Category Archives: Classroom

How do you assess distance learning and library instruction?

confusedWhen I joined Wright College as a full-time library faculty member many things related to education were foreign to me. I had a lot of questions and I was willing to ask anyone to get an answer. How do I get the students to stop talking? How do I get the students to put their cell phones away and to stop texting? I get an hour with 35 English 102 students how do I determine they understood my lesson? This leads us to assessment. You are thinking as librarians we keep statistics for everything, but determining if students are learning is a completely different ball game. I was fortunate enough to take the Faculty Development Seminar offered by the City Colleges of Chicago (CCC), and it was taught by two veteran faculty members at CCC. The instructors were Sharon Silverman, a library faculty member at Olive Harvey College, and Kennette Crockett, a English faculty member at Harold Washington College. It was just easy to learn from them with a room full of colleagues from other disciplines that were just as confused as I was about assessment, rubrics, syllabi, and active learning. Sharon Silverman my go to person when I have questions or I need to work out how I am going to engage students presented at the  ILCCO/NILRC conference: “Next Steps in eLearning”. As an instructor I was happy to see Sharon tie in the CATs (classroom assessment techniques) into her presentation. I learned a few things, and will be using CAT #28: Opinion polls in my Fall 2013 library instruction sessions. If you would like to view Sharon’s presentation check it out here!

Image from: madamenoire.com

The internet doesn’t lie!

wakeupI just started showing the Can’t lie on the internet commercial clip on YouTube during my library instruction sessions. It has been well received. I get some giggles, smiles, and laughs. I did have one student say he hated the commercial, but no other complaints. I discuss why instructors want students to use the library’s databases and books, and not the internet. I talk about how anyone can create information and there is no governing body regulating the internet. This is a good way to wake up the class. Playing a YouTube video or some other type of media always wakes up an 8am class!

Library orientation prep

I finally decided to make handouts for the English 100 level classes I will be presenting to next week. I think I am going to meet with about 170 students! I will carry my water bottle around with me. So, my throat does not get dry from all the talking.

I am looking forward to it. I love giving BI presentations. The students are so engaged sometimes, that it really makes it worthwhile. You know they want to learn, and do well in their courses.

 

I love library instruction! It gives me a high.

It is official I am in love with library instruction. Those close to me in my personal life suggested I teach. I knew I was not cut out to be a school teacher!

When I talk about library resources I get all giddy! The first time I was scheduled to do a library class I was so excited. I did my hair, picked my outfit out, and left 2 hours early to get to work. Of course, my car broke down, and I never made it. 😦

I did not give up, and there were no obstacles for the next library class. I was so excited!

Today, I visited my first virtual classroom and it went well. I taught students how to find resources for their business law. The professor was even excited we had e-books! I am feeling really good right now.

Student invited me to lunch

It is usually dead on Fridays, but it was buzzing around the reference and circulation desk. People had questions about today’s workshops. They wanted to know when the next workshops were going to be held because they had to go to class.
Two young men were walk-ins for citation writing workshop. The older gentlemen that attended the PowerPoint workshop wanted to take me to lunch. He was very grateful. I told him the library has not done a workshop since the early ’90s. I was worried no one would show up. He reassured me he needed the help, and was happy I had the workshops.

How can librarians improve student success

The recent news of the national search for new Presidents for six of the City Colleges of Chicago has led me to think about many issues. Four goals for student success have been injected into the new job description of the Presidents of the City Colleges of Chicago. Those four goals are:

  • “Increasing the number of students who earn college credentials of value.”
  • “Increasing the rate of transfer to bachelor’s degree programs following CCC graduation.”
  • “Significantly improving outcomes for students requiring remediation.”
  • “Increasing the number and share of ABE/GED/ESL students who advance to and succeed in college-level courses.”

After receiving this news in my inbox I began to think about how I could improve student success. As a librarian and an Adjunct faculty member of the City Colleges of Chicago it is my responsibility to make sure our students succeed as well.

I interact with students ever time I come to work. I help them with their assignments, teach them how to use library resources such as databases, and try to motivate them. I am beginning to think I can do more. I sit at the reference desk and I do classroom instruction when requested by faculty members. Why don’t we do workshops? Workshops about writing citations and bibliographies, teaching students how to use new technologies such as social media, how to do research on the internet, or use Microsoft Office. I help students on an individual basis, but making it known to all students I am here to help.

Okay, just spoke to Head of Reference and it is on. The workshop idea has been well received. I am thinking workshops at the end of my shift would be more beneficial students. Students will be getting off of work, or out of class.

I think I lost them!

My second instruction session went fine. It did not go as well as the first. The instructor was sitting in the back of the room on a computer. Some the students were talking. We were in the computer lab. So, I walked up and down the aisles to make sure they were following me. We searched the library catalog, I showed them subject headings, and we searched the Literature Resource Center database. The class was English 101. I created a blog, and discussed the more relevant databases we subscribe to at Wright. Here is the blog I created http://libraryorientation.wordpress.com/recommended-databases/. We discussed e-books, and how to search the library catalog for them. I showed them how to find full-text and scholarly journal articles in the databases. I gave them a library tour. They were really into the New York Times on microfilm dating back to 1851. One student wanted to take a look. They have an assignment where they have to print out a page from our set.

What made this session strange is the instructor’s insistence that I show the students reference books. Of course, I kept publicize our electronic databases which contain encyclopedias such as Gale Virtual Reference Library. She did not like this. So, I pulled books of the shelf. I showed them encyclopedias about religion, Chicago history, you name it! She wanted the students to make a list of 25 random reference books. I asked if she wanted me to help them search the library catalog to find item in the computer lab. She said she wanted them to walk up and down the aisles. I really lost the students when I started to pull books off the shelf.

During this instruction session the students were talking to their neighbors. So, I have decided to break the students into groups. They will search for books and articles. I created a library exercise on my library orientation blog. Hopefully, this works out the next time. I will let you know how it goes.

Image from: http://callitaweasel.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/bored-students.jpg?w=280&h=210

First Instruction Session Ever!

I started to give instruction sessions to students a couple of weeks ago. My first session went well. They were foundational students that needed to know the basics. They needed to know how to log into Blackboard, get their assignments, post assignments, comment, and send their classmates email. A few of them did not know how to access their email. So, I showed them where to log in on Wright College’s website. This was necessary because their professor would be sending them emails about the course. I gave them a tour of the library which went well. At first a few of them were talking, but as I got more involved they started to pay more attention. Luckily, they had an assignment so it made it easy to show them how to search the databases and library catalog. The assignment was African-American biographies. I taught them how to search Biographies Plus Illustrated for background information and peer-reviewed articles.