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Students performing research in higher education, especially at the undergraduate level, is a progressively dazzling task in the universe of digital and print resources. Using sound pedagogy to create student confidence in approaching research, hand in hand with creating scholarship, is a challenge tackled well by librarians and teaching faculty together.

We will discuss three theories and their place in research methods, using ACRL’sFramework for Information Literacy as context. First, Mezirow’s Transformative Learning Theory. Second, Perry’s Epistemology of Learning: moving a student’s absolute belief in all things defined by authority toward a belief in his own values and readiness to learn. Third, Doll’s 4 Rs: Richness, Recursion, Relations, Rigor.

The threshold concepts asserted in the Framework include, among others, Scholarship as Conversation, Research as Inquiry, and Searching as Strategic Exploration. As research experts, librarians can lead students toward a transformed philosophy about creating a research question and understanding how scholarship is created and published. Librarians and teaching faculty alike can use both the pedagogical theories and the threshold concepts to create the lifelong learning that we all seek in higher education.


Presented at the SoTL Commons Conference held March 30-April 1, 2016.

SoTL 2016.pdf (308 kB)
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