Evaluation of Live Instruction

This week, I had the opportunity to sit in on a live instructional library session at community college. The instructor of an English class brought his class to the library to learn about the resources at the library. The session lasted for about 45 minutes and was a very nice introduction to the library.

From what I could tell—the session was developed assuming the students had never used the library at the college until now. Since the session was fairly early in the semester, I could see how this overview would be critical to the student’s success at the college.

Initially the librarian took the class on a physical tour, pointing out where helpful areas of the library were located. At the same time he reviewed general policies of the library, where to return books, how to use your student ID, etc. I could definitely tell that this presentation was specifically created for first time students. The instructor asked this question to clarify. The majority of the students confirmed this fact.

The class was taken into the computer classroom where he demonstrated how to search for books or periodicals using the library catalog. During this time, the instructor clearly thought of different learning styles — he provided written materials that reinforced the hands on activities and practice searches. The instructor also provided alternative methods for searching and included how to do advances more sophisticated search using a very familiar source like Google.

The librarian then showed students how to save, download, or email an article and how to appropriate use citations. He showed the class how to use the citation software “Noodle Bib.” At the end of the class, there was time for question and answer and time to get some practice and additional one-on-one training.

A formal evaluation was not given at the conclusion of the class. But I felt that it was an excellent introduction to the library.

Mid-Term Reflection

As the mid-term approaches for this class — I realize the semester is going by very rapidly. First, on a personal level it is very difficult not to acknowledge the challenge of working full time, being a parent of two young children and trying to complete graduate studies. I realize that it is simply not ideal for learning. Something seems to suffer whether it is work or spending time with my children — or the quality of my studies for my LIS Program.

That said, I am surprised at just how much I am learning this semester. Some of the activities and readings have been very interesting to date. The think tank activities have been very good. The articles and readings are interesting.

Our group work as it has been in previous classes has been challenging in terms of connecting with the other members and getting everyone on the same page and participating. But overall it has been rewarding and interesting to learn from my classmates – including hearing their feedback regarding my own work.

In the News

For this week’s “In the News” entry, I would like to give a brief synopsis of a story covered in the blog LISNews on October 6th. The blog provides a video interview with author Lev Grossman who talks about his series “the Magician” trilogy. The series deals with subjects that might traditionally be aimed at young readers but is intended for adult readers. I would think that this entry is aimed at those librarians who are dealing with adult readers — probably in a public library setting.

The author describes that adults need magic too – that it is not only meant for young adults or children. There is discussion about what it means to be writing “literary” fiction. The future of the book and writing comes up and the author indicates that he thinks it is a great time to be an author and writing. He indicates that novelists are rediscovering plot and storytelling. He further goes on to say that novels today are accessible and that is a good thing.

The conversation was not controversial but it does point out the subject of dealing with readers (probably within a public library setting). It would be helpful to know what readers might be attracted to in terms of being able to discuss popular subject matters with adults. The popularity of books such as Harry Potter, Narnia and other book that involve magic are attracting both young readers and adults too. It would certain benefit a public librarian to familiarize themselves with this work and this genre as a whole. To be able to advise readers should they be looking to further explore.

Evaluation of Online Instruction

This week I evaluated an online tutorial on how to create a YouTube Account. The intended audience was for information professionals or students in a higher learning institution. The context of the video tutorial was part of the assignment processes for our class. The audience was relevant because had it been an adult learner or someone who did not have much experience with using the internet or technology it may have been a bit difficult. The objectives were provided were fairly quick and spelled out. How to create a YouTube account and then how to post and use your account.

The technique for learning was very well done quick tutorial video that gave step by step instruction and screencast/demonstration was used to accomplish this. I found the style very useful because you could see the steps as they occurred. The technique was perfect for someone like me who experience using technology and can pick up these concepts very simply.

This technique for learning is not for everyone as I had mentioned earlier. The learner must be familiar with how to navigate the internet, create accounts in general, make videos and upload them. So, I would not categorize this learning method as a beginner’s method.

