Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Jennifer Putnam


Mastering new knowledge is a transformative process, but what happens between initial confrontation with new knowledge and the moment it is mastered? This qualitative case study investigated perceptions on how feedback loops influenced student growth and learning transfer in the liminal space. Myer and Land (2005) described the liminal space as a stuck place where learners are wrestling with their conceptual understanding of knowledge that is troublesome.

Students were adult undergraduates in an online information literacy course. Librarians teaching the course were early adopters of ACRL’s The Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education (the Framework) and participated in on-site professional development for effective feedback practices and Framework implementation. The Framework, based on Meyer and Land’s threshold concept theory, represents a pedagogical shift in how librarians teach and assess information literacy. Previous practice focused on skills-based standards; the Framework focuses on development students’ conceptual understanding of information creation, acquisition, and use.

Findings of the study indicated that instructors and students have divergent perceptions regarding student entry points into the liminal space. Identifying liminal spaces can influence which feedback strategies are used to support learning transfer. Findings further indicated that instructors are also within a liminal space with Framework implementation as the pedagogy adoption is still new for Library Science.

Conclusions identified effective feedback strategies to support learning transfer for students in the liminal space. The study offers a pathway for qualitative assessment of the Framework and suggests support strategies for librarians as learners as they continue to teach and assess the Framework.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License