Professional Development

In the '2008 Lilly Conference' Category...

Lauren at LillySouth

Sunday, February 10, 2008 5:07 pm

I was very excited to attend and present at Lilly South in Greensboro this year. LillySouth is a teaching and learning conference for college faculty, staff, and instructors. It was one of those conferences I heard about over and over in library school (in my Instructional Design classes) and everyone always had great things to say about it. Like most conferences, there was a spectrum of presentations in topic and quality, but most of what I attended was very good. Some were more practical (you can do this as soon as you get back) and some were more theoretical (in the area of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning).

Like I’ve been doing, I took extensive notes that can be found in my blog. Links are at the bottom of this post.

The (much shorter and to the point) summary is here:

Lynn and Susan gave a great summary of the South Trip on Saturday morning. Several audience members expressed interest in both the course concept as well as the embedded librarians aspect.

Lynn presenting Susan presenting

My favorite quote of the whole conference was from Michael Dale of UNC-G in The Re-enchantment of Learning and Teaching: “Teaching is a public display of what I love.”

I attended a session on Flash animation. I was really interested in this because my MLIS practicum was in working with Susan and Kevin to create Flash games for teaching info lit concepts. The presentation showed we had a pretty typical experience: a 4 minute video took 40-100 hours of development time!

I also attended a FABULOUS plenary on developing an integrated course design based on Fink’s Taxonomy. Because of that session I totally rewrote how I plan to teach LIB100 in the fall. I’m very excited about implementing the new design. This was all based on Creating Significant Learning Experiences by L. Dee Fink, which we have in the building (and I won in a drawing, so it’ll be here if anyone wants to use it).

There was also an interesting session on short workshops. I attended it because of the toolkit project. This session was designed for Teaching and Learning Centers, but much of the content was useful for libraries, too. I think TLCs have a lot in common with libraries. We’re all there to support the institution’s mission, and we all have to get out there and really market our services for the campus to realize our value. The Brief Hybrid Workshops were shown as a way to get really important information to faculty, as well as a way to market full blown workshops. We could use it in a very similar way. To spare you here, more content on this is in the blog post on my blog.

Finally, Kaeley and I discussed Blended Learning in our LIB100 class.

One immediate action I’ve taken as a result of the conference was to set up a blog on instructional design and educational technology for library staff. Feel free to read along, leave comments, or not. If you’re interested in contributing, let me know and I’ll add you.

Good Conference! Lots of food for thought!

Susan at Lilly South Conference

Saturday, February 9, 2008 6:07 pm

Lilly Conferences on College and University Teaching have been in existence for 28 years, but you may not be familiar with them as they are teachers’ conferences. This year, Lilly South was held in nearby Greensboro, so Lynn and I submitted a proposal for a presentation on our South trip, to discuss the value of including embedded librarians in an experiential experience. Lauren and Kaeley also did a presentation, on their LIB100 class and their use of blended learning techniques.

The theme of this conference was “Learning by Design.” Concurrent sessions, poster presentations and plenary speakers focused on topics that addressed teaching strategies, and designing and creating conditions that enable students to learn. It is a small conference with an attendance cap at 320, which allowed small group interaction and discussion. At one session Lynn and I made up 2/3 of the audience!

One of the sessions I most enjoyed was “Using Pictures to Take the Pulse of Student Understanding”, led by Kevin Lowe, a professor at UNCG’s Bryan School of Business and Economics. He uses pictures to stimulate discussion in his leadership and organizational behavior classes. He will project an image and pose a question that will help students grasp concepts that are being introduced in the class. For instance, he will show this picture:

ducks1.jpg

Then he will pose the question: “Who’s the leader in this picture?” The responses from the students help him gauge their mental models of leadership. Being a photo enthusiast, I found a great deal of value in this approach to engaging participation and enabling better understanding of concepts.

Since we deal often with first year students, I attended Bill Roberson’s workshop “Turning Beginners into Thinkers.” He maintained that, as instructors, we often think our job is to prevent students from making mistakes. But, this is an approach that will prevent students from developing critical thinking skills. Instead, we should create “productive frustration.” By presenting students with incomplete information up front, it forces them to think. When you provide the answers or too much structure, they stop thinking! We worked in groups to predict an outcome of a problem proposed by Roberson (it involved predicted success rate for 60 children balancing blocks on a rail). It was quickly evident that he had not provided enough information to formulate a correct answer, so we were forced to declare assumptions about the problem, pose alternatives and consider “what ifs.” Then he had us offer up our prediction of the results through flowcharting the process. By removing the pertinent data, he forced us to crystallize our ideas, analyze them, capture our thought process and then reflect on what we had done. It was a very interesting method to force us to recognize that we aren’t doing any favors to our students when we provide too many answers, in fact, we may be a source of demotivation.


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