Instruction in Transition: Using Ipad-Driven Problem-Based Learning to Enhance the Freshman Experience.

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Gammons, Rachel, Gold, Melissa, and Katie Stewart. “Instruction in Transition: Using Ipad-Driven Problem-Based Learning to Enhance the Freshman Experience.” Proceedings from Library Orientation Exchange (LOEX) Annual Conference, Grand Rapids, MI, 2014.


Intended to facilitate the transition from secondary to higher education, First Year Experience (FYE) Courses have been linked to increased retention rates, higher levels of satisfaction, and a more developed sense of belonging among students (Purdie2010). Due to their transitional function, these courses are often marked by an emphasis on institutional culture, community, and academic well-being, and frequently include collaborations with campus partners. Despite a lack of research-based assignments, librarians are often invited to participate in FYE instruction as part of a larger rotation of resources such as Student Affairs, Academic Advising, and Counseling Centers, among others. Without a credit-bearing assignment, librarians are faced with the challenge of effectively preparing students for college level research in an abstract, disconnected, and inauthentic learning space. To meet this challenge, Millersville University (MU) librarians have combined Problem Based Learning (PBL) with innovative technology solutions to create an FYE activity that is engaging, collaborative, and instructive. Designed specifically for use on an iPad with the iBooks app, the FYE PBL activity leverages the mobility and interactivity of the tablet to engage students in the learning process.


Conference paper published in the proceedings of the Library Orientation Exchange (LOEX) National Conference in 2014.