Library Gazette

Instruction at ZSR

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 10:23 pm

One of the things that is challenging when someone leaves an organization is the loss of institutional memory. For that reason, I’m leaving this post, to remind you of all the many instructional resources you have available to support your teaching:

  • Instruction website: This page has information about the program we offer–in person instruction, self help instruction, as well as the meta information about the administration of the program. Thank you to Kevin for creating a new look and backend for the instruction portion of the website. It made a world of difference!
  • Wiki page: When I first became head of instruction, we didn’t really have a strong presence on the library website to reflect our program. In response, I made use of the wiki to gather information about projects, professional development opportunities, and FAQs–particularly about university policy. If you’re trying to figure out how to set up your Sakai course or how to deal with challenging students, you will be able to find some answers here. If you know something useful, it’d be nice to add it!
  • Learning Outcomes: As a community we developed learning outcomes to support our instruction. These outcomes were conceived to be broad enough to be useful for any research-based course. It’s easy to forget about them if you don’t have someone reminding you every semester or so, so here’s a gentle reminder: please take a look at the learning outcomes every once in a while and make sure that your class addresses them! Learning outcomes also make it easier to decide what’s not worth covering. If it’s not covered in a learning outcome, it’s not necessary to the course.
  • Template: As you also know, Joy developed a very thorough and detailed template for LIB100 last summer. It currently resides in Sakai, though more information will be available on the website at some point. The template was designed so that you can just pick it up and go, but you can also pick and choose from it to help simplify the planning of your own class if you’d prefer.
  • Teaching tools page: This page contains activities and techniques for teaching the various things we tend to teach. Right now it is more structural in nature, with a few activities. If you find this useful, let Kyle know! If you have something that you think might possibly be useful to your colleagues, send it to Kyle with appropriate metadata! (Can you tell that Kyle will own this going forward?)
  • Plagiarism tutorial: Kyle and Kevin made, perhaps, the most engaging and educational activity on plagiarism I’ve seen, and they made it for WFU students! If you aren’t sure how to teach plagiarism, or if you teach it and your students respond as though they’ve heard it all before and you can’t possibly teach them anything new, please consider using this activity prior to discussion!
  • New course evaluation: Kyle, Mary Scanlon, Sarah, Kaeley, and I worked to update our LIB100 course evaluation to be more useful for instructors and based in sound research. The new course evaluation measures first principles of instruction, as well as makes it easy to get a view of the entire program. This view of teaching across the program will allow Roz to target specific areas that would benefit most from professional development opportunities.

And there are several more things coming soon:

  • eTextbook: We’re in the final stages of this project! I am adding in multimedia as quickly as I can, and by Friday we should have a working version online. I’ll leave it to the group to do a Gaz post introducing it. The people involved with this have been many over the past two years. Audra and Gretchen were involved early on. Craig, Kaeley, Kevin, and Rebecca have been involved throughout the process. This group, along withMary Scanlon, Ellen Daugman, Molly, Mary Beth, and Ellen Makaravage all contributed writing. We are hopeful this book will be useful for LIB100s, one shot sessions (that are focused on a specific aspect of research), faculty who don’t want to give up class time, and other libraries. So that will be exciting for the library!
  • New LIB100 assessment tool: Kaeley, Kyle, Mary Scanlon, and I also have worked on creating an assessment tool for LIB100. The design is for a quick, anonymous survey to test whether we have met our learning outcomes for the class. 200 level classes might choose to modify the survey for their specific class. Again, if used across the program, it would be a useful tool to help identify the learning outcomes that either (1) could stand reinforcement across classes or (2) that might not be as relevant to our teaching anymore, and would need to be adapted for current teaching practices. The entire question bank could be useful if you’d like a final exam as well. Kyle is the point person on this.
  • Update to the Toolkit: And coming way further in the future, Kyle is considering updating the Toolkit. The idea is a new and updated interface and updated video content. His Zotero video is the style of content he will create.

One of the final things I’ve done was work with Joy, Kyle, Bobbie, and Kaeley on a strategic plan refresh for the instruction program. That has been passed on to Lynn and hopefully can provide some useful information for the next few years.

In the process of writing the plan, we did an environmental scan of the field. Joy, Kyle, and I went to the Triangle area research libraries to learn more about local instruction. (We have some amazing programs in this state!) And my main take away from all of this work is that what ZSR is doing with instruction is exceptional. The students at WFU who engage in library instruction have an unusually broad, deep, and personalized instruction experience. Wake students are lucky to have access to this type of instruction, and we are in a lucky position to be able to offer it. I’ve been honored to play the roles I’ve played in the program and look forward to hearing more about the great work you all will do going forward!

Bringing speakers to ZSR through WebEx

Thursday, November 18, 2010 1:16 pm

Over the last few months the University has been testing WebEx, a real-time collaboration tool that includes video, audio, desktop, and application sharing. I have used WebEx a few times in my Information literacy course this semester already and found generally positive student reception to it. They indicated that while WebEx had a bit of a learning/comfort curve that the benefit of online real-time instruction in time savings and in efficiency (e.g. attending class from your dorm room) were valuable outcomes.

Students indicated in class feedback that more WebEx sessions would be welcome so I decided to seek out a guest speaker who could join our class via WebEx. Dr. Jeffery Loo, a Chemistry librarian at the University of California, Berkeley was kind enough to offer his time and is joining our class twice this semester to discuss Open Access and online identity issues. Jeffery uses a number of online and digital techniques in his instruction including an instructional video series on using PubChem, how-to guides and Hands-on worksheets for instruction.

For our first session we decided to gather the class in our regular classroom and used a low-tech approach to enable two-way communication. A computer with its video feed enabled faced the class so that Jeff could get some video and audio feedback of the classroom while we watched his presentation through the projection system.

We found that the microphone on the laptop was not quite good enough to pick up questions from the back of the room but was good enough to pick up questions from the participants up front. Although it would have been possible to have students join the WebEx session from their own laptops we thought that having them engage with the remote speaker in a traditional learning environment would give us the opportunity to fit Jeff in as part of a regular class and would encourage some discussion.

Jeff’s presentation is available on slideshare (see below) and he will be joining the class again in a few weeks to discuss online identity. I expect that we might tune our approach some based on our experience today but for the most part our approach worked. All instructional materials from today are available at: http://jeffloo.com/berkeley/2010/11/18/research-sharing/

Introducing the ZSR Toolkit!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008 2:35 pm

You may or may not have heard of the Toolkit, a new way of offering information literacy tutorials for our users. I’m really, really excited about this project, as I think it’s a way to meet our user’s needs in a way that fits with their expectations, potentially could help us to prepare better instructional materials, and it could provide us a way to streamline some of our work. What’s not to be excited about?

Last week I gave a session on the what, why, and how of the project. And I’m giving another one tomorrow at 4:00 in 476. Wanna come? You can still register here! Want to see what we’ll cover before attending? Here it is:

Are you interested now? :) You can still register here! Seriously, though, if you’re interested in the project, or would like to contribute, let me know. I’m happy to talk with you one-on-one if you can’t make the session.


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