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RECONSIDERING THRESHOLD CONCEPTS
A critical appraisal of the ACRL Framework for
Information Literacy
LOEX 2015 – Denver, C...
Where I’m not going
CC BY https://www.flickr.com/photos/aloha75/10282887855
Today’s sampler
What is
threshold
concept
theory
(TCT)?
Where does
TCT break
down?
How does
TCT limit
the ACRL
Framework?
...
What is Threshold
Concept Theory?
CC-BY-NC-ND https://www.flickr.com/photos/woordenaar/16441044465/
Liminality
CC-BY-NC-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/theenmoy/14960354631/
Threshold Concept theory was inspired by the
an...
Threshold Concepts
CC BY-NC-ND https://www.flickr.com/photos/renedepaula/6014699888/
Jan H. F. (Erik) Meyer
Univ. of Queen...
Threshold Concepts
“akin to a portal, opening up a new and
previously inaccessible way of thinking
about something.”
-Meye...
Threshold Concepts
“a transformed way of
understanding…without which the learner
cannot progress.”
-Meyer & Land, 2003
CC ...
Threshold Concepts
“how people ‘think’ in a particular
discipline”
-Meyer & Land, 2003
CC BY-NC-ND https://www.flickr.com/...
Threshold Concepts
An analytical theory that speaks to how
students gain mastery over specific
domains of knowledge (i.e. ...
Threshold Concepts
Five Characteristics:
1. Transformative
2. Probably irreversible
3. Integrative
4. Possibly often (thou...
Threshold Concepts
These are not “core concepts”
“a core concept…has to be understood
but it does not necessarily lead to ...
Threshold Concepts and
Information Literacy
Townsend, Brunetti, & Hofer, 2011
• ACRL Standards are of
limited use
Library ...
Threshold Concepts and
Information Literacy
Townsend, Brunetti, & Hofer, 2011
• ACRL Standards are of
limited use
• Thresh...
Threshold Concepts and
Information Literacy
Townsend, Brunetti, & Hofer, 2011
• ACRL Standards are of
limited use
• Thresh...
TCT & the ACRL
June 2012: ACRL Board votes to revise Standards
March 2013: Task Force founded
Feb. 20, 2014: Draft 1, Part...
Where Threshold
Concepts Break Down
CC-BY-NC-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/jmkuchta/102288877/
Criticism
Rowbottom, 2007; O’Donnell, 2010; Walker, 2013; Wilkinson, 2014
• Troublesome knowledge
is agent-relative
What’s...
Criticism
Rowbottom, 2007; O’Donnell, 2010; Walker, 2013; Wilkinson, 2014
• Troublesome knowledge
is agent-relative
• Disc...
Criticism
Rowbottom, 2007; O’Donnell, 2010; Walker, 2013; Wilkinson, 2014
• Troublesome knowledge
is agent-relative
• Disc...
Criticism
Rowbottom, 2007; O’Donnell, 2010; Walker, 2013; Wilkinson, 2014
• Troublesome knowledge
is agent-relative
• Disc...
Criticism
Rowbottom, 2007; O’Donnell, 2010; Walker, 2013; Wilkinson, 2014
• Troublesome knowledge
is agent-relative
• Disc...
Criticism
Rowbottom, 2007; O’Donnell, 2010; Walker, 2013; Wilkinson, 2014
• Troublesome knowledge
is agent-relative
• Disc...
Criticism
Rowbottom, 2007; O’Donnell, 2010; Walker, 2013; Wilkinson, 2014
• Troublesome knowledge
is agent-relative
• Disc...
Criticism
Rowbottom, 2007; O’Donnell, 2010; Walker, 2013; Wilkinson, 2014
• Troublesome knowledge
is agent-relative
• Disc...
Threshold Concepts &
The ACRL Framework
CC-BY-NC https://www.flickr.com/photos/96dpi/1063145950/
CC-BY-NC-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/dontoine/6015067182/
The Standards need to go
• Not in line with other orgs (AAS...
Not entirely
CC-BY-NC-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevegarfield/7410285204/
Is the Framework the right
choice?
CC-BY-NC-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/pah57/3781487784/
Rethinking the Framework
1. Descriptive but not explanatory
2....
