Check out an online tool for helping you narrow your research topic: http://www.powtoon.com/show/cmHsdjQJEds/#/
After successfully completing my Day 1 classes, I felt more freedom to get creative with my Day 2 lesson plan. I began by giving a quick overview of what we had learned in the previous class to ensure we were all on the same page. I then did a polling activity to help the students recognize what sources are appropriate in which context. I briefly spoke on popular versus scholarly sources. Based on my experience from Day 1, I tried to ask more questions and keep the class more engaged during this section instead of lecturing at them. I believe further practice would have made that more smooth, but overall it seemed to work. The class was already pretty knowledgable about what is a scholarly source and what is a popular source. The final activity was multi-faceted and gave the students opportunity to work in groups and individually. They all used the same sources and ranked them so they could think about what sources have the most authority and where that comes from. They then worked individually to evaluate the source. After working online, everyone who had picked the same source got together to compare their answers. This gave the students the chance to teach each other and engage with each other instead of me talking at them.We then discussed all the sources as a group. I felt this activity was useful for the students and allowed them to engage with sources and get a better understanding of the context sources exist within and what makes a source credible.
Solo teaching an EN 102 class for day 1 of their library instruction was a great learning experience. I followed the outline used by many other Gorgas librarians and feel I was able to mend these tools and activities to my own teaching style. I do feel that I spent too much time talking for Day 1. If I redid my lesson plan, I would not make many dramatic changes but would work to engage students more instead of talking at them particularly when discussing the research process. Integrating a polling activity into this section of the lesson might have been effective at achieving that goal. I believe the highlight of my Day 1 lesson was a worksheet I created to allow the students to reflect on what they learned and practice it themselves. I created this worksheet in part because I was not sure how I would do with the timing of my lesson plan. I knew this worksheet gave me flexibility; if I finished too quickly the students would have time to go through this worksheet while in class. If I did not have enough time, the worksheet could be given to them as a tool to use individually when starting their worksheet.
One other note, my professor was very hands-on and encouraged his students to participate and made sure they were engaged. This was very helpful as the students look to the professor as he is the one they are familiar with and leads the class daily.
In the beginning, I wasn’t even 100% sure what asynchronous meant. Synchronous and asynchronous just were not on my vocabulary’s radar. After making the lesson plan, I’m sure a completely Asynchronous lesson plan would be very helpful for some students. But when most of the class is already de-personalized by having the online format, putting a few videos/guides/libguides/etc. in to a course shell will not fully immerse students into library resources.
Putting a face to a resource is a helpful exercise that allows the online/distance students a friendly face wit which to associate with the library. Having tutorials, explanations of processes, etc will be very beneficial for refreshing knowledge, but having even a one-shot online class would allow students to further their knowledge and feel connected with the library rather than feeling it is a far-away thing that isn’t very helpful to them as online students. So I decided to make an online lesson plan that used elements that the students could come back and use asynchronously should they need further explanation. Doing an online class allows the students to know a librarian is really there to help them if the librarian is able to communicate that feeling well over the Internet.
Once upon a time, there was an intern. This intern did her very best to prepare to create a video that would be helpful for students under the Supervisor’s dominion. All was well. The week came to construct the tool one faithful night, when the intern finally had a few hours together to put together the tool she had imagined. Tired from the week before, she and her fellow intern went to the neighboring kingdom to create the tool. But alas, the keys to the kingdom were missing. She and her fellow intern searched frantically for the key. They looked high and low, asked neighboring kingdoms for help, and attempted to find a different way in. The way was shut and none knew how to open it.
Downhearted, the two made their way back to their kingdom and contacted their Supervisor. Luckily, the Supervisor allowed them to make the video in her kingdom, though the better tools to make the video were found in the locked kingdom. Resting and nourishing themselves before continuing, the interns began to set up their tools. The audio set up went splendidly, although the littlest intern hated the sound of her own voice being played back to her. She planned on being out in a few hours.
But, alas, Camtasia had other plans. It stumbled and errored and made its way through, had trouble uploading audio too. When making the video, oh what a sight, it took the interns well into the night. They finally finished their asynchronous tool, went home and over their dreamland did rule.
My game plan for the session using some asynchronous tools was to further connect students with the information. Online students can often be left out to dry when it comes to library instruction, but creating classes that have at least one session of library instruction could increase their knowledge of how to research and be information literate.
Observing was an interesting experience for me. While I have sat in many classrooms as a student, I’m not sure that I have ever sat in a classroom as an observer. Looking specifically at their lesson plan and what methods the instructor employs when teaching. The timeline of my observations can be divided into three clear points. When I first began observing I wasn’t sure what I was looking for. I mean obviously I was looking at what topic were covered and how this information was presented, but other than that I had little idea. As I began co-teaching my observations quickly morphed into studying what particular aspect of the lesson I would be covering that week with the the specific librarian, looking at how they covered the topic, and thinking about how I would address the topic in relation to my own teaching and co-teaching sessions. After, completing all of my teaching and co-teaching sessions my observation time really shifted to focus on observing for the study. Therefore I really began parsing apart the sessions based on what questions were asked in the sessions. Throughout this journey of observation, I really learned in great depth the different aspects of a teaching session.
I found Co-teaching to be extremely helpful. Each experience gave me more confidence in my own teaching abilities. I co-taught several times with several different librarians, and each time it was a new experience that gave me more practice. Planning these co-teaching sessions with each librarian was also a learning experience. They all had different lesson plans and different ways of conveying the lesson. My first co-teaching session was with Karlie and Paige. We each took a section of the lesson, therefore dividing it into three parts. This method allowed me to do a small portion of the lesson and get comfortable leading instruction. It was really a confidence booster.
My next experiences co-teaching were with Kayla and Alex separately. Again each had their own way of doing things and planning the lesson, and it was helpful to see what approach they both took. With these co-teaching sessions I taught half of the lesson plan and then they would teach the other half. Both Kayla and Alex have different teaching styles and teaching such large portions of their lessons was really great practice for my own solo teaching.
Overall I found co-teahcing to be extremely beneficial to my instruction experience.
It was very interesting to to go through the process of creating my asynchronous material. I tend to be a very practical person. I like to have a plan and know exactly what direction I am going. Therefore when it came to creating this content and looking at topic I wanted to create something that would be a time saver and practical in nature. During my time observing classes I noticed that during the session one classes time was spent covering useful items on the website. I felt that this information was useful and definitely needed to be conveyed, but that given the general nature of it that it could be more useful asynchronously. This would give the librarian more instruction time during the lesson to cover other material, and allow the student to view the material at their own convenience.
When creating the screencast I ran into several issues. I felt that it was useful to create separate audio files from the video file. However, I was unable to figure out how to listen to the audio file while I recorded the video, and therefore struggled to make my timing match up. Also, audio was an issue in other ways. The microphone I used created a lot of background noise and through my editing of the audio, I feel I distorted the audio track even more. I reach the point in editing, that I felt I was hurting the file more than I was helping. Some of these issues I feel spring from my ignorance of the software Camtasia. Perhaps through more practice and perhaps some instruction on the software, my video and audio content will improve. In addition, I was also at a loss when beginning and ending my video. I am unsure what the best practices are for creating screencasts and would be interested in knowing what is recommended by others.
All in all I feel this was a very helpful learning experience, and certainly furthered my knowledge of asynchronous material.