March 2010 Archives

Trade Off

As we're getting closer to the end of the semester, I haven't been blogging because I've been really busy! During every set of walk-in hours last week I saw at least 3 students.

With the increase in business comes a trade-off. When there are other students waiting to ask questions about their projects, some students might not get to spend enough time working with us to build the skills they need to do their research. Often, when there is no one waiting, I spend more than 30 minutes with students and make sure that they are comfortable with the strategies we covered before they leave. When there are others waiting, it isn't always possible to get to this point. I know that students still leave with a better understanding of how to use the resources available to them through the library.

This is a contradiction that is hard to balance, because we want as many students as possible to use the service, but we also want them to build as many skills as possible by meeting with a PRC. There's no easy solution. I've been taking it on a case-by-case basis with general rule of 20 minutes per person when there is a line.

Lots of Consultations!

This week we've had (or at least I'VE had) a big increase in business. There have been a number of students from a specific FYW course, and I think that the professor has been suggesting that her students visit us when they meet with her one-on-one.

On Monday (3-8) I worked with three different students, and another was hoping to talk to me, but had to leave for class before his turn was reached. Three out of these four were FYW students, and the other was a senior. Tuesday, I worked with one student for over an hour, because no one was waiting and I was able to introduce her to many new search skills.

Also I did another class visit today (and have another on Th). This one was for a non-native speaker section of FYW. After my presentation the students had questions and many seemed very interested in the service.

I'm excited because I think that the combination of our outreach/advertising and impending research paper deadlines has worked its magic and we'll be spending more time working with students from now till the end of the semester.

Group work

The instructors from the leadership course I did a presentation for said that visiting a PRC would be a requirement for their students. The project their class is working on is a group project, and  the instructors were encouraging the students to come in with their group, part of their group, or individually.

Because we know that groups of students will likely be coming in, I think it would be a good idea to include some things about collaborative work that the students may not be familiar with. I just recently learned about options like googledocs and netfiles that can make sharing information between group members really easy. 

Maybe it would be possible to go over some of the other tools covered in the library's Extreme Googling: Collaboration Tools workshop during our bi weekly training/ staff meetings.

First FYW students!

This week I had my first meeting of the semester with a FYW student. Our consultation reinforced my belief that we are providing a VERY valuable service for students. At the beginning of our time together the student seemed lost and confused about starting his project, but by the end he was ready (and excited!) to get started. Most of his anxiety was coming from not knowing how a research paper should be put together and what kind of information he was looking for, and after we addressed those topics and where he could find that information he seemed quite confident.

The student I worked with today is also a testament to the importance of building relationships with other programs on campus, especially with the FYW instructors. This student came in after getting a direct recommendation from his instructor. This instructor also has a link to the PRC schedule posted to the Moodle page for the class, right next to a link to SWS at the Center for Writing.

Business this week seems to have picked up a little. I talked to Francisco at the end of his shift and he had worked with two FYW students today.

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This page is an archive of entries from March 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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