Instructor College End-of-Semester Instruction Event

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On December 17, 2012, the Instructor College hosted a program in which University of Michigan library instructors could reflect on the past semester. The Instructor College Steering Committee (ICSC) also reported on the activities that it coordinated over the last semester. Fifteen library instructors attended.

Fall 2012 Instructor College Steering Report

The ICSC conducted a survey of its members to determine its priorities over the 2012/2013 academic year. The committee will be working on a program similar to a reading group, a method for library instructors to formally discover ideas about a specific topic over time. The ICSC also hosted a new instructor luncheon with 3 new librarians to discuss the purpose of the Instructor College and how these new instructors could get help with teaching. A committee member met separately with another new librarian about these same topics. Finally, the ICSC could not report on the future of the Michigan Instruction Exchange but have been working to continue this program.

Fall 2012 Reflection Activities

Getting To Know You …

The event included a formal mixing activity.  Library instructors were given an index card with one of the following questions on it.

  • What are some of the ways you've worked with faculty this semester to integrate the library into their courses?
  • What do you see as the biggest instructional need of your target audience this semester?
  • How do you see library instruction changing in the next two years?
  • What is your favorite instruction “trick” (strategy, exercise, example, etc.), and why?
  • How do you develop rapport with students?
  • How do you start your instruction session in a way that acknowledges the students’ prior knowledge but also shows them that they need to learn more?

Librarians then found partners and asked each other the questions on their cards. After they finished answering the questions, they exchanged cards to get a new question and then found a new partner. After the activity, the whole group discussed some of the ideas that came out of this process. These thoughts included

  • Making connections with students prior to the session is important for a successful class.
  • Any “flipping” idea, including requiring one-on-one sessions with the librarian or the assignment of an instruction video prior to class, is more successful if the student can receive course credit.
  • Some librarians thought that the physical classroom setting did not always have an impact. Others had strong preferences for specific spaces and equipment. Most of all, flexibility from the librarians, students and faculty members were key in this area.
Fall 2012 Plus/Wish Activity

In the third part of the program, attendees chose small groups and then wrote down what worked well in their instruction and what they wished they would have done throughout the semester. They shared these reflections with the small group and then with the entire group. Some of their thoughts included

  • Sometimes there is miscommunication about the types of students that you will be teaching. You have to get over that as soon as possible and adapt your lesson quickly.
  • Many library instructors wished they could do more pre-assessment.
  • The complexity of information literacy makes one shot teaching difficult to complete comprehensively. Everything is so contextual it is hard to convey this complexity because each information need is different.
  • An instructor used Poll Everywhere successfully this semester.

What are some of the ways you've worked with faculty this semester to integrate the library into their courses? How do you see library instruction changing in the next two years?