Thursday, May 20, 2010

WILU 2010 Conference: Sessions

2B: "Good, better, best! - in peer learning." Karen Hering, Grant McEwan University.

"Polishing Diamonds" is a tool for fostering professional development in teaching excellence. It is a non-evaluative self-assessment through reciprocal peer observation. They ran a parallel program for librarian teachers under the FTLC (equivalent).
Time commitment=1.5 hours/week for 7 weeks.
Ground rules:
  • 4 people/group ("diamond")
  • only 1 observer/instruction session
  • make only positive observations, not judgments--reflect on things you saw which you could use to improve your own teaching (don't comment on the librarian's teaching!).
Buy-in came from the library director encouraging the librarians to participate. Run program every 2 1/2 years with different groups each time. Meet at beginning of semester with all participants to go over ground rules. Each diamond meets after everyone has observed a session to share reflections. All participants met at end of semester to wrap up.

3A: "From active learning to activity: Getting beyond busy work and into deep learning." Wendy Holliday, Utah State University

Students were engaging shallowly with information in writing classes & perceived their assignments as busy work. Activity theory--deep learning requires a contradiction or bind in which your current tools don't work. Learning is a social/joint activity.

4B: "Sources as social acts: Using Genre Theory to transform information literacy instruction." Joel Burkholder, York College of Pennsylvania.

Use social purposes to define & classify:
  • language used by a community to accomplish tasks
  • guidelines for participating in community.
Evaluation should expose context. Is it useful? Not? Helpful? What's appropriate & when?

5A: "From pre-defined topics to research questions: An inquiry-based approach to knowledge." Michelle Allen & Benjamin Oberdick, Michigan State University

"Cephalonian" method. Inquiry-guided learning. First-year writing students "read" & regurgitate without processing material in any fundamental way when doing traditional research papers.

Inquiry-guided learning:
  • questions, problems, issues
  • investigate, create new knowledge (this is the model Wendy Nelson used)
  • show a 1-2 minute YouTube video to spark curiosity or show a picture (e.g.,
  • have students write a question during the video & volunteer them ("those are all great questions")
  • get to the researchable questions; pick one
  • tell students to use this process to analyze & develop their own research questions
  • give a few minutes to search however they want to
  • each group sends 1 person to demonstrate on the instructor pc/display
  • ask: what can we learn from this (article, etc.)--access, evaluation--then guide them to parallel library resources

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