Fondren Fellow final report: The usage of Fondren Library in an age of research-oriented college education
What is Fondren Library’s role in Rice University’s undergraduate teaching practices? And more broadly, how is Fondren, as a research university library, understood in today’s pedagogical environment? This research seeks to look at Fondren Library’s current practices and their effects and to understand how the library services address key issues—or not—in the research processes and what could be improved to better adjust to today’s research practices. More broadly, our research seeks to shed light on what kind of roles that research university libraries can play in today’s higher education. In conjunction with the implementation of the Inquiry-based Learning (IBL) initiative at Rice, especially considering that the initiative has now become a significant influence in how undergraduate classes are instructed and restructured at Rice, the researchers work with participating instructors to study how research skills are currently cultivated through coursework. Specifically, the researchers seek to understand how Fondren’s resources—not so much book collections as research supports of all kinds—are utilized by instructors and students as they gain expertise in inquiry-based learning. The results of the research are intended to provide insights into how Fondren, as a research library, could advance its services to better meet the needs arising from today’s research-oriented university education goals. To gain firsthand knowledge about how Fondren’s services and resources are utilized in the curricula and practiced by students, during the spring semester of 2019, the researchers deployed a series of research methods, from text analysis to interviews and surveys. Through the process, the researchers familiarized themselves with the IBL-implemented classes, charted the discrepancies between the expectations set in teaching goals and the actual learning practices, and piloted a survey that begins to address such discrepancies. By the end of the study, the researchers offered some suggestions and directions that Fondren could take initiatives towards.
Citable link to this pagehttps://hdl.handle.net/1911/107987
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- Fondren Fellows