Librarians and instructional designers at institutions of higher education are often tasked with instructing or coaching faculty, staff, or students involved in curriculum-related or grant-funded outreach projects to PreK12 audiences. As this type of coaching is not a typical area of training for librarians and instructional designers, we designed the toolkit for multiple user audiences: for use by practicing professional librarians or instructional designers, and for active-student learning course experiences within graduate-level library and information science and/or instructional design courses. While these reader communities may conduct direct outreach to and within PreK12, we generally envision librarian and instructional design professions taking on the role of instructor and coach to subject matter experts seeking to conduct PreK12 outreach.
This material may likewise be used for project-based university-level education in which graduate or undergraduate students form new outreach-oriented partnerships to contribute usable content to PreK12 learning environments. A third potential use for higher education faculty or staff, and especially librarians and instructional designers involves leveraging open licenses on the various presentations, transcripts, forms and templates to support and customize their outreach efforts to PreK12 generated from within higher education.
Philosophical and Praxis Framing
This toolkit is built on the premise that freely sharing educational materials is good, and that sharing with open licenses is even better. Further, this toolkit assumes the reader and collaborators’ intent to build and share content under the conditions of Open Educational Resources (OER) — namely, that collaborators using this material intend to freely and publicly release their original works for others to use under a license that permits free use, reuse, modification and sharing with others.
Consistent with Davis (1989) Technology Acceptance Model which posits that the acceptance of new practices, like new information technologies, depends on the perception of usefulness and perceived ease of use, with ease of understanding (Rogers and Shoemaker, 1971)) and self-efficacy (Bandura, 1982), the level of one’s ability to execute a course of action being a determinant of ease of use, and cost-benefit analysis relating to perceived usefulness. We hope that readers find that the concepts and practices shared within as understandable, easily transmittable, can be combined with readers’ and collaborators’ expertise, and will ultimately be actionable and productive.
Selected Learning Objectives
This resource was created with variety of learning objectives. These are located at the beginning of each chapter.
- Summarize the nature of challenges in collaborative partnerships between higher education and PreK12 education
- Identify how to obtain training required of faculty, staff, and students who work with minors
- Identify different formats/displays of Creative Commons licenses on works found on the web / or items in the wild
- List five allowable cases in which something can be incorporated into one’s OER
- Download and correctly attribute Creative Commons-licensed images
- Use tips and strategies for connecting with school districts
- Articulate general features of collaborative partnerships
- Determine who your potential partner(s) may be
- Reflect on the level of effort and level of benefit of your proposed project for the school district
- Make informed and user-centric decisions regarding what software to use
- Demonstrate how to adapt an openly-licensed resource
- Articulate basic steps to develop and evaluate resources for accessibility
- Demonstrate how to correctly attribute adaptation of a Creative Commons’ licensed work
- Evaluate your own work and request evaluation of your work from teachers or other stakeholders
- Create and share an open educational resource
Collaborative partnerships are as unique as the individual partners and their contexts, so advanced topics on collaboration are not included. With regard to development of learning resources, we have aimed to be agnostic regarding technical platforms, with the understanding that the best environments in which to develop and share resources are ones that will actually be used.
How the Toolkit is Organized
The toolkit is organized sequentially in the order needed for learning, instructing and coaching faculty, staff, and students within higher education, and those faculty, staff, and students developing and engaging in collaborative partnerships with PreK12 educators. Each of these sections includes one or more of the following: video, presentations, transcripts, activities, guides, assignments, assessments, templates, and self-assessment tools.
- Part I: Mastering the Context includes preparatory materials for all three levels of learners. These are designed to build foundational knowledge regarding collaboration challenges, best practices for direct work with students under age 18, an introduction to open educational resources, principles of copyright, a practical guide for finding, using and attributing openly-licensed images, an accessibility guide, and an introduction to empowering and building collaborative partnerships with PreK12.
- These resources are designed to be used and presented by librarians and/or instructional designers who are engaged in instructing or coaching higher education faculty, staff, and students who will make the connections with PreK12.
- Part II: Explore and Build a Collaboration is action-oriented and intended to enable an informed and reflective practice for higher education personnel reaching out to a PreK12 educators.
- These resources are intended for use by higher education faculty, staff, and students making connections with PreK12 educators
- Part III: Develop and Evaluate Learning Resources describes adapting of Creative Commons-licensed resources, includes guidance for adapting openly-licensed resources, tools for checking one’s work, and obtaining structured feedback from a PreK12 partner. A brief discussion regarding selection of software or hosting sites is included. The list of software/hosting options are specific to the current mainstream PreK12 uses and are not intended to be comprehensive.
- These resources are intended for use by higher education faculty, staff, and students.
- Part IV: Share Learning Resources with a Broader Audience presents rationale for sharing with an emphasis on making the learning resources discoverable by a broad audience.
- This section is intended for use by higher education faculty, staff, and students, and PreK12 partners.
- Finally, Part V: Evaluate Your Learning presents a self-assessment exercise
- This resource is intended for use by all learners.
When provided, slide decks are available in GoogleSlides and PPT. Each slide deck contains a text transcript in the “notes” section of the Google slide deck and within the toolkit. Most slide decks contain self-test questions throughout.
