University of Iowa
Log Number: RE-250017-OLS-21
The University of South Carolina received this grant which was transferred to the University of Iowa. The University of Iowa, in partnership with the University of Michigan and the University of West Georgia, will conduct an empirical study to examine, assess, and address school librarianship knowledge gaps on the design and delivery of targeted and inclusive online learning environments for K-12 students. The nation’s abrupt pivot to remote schooling due to the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted this knowledge gap. The project will (1) convene a series of focus groups introducing current best practices on online pedagogy for diverse learners, while also gaining insight into practitioner understanding and deployment of culturally competent instructional strategies in online spaces, as well as on professional development modalities preferred by practitioners; (2) use those insights alongside known scholarly research and practitioner best practices to design, pilot, evaluate, refine, and retest three two-week online professional development course modules and accompanying materials for K-12 school librarians on community needs assessment, high-impact online instructional strategies, and culturally competent practice; (3) engage in continuous evaluation throughout in order to assess the professional development courses and materials; (4) provide course modules as free stand-alone training for the broader profession on knowledge, skills, and dispositions for connecting community needs to digital learning environments; and (5) disseminate lessons learned.