A bit about me: My name is Niamh Hammel and I graduated the Masters in Information and Library Studies course from University College Dublin in 2016. I have been working in my current library since July 2017 and pretty much delved straight into the information literacy classes we run there. Realising that teaching was actually going to make up a lot of my time there I thought I’d enrol in a Teaching and Learning course run in the institute. What I found was that most if not all of the material was focused towards in more traditional teaching occupations such as lecturers, secondary school teachers, trainers etc. I was the first member of library staff to enrol in the course and it was a challenge to work with the material to make it work for the teaching I did. But I got on with it and it was a real eye-opener in terms of how I viewed our Information Literacy classes. Also, being a student recently enough I feel like I have a good understanding of what students might look for/respond to in these kind of classes. It was interested to go from being a student, attending library classes to being on the other side of the desk, giving them.
I’ve gone back through a few years of LILAC presentations, especially the masterclasses and I saw a lot covering Active Learning, different kinds of Engagement techniques, flipped classrooms etc. So for this masterclass I am going to focus more on practical and less on theory. I want people leaving here thinking about real life applications. I want you to ACTIVELY THINK. In this masterclass I will be showing you two very simple activities that are aimed towards improving engagement in the library classroom as well as working as tools to gauge retention and comprehension. These two activities also work well together and can be used in conjunction with each other – I’ll be illustrating how this may be done later on. I’m also going to explain my thinking behind various elements, as a way to get you thinking more about how you may use similar activities or elements of them in your own contexts.
So this is the Key for the Paddles. By use the Green Paddle, Is anyone wondering why I didn’t use the Traffic Light System (Or are you thinking that NOW?) I chose to not use the traffic light system because I thought that equating red with ‘no’ or especially ‘I don’t know’ carries with it negative connotations. Of course in saying that you could put a positive spin on it and equate Knowing something to Red. It’s all personal choice. I know there are many brilliant online tools out there that are interactive and designed for classroom use such as Padlet and Socrative. So Why am I using very simple. Physical paddles. (If what I’m about to say resonates with anyone here, please put up the green paddle). Where I work the wifi can not be depended on or guaranteed to work, we do not have near the amount of computers that we need to have an effective information literacy class, even then sometime not all of the students get logged on. We do have laptops on loan at the library but again, colleagues of mine have spent nearly half the class trying to get everyone to log on. Seeing this commotion, it is just not worth it. Library instruction classes are often one stop shops and so every minute counts. (CHECK IF ANY PADDLES ARE UP). That is why I have made these simple and portable paddles, because they do not depend on wifi and there is one for everyone in the audience. But this is something I think Librarians are really good at – making the most out of what they have. A Little creativity and determination go a long way! So just for a bit of practice…
This is one example of using the paddles: equating an answer with the colour.
Another way to use the paddles – Yes/No Questions. By use of the paddles (YES, NO, Orange – meh) does this type of thing ever turn you off teaching, does the thought of it make teaching any more daunting, is it ever on your mind? Maybe some of you have not come across this. I find that some courses are more engaged, chatty than others, it may also depend on the time of day it is. Monday mornings, not bad, Monday afternoons? Not so much.
Firstly I found that students were finding it hard to remember what each colour signified, especially when I was going to be asking different kinds of questions, requiring different uses of the paddles.
Why engage in the Library Classroom? Classes are primarily one-stop shops Ensures Students take something of value with them Enjoyment for both staff and students Helps us to continuously improve our delivery, confidence and engagement techniques.
This is what I want to use these simple activities for: to test retention/comprehension and to emphasise points that I think is useful to the students.
-Read the Room – Be conscious of what’s going on in the classroom/with participants, if something is really not sinking in or going the way you hoped, don’t panic. Have a contingency plan, aim to flexible enough to completely change directions/tactics to get attention back from the class. - Think about the Student’s perspective – This is something I not-so-subtly did at the start of the session. Out of curiosity, and by use of the green paddle, who is still wearing their student caps? Did anyone revert back to the Librarian hat straight away? Is anyone changing the hats 50/50?
*USE in ABC Activity* First ask the question – How much do you know about S.M.A.R.T Learning Outcomes?
ABC and 135: activities to engage in the library classroom - Hammel
A,B,C and 1,3,5:
Activities to Engage Students in the
Library Assistant : Dundalk Institute of Technology
POINT OF THIS PRESENTATION:
I Don’t Really
Know / Don’t know
much about it
I Kind of Know
I Need more
I Know About it
I am Competent
Out of Curiosity…
I work in a Public Library
I work in an Academic
IS ANYONE HERE FAMILIAR WITH THE
o Vacant Expression
o Little or no
o Not Answering
How often do you teach/facilitate classes?
Often (ten classes + a semester)
Now and Again (a few classes throughout
Rarely/Never/Only when needed
1. NO COLOUR
2. NO GUIDE
3. RED DOT
Why Engage in the Library Classroom?
that a nod or a yes
from a student indicates
(D. Amsberry, 2008 ‘Talking the Talk: Library Classroom Communication and
Read the Room
Think about the Student’s Perspective
Make it Relevant
Make it Fun! (For Yourself)
‘S.M.A.R.T’ LEARNING OUTCOMES
Dallat, J. (2013). Learning and teaching: a best practice guide on learning outcomes.
What’s the gap in the quote?
“Avoid assuming that a nod or a yes from a
student indicates ____”
In S.M.A.R.T What does the ‘R’ Stand for?
Who’s still wearing their student hat?
A I am!
B Never took it off
C Student hat?
- We used the paddles to answer different kinds of
questions (Yes/No) (Levels of knowledge)
- Two different activities were demonstrated
individually. They can also be used together.
- S.M.A.R.T Learning Outcomes can be used to focus