Yesterday afternoon, Winter Break (and all my attempts to get My Own Work done) officially ended. My research afternoon time was lost under a sea of returning faculty requests for the status of their books and some lovely-but-time-consuming library instruction consultations.
My new class websites (example), started on a whim and used only when paper seems unwieldy (I cling to giving them a piece of paper, to take notes on and follow along with, and to have my contact info. I think it makes a difference, I know others disagree….) led to bringing a second year prof on board for library instruction. She was so enthused about my making her class their own website with information on primary sources and hand-selected resources from the free web and the library, she finally agreed to bring her class in . Hoo-rah for me! I don’t know why some profs are so resistant, and I don’t understand why this was so persuasive, but I’m really so happy it was in my bag of tricks! Of course, now I have to identify primary sources on Modern African history from the perspective of Africa (and ‘Africa looks back at Europe’) to populate the page with, but a challenge is good, yes?
My favorite prof (henceforth MFP) and I finally sat down at the syllabus polishing stage and restructured his assignments and slotted in six (six, I get six!) library instruction sessions. We used to do four, but I have talked him up to six (seven would be ideal –we’ll get there!). After almost three years of working together, we have a great rapport and he’s very amenable to my ideas.
So, what have we done?
- Because this is a class within a class, I get to do some real assessment, with pre- and post-tests. And this year, I’m going to revamp them
- This year, we got on the ball and talked through all of the assignments for the semester- and changed almost all of them to fit information literacy development! And I will be first-draft writing two of them.
- We’ve added a session just on introducing library research (and I’ve offered to make him a scavenger hunt for them to do before the session. I think of it as opening them up to what they don’t know they don’t know- one of our biggest stumbling blocks, imo.)
- We also have a session just on background research and format. Why use newspapers, when the free web is the right place, why you really truly do need to read books. I’m so pleased to have a whole session on just this.
- MFP has come to my side on my scholarly article and first year students bug bear (there will be a post on this, very soon!). We are doing a session on books, and a session on evaluating websites, and then a session on Articles. The article session (no longer first but last) will be on finding appropriate Reliable Sources (as opposed to peer reviewed articles)
- We’re also doing a wrap up session, which I pulled together very last minute last semester and am looking forward to thinking through this year.
- We’re going to see if we can make an article out of all this work we’ve done together.
Now I just have to figure out how to make this much work and effort and success take up a significant amount of space in my reappointment review folio!
And, figure out how bring more profs into the fold.