the next half of my lcp

Yesterday, I met with my mentor, Mary Jane, and we discussed the next steps in our LCP work. We discussed some of the career-related training she has taken in her new term role as a learning strategist and how it fits well with our LCP goals, and we are looking at the possibility of tying this into how we’d like to share some of our learning. Here are the presentation opportunities we’d like to explore:

MJ_Apr 27_17 planning meetingMJ_Apr 27_17 planning meeting.2

creative writing

My creativity mentor, Kathleen, sent me some information about a 40-day writing program, https://www.reneehartleib.ca/40-day-writing-project

I’ve been following James Clear, who was also recommended to me by Kathleen, and a recent email I received discusses continuous improvement. In this post, Clear says:

“If you get one percent better each day for one year, you’ll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you’re done.”

Small steps. I just convinced myself to sign up for the 40 day writing project, starting in June!

 

21st century and digital literacy skills at NSCC

This morning, the Central Library Team met with Lisa Boyle, who I had asked to be one of my mentors when she was in the role of Academic Chair, Civil and Building Technologies. She has since moved to the role of  Manager, Teaching and Learning and is embarking on a renewal of the CCEDP program. I was excited to hear that the newly minted program for new instructors will include coursework on understanding the 21st century learner. It will also address digital literacies. I look forward to seeing how we train our faculty in these areas how I can help build library collections which support this work. Stay tuned!

keeping nscc students in mind

Today, I met with my mentor, Antonia, to discuss the 2016 NSCC Fall Student Success Survey, which was delivered to students in the fall. We discussed some of the data in the survey that supports the 21st century and digitial skills research I am completing. I plan to review the survey results in light of my research.

Antonia also suggested I get in touch with NSCC staff who are delivering the Educause survey related to technology, which was just sent out to selected students and faculty. I also plan to review the Educause research as a whole.

 

Yesterday, I also chatted with Darlene, another of my mentors, about physical literacy, terminology which continues to turn up in my research on 21st century workplace skills. Physical literacy, as defined by Physical and Health Education Canada, is:

“Individuals who are physically literate move with competence and confidence in a wide variety of physical activities in multiple environments that benefit the healthy development of the whole person (PHE Canada, 2010). 

Physically literate individuals consistently develop the motivation and ability to understand, communicate, apply, and analyze different forms of movement. They are able to demonstrate a variety of movements confidently, competently, creatively and strategically across a wide range of health-related physical activities. These skills enable individuals to make healthy, active choices that are both beneficial to and respectful of their whole self, others, and their environment.”

While this literacy doesn’t fall within the standard 21st century skills I am researching, it is an important consideration in having a workforce which is healthy and working at its optimal level. Darlene’s practice of incorporating healthy living into her curriculum is important in ensuring the next generation of employees has this workplace skill.

creativity = workplace productivity

In my P21 Creativity Course, I have been learning how creative problem solving is key to workforce success. The course document “What we know about creativity” indicates:

“The well-documented, shifting global paradigm from manufacturing to knowledge-based to innovation economies makes the ability to solve problems creatively a necessary skill for educational and workforce success” (p. 1).

This document defines creativity in ways that mirror the Coursera course on Creativity that I took earlier in my LCP, and it is interesting that my own desire to be a creative learner is in line with what employers are requiring in today’s workforce.

The document indicates that creativity definitions are well developed, and they generally all tend to include novelty, usefulness and social context as defining factors (p. 1). It points out that learning environments are as important as innate ability in student creativity (p. 4), and that the specific conditions of such learning environments include:

  • Openness to experience
  • Confidence in one’s own creative ability
  • Task motivation
  • Domain knowledge and expertise
  • Resilience in the face of criticism

Several means of assessment for creativity are also described.

In all of my reading, Creativity is described as something that requires work, not just innate ability.

Before Christmas, my Creativity mentor, Kathleen, referred me to a blog by James Clear, who offers advice on how to  “master” creativity and transform our habits so that we can be more creative, which will help us be more productive and happier.

 

Clear, J. (1994). Mastering creativity: break through mental blocks, uncover your creative genius, and make brilliance a habit. Retrieved from http://jamesclear.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/creativity-v1.pdf

Clear, J. (2013). Transform your habits: learning how psychology makes it easier for you to live healthy and actually stick to your goals. Retrieved from http://jamesclear.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/habits-v2.pdf

Plucker, J. A., Kaufman, J. C., Beghetto, R. A. (n.d.). What we know about creativity: part of the 4Cs Research Series. Retrieved from http://www.p21.org/storage/documents/docs/Research/P21_4Cs_Research_Brief_Series_-_Creativity.pdf

This document contains an annotated bibliography.

 

21st century skills at nscc

Last week, I met with one of my mentors, Darlene Burton, about the application of 21st century skills in the NSCC curricula.

I have been unable to determine how NSCC is identifying concerns related to 21st century skills training, and my discussions with mentors indicates that much of this is being identified anecdotally by faculty who see gaps in critical thinking among their students.

My mentor discussed Bloom’s Taxonomy , which presents different levels of critical thinking skills. To summarize Bloom’s:

Level 1- Knowledge: students can recall information, fundamental facts and concepts

Level 2- Comprehension: students demonstrate understanding of facts by being able to compare, contrast, summarize, infer.

Level 3 – Application: students can apply learning to new situations.

Level 4 – Analysis: students can make inferences.

Level 5 – Synthesis: students can compile information in different ways to create new solutions.

The goal is that students can move beyond levels 1 and 2 so that they recognise and understand the critical thinking processes, a key 21st century skill, in their coursework. This sometimes requires more explicit instruction, since students do not always recognise the link between higher level questions and course objectives.

The 21st century skills element of Information Literacy incorporates the need for critical thinking in managing and using information. Students should be able to:

  • Access information efficiently and effectively.
  • Evaluate information critically and competently.
  • Use information accurately and creatively for the problem at hand.
  • Manage information flow from multiple sources.
  • Understand ethical and legal uses of information.

Over the next few months, I plan to discuss with NSCC librarians how they address these elements.

 

where to go next

Mary Jane and I have been trying to get together to discuss the direction of our LCPs, but September and October are pretty hectic months at NSCC.

In my meeting with my mentor, Andrea Stewart, earlier in the fall, we discussed the need to incorporate 21st Century Skills into library instruction. My research supports this, and now I plan to conduct more research on how to design library service that aligns with 21st Century Skills. I will look at how libraries are interpreting these skills and applying them to library instruction and collection development. I hope to develop a presentation for the Librarians’ meeting in June.

I also want to follow up with mentors relating to how 21st century skills are addressed through the curriculum and through Student Services at NSCC.