CC-BY-NC https://www.flickr.com/photos/e06158/2956432732/
1. The Framework is not explanatory
The Standards were prescript...
The Framework is descriptive
CC-BY-NC https://www.flickr.com/photos/psi_mon/3473153641/
1. The Framework is not explanator...
But what’s the broader picture?
CC-BY-NC https://www.flickr.com/photos/25145688@N04/8674931131/
1. The Framework is not ex...
What are the Frames gateways into?
CC-BY-NC https://www.flickr.com/photos/25145688@N04/8674931131/
1. The Framework is not...
This is intentional
CC-BY-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/cogdog/8426054506/
2. The Framework does not connect
to the Sta...
Problem: Librarians are going to try
CC-BY-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/cogdog/8426054506/
2. The Framework does not c...
Problem: The Standards are still here
CC-BY-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/cogdog/8426054506/
2. The Framework does not ...
The ACRL is promoting two conflicting
documents
CC-BY-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/cogdog/8426054506/
2. The Framework...
Like it or not, we have to assess
CC-BY-ND https://www.flickr.com/photos/petroleumjelliffe/8376835399/
3. What about asses...
Problem: The Framework resists assessment
CC-BY-ND https://www.flickr.com/photos/petroleumjelliffe/8376835399/
3. What abo...
Problem: The Framework resists assessment
CC-BY-ND https://www.flickr.com/photos/petroleumjelliffe/8376835399/
3. What abo...
Problem: The Framework resists assessment
CC-BY-ND https://www.flickr.com/photos/petroleumjelliffe/8376835399/
3. What abo...
CC-BY https://www.flickr.com/photos/pigpilot/8648649408/
4. Issues of disciplinary identity
“information literacy is a dis...
“Think like a __________________”mathematician.
CC-BY https://www.flickr.com/photos/pigpilot/8648649408/
4. Issues of disc...
“Think like a __________________”chemist.
CC-BY https://www.flickr.com/photos/pigpilot/8648649408/
4. Issues of disciplina...
“Think like a __________________”English professor.
CC-BY https://www.flickr.com/photos/pigpilot/8648649408/
4. Issues of ...
“Think like a __________________”librarian?
CC-BY https://www.flickr.com/photos/pigpilot/8648649408/
4. Issues of discipli...
CC-BY-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/ryawesome/4279981607/
5. Lack of research
The Delphi Study?
CC-BY-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/ryawesome/4279981607/
5. Lack of research
Problem: The right methodology?
Delphi Me...
CC-BY-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/ryawesome/4279981607/
5. Lack of research
Problem: Why this methodology?
Is student...
CC-BY-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/ryawesome/4279981607/
5. Lack of research
Problem: Whose Frames are these?
Who came...
CC BY-ND https://www.flickr.com/photos/craige/3783034877/
6. Where are the core concepts?
Problem: Threshold concepts are ...
CC BY-ND https://www.flickr.com/photos/craige/3783034877/
6. Where are the core concepts?
Problem: Threshold concepts are ...
CC-BY-NC-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/anotherpintplease/8017018077/
Bonus: Even the Threshold Concepts
guy is skeptica...
Where do we go from
here?
The Framework is a great document
but with limited scope
CCBY-NChttps://www.flickr.com/photos/visualities/159815673/
It’s just one beer in the six-pack
CC BY https://www.flickr.com/photos/pagedooley/14554179051/
Lessons from the Framework
1. Pedagogy matters
CC BY-NC-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/tomscott/1967268/
Lessons from the Framework
Students do have
liminal experiences
CC BY-NC-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/tomscott/1967268...
Lessons from the Framework
Let’s explore broader
roles and new
partnerships across the
curriculum.
CC BY-NC-SA https://www...
Lessons from the Framework
Ownership implies
responsibility.
Let’s do some real
research on this and
make our position
air...
Lessons from the Framework
Social epistemology
Critical theory
Communication theory
Speech act theory
???
Librarians aren’...
Thanks from Chattanooga!
Lane Wilkinson
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
lane-wilkinson@utc.edu
@lnwlk
Stuff I mentioned
Dalal, H. (2015, Jan. 7). An open letter regarding the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Edu...
