Professional Development

In the '2009 Lilly Conference' Category...

Mary Beth at ACRL

Friday, March 13, 2009 1:09 am

Roz, Susan and I started out the day with the “Chocolate, Wine and Waterfalls” tour. The tour was populated with two buses full of librarians, so I guess there were plenty interested here at the conference. (The tour of area glass blowing facilities, didn’t make it, however.) It was a fun and engaging tour of the region. I’ve been here to Seattle several times since both of my sisters live here, but hadn’t ever done a real organized tour combining these three fabulous things.

Roz and Susan sat together on the bus with me on the seat behind them so I had an opportunity to meet a librarian who sat down next to me. His name was Nigel, originally from Belfast, who used to work at Notre Dame, and now works as the Univesity Librarian at Franklin College in …wait for it…Switzerland! He was very easy to talk to, but somehow we never got around to sharing stories of challenges in libraries, aside from the economic situation, which is truly worldwide. Over lunch, we discovered he had worked with Caroline Numbers, and wrote her a letter of recommendation before she came to Wake Forest. Small world.

I think that Susan’s pics will tell more of the day than my words will, but aside from the fact that the tour was very rushed, (they planned too much, but needed to get back to the Conference Center in time for the Keynote speaker), it was well done. Expect some chocolate on our return!

I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the keynote speaker, Rushworth Kidder. He was filling in for Naomi Klein, author of No Logos, and I had been looking forward to hearing her speak. We all agreed after Kidder’s speech that he did a good job. He clearly defined the problems of our time as attributable to a lack of ethics more than the result of economics or politics. He galvanized us to continue to cling to our ethical roots, and honored the profession of librarianship several times in his speech.

From there, we went to the Exhibits floor where I met up with several former colleagues from Wayne State. We had dinner at the hors d’oeuvres table. Tomorrow the conference begins in earnest.

Sarah at the Lilly Conference: Saturday and Sunday

Monday, February 23, 2009 12:14 pm

On Saturday, I attended three helpful sessions at the Lilly Conference on College and University Teaching.First, I attended “Active Learning: Shared Experiences across Science Classrooms and Strategies for Matching Tools and Techniques to Courses and Course Objectives.” There were six presenters from Furman University: Dennis Haney, Mike Winiski, Min-Ken Liao, Brian Goess, Wes Dripps, and Brannon Andersen.I learned about the latest teaching strategies used by these faculty members at Furman University, including concept maps, low-stakes writing, case studies, clickers, and wikis.We also discussed other factors to consider when designing activities in our classes, such as students’ previous background knowledge, multiple learning styles, and how to foster higher levels of learning.

Next, I attended “Expanding the Use of Case Studies to Encourage Collaborative Learning and Integrate Classroom Theory with Clinical Practice” presented by Alfreda Harper-Harrison and Debra Benbow from Winston-Salem State University.Dr. Harper-Harrison and Dr. Benbow incorporated case studies into their courses.Students were assigned a case study, compared and contrasted the information gathered from the client with research literature, and presented their findings at the end of the course.I think that their teaching approach of using case studies combined with finding research literature and incorporating discussion is very interesting.

Third, I attended “Teaching Who We Are or Who We Want to Be: Creating a Teaching Philosophy through Personal Narrative” presented by Vicki McCready, Louise Raleigh, and Jane Harris from UNC-Greensboro.This was a very helpful session on how to develop your own teaching philosophy through self-reflection.They also covered the components of a teaching philosophy, which should include the following:

  • your view of teaching and learning
  • a description of your teaching approach
  • justification for your teaching approach

They also shared three books with different perspectives: The Courage to Teach by Parker Palmer, How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman, MD, and A Life in School by Jane Tompkins.

On Sunday, I attended the Closing Session led by Louis Schmier from Valdosta State University and Todd Zakrajsek from UNC-Chapel Hill.Dr. Schmier reminded us that it is important for teachers to connect with their students.He also asked the participants to think about what we want our students to remember from our teaching five years later.I am still pondering his question as I am thinking about my next LIB220 course.

Overall, the Lilly Conference was great and has encouraged me to think and reflect on my own teaching approach.I feel that I have gained deeper insight into teaching, and I plan to apply what I’ve learned into my own teaching strategies. If you would like to discuss any of the sessions that I attended, just let me know!

Sarah at the Lilly Conference: Thursday & Friday

Friday, February 20, 2009 11:21 pm

Yesterday, I attended a very informative pre-conference on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) at the Lilly Conference on College and University Teaching in Greensboro.The pre-conference was led by Scott Simkins, Director of the Academy for Teaching and Learning at N.C. A&T State University and Karen Hornsby from the History Dept. at N.C. A&T State University. The presenters gave each participant a book entitled, Inquiry in the College Classroom: A Journey toward Scholarly Teaching by Paul Savory, Amy Nelson Burnett, and Amy Goodburn; I’m really looking forward to reading it!

Four core practices include the following:

  • Framing questions
  • Compiling evidence
  • Implementing and refining new insights in the classroom
  • Publicly sharing what is learned with others

Each participant applied the SoTL research model to their own course, and everyone commented on others’ ideas for projects.I also received a selected reading list on SoTL, and I’m happy to share it with those who are interested.

On Friday morning, I attended “Active Learning, Constructivism, and the Millennial Student: A Comfortable Marriage,” by Maria Yon from UNC-Charlotte. The constructivist approach provides students with experiences to build on prior knowledge. I agreed with her point that “the teacher is a facilitator and coach rather than a transmitter of knowledge.” In addition, active learning stems from constructivist learning. The rationale behind active learning is that “learning is by nature an active endeavor.” She also shared the characteristics of the Millennial generation:

  • need for relevance (e.g., Why is this lesson important?)
  • enjoy the challenge of problem-solving
  • learn by doing

Next, I attended “Classrooms as Knowledge-Building Communities: A Cross-Cultural Competence and Inquiry Approach” by Maria Stallions from Roanoke College.I agreed with a quote that she shared during her presentation: “Culturally competent educators are aware and respectful of the importance of the values, beliefs, traditions, customs, of students and…are also aware of the impact of their own culture on their interactions with others” (National Association of School Psychologists).She emphasized the need to understand cross-cultural interactions with students.

Friday afternoon, I attended “Millennial Learning: Teacher Communication and our Classroom Environments” by Kim Cuny and Erik Lytle from the University Speaking Center at UNC-Greensboro. This session was very informative and provided tips to enhance communication with students and also addressed how the classroom environment can inhibit communication. Factors that can hinder communication include inappropriately lit rooms, room temperature, classroom design/architecture, and seating arrangement.

On Friday evening, I gave my poster presentation entitled, “Teaching Scientific Scholarly Communication in the Open Access Era.” I shared my teaching approach with LIB220 last semester on Scientific Scholarly Communication, Open Access, and Zotero, and I received great feedback from others. Zotero was incorporated into the final project of LIB220 students, who created bibliographies of articles from Open Access journals as well as traditional subscription-based journals.

The Lilly Conference has been great so far, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s sessions.


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