There was not a specific evaluation at the end of this session. However, I think the overall purpose, design and delivery was effective and accomplished what was set out to be accomplished. Visually I felt it was effective in and the fact that it was delivered using the YouTube was appropriate.

Learning Styles & Personality

INFJ Infographic

My personality type on the Meyers-Briggs personality type indicator is INFJ. I think that it does describe my personality accurately. I am definitely an introvert. I prefer to observe and quietly reflect and think about thinks for a period of time. I am also a very intuitive person –although it has taken time and experience for me to trust my intuition.

I am also a very feeling person. On another personality type (Gallop’s StrengthsQuest) – my number one strength is Empathy. I think I am the type of individual who can read and feel cues from others around me. It is something that I can’t really turn off but again have learned to respect this as a talent versus a weakness. In our culture being a feeling and emotional person is not exactly prized. I think this way of being is viewed as feminine and unfortunately viewed as weak and that I find very challenging.

In terms of the last description as “judging” – I guess I don’t care for the actual word but when I look at how it is described I have to say that it is true. I do think that I pay attention to schedules, guidelines and rules. I think that a certain amount of this is necessary so that everyone feels respected — particularly in a professional setting.

Blog, RSS Feed or Listserve

This week, I reviewed the an information literacy blog called “Chat Literacy.” The reason I chose this site was because I feel that there is so much to learn as far as information literacy goes. The subject can be overwhelming but I still want to keep learning and it helps to know that those who contribute to the blog might be using technology to solve problems. From meeting the section describing the mission of the blog, etc. there is reference to the US National Commission on Libraries and Information Science. So professionals have something to do with the production of the blog which gives some confidence in terms of the quality of the discussions. Here is the link to the blog:

http://community.eldis.org/.59e9ac6e/

” Welcome to Chat Literacy – an interactive online blogging space for anyone interested in information literacy. Our broad understanding of what it means to be information literate includes individuals who “know when they need information, and are then able to identify, locate, evaluate, organise and effectively use the information to address and help resolve personal, job related, or broader social issues and problems.”(Reference: UNESCO, US National Commission on Libraries and Information Science et al Goals, objectives and participant responsibilities. Meeting of experts on information literacy 2002.)”

There are many different types of chats and blogging opportunities on this blog the topics vary widely. There is a welcome topic that has over 15000 members and there are special interest groups such as Social Movements and Gender that has over 500 members. It appears there are many of the groups are active and the topics could be very be helpful for those who have trouble connecting — particularly if you are interested in special interest issues. Also important to note that this is an international blog. I also liked the group on Facebook and noticed that the moderator there is from the UK and is from the Institute of Development Studies. There appears to be at least one post per week on the Facebook site. The topics appear to be a nice variety.

In short, it seems like a good resource to keep in as an information professional.

Being Information Literate

The three characteristics that describe an information literate individual to me would be someone who knew how to easily navigate and locate information using technology and other informational tools. In order to help someone develop these characteristics I would introduce resources that were general and easy to use. I think introducing reliable databases and research tools based on the needs and level of expertise of the individual. Hands on opportunities would be helpful in this regard as I think experience using and searching for information can help people have success in information literacy.

Print handouts, guided exercise and tutorials are important supplements to assisting in the people become information literate. I am personally a fan of video tutorials. If the instructor provides clear guidance and covers highlights of the various research tools then It save a lot of time.  If the printed materials are concise, up the date and relevant then I think they could also be helpful. Often times, when I get a printed instructional sheet I immediately look for a publish date because with information technology, there are constant changes. I think of various apps that have updates every couple of months. So a printed handout would have to be updates each and every time an instructional session is presented  — in some cases.

I think an excellent activity for someone who needs to develop their information literacy skills would be to have them research a topic of their interest using two or three online resources and to rate them in terms of the results.