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Reconsidering Threshold Concepts (LOEX 2015, Denver, CO)

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(Abstract) At the core of the new ACRL Framework for Information Literacy is the educational theory of threshold concepts, according to which every discipline contains "troublesome" concepts that stand as barriers to learning. Accordingly, by identifying these barriers and directing our teaching towards them, educators can foster deeper understanding and appreciation of complex subjects. In light of the new ACRL Framework's adoption of threshold concepts, this presentation from a former member of the Framework Task Force will offer a critical assessment of the applicability of threshold concepts to information literacy.

This presentation will argue that the six "frames" of information literacy are underdetermined, they fail to distinguish concepts from skills, they are too relative to individual student experiences to provide general guidance, and they reduce information literacy to a single discipline. This last point is especially important insofar as the new Framework removes our ability to think of information literacy as a general, interdisciplinary set of critical thinking skills.

Ultimately, through its insistence on threshold concepts as first principles, the new ACRL Framework moves away from its promise of holism and instead becomes inward-looking and exclusionary. Thankfully, the Framework is malleable enough that with a few modifications to threshold concept theory, an increased sensitivity to student learning differences, and close attention to the cross-disciplinary relevance of information literacy, there is something to salvage. Rather than accept the ACRL Framework uncritically, we owe it to ourselves and our students to ask tough questions.

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  • @Nathan Filbert The issue with interdisciplinarity arises within the scope of Meyer & Land's definition of threshold concepts as transformative, irreversible gateways into bounded disciplines. What I'm really objecting to is that TC theory takes an essentialist view of disciplines: these are the X number of concepts that delineate expertise in this discipline. It devolves into boundary policing. For what it's worth, there are several decades of research into how we acquire expertise or mastery of skills/concept/theories. It's a robust area of inquiry in educational psychology, cognitive science, and related fields. Threshold concept theory lacks the robustness, explanatory power, and holism found in other theories (Chi's "The Nature of Expertise" or Hmelo-Silver and Pfeiffer’s Structure-Behavior-Function theory or the Dreyfus model or any of a hundred alternatives.) More to my liking, these alternative theories attempt to understand how the learning process works and how the expert mind works. TC theory says "here's what experts have to know", other theories say "here is how experts think." To me, the latter approach is far less prescriptive and far superior.
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  • In fact, I believe both TC & Framework are designed to address the multidisciplinary "problem" of a digital or hybrid environment with specific trans-disciplinary "frames" as IL in said environment depends on expertise in disciplinary discourses (situationally) but requires a meta-disciplinary structure (like philosophy, politics, history, cultural studies, etc)... see for example: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0XHRIUMeue6amIwNERrTnJibTQ/view?usp=sharing and https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0XHRIUMeue6ckxNSEVMUGtSVTQ/view?usp=sharing. Resulting in IL as a holistic conceptual frame and dexterous set of processes enabling learning and knowledge and meaning throughout human activity.
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  • I am thankful to Lane for this instigative presentation around the conceptual content of the Framework. The approach evidences a definitive-hungry (prescriptive) analytical bent which, in dialogue with the more complex, dynamic conceptual bases of the Framework seem to stimulate threshold/liminal areas for exploration. I appreciate that. I'll try to take some time to realize communicatively some of my disagreements - principally around "threshold concepts" and the Framework expressions as fostering silos or strengthening disciplinary domains. It seems to me the concept of liminal/threshold concepts themselves are inherently interdisciplinary/transdisciplinary (quite often what provokes thresholds) and the Framework seems intentionally operational/implementable in any messy (or distinct) context of discourses, disciplines, domains or situations. I agree with Lane that it would appear that this combination of complexity and situational learning is not intuitive to many and therefore needs further exposition and research for effective change. But I will find a way to argue that prescription and definition in our current information access environment will fail to develop literacy.
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Reconsidering Threshold Concepts (LOEX 2015, Denver, CO)

  1. 1. RECONSIDERING THRESHOLD CONCEPTS A critical appraisal of the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy LOEX 2015 – Denver, CO Lane Wilkinson – University of Tennessee at Chattanooga CC-BY-NC-ND https://www.flickr.com/photos/mezzoblue/3268915152/
  2. 2. Where I’m not going CC BY https://www.flickr.com/photos/aloha75/10282887855
  3. 3. Today’s sampler What is threshold concept theory (TCT)? Where does TCT break down? How does TCT limit the ACRL Framework? Where do we go from here? CC BY-NC-ND, https://www.flickr.com/photos/maryatuab/6787202614/
  4. 4. What is Threshold Concept Theory? CC-BY-NC-ND https://www.flickr.com/photos/woordenaar/16441044465/
  5. 5. Liminality CC-BY-NC-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/theenmoy/14960354631/ Threshold Concept theory was inspired by the anthropological concept of liminality. Are there liminal spaces in learning?