Navigating the Toolkit by Role and Paths through the Material
Relevant to all roles are sections in Part I: Mastering the Context which is designed to encourage development of baseline knowledge regarding: 1 documented challenges in PreK12 and Higher Ed collaboratives, 2 working directly with minors, 3 the case of open educational resources, 4 copyright, 5 using others’ works, 6 finding, using, and attributing openly-licensed images, 7 accessibility, 8 the need for librarians to reset expectations regarding their role, and the ultimate purpose of the toolkit — 9 empowering teachers and building successful collaborative partnerships. The toolkit is designed for use in formal instructional settings, specifically for use as an experiential learning resource for courses in graduate programs in library and information science. However, there are multiple paths through the material for collaborators with many different roles.
- Higher education librarians consulting with higher education faculty and students may find it helpful to familiarize themselves to the point of being able to teach and respond to inquiries related to Part I: Mastering the Context, Section 13 Adapting Creative Commons-licensed resources, and 16. Share Resources Publicly, then review materials in Part II: Explore and Build and judge the relevance in providing these to collaborators conducting direct outreach to PreK12 audiences.
- School librarians engaged in such projects may be interested in taking a leading role teaching and leading PreK12 teachers and administrators through content on 3 open educational resources, 4 copyright, 5 using others’ works, 6 finding, using, and attributing openly-licensed images, 7 accessibility, 13 adapting Creative Commons-licensed resources, 14 & 15 reviewing quality, and 16 sharing resources publicly.
- Instructional designers may especially find material in sections 3-7 from Part I: Mastering the Context, 13 adapting OER and 14 self-test quality control checklists, and 16 share resources publicly. Each of these sections directly address issues and practices for developing learning content.
- Subject matter experts, graduate and/or undergraduate students in direct contact with PreK12 personnel are encouraged to first familiarize themselves with Section 1: Challenges in Collaboration between Higher Ed and PreK12 and Section 9: Successful Partnerships and Empowering Teacher to Share their Expertise.
- Prek12 teachers and administrators may appreciate learning about 1 challenges in collaboration between Higher Ed and PreK12, 3 an introduction to open educational resources, resources on 4 copyright and 5 using others’ works, 6 finding, using, and attributing openly-licensed images, and making resources more accessible. They may benefit from discussing 12 improving a proposed collaboration, 13. learning to adapt Creative Commons-licensed resources, 15 teacher/administrator/school librarian reviewer rubric, and 16 sharing resources publicly.
For readers without a specific scenario in mind, the following sample scenarios may spark some ideas regarding potential uses of this material:
- A professor in earth science is enthusiastic for PreK12 students to learn about new research they have published regarding Yellowstone National Park. The research includes specific scientific methods and has practical impacts for understanding the geology of the park. The level of the research and language of recent articles is too advanced for PreK12 students. The researcher wonders, “This is so interesting. How can I make this relevant to a PreK12 audience? How would I narrow the content to be useful? Is there any alignment with PreK12 standards? What might that look like in a PreK12 context? Can I use this as a “broader impacts” part of a grant proposal?
- A graduate student who studies video gaming thinks that PreK12 students might be inspired for future careers in music, technology, or programming by exposure to methods for research in her area. How does this graduate student find a teacher who might also be interested in exploring the feasibility of this idea and collaboration on development of learning resources around it?
- A librarian has been asked to provide guidance to a group of researchers who have a grant to create learning materials with and for specific Prek12 grade levels in the area of their expertise. What value added does the librarian provide on copyright, open licensing, and training others?
- An undergraduate student in education is tasked with developing content for a PreK12 class as part of an accredited college course. How can I get up to speed on all they might need to know in order to create something useful for the PreK12 audience? Where might this student start? What is the most imortant for the student to know?
Using the Toolkit in a Formal Instruction Setting
This modular toolkit contains assignments, activities, and links to additional readings which provide practice or real-world application for those courses focused with an PreK12outreach or consulting within higher education component.
The toolkit also provides introductory materials regarding open educational resources (OER) for readers for whom this concept may be unfamiliar. In an instructional setting OER may be adopted “as is,” arranged, curated, customized/adapted, or added to. Each level of practice has different implications for the level of effort. Regardless of the route a teacher takes to use open educational resource, there are things to learn and things to do that are not without effort. Here are some of the costs — and things that teachers or collaborators involved in making OER may need to learn to do. These are addressed within the toolkit.
- Locate OER
- Review OER
- (optional) Adapt or author OER
- Apply copyright, open licensing, and fair use knowledge
- Track added content, licenses, and required attributions
- Ensure the accessibility of the open educational resource for most users with disabilities
- Davis, F. D. (1989). Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and user acceptance of information technology. MIS Quarterly, 13(3), 318-340. ↵
- Rogers, E.M. and Shoemaker, F.F. Communication of Innovations: A Cross-Cultural Approach, Free Press, New York, NY, 1971.p.154 ↵
- Bandura, A. "Self-Efficacy Mechanism in Human Agency," American Psychologist (37:2), February 1982, pp. 122-147. ↵
- Elder, A., (2019) The OER Starter Kit. ↵