After Instruction

Yesterday I finished my final teaching session of the semester. True to form, I was teaching the database Opposing Viewpoints in Context and the database would not function. I tried and tried and tried, but apparently the Alabama Virtual Library, the carrier of OVIC, was experiencing technical difficulties. So, my entire lesson was useless and I had to improvise a lesson on the fly. Luckily I had planned to talk briefly about Academic Search Premier and my class was only eight students, so it wasn’t a huge deal and I think the students still benefited from the lesson. The class was comprised of three male freshmen students and five female freshmen students. The women in the classroom were very attentive and tried hard to implement my lessons in their searches. The men very stereotypically looked for the lowest prices on GNC protein powder. What was encouraging, though, was that by the end of the lesson everyone, including the men, were looking for sources for their topics. I was able to individually help everyone search, and in fact one of the protein powder guys had a very smart and fresh take on subject headings, keywords and searching in general. While I was explaining the process to him, he said, “oh, like tags.” What he meant was, keywords and subject headings are like tagging photos on facebook. I found that really encouraging because I think its a great metaphor. I never thought that this student who at the start of class couldn’t pay attention would actually teach me something by the end. This is one of the great aspects of instruction, and it is moments like these that keep instructors coming back to the classroom.

One thought on “After Instruction

  1. I think this was an incredible experience for you, Robert! We all find it necessary to improvise from time to time, and you did a really nice job with this class. And as for the tag idea, it’s a great analogy! I think Nancy uses it sometimes… You did some great work this semester- thanks for being part of the team!

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