  6. 6. Threshold Concepts CC BY-NC-ND https://www.flickr.com/photos/renedepaula/6014699888/ Jan H. F. (Erik) Meyer Univ. of Queensland Ray Land Univ. of Strathclyde The founders of threshold concept theory
  7. 7. Threshold Concepts “akin to a portal, opening up a new and previously inaccessible way of thinking about something.” -Meyer & Land, 2003 CC BY-NC-ND https://www.flickr.com/photos/renedepaula/6014699888/
  8. 8. Threshold Concepts “a transformed way of understanding…without which the learner cannot progress.” -Meyer & Land, 2003 CC BY-NC-ND https://www.flickr.com/photos/renedepaula/6014699888/
  9. 9. Threshold Concepts “how people ‘think’ in a particular discipline” -Meyer & Land, 2003 CC BY-NC-ND https://www.flickr.com/photos/renedepaula/6014699888/
  10. 10. Threshold Concepts An analytical theory that speaks to how students gain mastery over specific domains of knowledge (i.e. disciplines) CC BY-NC-ND https://www.flickr.com/photos/renedepaula/6014699888/
  11. 11. Threshold Concepts Five Characteristics: 1. Transformative 2. Probably irreversible 3. Integrative 4. Possibly often (though not necessarily always) bounded 5. Potentially troublesome -Meyer & Land, 2003 CC BY-NC-ND https://www.flickr.com/photos/renedepaula/6014699888/
  12. 12. Threshold Concepts These are not “core concepts” “a core concept…has to be understood but it does not necessarily lead to a qualitatively different view of subject matter.” -Meyer & Land, 2003 CC BY-NC-ND https://www.flickr.com/photos/renedepaula/6014699888/
  13. 13. Threshold Concepts and Information Literacy Townsend, Brunetti, & Hofer, 2011 • ACRL Standards are of limited use Library instruction should be reframed in terms of “big ideas” and “core tasks” CC BY-NC-ND https://www.flickr.com/photos/renedepaula/6014699888/
  14. 14. Threshold Concepts and Information Literacy Townsend, Brunetti, & Hofer, 2011 • ACRL Standards are of limited use • Threshold concepts can help identify “big ideas” “information literacy instructors…expose students to the threshold concepts of librarians’ discipline–information science–and help students to cross them.” CC BY-NC-ND https://www.flickr.com/photos/renedepaula/6014699888/
  15. 15. Threshold Concepts and Information Literacy Townsend, Brunetti, & Hofer, 2011 • ACRL Standards are of limited use • Threshold concepts can help identify “big ideas” • And inform our teaching “a way to focus and prioritize instructional content and…engaged teaching.” CC BY-NC-ND https://www.flickr.com/photos/renedepaula/6014699888/
  16. 16. TCT & the ACRL June 2012: ACRL Board votes to revise Standards March 2013: Task Force founded Feb. 20, 2014: Draft 1, Part 1 Apr. 4, 2014: Draft 1, Part 2 Jun. 17, 2014: Draft 2 Nov. 12, 2014: Draft 3 Jan 12, 2015: ACRL Board files the Framework CC BY-NC-ND https://www.flickr.com/photos/cellphonesusie/5579103341/
  17. 17. Where Threshold Concepts Break Down CC-BY-NC-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/jmkuchta/102288877/
  18. 18. Criticism Rowbottom, 2007; O’Donnell, 2010; Walker, 2013; Wilkinson, 2014 • Troublesome knowledge is agent-relative What’s troublesome for me may not be troublesome for you. TCT implies that all (or at least most) learners learn the same way and struggle with the same things for the same reasons CC-BY-NC-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/flysi/153021189/
  19. 19. Criticism Rowbottom, 2007; O’Donnell, 2010; Walker, 2013; Wilkinson, 2014 • Troublesome knowledge is agent-relative • Disciplines are not unified Experts disagree. So, whose threshold concepts are we teaching? CC-BY-NC-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/flysi/153021189/
  20. 20. Criticism Rowbottom, 2007; O’Donnell, 2010; Walker, 2013; Wilkinson, 2014 • Troublesome knowledge is agent-relative • Disciplines are not unified Experts disagree. For example, do the thresholds in psychology arise in behavioral psychology? Cognitive psychology? Psychoanalysis? CC-BY-NC-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/flysi/153021189/
