A tiny aspect of my research into using PBL and POGIL in information literacy involved looking into the actual trigger or problem used. The trigger is important in that it needed to inspire, focus and direct inquiry using a whole host of information resources, but the actual ‘solving’ of the problem was not the focus. For that very reason, I guess pretty much any trigger could work, as long as students are able to pull a research idea from it.
I’ve experimented with a few triggers for various subject areas now. I’ve tried case-based, images, videos. I’ve tried toy props, lego bricks, and computer hardware. I’ve tried triggers that are loose, open-ended, and open to interpretation. I’ve given triggers with clear, definite and focused topics a go. It’s actually part of the fun of delivering a POGIL session. Choosing and developing triggers for use in a POGIL session lets me be a bit creative in the classroom. Recently, I delivered a number of nursing info lit sessions and used the movie trailer below as our trigger.
This one worked really well. Better than I had expected. I was a bit apprehensive about using the same trigger with all streams of nursing (general, intellectual disability, psychiatric), but with a little bit of reassurance, students realise that the triggers are prompts, and can be used as inspiration to find research on a number of loosely connected topics.
Using triggers in IL teaching has lots of implications. At their most basic, they provide a kick-off point for students to engage with information within the IL session. They mean that the teacher librarian does not have to rely on generic, and less-than-engaging overhead demonstrations; we all work to a common theme.
Also; it makes you want to see movies you haven’t seen yet. That too.