessary to support it, prioritizing training for librarians and staff, and working with the institutional repository for archiving data sets. The contributed paper will look closely at survey results in relation to teaching with data, discuss implications for instructors who are using data and consider how the library can expand data services to support teaching. The paper will focus on addressing the following questions: 1. What kind of assistance do instructors want from the library to support their teaching and for their students working with data sets? 2. How can the library develop partnerships and programs to meet these needs creatively, given existing financial constraints and skill levels? 3. What types of assessment data will need to be gathered in order to demonstrate that programs and training are successful? Our survey findings will be used as a starting point in consideration of the issues librarians face to support courses that work with data sets. The presentation will complement research findings as enumerated in the contributed paper by discussing the overall impact of data needs on library services. Final paper conclusions will argue that training needs to extend beyond simply helping users to access data sets by graduating to a deeper understanding for how faculty and students use data. In other words, the area of data services requires librarians to take a leadership role in advocating for true research partnerships. Learning outcomes: 1. Attendees will be introduced to how a sample of teaching faculty are using data sets in instruction in order to promote conversation regarding data services at their institution. 2. Attendees will learn about ways in which librarians can support courses that work with data sets by partnering with instructors in order to generate ideas for possible service offerings at their institutions. 3. Attendees will identify other librarians with similar issues in offering data services in order to develop a peer network for brainstorming and sharing of best practices.
Issue Date: 2011-04-01
Citation Info: Hogenboom, Karen, Merinda Kaye Hensley and Carissa Holler Phillips. 2011. Show me the data! Partnering with instructors to teach data literacy. Contributed paper presented at ACRL 2011 Conference, Association of College and Research Libraries, 1 April, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Genre: Conference Paper / Presentation
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/18809
Publication Status: unpublished
Peer Reviewed: is peer reviewed
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-04-04
 

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