  21. 21. Criticism Rowbottom, 2007; O’Donnell, 2010; Walker, 2013; Wilkinson, 2014 • Troublesome knowledge is agent-relative • Disciplines are not unified Experts disagree. Even in information literacy. I don’t think that the scholarship is a conversation. Does that mean I am not information literate? CC-BY-NC-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/flysi/153021189/
  22. 22. Criticism Rowbottom, 2007; O’Donnell, 2010; Walker, 2013; Wilkinson, 2014 • Troublesome knowledge is agent-relative • Disciplines are not unified Experts disagree. Or are we asked to carve every discipline up into myriad non-overlapping sub- disciplines? CC-BY-NC-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/flysi/153021189/
  23. 23. Criticism Rowbottom, 2007; O’Donnell, 2010; Walker, 2013; Wilkinson, 2014 • Troublesome knowledge is agent-relative • Disciplines are not unified • Reinforces siloing Threshold concepts do not play nicely with interdisciplinarity. CC-BY-NC-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/flysi/153021189/
  24. 24. Criticism Rowbottom, 2007; O’Donnell, 2010; Walker, 2013; Wilkinson, 2014 • Troublesome knowledge is agent-relative • Disciplines are not unified • Reinforces siloing For example, the concept of ‘information’ is different in librarianship and engineering. Given that TCs are irreversible, what is an engineering librarian going to do? CC-BY-NC-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/flysi/153021189/
  25. 25. Criticism Rowbottom, 2007; O’Donnell, 2010; Walker, 2013; Wilkinson, 2014 • Troublesome knowledge is agent-relative • Disciplines are not unified • Reinforces siloing • Lack of research TCs are informed by expert opinion. But has anyone asked the students? Where is the empirical research? CC-BY-NC-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/flysi/153021189/
  26. 26. Threshold Concepts & The ACRL Framework CC-BY-NC https://www.flickr.com/photos/96dpi/1063145950/
  27. 27. CC-BY-NC-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/dontoine/6015067182/ The Standards need to go • Not in line with other orgs (AASL, SCONUL) • No guidance on visual and digital literacy -ACRL IL Competency Standards Review Task Force, 2012
  28. 28. Not entirely CC-BY-NC-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevegarfield/7410285204/ Is the Framework the right choice?
  29. 29. CC-BY-NC-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/pah57/3781487784/ Rethinking the Framework 1. Descriptive but not explanatory 2. No connection to Standards 3. Assessment troubles 4. Problem of disciplinarity 5. Lack of research 6. Core concepts?
  30. 30. CC-BY-NC https://www.flickr.com/photos/e06158/2956432732/ 1. The Framework is not explanatory The Standards were prescriptive Think of a footrace. The Standards focused on the finish line
  31. 31. The Framework is descriptive CC-BY-NC https://www.flickr.com/photos/psi_mon/3473153641/ 1. The Framework is not explanatory The Framework shifts our attention to the obstacles
  32. 32. But what’s the broader picture? CC-BY-NC https://www.flickr.com/photos/25145688@N04/8674931131/ 1. The Framework is not explanatory It’s still a one-sided account of info literacy
  33. 33. What are the Frames gateways into? CC-BY-NC https://www.flickr.com/photos/25145688@N04/8674931131/ 1. The Framework is not explanatory We need both description and prescription (explanation)
  34. 34. This is intentional CC-BY-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/cogdog/8426054506/ 2. The Framework does not connect to the Standards “The existence of Standards undermines the purpose of the Framework” -Swanson, 2015
  35. 35. Problem: Librarians are going to try CC-BY-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/cogdog/8426054506/ 2. The Framework does not connect to the Standards “It is NOT counterproductive to map the IL Standards to the IL Framework” - Dalal, 2015
  36. 36. Problem: The Standards are still here CC-BY-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/cogdog/8426054506/ 2. The Framework does not connect to the Standards “Filed by the ACRL Board February 2, 2015, as one of the constellation of information literacy documents from the association.”
