Screenshot 2016-09-06 18.51.01My case study proposal nearly came crashing around my knees last week; and as I acknowledged on a tweet, I was fortunate to have our course coordinator’s immediate support across the time/distance lines.

It was a matter of re-tweaking and refocusing and resubmitting my final assessment case study proposal. I am reminded of the addage that sometimes doors close and open when they should, as my new direction, I think will provide greater insight into my teaching practice as a teacher librarian.  Here is the new case study proposal:

  1. Case Study Proposal –  Question

How has the school library program developed digital and information literacies necessary for students to support their independent research and collaborative inquiry? An exploratory case study within the IB PYP  inquiry process.

  1. Brief description of  project

“Deep learners integrate new learning into their knowledge” thereby utilising critical thinking which is promoted by active learner participation (van Staalduinen, 2011, p.100).  However, “the internet is also altering the nature of literacy, generating ‘New Literacies’ that require additional skills and strategies” (Leu et. al., 2014, 344). As the 2015 ACRL framework acknowledges:

“ Students have a greater role and responsibility in creating new knowledge, in understanding the contours and the changing dynamics of the world of information, and in using information, data, and scholarship ethically.” (2015, 2).

The current exploratory case study seeks to reflect on digital and information literacies taught over a school year, as part of the library program, and have students engage in a brief inquiry process to provide a snapshot of their learning.  

This project will focus on year 5 upper elementary school students, within an international school setting. Throughout the school year the teacher librarian introduced new literacies skills and strategies, including academic integrity, to support student learning.  An earlier case study using game based learning to reinforce threshold concepts of website evaluation was also undertaken with this same group.

Now the question is, can students show evidence of having synthesised these skills and strategies as they undertake independent in-depth inquiry into authentic, real life issues or problems that provoke them as they start the  PYP Exhibition process.

  1. Expected outcomes of the project

The expected outcome of this project is to:

  • consider whether students have internalised knowledge and  “transformed practice where they are able to apply information learned to different contexts in different situations and social environments” (Cazden et al., 1996 in Rochester, 2014, Wang chapter 75).
  • Students will be critiqued using the following criteria:
    • Use validity criteria to evaluate information sources
    • Are able to construct a premeditated search strategy
    • Use multiple resources, including different search engines depending on purpose
    • Synthesize or manage multiple sources using digital  technologies
    • Create bibliographic records using an online citation tool
  1. Case Study Plan

Week Beginning Plan/Actions Resources
Week 5:

15 August 2016

Confirm topic and continue background reading into the concepts of “new literacies”, multimodal literacies, digital literacies, information literacy, participatory technologies
Define major concepts
Contact teachers to gather interest in class/group involvement; Explain case study to PYP Curriculum Coordinator
Information literacy session:

Revise bibliographic referencing skills & introduce online citation tool REFME

Readings into “new literacies”

Exhibition staff meeting to discuss upcoming PYP Exhibition  (general overview)

Week 6:

22 August 2016

Create qualitative survey for students
*Create checklist for observation ( framework based on Nicole Timbrell: Reciprocal Reading Strategies in Offline & online reading environments (see References) and web evaluation CARRDS criteria.
Google Sheets
PYP Exhibition Provocation workshop sessions (arranged by PYP Coordinator) Attend.

Blogging workshop, Critical thinking using the PYP Concepts to develop questions

Week 7:

29 August 2016

Information literacy session: Creative commons, public domain, images Meeting with HOY 5 to discuss Exhibition following collaborative meeting
Week 8:

5 September 2016

Information literacy session:  Introduce mini research process activity; show students how to use Quicktime player to make screen recordings; students practice.
Provocation video – watch, students bookmark

Discuss major PYP and related concepts


Checklist ?

Quicktime player – screen recording – to track mouse clicks

Stored search history

Youth for Human Rights
PYP transdisciplinary theme: How we express ourselves –

An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.

PYP Concepts:

Form: What is it like?

Function: How does it work?

Causation: Why is it like it is?

Change: How is it changing?

Connection: How is it connected to other things?

Perspective: What are the points of view?

Responsibility: What is our responsibility?

Reflection: How do we know?

Week 9:

12 September 2016

Information literacy session:

Students have keyword cheat sheet, and also refer to earlier sketchnote work on Where do I find? How do I know?

In pairs, students discuss and choose one of the major PYP concepts

Observe groups as they continue inquiry process  


Quicktime player – screen recording – to track mouse clicks –

Stored search history

Week 10:

19 September 2016

Information literacy session:

Observe groups as they continue inquiry process  
Information literacy sessions: Student survey
Start writing Case Study Report

Student survey – Google forms
Term break:

26 September 2016

Collate student survey, interview and observations data

Continue writing of Case Study Report

Term break:

3 October 2016

Complete writing of Case Study Report

Write Critical Reflection

10 October 2016 Case study and Critical Reflection uploaded to Easts. (Due date)
Share Case Study Report with class teachers and school leadership via Thinkspace blog link: Reflections for a Digital Age.


Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL). (2015). Framework for information literacy for higher education. Retrieved from

Coiro, J. (2003). Reading comprehension on the Internet: Expanding our understanding of reading comprehension to encompass new literacies. Reading Teacher, 56(5), 458.

Leu, D.J., Forzani, E., Rhoads, C., Maykel, C., Kennedy, C., & Timbrell, N. (2015). The new literacies of online research and comprehension: Rethinking the reading achievement gap. Reading Research Quarterly, 50(1). 1-23. Newark, DE: International Reading Association. doi: 10.1002/rrq.85. Retrieved from

Leu, D.J., Zawilinski, L., Forzani, E. & Timbrell, N. (2014). Best practices in teaching the New Literacies of Online Research and Comprehension [in press]. 343-364. Retrieved from

Mackey, T.P. & Jacobson, T.E. (2011). Reframing literacy as a metaliteracy. College & Research Libraries, 72(1), 62-78. doi:10.5860/crl-76r1

Timbrell, N. (9 May 2014). Using reciprocal reading strategies to boost online reading comprehension. Document from author.

Timbrell, N. (9 May 2014). Reciprocal reading strategies in offline and online reading environments. Retrieved from

Rochester, R. R. (2014).Multiliteracies pedagogy. In V. Wang (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Education and Technology in a Changing Society, 1005-1013. Hershey, PA:. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-6046-5.ch008

Van Staalduinen, J. (2011). A First Step towards Integrating Educational Theory and Game Design. In P. Felicia (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Improving Learning and Motivation through Educational Games: Multidisciplinary Approaches, 98-117.  Hershey, PA: . doi:10.4018/978-1-60960-495-0.ch005