In preparation for a presentation at the Lilly Conference on College and University Teaching, I read Practical Pedagogy for Library Instructors: 17 Innovative Strategies to Improve Student Learning. The book was very helpful, both for our session and my teaching. Below are some rough notes if you are interested. Some chapters were more relevant to me, so I’ve fleshed out those notes a bit. All of the chapters are interesting and I would encourage any librarian instructor to pick it up! It is definitely worth the read.
And more to come soon about Lilly! It was a great conference, but there was lots to process.
Chapter 1: how teach makes difference in what students learn; “Effective instruction demands the use of many strategies.” (pg 2)
- direct instruction (objectivism): present info effectively and efficiently; behavioral change is ultimate goal; demo of databases is example of behavioral direct instruction; using analogies (compare this database to online searching) is cognitive instruction;
- Use of instructional objectives is major contribution of behavioral theories (“planning for outcomes can make a difference in your teaching”)
- tailoring to different learning styles is example of cognitive style – students are active, but the focus is on teacher shaping classroom to elicit desired behaviors
- acrl info lit competencies: develop research plan, identify keywords/synonyms, select controlled vocab, construct and implement search strategy and search
- student-centered learning (constructivism): focus on the situation in which student in which student is engaged (pg 5); focus on students learning by having students interact with each other; social justice component
Direct instruction (objectivism) examples:
- cephalonian method = students are given color coded cards with questions to help them guide (in a way) the library tour. They are called on through the “tour” to ask certain color categories while the librarians are presenting a powerpoint of the “tour”. The tour is held in a lecture hall.
- the cards are color coded for different categories of info (blue = basic info, yellow = recommend reading, red = services & facilities, green = misc)
- PowerPoint slides correspond to the cards (but this would be great for prezi)
- Process: played music at beginning, hand out cards, ask students to stand and ask question based on colors; asked questions at end of session to test crowd knowledge
- my thoughts = could be easily adapted to a variety of sessions, the planting of questions may seem artificial but students often don’t know what questions to ask us. This way it is guided but interactive. I may try this in my residential college session in the fall.
Chapter 3: universal design for learning – use different teaching strategies to reach diverse groups of learners
Chapter 4: clickers; used in a plagiarism session
Chapter 5: brief lecture followed by library research game; good discussion of how she implemented the game and the questions she asked. While I wouldn’t ask the same questions, they provide fuel for creating your own.
Chapter 6: transferability of concepts learned in instruction session.
- instruction sessions emphasize concepts and transferability;
- metaphor helps with understanding;
- first asking students what they have done already re research; next use google for searching;
- they use guess the google game in class to help with thinking about keyword brainstorming (http://grant.robinson.name/projects/guess-the-google/)
Chapter 7: teaching with stories/analogies
Chapter 8: jigsawing
- cooperative learning – using small groups to reinforce student learning;
- subset of wider idea of collaborative learning;
- refers to this article as good one for LI (http://www.libraryinstruction.com/active.html);
- they used half-jigsaw because of time constraints;
- half-jigsaw = divide students into groups; teams given info resource to explore and basic instructions and tasks; students present to the class on findings; assess entire class with short exercise on what they learned from group presentations (keeps students focused on what groups are presenting)
Student-centered learning examples
Chapter 9: peer-led criteria creation
- peer-led discussion groups to develop evaluation criteria for an “information text” (adolescent non-fiction);
- gave students a “graphic organizer” with guided questions;
- REALLY COOL!
Chapter 10: the imaginary undergrad
- Because effective researchers are process-driven and not tool-driven (!!!) how to get students to think like they do?;
- she creates an imaginary undergraduate with the students and then asks them for research topics for the students;
- for the research process she asks them to come up with the process and use the computer to see if it works;
- works best in small classes (6-9 people!) and upper-level students with general need to focus on research process (and not need to know about specific resources);
- really cool approach but would it work in our one-shots? not so sure.
Chapter 11: personality tests
- uses a short modified meyers-briggs personality quiz to teach boolean logic (called discover your perfect career which no longer seems to be on monster.com!);
- asks students to raise hands if they match AND conditions based on their personality tests versus OR conditions (seems a bit convoluted to get to this activity);
- next translates that to the library databases; then translate the library database to google search logic
Chapter 12: plagiarism tutorial
- super cool plagiarism module in a info lit credit course (I’m going to use this with Ashby);
- peer interviews, find the plagiarized text on google, paraphrasing exercises with hands-on group activity;
- each activity took a week’s lesson
Chapter 13: Wikis and instruction
Chapter 14: Library session based on amazing race (for the equivalent of a UNS tour); involved chaos and running (my faves!!)
Chapter 15: Electronic portfolios as assessment tools
Chapter 16: Students presented their research findings in a movie format; talks about implementing the session and using technology in instruction
Chapter 17: Great chapter on creating an experiential instruction session/experience for ESL students. Asked students to fill out a matrix that compared the American library with their home library according to certain questions (e.g., How do you check books out?) (pg 165)
Chapter 18: Students created their own zines as part of a course on inequalities. The zine creation led up to a traditional research paper, but the students indicated that they felt better prepared for the research process. Pretty nifty!