ACRL conference, Part 2

Skyscrapers in Baltimore
CC BY 2.0,

My first full day at ACRL was full in every sense of the word.  My second day was equally full.

Kaijsa Calkins and Rick Fisher (University of Wyoming) looked at course syllabi.  They also interviewed faculty to learn more about how they see research and student researchers.  Such research can spark conversations around how writing, thinking, and research interrelate.  Together we can develop a more intentional approach to information literacy.

In another session Jessica Jordan and Martina Haines (Slippery Rock University) described multiple iterations of their research comparing flipped classrooms to traditional classrooms.  The question is not only when to flip a class, but also how best to do so.  One key recommendation was to start with the assignment and then make sure the tutorials closely relate to the assignment.

Before and after lunch I enjoyed the poster sessions.  Though I hate to name favorites, I most enjoyed the posters on collecting self-care materials, advocating for textbook affordability, connecting with special collections, serving student veterans, and analyzing outreach emails.

The next session session spotlighted Joseph Bizup’s (2008) BEAM concept, which gives students a vocabulary for integrating sources into their work. Bringing together writing and research processes, BEAM defines four rhetorical functions of sources:  Background information, Exhibit (to be analyzed), Argument (to be affirmed, disputed, refined, or extended), or Method (theory).   Since source roles are not always obvious–or singular, we can openly grapple with them, and students know that they are not alone in their struggles.  Kate Rubick (Lewis & Clark College) introduced BEAM. Autumn Haag (Roxbury Community College), Dolsy Smith (George Washington University), and Jennifer Schnabel (Ohio State University) offered examples of its classroom use.

Now I can explore how to use some of the insights I’ve gained through these sessions.  Again, please feel free to ask me more about them.


Bizup, J. (2008). BEAM: A rhetorical vocabulary for teaching research-based writing. Rhetoric Review, 27(1), 72-86.  doi:10.1080/07350190701738858

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