LIS-S 577 Designing for Informal Learning Environments
- Prerequisite(s): LIS-S 500, LIS-S 507
- Delivery: Online
- Semesters offered: Fall, Spring (Check the schedule to confirm.)
Providing educational programming and facilitating meaningful learning experiences is a fundamental practice for all types of library professionals. Regardless of whether you work in academic, public, school or any other type of library, library professionals are asked to design and facilitate learning. However, many MLIS professionals express that they did not take any courses that prepared them to design, teach, and facilitate learning experiences. LIS-S577 helps students to conceptualize what learning is, analyze how learning happens outside of school, and prepare students to intentionally design and facilitate different types of learning within information institution settings. In this course, students extend beyond what they know about outcome-based learning frameworks that are often used in formal learning settings (i.e., schools) to apply diverse theories and methods of learning used in informal learning settings. As a culminating project, this course requires students to design informal learning experience (i.e., library programming, field trip, in-class activity) and facilitate them with real human subjects and analyze their own facilitation through interaction analysis. Also, students will engage in iterative design cycles to revise the informal learning experience they designed. In this process, students will share successes, mistakes, growth and reflect on their identity as a facilitator.
Program Learning Goals Supported
Instructors map their courses to specific LIS Program Goals. Mapped program goals drive the design of each course and what students can expect to generally learn.
- Connect Core Values and Professional Ethics to Practice
- Facilitate Engagement in the Information Ecosystem
- Organize and Represent Information
- Conduct Systematic Research to Inform Decisions
Instructors develop learning outcomes for their courses. Students can expect to be able to achieve the learning outcomes for a given course after successfully completing the course.
- Analyze and evaluate multiple theoretical perspectives and frameworks for understanding and designing for learning outside of schools.
- Analyze and design for the learning needs, interests, and culture of a target learner group to create an informal learning environment.
- Apply the connected learning framework, facilitation strategies, design tools, and appropriate technologies to design and facilitate a high-quality informal learning environment in a library or professional setting.
- Engage in peer critique iterations and design cycles to evaluate and improve the informal learning environment and facilitation skills.
Instruction is in Canvas. Lessons are organized into Modules whose length may vary.
[Unit 1: Foundations]
Module 1: Foundational Theories
- Analyze how the behaviorist, cognitivist, and sociocultural paradigms of learning are applied to support learning
Module 2: How People Learn
- Understand the roles of the individual, context, and culture in the learning process
- Analyze how different views of learning theorize human behavior
- Develop your view of learning and facilitation
Module 3: Facilitation
- Explore and analyze facilitation strategies and methods in informal learning environments
Module 4: Analysis of Learning and Facilitation
- Analyze different ways in which learning occurs and identify facilitation strategies that support learning in your information institution setting
[Unit 2: Applying Program Design Methods]
Module 5-6: Program Design Approaches
- Understand and apply various program design approaches (i.e., backward design, design thinking, connected learning, participatory design)
- Implement one of the program design approaches to design an informal learning experience
Module 7: Target Learner
- Analyze and address the learning needs, interests, and cultures of a learner group who will be the target audience for your informal learning program
Module 8-10: Design Iterations
- Apply connected learning framework and/or other methods to design a high-quality informal learning experience in a library or professional setting
- Engage in multiple iterations of peer critique and design cycles to evaluate and improve the informal learning experience and the facilitation skills
[Unit 3: Facilitate and Revise Your Program Design]
Module 11-12: Facilitation in Action
- Implement your informal learning program and demonstrate effective professional facilitation skills
Module 13-14: Evaluation and Revision
- Engage in multiple iterations of peer critique and design cycles to evaluate and improve the informal learning program and the facilitation skills
- Reflect on the role of a facilitator
Policies and Procedures
Please be aware of the following linked policies and procedures. Note that in individual courses instructors will have stipulations specific to their course.