Instructor's Forum Dec. 2011

Below are some notes from the Instructor's Forum (sponsored by the Information Literacy Collaborative and the Instruction Coordinators), held way back on 12/12/11 with about 20 instructors from across the libraries. We had an interesting discussion and it was great to hear the cool things folks are trying. It is always helpful to remember that teaching is hard, that challenges are inherent and that talking with colleagues is always informative and even downright inspiring!

We began by writing on note cards...1.) one success for the semester with teaching/instruction 2.) one challenge and 3.) one question. After passing the cards, we asked folks to write a question on the white board to kick start for the discussion. At the end we asked folks to jot down one thing they are going to try in spring. Our graduate student (who is teaching Intro to Library Research sessions), Arlene Lutenegger, graciously typed up the notes and summarized below:

(1) Instructors who wanted to find ways to evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching style, lesson plans, and materials used.  Several asked how to better reach students who appeared bored with the lib instruction workshop but were required to take it.
(2) Many instructors mentioned that they wanted to improve communication with faculty:  to help faculty understand the importance of information skills, to help faculty "freshen up" their course instruction through the use of technology and assignments that will enhance students' research skills and hold their interest.  Several instructors mentioned as successes their work in course-integrated library instruction, and the hope that they can continue to move in this direction in the future.  
(3)  A few instructors felt that the older view of library instruction as a 50-minute one-shot class, was holding them back from introducing more contemporary & innovative approaches in classrooms and from forming more effective partnerships with faculty.

  • Getting into a new course
  • Taking faculty & administrators through an exhibit & soliciting stories from them about the exhibit contents.
  • First e-learning class - combination of in-person here and distance
  • Mendeley attendee invited me to help them better organize and advise on a project.
  • Delivered an instructional module for researching the history 
  • Talked to a new freshman seminar.
  • Created a screencasting tutorial that is a required research assignment source for strategic communications courses
  • Researched and presented new document analysis question for how to do history class.
  • Large turnout and positive feedback for Moodle workshop.
  • Teamwork workshop
  • Growing group cohesion
  • Being asked back after teaching last year.
  • Getting students to more effectively integrate media and narrative in their digital stories.  Required greater discussion with instructor.

  • How do you assist faculty who have a long history with a course to see new ways to incorporate archival materials into a do-able research project?
  • How do you know when you have been successful (or at least improved)?
  • How do colleagues use audience response systems?  Like turning point?  Success and challenges?
  • How to convince instructors of large section classes that there is merit in an assignment that goes beyond the materials in the textbook or course packet.  How to create an assignment that works?
  • Did you help make the world a better place?
  • What are your best methods for encouraging participation and active learning?
  • What strategies do you use to get instructors to understand when a resource tool is critical to an assignment?
  • How to get faculty to value information skills and promote them in classes?
  • How to fit information into 30 minutes, and how to recover if go over time limit with faculty?
  • What support do you need to be a better teacher?  What can I do as an instructional coordinator for you?
  • How are you assessing your effectiveness as an instructor?
  • What can I do to help others try innovative new teaching practices - especially given our long history of 50 minute one-shot sessions?
  • How do you grab students' attention and spice library instruction up?
  • What to do with a "checked out" group (disinterested, vacant stares).
  • Keeping students' attention.
  • I need to take a big leap from the hands-on instruction I did in the 90's and early 2000's.  A suggestion for a good place to start with new technology?
  • Knowing if I'm teaching at the appropriate level for each audience.
  • How to handle an instructor who did not listen to me on guidance regarding the ineffectiveness of a technology. 
  • How to teach students who still struggle to discern the difference between primary and secondary sources?

  • Using to illustrate the concept of narrowing down a topic.
  • Try to get faculty to describe to other faculty expectations for quality of assignments.
  • Work more with 4th year  students.
  • Include an attention grabbing or engaging activity during class.
  • Maybe pick apart a typical assignment in one of my departments and look for "aha" or interesting bits to increase engagement.
  • Learn more about WEC courses
  • More use of media (images, video in my presentations) to engage, demonstrate and enrich.
  • I want to try pre-surveys!
  • Create a new teaching template for basic archive research from the ground up.  I need to make one my own.
  • Help students understand scale of archival research and tailoring research needs to assignments.
  • Determine priorities/first steps for carrying out group effort around goals (focus).
  • Teach students who may not find your material very exciting (but is required to complete their assignment).
  • Develop shared goals and a method for recording our information/success.
  • Finding/having enough time to design new workshop.

Formula used in Health Sciences for keeping up with the literature:

Example of participant question:

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