Table of Contents page
The challenge for the future will be to develop increasingly sophisticated research techniques that will allow us to continue to build the best possible library and information services over time. Our ability to use ongoing evaluation to improve our services will keep us out in front in the increasingly competitive world of information providers and will determine our ultimate success as library and information professionals (Marshall, 2003).
Course format: Although the use of the bulletin board and chat room for this course is very important to the learning experience, the tutorial itself is designed for your independent use. It includes assigned readings, opportunities for reflection, and hands-on searching. The six modules are designed to build upon one another, culminating in a final exercise that incorporates all the main elements covered in the tutorial. For nearly all the modules, there are exercises to complete and submit, and you'll receive evaluative feedback. However, their primary purpose is to allow you to review and reflect on the concepts being discussed. A secondary purpose is to gather feedback from you, the participants, in order to evaluate and improve the tutorial itself. Your answers to the exercises will help achieve that goal.
Prerequisite knowledge and skills: Familiarity with basic search techniques, and access to the LISA database.
Course website and other important links:
· The tutorial is on Blackboard, the educational software used and supported by UNC: https://blackboard.unc.edu
· Blackboard FAQs: If you have never used Blackboard educational software before, please take a few minutes to review information available here: http://help.unc.edu/?trail=4781&trail=4785&within=search-2026960583
· Blackboard support: I will be available throughout the time you’re involved in the tutorial, so please feel free to contact me with questions by calling or emailing me. Live help is also available through the UNC Campus ITS by going here: https://www.unc.edu/ar-bin/websub/index.pl to ask questions by email, phone, or live chat support. If for some reason you cannot access the site, their phone number is (919) 962-HELP.
The primary text for this course in addition to the tutorial itself is Booth & Brice, Evidence-based practice for information professionals: a handbook. For the purpose of this study, your library has been given copies of the book, and you have been provided with reading packets made up of additional assigned readings. A complete bibliography of the readings can be found under the Bibliography link. For those who are interested in continuing to learn about evidence-based practices, further resources are listed.
Tutorial goals and objectives
The purpose of this tutorial is to provide you with a basic familiarity with the concepts and practices of Evidence-based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP). By the time you have finished this tutorial, you should be able to:
For each module, you should:
Timeline: For purposes of the EBLIP research study, you will have 6 weeks to complete the six modules of the tutorial. We are aware that emergencies and other life events are inevitable, however, and will work to accommodate your needs.
Evaluation: This is not a graded course, but one designed to introduce concepts and to encourage your reflection about the concepts and experiences of using EBL practices. You will receive feedback, however, and your responses will be used as part of the date we need to evaluate the tutorial and the current model of EBLIP, itself.
Course bulletin board: In addition to times when it is assigned, you’re encouraged to participate in ongoing discussion on the bulletin board, as a way of enriching the experience.
About this tutorial’s design: The content of this tutorial is modeled on the EBM class and tutorial created by Connie Schardt of Duke University Medical Center Library, and Jill Mayer, of the UNC Health Science Library. I consider their tutorial to be a 'gold standard' of its kind, and am grateful to have had the opportunity to use both excellent tools.
Included in this tutorial is a brief glossary of terms. Your suggestions for additional readings, improvements to the tutorial, and other resources through the feedback form are not only welcome, they're very much encouraged.
Module 1: Evidence-based Medicine Week 1
What’s the basis for Evidence–based Library and Information Practice? In this module, you’ll get a quick overview of the following principles of evidence-based medicine, its precursor:
· Criticism & controversy
· Best evidence
· EBM Summary
Objective met by this module:
Describe the basic principles of evidence-based medicine (EBM), which comprise the foundation for evidence based practice in library and information science (LIS).
Hands-on exercise: Use the tutorial’s bulletin board to post a summary statement about any experiences you may have had with EBM. If your experiences are nonexistent, please feel free to write about your impressions of the model for EBM, instead. Take time to read the comments of others, as well. You are encouraged to share your impressions of the process and principles of EBM, how they have affected your job or the library’s collections, relationship with its patrons, or any other related issues. What do you see for the future of our own involvement?
Readings assigned : Booth & Brice, Ch. 1&2.
Module 2: Background and model for EBLIP Week 2
What’s your familiarity with evidence-based practice for LIS? This module will familiarize you with a ‘soup-to-nuts’ overview of the current model as it has been proposed:
Objectives met by this lesson:
Hands-on exercise: After reading about the levels of evidence, you’ll review abstracts for six research articles in LIS (and several in other fields), then identify the type of research used. Next, you’ll be presented with LIS research questions, and determine what level of evidence would be best suited to exploring the issue. Finally, you’ll post a reflective summary about the model for EBLIP to the class bulletin board, considering how Evidence-based medicine’s borrowed model has been adapted to LIS issues, considering what you’ve been reading here.
Readings assigned: Booth & Brice, Ch. 3&4.
Module 3: The ‘well built question’ in LIS Week 3
How do you zero in on the most pertinent aspects of a project or problem in your work setting? Module 3 proposes a way of asking the ‘well built’ question intended to help do just that, and by the end of it, you’ll have had hands-on practice in question building.
Objective met by this lesson: Construct a ‘well built question’ in order to systematically approach a project or problem.
Hands-on exercise: Interactive quiz to help with question building practice, followed by a question-building exercise; thinking ahead to terms you might use in searching the LIS literature; reflecting on your experience with this exercise.
Readings: Booth & Brice, Chapter 6
Also: Look at Strategies for finding LIS information (link) as well as Which is better - Library Lit or LISA (link).
Module 4: Finding the evidence Week 4
What has your experience been with the library literature? Module 4 encourages your active analysis of what has been termed the most complete repository of LIS literature. During the exercise, you’ll be:
Objectives met by this lesson:
Hands-on exercise: Using one of the two well-built questions from Module 2, construct a search grid, perform a search in LISA, then practice using a filter to restrict your results.
Readings: Booth & Brice, Ch. 7&8
Note: Pay particular attention to discussions of domains resources in Ch. 7. Note that the resource listing is more suited to British readers than to American.
Module 5: Critical appraisal of the evidence Week 5
How do you decide if an article or piece of evidence is valid? What kinds of problems are encountered with information gathered by more informal means than a research article (such as the results of a survey conducted on a listserv)? In Module 5, you’ll be learning about and applying checklists created to evaluate information, including:
Objectives met by this module: Critically appraise resource documents for their validity and applicability to your setting.
Hands-on exercise: Critical analysis (summary report format) of an article from LIS literature; brief evaluative summary considering how the article’s findings could be applied in your practice setting.
Readings: Booth & Brice, Ch. 9
Module 6: Putting it all together (so far) Week 6
In this module you’ll have an opportunity to select an issue of immediate concern to your library practice. If you’ve had a question about how EBLIP might work for you, this is a hands-on test that will enable you to evaluate the model for practice.
Objectives met by this module: