Dry Runs

Today, Louise, Alex and Karlie were able to do their first dry run of an instruction session during our training meeting. Brett and I asked them to conduct a 10 minute module, teaching some small aspect of Scout (The University of Alabama’s EDS). The purpose of this exercise was to discover things about themselves when they try to explain something to an audience. Each did a fantastic job.

I have issued a challenge to them to do some search analysis using Scout, so that they have a better practical understanding of how it works, and cautioned them about drawing focus during their sessions from their key points by trying to explain jargon and technicalities in too much detail. And we all have to continue to find a balance between being a fallible human who makes mistakes and drawing too much critical attention to one’s self at the cost of distracting from our message.

Time is something that I have been struggling with in the past week or so. I never have enough time to cover everything I plan. This semester, I have been focusing on reducing the quantity of my session content in order to more deeply address the strategy of choosing search terms and developing search strings, and I find that the deeper I go, the less time I have. Twice so far this semester, I have not left enough time to complete the exercise that I planned to do with my students. For my sessions next week, it’s my goal to pace myself better, and to recognize if I am spending too much time on one thing. If I feel I am spending the correct amount of time on each component during my sessions, perhaps I am still trying to accomplish too much and I need to cut something out! In this process I find both frustration and motivation. I want my freshmen to be equipped with adequate skills for finding the best sources for their research when they leave my classroom, but if I try to teach them too much I risk over-saturation.

Next week we are going to repeat our dry runs, and I think we will perhaps implement some peer review into it. The following week, we are going to develop active learning components for our classes. I look forward to seeing these three budding instructors grow more confident and find their voice through these exercises. Great job, everyone!

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