  37. 37. The ACRL is promoting two conflicting documents CC-BY-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/cogdog/8426054506/ 2. The Framework does not connect to the Standards “Filed by the ACRL Board February 2, 2015, as one of the constellation of information literacy documents from the association.”
  38. 38. Like it or not, we have to assess CC-BY-ND https://www.flickr.com/photos/petroleumjelliffe/8376835399/ 3. What about assessment?
  39. 39. Problem: The Framework resists assessment CC-BY-ND https://www.flickr.com/photos/petroleumjelliffe/8376835399/ 3. What about assessment? “flexible options for implementation, rather than… a set of standards, learning outcomes, or any prescriptive enumeration of skills.”
  40. 40. Problem: The Framework resists assessment CC-BY-ND https://www.flickr.com/photos/petroleumjelliffe/8376835399/ 3. What about assessment? “it’s impossible to adequately describe a learning goal to students who haven’t yet achieved that goal.” -Meyer & Land, 2010
  41. 41. Problem: The Framework resists assessment CC-BY-ND https://www.flickr.com/photos/petroleumjelliffe/8376835399/ 3. What about assessment? If we’re going to adopt threshold concept theory we have to abandon assessment. Or, we can do the work and explain how Meyer and Land are wrong on assessment. So, who’s going to do that?
  42. 42. CC-BY https://www.flickr.com/photos/pigpilot/8648649408/ 4. Issues of disciplinary identity “information literacy is a disciplinary and a transdisciplinary learning agenda” -ACRL Framework Problem: is information literacy a discipline?
  43. 43. “Think like a __________________”mathematician. CC-BY https://www.flickr.com/photos/pigpilot/8648649408/ 4. Issues of disciplinary identity Problem: Who do we want them to think like? Threshold Concept Theory is about the troublesome spaces that separate novices from experts.
  44. 44. “Think like a __________________”chemist. CC-BY https://www.flickr.com/photos/pigpilot/8648649408/ 4. Issues of disciplinary identity Problem: Who do we want them to think like? Threshold Concept Theory is about the troublesome spaces that separate novices from experts.
  45. 45. “Think like a __________________”English professor. CC-BY https://www.flickr.com/photos/pigpilot/8648649408/ 4. Issues of disciplinary identity Problem: Who do we want them to think like? Threshold Concept Theory is about the troublesome spaces that separate novices from experts.
  46. 46. “Think like a __________________”librarian? CC-BY https://www.flickr.com/photos/pigpilot/8648649408/ 4. Issues of disciplinary identity Problem: Who do we want them to think like? Threshold Concept Theory is about the troublesome spaces that separate novices from experts.
  47. 47. CC-BY-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/ryawesome/4279981607/ 5. Lack of research The Delphi Study?
  48. 48. CC-BY-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/ryawesome/4279981607/ 5. Lack of research Problem: The right methodology? Delphi Methodology 1950s RAND Corporation Forecasting the otherwise untestable Diverse group of experts Anonymous peer collaboration
  49. 49. CC-BY-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/ryawesome/4279981607/ 5. Lack of research Problem: Why this methodology? Is student learning otherwise untestable? Are these findings backed up by any other research? Can they be?
  50. 50. CC-BY-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/ryawesome/4279981607/ 5. Lack of research Problem: Whose Frames are these? Who came up with these Frames? Who are the experts? How diverse are they? Do they represent your library?
  51. 51. CC BY-ND https://www.flickr.com/photos/craige/3783034877/ 6. Where are the core concepts? Problem: Threshold concepts are not core concepts Recall that Meyer & Land are explicit about this. So, what are the core concepts of information literacy?
  52. 52. CC BY-ND https://www.flickr.com/photos/craige/3783034877/ 6. Where are the core concepts? Problem: Threshold concepts are not core concepts Threshold concepts are few and far between in student learning. So what are we teaching in between? What comes before and after the threshold?
