Wednesday, March 31, 2010

library instruction for upper-level students

I worked with an upper-level Spanish class last week and since I thought that many of them had had some library instruction previously, I asked. Only 1 student had, so then I asked how many had used the Library Guides for doing research. A couple had. I asked the student who was closest to the front of the classroom if he would like to "drive" the computer and show us his research methods. He seemed shy but delighted, and did a wonderful job. I chimed in, and he also reminded me of some important elements. We used both his and other students' topics. I had more fun and the students seemed to pay attention.

Two weeks ago, I worked with the Photography senior thesis class. All of them had had library instruction previously, most with me. So I handed out a quiz which asked them to complete various tasks (based on the Photography Library Guide). I was amazed that none of them were able to complete all of the tasks "correctly" and all but 2 did not do well--I looked over each completed quiz as they finished. Then we went over the questions and answers (asking for their responses) and I reminded them of the research methods. I didn't feel very successful, but earlier this week, one of the students brought me a thank-you card signed by all of the class members, and said how helpful it had been. Hmmm. Food for thought--using a task-based assignment as a quiz to focus attention on the previous learning and present research needs.


Pixie the dog said...

Nice. I received a card from one of my students today saying thank you for taking her class to camp. I have to treasure the triumphs and try to leave the tribulations behind.

Dr.W said...

I think one of my most valuable assignments from my college career was from my intro to political science course, when we had to complete a "library scavenger hunt." It changed my life.