Library Gazette

Carolyn, Bobbie, and Sakai

Thursday, August 26, 2010 10:10 am

The first day of class is an exciting time for both students and instructors. From an instructors’ perspective, the first day can also be very challenging. Although an instructor may have carefully planned and organized the day’s activities, there is always the fear that a technological glitch or a significant bug in a new system will occur during the class period. To counter these negative thoughts, it is best to keep a positive attitude and have a back-up plan in case the technology fails.

On Wednesday, August 25, Carolyn and I introduced our LIB 210 students to Sakai. During the summer, Carolyn and I attended several training sessions on Sakai. As part of our training, we learned how to create announcements, add assignments, and set up a gradebook. In setting up our Sakai course, we were surprised about how quickly we mastered some of the nuances and features of the new system. Although we relied on print handouts from the training sessions and the online “help” feature in Sakai, a lot of our newly gained knowledge came from the old trial-and-error approach to problem solving. We quickly realized that mistakes could easily be changed or removed from the system.

As part of our planning strategy for the course, Carolyn and I decided to give Sakai a trial run on the first day of class. We designed an assignment for students to complete during class and submit via Sakai. The assignment was a form for students to rank their preferences for their social science discipline presentation. After showing students the assignment in Sakai and passing out a print copy of a handout developed by Joy Gambill on “Submitting Assignments in Sakai,” our students quickly submitted their assignment. After refreshing the page in Sakai, Carolyn was able to see all of the students’ submissions. Both Carolyn and I breathed a collective sigh of relief. Just to be on the safe side at the beginning of class, Carolyn asked students to complete the form on paper. Knowing what we know now, we could have eliminated this step since all of our students were enrolled in Sakai.

With the first day behind us and our success with Sakai, Carolyn and I are looking forward to teaching the LIB 210 class. We would also like to mention that our comfort level in using Sakai was greatly enhanced by the technical expertise of our colleagues: Susan Smith and Giz Womack. We appreciate their willingness to share their knowledge with us and provide guidance when we were stumped.

Teaching Teaching Wrap-Up

Friday, May 15, 2009 1:50 pm

Today was the final day of the teaching teaching spring class. We’ve been at it since January, and we’ve held 14 sessions. We’ve had 14 hours (less the minutes early I left for committee meetings) to devote some serious time to coming together as a group to talk about our teaching and hopefully learn a few tricks. I started today talking about the design for the course. Roz clearly played a large role, and everyone who participated helped shape the course either through conversations outside of the class or by their participation.

And while we’re talking about participants, we had a large percentage of the library staff attend at one point or another, and most people attended several (or all!). The “teaching teaching” participants were Roz Tedford, Bobbie Collins, Lauren Corbett, Carol Cramer, Ellen Daugman, Craig Fansler, Joy Gambill, Kevin Gilbertson, Derrik Hiatt, Kate Irwin-Smiler (from PCL), Julie James (from Carpenter), Sarah Jeong, Vicki Johnson, Steve Kelley, Mary Beth Lock, Leslie McCall, Carolyn McCallum, Kaeley McMahan, Erik Mitchell, Elizabeth Novicki, Mary Scanlon, Susan Smith, and Giz Womack.

We covered a lot of ground, too! We talked about what Instructional Design is, and the different models of ID that are practiced. We talked about taxonomies of teaching, educational psychology, multiple intelligences/learning styles, teaching styles, learning theory, problem based learning, active learning, classroom management, assessment, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. We’re planning a few summer workshops to bridge a few gaps, and we’re planning a fall program of facilitated practical talks on specific techniques. Keep an eye on your email to see when the next teaching classes will be!

I’ve really enjoyed this project, and it’s been a great semester. As I told the group this morning, having an enthusiastic group of participants made it much more fun (and made all of the planning much less burdensome and far more enjoyable). Clearly, this is an example of the culture of ZSR/WFU. The participants were focused on our mission: honing their teaching skills in order to better position themselves to help our students succeed. I can’t wait to see how this course shapes our instruction in the coming semesters. Thanks to everyone who participated! I really appreciate your enthusiasm and engagement!

If you’re interested in seeing what we were up to, you can see the course blog.

Teaching Teaching (or maybe it should have been Teaching Strategies… )

Friday, March 20, 2009 4:25 pm

It occured to me that with the passing of spring break we’ve crossed the halfway point with our Teaching Teaching class! For those who are interested in what we’ve been doing, you can read up on it with our blog. If you’re interested in coming, feel free to drop in any Friday at 9:00 in 476. You can attend as many or as few as you’d like, and we try to make it relevant to everyone, even if they’ve missed prior classes.

Here’s some of what we’ve covered:

Let Roz or me know if you have any questions!

LIB210 Gets Familiar with ZSR

Tuesday, September 9, 2008 9:02 am

Yesterday for our LIB210: Social Science Research Sources and Strategies class, Bobbie, Carolyn and I planned a variation on the library tour. We divided our students up into three groups and sent them to different areas of the library. They had three questions to ask:

  • What resources or services would a WFU student find here?
  • What resources or services do you provide to help with research?
  • What is one thing about your department that you think students should know but don’t?

They also took along cameras Carolyn had checked out from the ITC and they took pictures of the departments.

When they returned to class each group told the other students about the departments they had visited. While they talked I uploaded the pictures into a Flickr page. Then this week they will be going in to name the pictures, put in a description and tag them. This will then lead us nicely into our discussions next week about search terms, controlled vocabularies and the benefit of using the subject terms within our electronic products.

We were thrilled with how much the students enjoyed the exercise. They were all excited about going out and learning new things and we heard a lot of “I never new that” and “that’s cool!” from the class as different areas or services were discussed. It worked so well I’m going to do it for my LIB100 class in October.

Many, many thanks to those on our staff who met our students and discussed our services with them. Mary Beth, Mary Reeves, Erik, Kaeley, Mary Lib, Sharon and Vicki. The students all commented on how nice the folks they had met were and how eager they were to help students.

If you want to see the pictures, here’s the site and toward the end of the set some pictures have been named and tagged already. I’m sure they would love to have some comments!!

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