  53. 53. CC-BY-NC-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/anotherpintplease/8017018077/ Bonus: Even the Threshold Concepts guy is skeptical! • “What are these frames…entries into? Because they’re not entry into your profession.” • “[Trying to introduce assessment]…reverts back to measuring skills and outcomes. We’re a bit wary about that.” • Covering this in a one-shot seems “a bit of a tall order” -Land, 2015 LILAC Conference
  54. 54. Where do we go from here?
  55. 55. The Framework is a great document but with limited scope CCBY-NChttps://www.flickr.com/photos/visualities/159815673/
  56. 56. It’s just one beer in the six-pack CC BY https://www.flickr.com/photos/pagedooley/14554179051/
  57. 57. Lessons from the Framework 1. Pedagogy matters CC BY-NC-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/tomscott/1967268/
  58. 58. Lessons from the Framework Students do have liminal experiences CC BY-NC-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/tomscott/1967268/ 1. Pedagogy matters 2. Thresholds matter
  59. 59. Lessons from the Framework Let’s explore broader roles and new partnerships across the curriculum. CC BY-NC-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/tomscott/1967268/ 1. Pedagogy matters 2. Thresholds matter 3. Integration matters
  60. 60. Lessons from the Framework Ownership implies responsibility. Let’s do some real research on this and make our position airtight. CC BY-NC-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/tomscott/1967268/ 1. Pedagogy matters 2. Thresholds matter 3. Integration matters 4. Research matters
  61. 61. Lessons from the Framework Social epistemology Critical theory Communication theory Speech act theory ??? Librarians aren’t as theory-averse as you might think CC BY-NC-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/tomscott/1967268/ 1. Pedagogy matters 2. Thresholds matter 3. Integration matters 4. Research matters 5. Theories matter
  62. 62. Thanks from Chattanooga! Lane Wilkinson University of Tennessee at Chattanooga lane-wilkinson@utc.edu @lnwlk
  63. 63. Stuff I mentioned Dalal, H. (2015, Jan. 7). An open letter regarding the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. ACRLog.org [web log]. Retrieved from http://acrlog.org/2015/01/07/an-open-letter-regarding-the-framework-for-information-literacy-for-higher- education/ Davies, P. (2006). “Threshold concepts: how can we recognize them?” in Meyer, E. & Land, R., eds. Overcoming Barriers to Student Understanding Threshold Concepts and Troublesome Knowledge. London: Routledge. Iannuzzi, P. (2013). “Info lit 2.0 or déjà vu?” Communications in Information Literacy, 7(2), 98-107. Land, R. (2015). “There could be trouble ahead’. Threshold concepts, troublesome knowledge and information literacy – a current debate.” Presentation at the meeting of the Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference, Newcastle, UK. Meyer, J. H. F. & Land, R. (2003). Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge: linkages to ways of thinking and practising within the disciplines. In C. Rust (ed.), Improving Student Learning–Ten Years On. Oxford: Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development (OCSLD), 412-424. Morgan, P. (2015). “Pausing at the threshold.” Portal: Libraries and the Academy, 15(1), 183-195. Oakleaf, M. (2014). "A roadmap for assessing student learning using the new Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education." Journal of Academic Librarianship, 40(5), 510-514. O’Donnell, R. (2010). A critique of the threshold concept hypothesis and its application to opportunity cost in economics.( Working Paper No. 164). Retrieved from http://www.finance.uts.edu.au/research/wpapers/wp164.html Rowbottom, D. P. (2007). Demystifying threshold concepts. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 41(2): 263-270. Swanson, T. (2015, Jan. 12). The IL Standards and Framework cannot coexist. [Web log]. Retrieved from http://tametheweb.com/2015/01/12/the-il-standards-and-il-framework-cannot-co-exist-by-ttw-contributor-troy-swanson/ Townsend, L., Brunetti, K., & Hofer, A. R. (2011). Threshold concepts and information literacy. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 11(3), 853-869. Townsend, L., Brunetti, K., & Hofer, A. R. (2012). Troublesome concepts and information literacy: investigating threshold concepts for IL instruction. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 12(4), 387-405. Walker, G. (2013). A cognitive approach to threshold concepts. Higher Education, 65(2), 247-263. Wilkinson, L. (2014, June 19). The problem with threshold concepts. [Web log]. Retrieved from https://senseandreference.wordpress.com/2014/06/19/the-problem-with-threshold-concepts/

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