Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"Faulty Ching" conference

That is, what I learned at the Fall Teaching (& Learning) Conference:
  • Use formative assessment to inform my understanding of student learning. (check)
  • Use journaling to record successful/effective teaching and things upon which to improve. (check)
  • Ask students, "How will this impact your future practice?" (or "What will you do differently now?"). (check)
  • Use collaborative journaling with colleagues, especially across institutions, to find common themes upon which to build the basis for presentations and/or articles.
  • There are 9 intellectual standards for critical thinking (we should get the Set of Twenty One Thinker's Guides): clarity, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, logic, significance, fairness.
  • Techniques for achieving critical thinking:
  1. dialogic questioning (use students' answers to foster discussion)
  2. Socratic questioning (requires your questions to be specific & detailed, students' answers to be interpretive or making new inferences, & your follow-up to summarize & talk about what has not been resolved)
  3. make the application of knowledge in new & different contexts transparent
  4. have the class debate the pros/cons & then switch perspectives with a follow-up discussion on the evidence for which side was more persuasive
  5. give examples that challenge assumptions
  6. have students explain the essence of the readings by using metaphors
  7. have students back up their answers with page numbers or a website or quote from the readings
  8. have students assume the characteristics of something non-human (like a virus and bacteria in the health sciences or gravity in physics)
  9. have students explain concepts to different audiences/levels.

Monday, August 24, 2009

the book; liaising

On the book: I talked to the reporter last week & she provided me with some helpful insights about interviews. I also made my 1st choice in authors to ask to write a foreword and sent a note out. After I hear back, either I'll need to approach others, or can start soliciting blurbs. One retired prof graciously offered to edit the introduction & conclusion (free of charge!) & I'm grateful for that. I have another person in mind to ask to review the entire manuscript, based on another colleague's recommendation. Plus, one of the profs to whom I had sent the mss is very excited about it & wants to chat. It's all very exhilarating.

On liaising: today I attended the start-up meeting for the School of Communications--did my 2-minute spiel, handed out cards, answered a myriad of questions, met new faculty, & lunched with photography colleagues. They're entirely willing to work with us on putting student capstone "theses" into our repository. In fact they have been wondering how to get these already-digitized photos & essays online, so timing is everything.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

preparing for interview questions

I am preparing to market the book (this should be done well before it is published) but I felt so much anxiety about the question, "How did the book evolve?" that I just sat with the anxiety for awhile. I realized that I hate answering questions about myself. The good thing about being a librarian is that questions are rarely personal. As an academic librarian, I haven't done book talks or even reviews, so this is a new area. So a change in perspective: take a step back to look at the book as a librarian, academic or public, might. Oh, time to ask a librarian to read the mss and write a review! I have the names and contact info for reviewers in the spiritual memoir genre but I'm not at the point of asking for formal reviews. Volunteers or suggestions?

Back to the topic at hand. Can I talk about myself as if I were talking about an author (not me) yet not in the 3rd person? What are the things which might interest readers and which I'm willing to divulge? Oh, I know a reporter. It's not her area exactly, but maybe she'd be willing to help me out, since again I'm not at the point of asking for a newspaper article to be written. And who knows, maybe she would write an article when it is time. Are there other hints/helpful advice?

Friday, August 7, 2009

library instruction assessment options

Pre-instruction: ask students a week before the session what questions they have about library research (in BlackBoard or by way of the faculty member). Use this in the conversation with the faculty member about the learning objectives and to structure the activities.

Post-instruction: ask students & faculty, "Should this session be taught for this course in future semesters?" and "In which other courses should a library research session be taught?"

(This would be to supplement the minute questions of, "What was the most important thing you learned in the library session?" or "What will you do differently in your research process now?" and "What questions do you still have about finding information to support your paper?")